Waikato University is investigating global Maori diaspora and the impact on whanau who remain in New Zealand.
Senior research fellow Tahu Kukutai says the research will consider the long-term implications of Maori migration and how that could affect iwi and family members.
Dr Kukutai says as part of the research she will look into what she calls fly-in fly-out workers, Maori who live in New Zealand but fly to and from Australia for work.
She says there is an increasing number of Maori men taking up work in remote parts of Australia who are supplied food and lodgings but cannot take their families.
Dr Kukutai says while it is well-known that a lot of Maori live and work in Australia, it is not yet known what the consequences of such migration are.
She says Maori are one of the most geographically mobile indigenous people in the world.