Moderation team for Quality Evaluation 2026

Moderation team for Quality Evaluation 2026

Last updated 30 November 2023
Last updated 30 November 2023

This page provides information on the Moderation team for the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) Quality Evaluation 2026. 

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) appoints a Moderation team to oversee the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) Quality Evaluation.

The Moderation team is responsible for ensuring consistency across assessments and panels, which is key to providing confidence in the results of the Quality Evaluation.

The Moderators work closely with the TEC to appoint panel co-chairs and initial panellists, and support the drafting of Panel-Specific Guidelines.

Quality Evaluation 2026 Moderation team

The Moderation team for the Quality Evaluation 2026 consists of a Co-Moderator, a Co-Moderator Māori, and a Deputy Moderator – Pacific.

The Moderation team has been appointed from September 2022 to mid-2027, when TEC will publish the provisional results of the Quality Evaluation.

For more information about the roles and person specifications see Background information on the PBRF Quality Evaluation Moderation team (PDF 215 KB).

We ran a nomination process for the Moderators between 15 June and 15 July 2022 and appointed Professor Wendy Larner, Dr Shane Edwards and Associate Professor Yvonne Underhill-Sem. In March 2023, Professor Wendy Larner resigned from the position of Co-Moderator to take up the role of President and Vice-Chancellor at Cardiff University. We are pleased to have appointed Professor Kath McPherson as Co-Moderator through to 2027.

Co-Moderator Māori

Dr Shane Edwards (Ngāti Maniapoto/Waikato/Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi)

Dr Edwards has worked across the tertiary landscape and across multiple Government agencies, primarily in the fields of Māori education, health, and development, heading his own research and evaluation consultancy with a primary focus on community research and evaluation. Dr Edwards has served as a panel member on the Māori Knowledge and Development panel in every Quality Evaluation since its inception, serving as Deputy Chair in 2012 and Panel Chair in 2018.


Emeritus Professor Kath McPherson

Professor McPherson is Emeritus Professor of Rehabilitation and former Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research at AUT University. She has been Chief Executive of the Health Research Council (2015–2019) and was the Chair of the Health Panel in the PBRF Quality Evaluation 2018. Prior to her academic appointments, Professor McPherson was a registered nurse, midwife, and Health Visitor in Australia and the United Kingdom. Professor McPherson is also a member of the Sector Reference Group (SRG) for Quality Evaluation 2026.

Deputy Moderator – Pacific

Associate Professor Yvonne Te Ruki Rangi o Tangaroa Underhill-Sem

Associate Professor Yvonne Underhill-Sem is currently Co-Head Te Wānanga of Waipapa, School of Māori Studies and Pacific Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Auckland. She is a Cook Island Niuean with close family ties to Papua New Guinea. Associate Professor Underhill-Sem was Director of Development Studies at the University of Auckland, Director of New Zealand Institute of Pacific Research, and has participated in research assessments for Marsden, the Health Research Council (HRC) and the Prime Minister’s Awards.

Associate Professor Underhill-Sem is a Pacific feminist development geographer by training and has taught at the University of Papua New Guinea, has been a development professional in Europe and is currently active in civil society organisations in the Pacific and globally. Her interdisciplinary research circulates around mobilities, maternities, diverse economies and environmental change. Associate Professor Underhill-Sem was the Deputy Chair of the inaugural Pacific Research panel for PBRF in 2018 and a member of the PBRF independent review panel in 2019/2020. She is also a member of the SRG for Quality Evaluation 2026.