Dr Sereana Naepi

PhD Educational Studies, University of British Columbia


Bula Vinaka, I currently teach in the Sociology program and completed my undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Auckland before completing my PhD at the University of British Columbia. As an emerging Pasifika researcher, I was the founding associate-director of All My Relations; an Indigenous research center at Thompson Rivers University (Canada) and co-founded the Indigenous research development program Knowledge Makers in Canada. I have been successful in applying for international research grants and publish both nationally and internationally on equity and higher education. Before beginning my research, I worked supporting Māori and Pasifika students in MAPAS and Tuākana Arts. 

Research | Current

I conduct research into equity in higher education both nationally and internationally. My current projects include data-informed approaches to equity in universities in New Zealand and indigenization efforts in Canada. I am focused on ensuring that all learners, faculty, and staff experience the education system we deserve. I use Pacific research methodologies in my research and I am excited to engage in the Pacific academy.

Teaching | Current


Sociology for Auckland


The Pacific in the World

Postgraduate supervision

I am excited to supervise students who are interested in changing current education systems and wish to examine education systems through sociological lenses. I am also enthusiastic to supervise students who are interested in Pacific research methodologies and research with our Pasifika communities and the regional Pacific. I am happy to supervise interdisciplinary projects and look forward to working with students from both within sociology and throughout the university. 


National Teaching Award (Canada) - Alan Blizzard Award 2019

Society of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education awards recognizes and celebrates excellence in collaborative teaching and learning in post-secondary education. I co-led a team that received this award for our collaborative teaching approach in Knowledge Makers an Indigenous undergraduate research program at Thompson Rivers University. 


Areas of expertise

Pacific Research Methodologies, Pasifika, Higher Education, Pacific, Indigenization, Decolonization,

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Barber, S., & Naepi, S. (2020). Sociology in a crisis: Covid-19 and the colonial politics of knowledge production in Aotearoa New Zealand. Journal of Sociology10.1177/1440783320939679
  • Naepi, S. E. (2020). “I Didn't Come to Play”: Pasifika Women in the Academy. In T. Moeke-Pickering, S. Cote-Meek, A. Pegoraro (Eds.) Critical Reflections and Politics on Advancing Women in the Academy (pp. 52-69). IGI Global. 10.4018/978-1-7998-3618-6.ch004
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/51471
  • Naepi, S. E. (2019). Masi methodology: centring Pacific women’s voices in research. AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, 15 (3), 234-242. 10.1177/1177180119876729
  • Naepi, S., McAllister, T., Thomsen, P., Leenen-Young, M., Walker, L. A., McAllister, A. L., ... Suaalii, T. (2019). The Pakaru ‘Pipeline’: Māori and Pasifika Pathways within the Academy. New Zealand Annual Review of Education, 24, 142-159. 10.26686/nzaroe.v24i0.6338
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/50610
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Patrick Thomsen, Tara McAllister, Marcia Leenen-Young, Tamasailau Suaalii
  • Naepi, S. E. (2019). Why isn’t my professor Pasifika? A snapshot of the academic workforce in New Zealand universities. MAI Journal: A New Zealand Journal of Indigenous Scholarship, 8 (2), 219-234. 10.20507/MAIJournal.2019.8.2.9
  • Naepi, S., Stein, S., Ahenakew, C., & de Oliveira Andreotti, V. (2017). A cartography of higher education: Attempts at inclusion and insights from Pasifika scholarship in Aotearoa New Zealand. In C. Reid, J. Major (Eds.) Global teaching: Southern perspectives on teachers working with diversity (pp. 81-99). New York, NY, USA: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1057/978-1-137-52526-0_5
  • Naepi, S., Stein, S., Ahenakew, C., & Andreotti, V. D. O. (2017). A Cartography of Higher Education: Attempts at Inclusion and Insights from Pasifika Scholarship in Aotearoa New Zealand. In C. Reid, J. Major (Eds.) (pp. 81-99). SPRINGER INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING AG. 10.1057/978-1-137-52526-0_5
  • Naepi, S. (2016). Pacific research methodologies. In G. W. Noblit (Ed.) Oxford research encyclopedia, Education (pp. ). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acrefore/9780190264093.013.566

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 9, Room 908
New Zealand

Social links

Web links