Our students and graduates

Our alumni include graduates from all over the world, and prominent political figures in New Zealand and Australia, including Helen Clark, Winston Peters, Sue Kedgley, Murray McCully, Phil Goff and the Premier of South Australia, Mike Rann - to name only a few.

We are always interested to hear from alumni. If you would like to contact us, please email: politics@auckland.ac.nz

Rt Hon. Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand 1999-2008 , Administrator of United Nations Development Programme 2009-2017

"The skills I gained, the knowledge I acquired, and the networks I became part of during my time studying politics at the University of Auckland have all had a marked influence on my adult life and on my ability to perform effectively in one of the country's more demanding occupations.... Fellow students have made their mark in business, education, the law, diplomacy, the civil service and community affairs."

Bevan McKenzie, Chief Financial Officer, Fletcher Building

"George Orwell told us that 'there is no such thing as “keeping out of politics." All issues are political.' This is the abiding lesson of my five years as a student of politics at the University of Auckland. In my experience, their great strength is the breadth and immediacy of the curriculum; in other words, it teaches in a way that informs the real world, and focuses on the intersection between theory and practice. I will always greatly value the grounding it gave me in this respect. I will value the daily morning teas and the regular Friday 'adjournments' to Old Government House almost as much.”

Nick Christiansen, Partner, Sparke Helmore Lawyers (Sydney)

"Some of my most rewarding experiences at the University of Auckland came from my time in Politics. Studying politics gives you an understanding of how New Zealand and the world work, which is very valuable knowledge to have in any career and in everyday life. I strongly believe in the value of interdisciplinary study, and politics was the natural complement to my study of the law."

Andrew McVey, former Private Secretary to the Minister for Biosecurity

"Completing an MA (Hons) in Political Studies taught me valuable skills in researching, critical thinking and policy analysis. My degree also gave me an excellent understanding of New Zealand politics, which I apply to my work on a daily basis."

Dr Simon Hope, Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Stirling

"My interest in political philosophy was first sparked by excellent teaching in politics; an interest which took me on to doctoral studies at Cambridge, and which I am continuing to pursue as a junior lecturer."

Heather du Plessis-Allan, Journalist

"I loved studying Political Science so much so that other subjects were dull by comparison. I loaded my degree with as many Political Studies papers as I could find that would give me not only a major, but also a minor and a third subject. That turned out to be a good choice because it was while studying politics that I finally decided on a career in the media. I believe my study of media politics has given me the skills to analyse and question not only my stories but also my industry. When I'm writing a story I find that one of my yard sticks is whether my former lecturers would approve."

Ryan Lang, Field Office Intern, International Justice Mission

"I graduated in 2007 and joined International Justice Mission (IJM), an NGO which seeks to aid victims of violence and ensure that public justice systems work for the poor. For me, Politics offered a mix of perspectives on issues critical to the voiceless… issues of security, trade, crime, communication, justice, rights and expectations. It gave me a place to wrestle with key ideas before confronting the reality of transnational crime. I work for IJM in South Asia, where our focus is rescuing and rehabilitating children trafficked for prostitution. I have seen the lives of young girls radically changed for the better and am grateful for the door my degree opened to this work."

Rebecca Wright, Foreign Correspondent

"Studying politics has given me invaluable insight and background into political, economic and social landscapes that I continuously draw on when working here in New Zealand, in the Middle East and South America. The breadth and depth of courses offered means that I already have an implicit understanding of the systems and places I now find myself working in, or at the least a critical framework with which to make sense of often difficult and complex situations. It's also enabled me to work more critically as a reporter."

Chris Haughey, Risk Profiling Analyst, Border Security Group

"When I began working within the Border Security Group I realised that my time studying politics would prove highly valuable. Not only did I have a sound knowledge base from which to draw but the research and analysis skills I developed are skills that I continue to use everyday and are very relevant to my work within the Group."

Morgan Slebos, Analyst, Treasury

"Studying politics has not only been one of my most challenging and rewarding experiences so far, but also equipped me with a breadth of practical knowledge and analytical skills. This has enabled me to be confident in dealing with the complex and diverse issues I deal with on a daily basis in my job at the Treasury."

Christine Rose, former Deputy Chair, Auckland Regional Council

"Overall, politics at the University of Auckland has provided a robust grounding for a professional, credible and well-qualified career. It has given me the confidence and intellectual ability to apply insight and judgment in political life to great success."

Vangelis Vitalis, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

"I look back on my time in Politics at the University of Auckland as a critical period in my development. Studying politics equipped me with the analytical tools to reflect on and understand the inter-linkages between historical, economic and sociological phenomena and their effect on current affairs and the future. The Politics curriculum was ideally suited for work not only at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but internationally."

Richard Northey, former MP and Auckland City Council

"I am proud to have gained the annual prize in Political Studies 1969. Throughout my adult life I have stood for elective office for the Auckland City Council, Auckland Regional Authority or for Parliament. Prior to my graduating with my MA with a first in Political Studies I had lost every campaign. Since then I have won eight times and lost nine, so clearly even I learnt something of the dark arts of politics during my time studying Politics at the University of Auckland."

Wendy Petrie, Presenter, TVNZ

"Politics was my passion at the University of Auckland. I loved the fact it was current and constantly evolving. I studied Russian politics the year the Soviet Union was dissolved and replaced by the Commonwealth of Independent States. That year the exam practically had to be rewritten just weeks beforehand and I studied by reading the daily newspaper."

Kate Hawkesby, TV and radio presenter

"I loved my time in Politics, lots of rambunctious debate, illuminating lectures and interesting guest speakers made studying politics all the more fun. Helpful tutors debunked the myths and opened the doors to the behind the scenes realities of the political spectrum. What's often perceived to be a dull and cloistered environment was brought to life - and from memory they are generous markers!"

Adam Raviv, Associate, Wilmer Hale (Washington DC)

"I spent a year with Politics as Fulbright scholar. I wrote a Master's thesis on the New Zealand welfare system, studying its impact on, and interaction with, sole parent families. I met with members of Parliament, the Cabinet, and other policy officials to assist me in my research, and presented a paper at the Australasian Political Studies Association conference in Sydney."

Moses Alatini, Research Analyst, Statistics New Zealand

"The discovery of an appetite for critical examination is one of my fondest memories of studying politics. I had some great lecturers – I would not have got through without their patience! My thesis delved on the impact of New Zealand's housing policy on the related social conditions of a ethnic minority in a low socio-economic area. Evidently, it has helped carve my career path as a housing research analyst for Statistics New Zealand."

Nicole Roughan, Associate Professor, University of Singapore

"I spent a very happy three years as a student in Politics from 2000-2002, where I focused most of my study on political philosophy and international relations. I often think that those three years engrossed in classical and modern political thought, geopolitics, and contemporary New Zealand political questions kept me sane through some of the compulsory law subjects - which seemed far less engaging to me then than they do now! I also spent three semesters as a tutor while finishing my law degree and had the wonderful experience of being on the other side of the teaching process for the first time. My time at the University of Auckland was challenging - I can recall many critical comments received back with my essays - but it also laid the platform for the academic career that I am beginning to forge. In particular, I found the Politics lecturers were happy to give encouragement and personal attention to my interests and my academic progress, as well as fellow students - now friends - who were always up for a discussion of ideas outside of class. Perhaps the best testament I can give for my time in Politics is that I still find myself flicking back to my notes on occasion to look up ideas we discussed and debates that we had - they are remarkably useful even now on the other side of the world."