Ms Sarah Down

Position: Honorary Research Fellow
School and/or Centres: Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research


Location: Room 21, Copland Building

Dr Sarah Down is from Aotearoa New Zealand and is Pakeha (a New Zealander of European descent). She holds the position of Honorary Lecturer at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research. Sarah has worked for a number of Indigenous and human rights organisations, including National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre, Community Law Canterbury and Ngā Hau e Whā National Marae.  
She currently holds the position of Senior Legal Researcher at Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, where she provides academic advice on freshwater rights. She is also an Adjunct Fellow at the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre, University of Canterbury, and (from 2020) Visiting Scholar at the Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge. Sarah is currently co-supervising a PhD project on Māori freshwater rights at the University of Canterbury. 

In 2018, she graduated with a Doctorate of Philosophy from Australian National University having studied at the National Centre for Indigenous Studies. She also holds a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) from the University of Canterbury. Her doctoral thesis, Māori and Minerals: Debating Rights explored Māori mineral claims with the Waitangi Tribunal and Crown and iwi (tribes) responses to the Tribunal’s findings. Her research interests and expertise is in Indigenous rights to natural resources including in the offshore, minerals, and freshwater. 


Updated:  19 October 2020/Responsible Officer:  Centre Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications