The director of Va'aomanu Pasifika at Victoria University in Wellington, Teresia Teaiwa, has died following a short illness.
Dr Teaiwa, a poet, academic and author, was widely known and respected in the Pacific with some of her research covering militarism and gender, contemporary issues in Fiji and feminism, and women's activism.
The University of Oregon described her as "a groundbreaking scholar in the research of the culture of the Pacific Islands".
She was born in Honolulu to an I-Kiribati father and an African-American mother.
Dr Teaiwa was also co-editor of the International Feminist Journal of Politics.
In 2009, The Guardian, described her as one of Kiribati's living national icons.
Her funeral will be in Porirua this weekend.