Katharina is a Senior Research Analyst and Researcher at the University of Otago. She uses a kaupapa Māori framework to focus on the translation of policy into practice for Māori. Her research is broad-ranging and includes Māori small and medium enterprises, Māori business innovation, Māori language, and Māori ‘social licence’ in the oil, gas and mining industries.
Katharina has governance, research and leadership roles for Ngāi Tahu at the tribal and local levels, and has been consulted on or involved in a number of regional economic development projects. She joined the University of Otago in 2008 after working for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu for five years as education manager and project consultant and worked with communities, local and central government agencies to implement Māori-focused initiatives throughout the South Island education sector. Prior to that, she had been in the teaching profession.
Dr Ruckstuhl completed her Honours degree and Ph.D. through the English Department at Otago. As well, she has post-graduate qualifications in Education through Massey University.