About Us

Dr Rebecca Kiddle (Primary Investigator)

Becky is Ngāti Porou and Ngā Puhi and is a Senior Lecturer at the Architecture School, Victoria University of Wellington. Her research focuses on Māori identity and placemaking in Aotearoa New Zealand and the nexus between community creation, social processes and urban design. She also works to develop better participatory design processes to ensure rangatahi and tamariki voices are heard in built environment decision-making processes. She has a PhD and MA in urban design from Oxford Brookes University, UK and undergraduate degrees in Politics and Māori Studies. She is co-editor of the Our Voices series along with Prof. Kevin O’Brien (Australia) and Dr Luugigyoo Patrick Stewart (Turtle Island) which includes Our Voices: Indigeneity and Architecture (2018) and the forthcoming (2020) Our Voices II: The Decolonial Project. She is co-chair Pōneke of the Ngā Aho Network of Māori Designers.


Dr Wokje Abrahamse (Associate Investigator)

Wokje Abrahamse is an internationally recognized scholar in environmental behaviour change research. Her research focuses on the human dimensions of environmental change, applying psychological theories to better understand the barriers and enablers of engagement in environmentally friendly behaviours, such as attitudes, social norms, and habits. She also examines the effectiveness of interventions to encourage the adoption of environmentally friendly behaviours, such as energy conservation and travel mode choice.


Elaine Gyde (Masters Research Student)

Now that I am working at the Ministry for the Environment on the review of the resource management system, getting to eat my lunch on Parliament lawn is an important way to practice the lessons that I learnt in my thesis.  I used third place as a framework for examining the benefits of shared public green space. Green spaces are social spaces which provide people with important opportunities to relax and connect with nature. They’re important for biodiversity and provide shade as cities become warmer. These ecosystem services translate to the benefits that people experience as they use green space.


Chantal Mawer (Masters Research Student)

Chantal has a background in Anthropology and Environmental Studies and is passionate about communities and the places that create these. Her thesis examined the role that suburban shopping malls, in Aotearoa New Zealand can and do play as community spaces and questioned the decision-making mechanisms relating to these spaces. She currently works as an analyst at Te Arawhiti- the Office for Māori Crown Relations.