Dr Louise Humpage

2003 PhD, Sociology, Massey University, New Zealand

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Associate Professor


  • Associate Professor and MA Adviser Sociology / Criminology

Louise Humpage is an Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Auckland. After receiving a doctorate in Sociology from Massey University in 2003, she held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Centre for Applied Social Research, RMIT University, Melbourne for 2.5 years. She joined the Sociology Department in mid-2005.

Research | Current

  • Public attitudes to social citizenship
  • Social policy
  • Indigenous affairs policy
  • Refugee policy and settlement
  • Citizenship and national identity


My recent research has found that New Zealanders living in London contribute to New Zealand by promoting a strong sense of national identity amongst expatriates. “This is achieved through their volunteer work within New Zealand-focused organisations and through promoting New Zealand food, culture and businesses”, says Associate Professor Louise Humpage at the University of Auckland.  Some individuals and organisations were also heavily involved in raising funds after the Canterbury earthquakes and other New Zealand-focused causes.

“But the real sense of connection to New Zealand experienced while overseas is often lost when they return home”.  To investigate why, Associate Professor Humpage has turned her research focus to New Zealanders who have come back to live in New Zealand.  “I want to know whether people vote, volunteer and contribute to the NZ economy while living overseas and whether this is valued and useful for their reintegration when they return home”.

The study will help policy makers and academics better understand the costs and benefits of the ‘overseas experience’ – and challenge the idea only those living in New Zealand contribute to its economy and society.

“To make the research worthwhile, I need a range of New Zealanders to take part, no matter what their ethnicity, age, occupation or gender”.

Participants will receive a small gift voucher in return for their time. If you are a New Zealand citizen that lived overseas for 3+ years and has been back for 2+ years who is willing to participate in a 1-2 hour interview in Christchurch, Wellington or Auckland in February or March 2017, please contact Louise Humpage at l.humpage@auckland.ac.nz


New book

Policy Change, Public Attitudes and Social Citizenship: Does Neoliberalism Matter? The Policy Press, 2015.

Neoliberal reforms have seen a radical shift in government thinking about social citizenship rights around the world. But have they had a similarly significant impact on public support for these rights? This unique book traces public views on social citizenship across three decades through attitudinal data from New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia.

It argues that support for some aspects of social citizenship diminished more significantly under some political regimes than others, and that limited public resistance following the financial crisis of 2008-2009 further suggests the public ‘rolled over’ and accepted these neoliberal values. Yet attitudinal variances across different policy areas challenge the idea of an omnipotent neoliberalism, providing food for thought for academics, students and advocates wishing to galvanise support for social citizenship in the 21st century.

For purchasing information, please see:


For a review in LSE Review of Books, please see:


Projects (current and recent)

2015 - 'Getting involved:  Civil society, national identity and belonging amongst expatriate New Zealanders in London

2015- 'A picture is worth a thousand words: Exploring refugee settlement and belonging through photographs' - Co-Investigator with Dr Jay Marlowe, Faculty of Arts/Education Research Development grants.

2012-2013 ‘Comparative analysis of international refugee resettlement international law obligations and policy’, World Universities Network grant - Associate-Investigator (project led by Chris Mahoney).

2010  "Constituting new political subjectivities: Young people, the citizenship dividend and the 'Super City'", Building Research Capability in the Social Sciences seeding Grant – Associate Investigator (project led by Dr Yvonne Underhill-Sem).

2009-2011 "Do policies matter? A New Zealand case study of the impact policy change has on public attitudes towards social citizenship, 1990-2008", Faculty of Arts Research Development Fund Grant.

2009-2010 "The interplay between social citizenship rights and Indigenous rights in Canada and New Zealand: Tensions, disconnects, overlaps, opportunities?", Canadian High Commission Canadian Studies Faculty Research Program Award.

2008-2010 "A modelling tool to improve the policy response on issues concerning children and young people", Foundation for Research, Science and Technology Grant – Co-investigator (project led by Prof. Peter Davis).

2007-2009 "Conditional and contingent? New Zealand social citizenship in the context of neoliberalism", Royal Society Marsden Fund Fast-start Grant.

Focus group summary report: "Understanding New Zealand Social Citizenship"

Final report: "New Zealand Attitudes to Social Citizenship in the Context of Neoliberalism"

Final report executive summary: "New Zealand Attitudes to Social Citizenship in the Context of Neoliberalism"

Teaching | Current

SOCIOL 103 Social Policy, Social Justice

SOCIOL 317 Sociology of the Welfare State

SOCIOL 736 Renegotiating Citizenship

Postgraduate supervision

Specialist areas

  • Social policy, welfare reform, indigenous affairs policy, refugee/immigration policy and settlement, public attitudes towards social citizenship.

Students supervised

  • 2016 (ongoing) Jordan King " The making of New Zealand's global economic integration in the neoliberal era: A life history study" (PhD thesis)
  • 2014-2015 Nicola Wright "Media representations and the 2013 welfare reforms: Substantiating gender equality?" (MA thesis)
  • 2014-2015  Simone Baillie "New Zealand's welfare reforms: National's response to 'welfare dependency'" (MA thesis)
  • 2012 (ongoing) Mary. G. Joseph "Social capital, socio-economic wellbeing and the social integration of Indians in Auckland, New Zealand' (PhD thesis)
  • 2013-2014 Charlotte Moore "A whakapapa of Whanau Ora: A new form of delivering services to Maori?" (MA thesis)
  • 2013 Bingyu Wang "Transnationalism, transmigration and socio-cultural translatability: Is moral cosmopolitan identity a potential living paradigm for Chinese diasporas?" (PhD thesis)
  • 2012-2013 Annelise Bunce "Providing for children: Policy approaches to child poverty in New Zealand" (MA thesis)
  • 2010-2015 Jessica Terruhn “Challenging the standard story? Perceptions of whiteness among New Zealanders” (PhD thesis)
  • 2010-2014 Jingjing Zhang “The changes of family patterns and the quality of life among older Chinese people” (PhD thesis)
  • 2010-2014 Julia Schuster “Intersected identities of NGO activists in New Zealand/Aotearoa” (PhD thesis)
  • 2010 Sharissa Naidoo “Debt as the price of freedom? Student experiences and understandings of the Student Loan Scheme” (MA thesis)
  • 2007-2010 Greg Winkelmann "Rough Sleeping Pathways in New Zealand" (PhD thesis)
  • 2009 Anthony Naganathan "The Knowledge Economy: A Development and Chronology of Meaning" (MA thesis)
  • 2009 Stephen Farnsworth “'Changing the principles of social security? Welfare reform in the 2000s” (MA research portfolio dissertation)
  • 2008 Louise Crehan “Completing the picture: the true state of civic engagement in New Zealand” (Hons dissertation)
  • 2008 Hayley Reffell  “Citizenship and language capital” (Hons directed study)
  • 2007 Leesa Rowlands “Doctor knows best: A sociological account of the personal and professional lives of the General Practitioner” (MA thesis
  • 2005 Alperhan Babacan “Citizenship Rights in a Global World: A Comparative Analysis of Asylum Seeker Laws and Policies in Australia, Canada and New Zealand” (PhD thesis)
  • 2004 Peter Sprekos Social capital and People with an Intellectual Disability” (Hons thesis)


MA adviser (Sociology/Criminology)

PBRF Adviser (School of Social Sciences)


Areas of expertise

Social policy; welfare reform; indigenous affairs policy; refugee policy and settlement; public attitudes to social citizenship.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Chair of Postgraduate Committee (Sociology/Criminology)

Member of the Students from Refugee Backgrounds Advisory Committee (University of Auckland)

Member of the Auckland Resettled Communities Coalition governance board (community)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Humpage, L. (2016). Income management in New Zealand and Australia: Differently framed but similarly problematic for Indigenous peoples. Critical Social Policy, 36 (4), 551-571. 10.1177/0261018316638459
  • Pierson, C., & Humpage, L. (2016). Coming Together or Drifting Apart? Income Maintenance in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Politics & Policy, 44 (2), 261-293. 10.1111/polp.12150
  • Edmiston, D., & Humpage, L. (2016). Resistance or resignation to welfare reform? The activist politics for and against social citizenship. Policy & Politics10.1332/030557316X14802575969590
  • Humpage, L. V. (2015). Policy change, public attitudes and social citizenship: Does neoliberalism matter?. Bristol: The Policy Press. Pages: 288.
  • Humpage, L. V. (2012). Understanding Māori and Pasifika attitudes towards employment and the unemployed. New Zealand Sociology, 27 (2), 29-53. Related URL.
  • Humpage, L. V. (2011). What do New Zealanders think about welfare?. Policy Quarterly, 7 (2), 8-13.
  • Humpage, L. V. (2011). Changing policy, changing attitudes? Public opinion on employment relations in New Zealand, 1990-2008. Kōtuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online, 6 (1-2), 86-99. 10.1080/1177083X.2011.617760
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/15395
  • Humpage, L. V. (2011). Neoliberal reform and attitudes towards social citizenship: A review of New Zealand public opinion data 1987-2005. Social Policy Journal of New Zealand: te puna whakaaro, 37 (June), 83-96.

Contact details

Primary location

Level 9, Room 915
New Zealand