Research Associates

Dr. Tom Baker

The politics of policy

Tom is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the School of Environment at the University of Auckland. Tom is Associate Editor of the International Journal of Housing Policy elected Councillor of Royal Society Te Apārangi and committee member of its Early Career Researcher Forum. Tom’s research focuses on how public policies are made and implemented- how this is fundamentally a political process where the definitions of problem, solution, efficient and effective are made, contested and put to work in the world. His research pays attention to the social, institutional, ideological and spatial dimensions around the politics of policy and are explored through empirical research on policies and practices in a range of domains, including homelessness, housing, social security, and drug treatment.

Dr. Jess Berentson-Shaw

Population wellbeing, evidence and policy

Jess is a public narrative researcher and advisor, working in roles across government and the not for profit sectors, she has focused on placing the best knowledge and equity at the heart of decision-making. Since 2017 Jess has been researching and implementing narrative strategies that engage, deepen people’s thinking, and improve decision-making with regard to our big social and environmental challenges. Jess is the author of A Matter of Fact. Talking Truth in a Post-truth World (2018).

Dr. Sarah Bickerton

Gender, inequality, technology policy

Dr Sarah Hendrica Bickerton is Research & Policy Lead at an NGO here in Auckland, ‘Tohatoha Aotearoa Commons’, working in the area of digital equity, particularly online mis/disinformation, online extremism and hate, and content management. She completed her PhD in 2020 in Public Policy in the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington, looking at political participation construction by New Zealand women Twitter users. She has also taught and studied Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research areas are the social uses of technology, technology policy and regulation, gender construction and inequality.

Lincoln Dam

Multiculturalism and Biculturalism

Lincoln is currently a Professional Teaching Fellow in Te Puna Wānanga (the School of Māori and Indigenous Education) at the Faculty of Education and Social Work, and a Research Associate at the Public Policy Institute. Lincoln’s current research explores the ethics and politics of Im/migrant-Indigenous relations in Aotearoa-New Zealand. More specifically, he is interested in the relationships between Asians in Aotearoa-New Zealand, tangata whenua and Te Tiriti o Waitangi; and possibilities for the simultaneous pursuit and co-existence of biculturalism and multiculturalism in Aotearoa-New Zealand.

Dr Kiri Edge

Education, Health, Indigenous Development, Kaupapa Māori Research, Psychology / Mental Health

Kiri is a Research Associate at the Public Policy Institute (the University of Auckland) and at the School of Psychology, the University of Waikato. Kiri’s research focuses on Indigenous health and wellbeing, cultural connectivity, community development and sexual and relational ethics. Kiri specialises in studies centres on education, health, Indigenous development, Kaupapa Māori research, psychology and mental health and Tikanga Māori customs.

Dr. Adrian Field

Public health, transport and urban environments

Adrian is an experienced researcher, evaluator and facilitator. Adrian is an honorary academic at the School of Population Health (University of Auckland). He operates as an independent evaluation practitioner through his company, Dovetail, while researching in health systems, urban form, road safety and active transport and the community sector. Adrian specialises in programme evaluation, qualitative and quantitative research, stakeholder engagement, data visualisation, and performance monitoring.

Eilala Fihaki

Climate change, adaptation, environmental governance

Eliana has worked in policy and strategy development, legislation review, institutional strengthening, stakeholder analysis and research. Eilala works with Tearfund New Zealand as Senior Programme Specialist and is a PhD candidate with the University of the South Pacific. Her current research focuses on climate adaptation.

Dr. Celestyna Galicki

Comparative Policy Anlaysis, Youth Representation, Financial Literacy

Celestyna has worked as a research analyst at the Commission for Financial Capability and the Public Policy Institute (the University of Auckland). Celestyna is currently an evaluation and research lead for a wide range of projects across the Auckland Council. Celestyna’s research has focused on supporting and informing retirement policy development, the financial capability of New Zealanders and electoral management.

AP Luke Goode

Critical Future studies, communication and policy

Luke is an Associate Professor at the School of Cultures, Language and Linguistics. Luke’s research focuses on new media and communication technologies, and the opportunities and risks these open up for society and individuals. In particular, his research focuses work explores the implications of new technologies for the public sphere and is currently focused on popular debates around the future of artificial intelligence.

Dr. Alistair Jones

Sustainability, mobility and urban life

Alistair is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Geography and the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter, developing the online MSc Global Sustainability Solutions (GSS). Alistair is also a Visiting Lecturer at the RCA’s School of Architecture. Alistair’s research is interdisciplinary, specialising in urban studies, sustainable urbanism and programme evaluation. His research focuses on sustainable living practices, public space, and the urban mobility-public health nexus, seeking to generate insights into critical questions concerning urban planning, urban public space, and public policy programmes.

Dr. Steffen Lippert

Climate cooperation, innovation and collective decision-making

Steffen is the Deputy Head of Department of Economics, at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Business and Economics. His research focuses on Industrial Economics, the Economics of Innovation, and the Economics of Social Interaction and Networks. Steffen is a co-founder of the Research Network for Applied and Theoretical Economics, ATE. Steffen’s current collaborative research projects investigate the role ambiguity plays in collective decision-making, the institutions that govern climate negotiations, firm learning and its impact on competition in markets and the economics of botnets and Internet security.

Dr. Julie McArthur

Renewable energy policy

Julie is an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Reimagining Capitalism at Royal Roads University. She is the author of Empowering Electricity: Co-operatives, Sustainability and Power Sector Reform in Canada (UBC Press, 2016), as well more than 30 articles and book chapters on energy democracy, participatory environmental governance, and comparative energy policy. Her recent research projects include the contribution of community energy initiatives to climate change mitigation and the role of women in energy transitions.

Dr. Suzy Morrissey

Tax, transfers, and gender analysis

Suzy is currently Director, Policy at the Retirement Commission in New Zealand where she provides expert advice on public and private pensions (NZ Superannuation, KiwiSaver) and financial capability. Suzy specialises in policy and gender, and her research focuses on tax, transfers (welfare), gender analysis, gender budgeting, and wellbeing economics. Suzy has held senior roles across the public sector, including the development of the Living Standards Framework at The Treasury. Her PhD examined policy and gender equality (paid parental leave).

Dr. Sereana Naepi

Equity, higher education, Pacific research methodologies

Sereana currently teaches in Sociology at the University opf Auckland. Sereana completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Auckland before completing my PhD at the University of British Columbia. Sereana was the founding associate-director of All My Relations; an Indigenous research center at Thompson Rivers University (Canada) and co-founded the Indigenous research development program Knowledge Makers in Canada. Sereana Pacific research methodologies and conducts research into equity in higher education. Current projects include data-informed approaches to equity in universities in New Zealand and indigenisation efforts in Canada.

Dr. Michael O’Sullivan

Equity, data modelling, operations research

Michael is a Senior Lecturer in Engineering Science at the University of Auckland who specialises in Operations Research (OR). After completing a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science and a Masters in OR at the University of Auckland, Michael spent time at Stanford University in the US where he obtained a MS in Engineering-Economic Systems and OR, and a PhD in Management Science and Engineering. Michael created the research group Operations Research Union Analytics (ORUA) which combines OR and analytics to develop intelligent systems. More about Michael.

Dr Antonio Romero

Public policy, public service reform and climate change in Central America

Antonio is an international development professional inspired by the search for solutions to social problems through knowledge, politics and action. Antonio’s research projects aim to address complex issues where institutional, political, and social dynamics converge. Antonio specialises in research on institutional strengthening, coalition building, government reform, and public policy.

Dr. Ritu Parna Roy

Postcolonial theory, migration, intersectionality, higher education, and social research

Dr. Ritu Parna Roy is a Research Fellow at Te Ngira: Institute for Population Research, University of Waikato. Ritu has an MA and Ph.D. (Sociology) from the University of Auckland and graduate qualifications from the University of Rajshahi. She has worked with multiple transdisciplinary teams as a Researcher in Te Pūnaha Matatini and the Public Policy Institute (PPI). Ritu has taught several undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the University of Auckland and AUT. Her research specialties include postcolonial theory, migration, intersectionality, critical higher education, and social research methods.  

Honorary Associate Professor Susan St John

Child Poverty Action Group, Retirement Policy and Research Centre

Susan is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Business and Economics Administration, the University of Auckland and the director of the University of Auckland Retirement Policy and Research Centre. Her research and teaching interests are focused on public sector and retirement policy issues, including decumulation of savings and annuity issues, tax and poverty issues, and applied macroeconomics. Current projects include analyses of the family tax credit system, overseas pensions and their treatment in New Zealand, child poverty in New Zealand and family income assistance, income and asset testing for long-term care, the welfare state and targeting, the economic implications of New Zealand’s Accident Compensation, and tax reforms.

Professor Alan Tidwell

Peacemaking and conflict-resolution

Alan Tidwell is Professor of the Practice and Director of the Center for Australian, New Zealand and Pacific Studies (CANZPS) at the Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service. His areas of interest include the Australian-American alliance, the politics of foreign affairs, smaller states of Oceania, and conflict resolution. His recent publications have focused on subnational actors in the Indo-Pacific, Australia’s diplomatic engagement with the US and the strategies of small state advocacy in Washington. Currently, he serves on the United States Institute of Peace’s (USIP) Senior Study Group concerning China’s impact on peace and security in the North Pacific’s Freely Associated States.

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