Ron Bull is a traditional indigenous food harvester from the Southern Coast of New Zealand. His whakapapa includes Waitaha, Kati Mamoe and Kai Tahu, have been involved in the harvesting preservation, preparation and sharing of food for many generations. Their creation narratives make the specific links between people and the natural environment and therefore inform an innate knowledge and affinity to both the food and the land and sea that it comes from.
He has used these skills as a chef, with over 25 years in the hospitality industry, before moving into education. He is currently employed in a director role at the Otago Polytechnic overseeing indigenous curriculum development and the embedding of culture into the organisation. He is also a foundation member of the Kaihaukai art collective, who respond to questions of food and identity through art installations and collaborations. This forms the foundation of his research agenda: Indigenous food and identity.
He draws on traditional knowledge systems to inform his teaching practice. This includes language and concepts and how they are applied to practical situations as well as the socio-political conditions that inform identity. He is very aware of how this fits with constructing his own identity, as a bicultural New Zealander from the South.