Professor Jennifer Claire Curtin

MA (Hons) Waikato , PhD ANU


I am a Professor of Politics and Director of the Public Policy Institute at the University of Auckland (  My research and publications focus on Australian and New Zealand politics and policy,  gender, policy analysis and political leadership, and the politics of sport. I teach comparative public policy, lesson drawing and the gender analysis in the Master of Public Policy and I am the PhD Adviser for Public Policy. My research involves engagement with a range of government agencies, policy consultancies and non-profit organisations, and my publications appear in scholarly outlets, peer reviewed reports, and policy briefings. I regularly share my findings with community organisations and the media, both in New Zealand and Internationally.

I am currently leading externally funded projects on the following topics: Gender Responsive Budgeting in New Zealand; the Gendered Effects of COVID19; Gender and Political Leadership at the Subnational Level in Australia and Canada; as well as being a Principal Investigator on the New Zealand Election Study.  You can find more of my policy-relevant research on the PPI-sponsored website Auckland Policy Commons (, and our Gender Responsive Analysis and Budgeting website (

I hold a BA and MA (First Class Hons) from Waikato University (1990; 1992), a PhD in Political Science from the Australian National University (1997) and a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education from the University of Canberra (2001).  I was a NZ-Fulbright Senior Research Scholar in 2012 .

Before arriving at the University of Auckland, I taught politics and policy at Monash University and the University of Canberra, and I held a postdoctoral position at the Australian National University. I worked as a policy research officer in the Australian Federal Parliament and was the Australian Parliamentary (postdoctoral) Fellow in 2000.

Prior to my academic career I worked in the finance sector, both here in New Zealand, and in London.  I was also a territorial soldier for 4 years, first in Artillery and then Signals. I have two young adult sons, and in my spare time I am writing a book on women and rugby union in New Zealand.

Research | Current

  • New Zealand and Australian politics and public policy
  • Women and gender politics and public policy
  • Sport, politics and policy

My research on women/gender politics focuses on the representation of women in formal politics and and policy making (as political leaders, ministers, parliamentarians, bureaucrats and activists).  I am currently engaged in a number of projects that cover off these themes including: women's political leadership and cabinet representation; the impact of women's representation and gender analysis on public finance decisions, science advice, and COVID19 policy responses. In 2018 I won an MBIE Smart Ideas grant to design a sustainable gender budgeting strategy for New Zealand.  That work is ongoing.

In my spare time I am working on a book project that explores women's engagement with rugby union in New Zealand (1840-present).
I have expertise in New Zealand and Australian politics with a particular focus on voters, elections, rural and regional representation, and the rise of independents and minor parties. I am a principal investigator in the New Zealand Election Study.

Teaching | Current

POLITICS 757 Comparative Public Policy

Postgraduate supervision

I am interested in supervising graduate students in any of the subfields listed above, especially if the research project has a focus on gender, politics and public policy. 

I have supervised 22 PhD students to completion since 2007; and I continue to supervise and co-supervise a large number of PhD and Masters by research students. 



2020:  Arts Faculty Dean's Academic Service Award (Whai Hua)

2019:  New Zealand Treasury Visiting Research Fellowship

2016:  University Recognition Award for Contribution to Scholarships Project

2015:  Arts Faculty Award for Sustained Excellence in Teaching and Supervision

2014:  New Zealand University Women in Leadership Programme

2012:  NZ Fulbright Senior Scholar Research Award to Georgetown University

2012:   Occasional Lecturer Award, Rutgers University, US State Departmen

2007:   Australasian Society for Computers in Learning and Teaching Community Mentoring Award.

1994:   Council of Europe Scholarship, Swedish Institute, University of Uppsala

1993:   Australian National University Doctoral Scholarship


I am Director of the Public Policy Institute at the University of Auckland (

I am also the PhD Adviser for Public Policy


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Gauja, A., Chen, P., Curtin, J., & Pietsc, J. (Eds.) (2018). Double disillusion : the 2016 Australian federal election. Canberra: Australian National University Press. Pages: 690. Related URL.
  • Vowles, J., Coffe, H., & Curtin, J. (2017). A Bark but no Bite. Inequality and the 2014 New Zealand General Election. Canberra, Australia: ANU Press. Pages: 382. 10.22459/BBNB.08.2017
  • Sawer, M., & Curtin, J. (2016). Organising for a more diverse political science: Australia and New Zealand. European Political Science, 15 (4), 441-456. 10.1057/s41304-016-0070-y
  • Celis, K., Childs, S., & Curtin, J. (2016). Specialised parliamentary bodies and the quality of women's substantive representation: A comparative analysis of Belgium, United Kingdom and New Zealand. Parliamentary Affairs, 69 (4), 812-829. 10.1093/pa/gsw007
  • Curtin, J. (2016). Before the 'Black Ferns': Tracing the beginnings of women's rugby in New Zealand. International Journal of the History of Sport, 33 (17), 2071-2085. 10.1080/09523367.2017.1329201
  • Curtin, J. (2016). Gendering parliamentary representation: A mixed system producing mixed results. In M. Tremblay (Ed.) Women and legislative representation: Electoral systems, political parties, and sex quotas (pp. 191-202). New York, USA: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1057/9780230610378
  • Curtin, J. (2015). Feminist contributions to New Zealand political science. Women's Studies Journal, 29 (1), 4-20.
  • Curtin, J. (2015). Revisiting social liberalism and feminism in New Zealand. In A. Yeatman (Ed.) Feminism, social liberalism and social democracy in the neo-liberal era: Four Essays (pp. 51-66). University of Western Sydney: Ed. A. Yeatman, Whitlam Institute, Working Paper Series. Related URL.


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 5, Room 543
New Zealand

Web links