Martin Fisher was born in Hungary and grew up in Canada and New Zealand. He has a BA (Hons) from the University of Otago, an MA from McGill University, and a PhD from Victoria University of Wellington, all in history. Martin worked as an academic tutor for a range of courses in history, political studies and management. He also worked in the Treaty of Waitangi claims process, first as a contract researcher for the Office of Treaty Settlements and the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, and then from 2012 to 2014 as a research analyst/inquiry facilitator at the Waitangi Tribunal. He joined the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre at the University of Canterbury as a lecturer in 2014.