Topics of Interest
Traditional whānau parenting
The need for whānau mentoring
Māori and Indigenous governance
The Treaty of Waitangi
Traditional Māori (hara) crimes and how they were dealt with
Dr Joseph was a senior research fellow for the Te Mātāhauariki Research Institute under Judge Michael Brown, a senior researcher for Dr Linda Tuhiwai Smith, and he graduated with a PhD in Law in 2006. He is currently a lecturer at Te Piringa-Faculty of Law at the University of Waikato and a researcher for the Crown Forestry Research Trust. He is also working on the Ngati Maniapoto scoping report for Rohe Pōtae claims in the Waitangi Tribunal in New Zealand. He is currently writing a biography of his paternal tupuna (ancestors), who fought at the famous 1864 Battle of Orakau during the Waikato Wars
In 2009, Dr Joseph received the Best PhD Thesis on Canadian Studies Award for academic excellence from the International Council for Canadian Studies. Dr Joseph's research interests include Māori and Indigenous governance generally, the realisation of Treaty of Waitangi rights and responsibilities, Indigenous environmental challenges - including natural resource co-management/co-governance models, the interface of traditional Māori knowledge systems and western science; and the appropriate integration of Indigenous and Māori customary laws and governance institutions within liberal democratic nation-states.
Dr Joseph has been consulted on a number of reports for several organisations including the New Zealand Law Commission, the New Zealand branch of the NGO Transparency International, Te Puni Kōkiri - the Ministry of Māori Development, the Northland Police, the Institute of Governance and the Centre for First Nations Governance in Ottawa, Canada; and the Ngā Manga Pūriri Trust.
Dr Joseph is the New Zealand representative on the executive for the Association for Canadian Studies in Australia and New Zealand (ACSANZ), chair of the Awhina Trust addressing Māori mental health in the Waikato and Northland regions, an advisory trustee of the Kia Ngawari Trust, founding member of the Orakau Establishment Working Group, and the Te Hurihanga Youth Horizons Trust addressing local Māori juvenile delinquency challenges.
Robert has travelled extensively throughout Australia, Canada and the United States to meet with Indigenous People as part of his research on Indigenous self-governance models and contemporary Treaty settlements. In Canada, he looked specifically at First Nations governance, customary laws and traditional institutions, contemporary treaties, and options for addressing historic injustices through reconciliatory justice.