Dr. Hekia Bodwitch, Postdoctoral Fellow (2018-19)

Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley (2017); B.Sc. Biology & Society, Cornell University (2009)

Hekia was a postdoctoral fellow working on how resource governance initiatives impact the distribution of economic benefits and ecological burdens along resource value chains. She held a joint appointment with the Ngai Tahu Research Centre at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

She is presently a postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley.




Project Summary:

Ethnographic collaborations with communities are my starting point for research. Methodologically, I develop my inquiries in collaboration with primary producers who are not benefitting economically from existing governing initiatives. I do this in order to understand how regulations can be made more equitable. I always first present my research findings to the communities I work with, and I incorporate their feedback into my writing and reports. I received my PhD from the University of California’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management in 2017. For my dissertation, I investigated why, despite collectively owning almost 50% of New Zealand’s privatized commercial fishing rights, or Individual Transferable Quota, Māori individuals increasingly exhibit disproportionately low health, income, and education outcomes. From 2013-2015, I interviewed over 150 Māori and non-Māori fishers, processors, fisheries scientists, resource managers, government politicians, tribal leaders, and community members on their experiences with economic and ecological fishery development. I also spent four seasons fishing with small-scale Māori fishers from Ngāi Tahu, one of the largest tribes in New Zealand. I found that creating and allocating private property rights to indigenous groups is unlikely to redress the consequences of their historical dispossession from land and marine resources – unless indigenous groups are also granted authority over the broader ecological and economic contexts in which they realize these rights.


Project Publications:

Bodwitch, H., Song, A.M., Temby, O.F., Reid, J., Bailey, M. and Hickey, G.M. (2021). Why New Zealand's Indigenous reconciliation process has failed to empower Māori fishers: Distributional, procedural and recognition-based injustices. World Development: Accepted.

Bodwitch, H., Polson, M., Biber, E., Hickey, G.M., Butsic, V. (2021). Why comply? Farmer motivations and barriers in cannabis agriculture. Journal of Rural Studies 86: 155-170.

Bodwitch, H., Getz, C., Hickey, G.M., Daane, K., Carah, J., Grantham, T., and Wilson, H. (2019). Growers say cannabis legalization excludes small growers, supports illicit markets, undermines local economies. California Agriculture 73(3): 177-184.