NZWRI provides high-quality research across a broad multidisciplinary programme concerned with people and work.

Director of NZWRI is Professor Gail Pacheco, who is supported by Professor Jarrod Haar (Associate Director, Human Resource Management), Lisa Meehan (Associate Director, Economics and Research) and leaders of our specialist research groups. Links to the five groups are in the left menu, which provides details of current key projects and members within each group. Our research groups enable over 70 research experts to provide research (at both the national and international level) that ticks the boxes for both academic rigour, as well as being relevant to policy makers in business, government, and the community in general.

Research themes

We place emphasis on a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach and rank engagement with external stakeholders as a high priority.

The research themes diagram illustrates the broad nature of research streams encompassed at NZWRI, and the overlapping nature of many topics across research groups.

External clients

The institute also provides commissioned work for a range of external clients, with recent examples including work for the Productivity Commission, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Ministry for Women, United Nations Women, Vodafone Foundation NZ, and the Blind Foundation.

NZWRI events

Finally, we host a multitude of events (including conferences, symposia and regular seminars) and provide mentoring and networking opportunities for postgraduate students, emerging academics and researchers.

NZ Work Research Institute 2018 Annual Report

Research groups

Contact us if you would like to become an actively involved research member. Email NZWRI


Led by Associate Professor Simon Mowatt, the Business and Labour History Group highlights the contribution of historical studies and labour studies to critical scholarship and contemporary policy. The group supports the development of business history broadly across AUT, with members from several faculties and across departments, and is a key partner in the History@AUT initiative.

Group objectives

The Business and Labour History Group has five main approaches to business and labour history:

  1. Historical case studies of organisational development and innovation, including studies of technological and industrial change
  2. Labour history concerning employment relations, working class culture, trade unions, non-union employee representation, political parties of labour and international comparative studies in all of these areas
  3. Historical analysis of public policy development in employment relations, labour law, occupational health and safety, gender and diversity
  4. Historical research in economics, employment relations, labour law, occupational health and safety, marketing, management, accountancy, finance and other business-based disciplines
  5. The development of historical perspectives of long-term trends in business practices and ideology, including patterns of work and organisation and labour relations, as a contribution to understanding where we are today, and why.

Ongoing projects

  • The Causes of Modern Economic Growth

Description: This project entails conducting a survey of the approaches taken by economic historians to explaining the causes of modern economic growth. The project has several facts including building a real-wage series for New Zealand for the periods from 1840 to 1914. A working paper has looked at the gradual emergence of monetary policy in New Zealand.

Download working paper 2018/09

Team: Geoffrey Brooke, Antony Endres (UoA) and Alan Rogers (UoA).

  • Public Health Conditions in the Late Nineteenth Century

Description: Statistics concerning soldiers measurements are used as indicative data to understand standards of living. This project takes a new approach to examine the data and draws new conclusions about conditions towards the end of the nineteenth century. An empirical investigation has been conducted to examine body sizes of New Zealand soldiers who served in the Second Boer war.

Download empirical investigation (working paper 2019/05)

Team: Geoffrey Brooke and Lydia Cheung.

  • Labour in Historical Context

Description: This collaborative project with other NZ Work Research groups explores the historical roots and implications of changing labour practices.

Team: Fiona Hurd, David Williamson, Erling Rasmussen, Candice Harris, Katherine Ravenswood, Simon Mowatt and Howard Cox (University of Worcester, UK).


Ann-Marie KennedyCarol Neill
David WilliamsonEdwina Pio
Erling RasmussenFelicity Lamm
Fiona HurdGeoffrey Brooke
Gina XuJulie Douglas
Kate Nicholls Keri Mills
Lisa NguyenPaul Moon
Paul Woodfield Peter Gilderdale
Peter SkillingRob Allen
Simon Mowatt  (Lead researcher)


Led by Associate Professor Katherine Ravenswood the Care/Work Research Group brings together research expertise and scholarship on care work to contribute to better practice, policy and scholarship in this field. Care work is work that is done as paid jobs (such as healthcare assistants, nurses, midwives, teaching involving care) and unpaid (such as caring for your family members or volunteering).

The Care/Work Research Group focuses on high quality, critical research that is strongly connected to communities and society. The group conducts both qualitative and quantitative research, covering multiple perspectives of care work including topics such as:

  • Gender and pay equity
  • Valuing care work in our society
  • Benchmarking workforce trends, managing the workforce
  • Employee wellbeing and health and safety, among care occupants
  • Working mothers
  • Diversity and inclusion: paid and unpaid careers

This group brings together established research and researchers to build a programme of academic research, consultancy and research collaboration with community and industry.

Group objectives

The Care/Work Research Group is a hub for care work research in the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law at AUT University with a national and international footprint. All members work closely with community and industry partners and researchers at other institutions in order to bridge the academic-practice divide. Our goal is to be the first stop for care work expert advice and research in Australasia.

We aim to provide high quality research that contributes to international academic scholarship and that works with our research partners to better inform policy and practice in New Zealand and internationally.

Ongoing projects

  • Understanding the Implementation of the 2017 Pay Equity Settlement

Description: This is a three-phase project from 2019 to 2022 working with the Caring Counts Coalition and the Human Rights Commission of New Zealand to understand the impact of the 2017 Pay Equity Settlement on managers and employees in the residential aged care, home and community care, disability support, mental health and addiction support sectors. Phase One is complete and the full report (The Value of Care) is below. Phase One was also supported by Careforce New Zealand. Phase Two will be conducted in 2020.

Download 'The Value of Care': full report

Team: Julie Douglas and Katherine Ravenswood

  • The New Zealand Carework Survey 2019 (formerly aged care workforce survey)

Description: This survey benchmarks trends in the carework workforce in New Zealand. We have conducted and reported on surveys in 2014 and 2016 (below) as well as publishing academic journal articles from the survey data. This year we will extend the survey to include the disability support and mental health addiction sectors.

Read reports on surveys in 2014 and 2016

Team: Katherine Ravenswood and Julie Douglas


Candice Harris 
Julie Douglas
Katherine Ravenswood (Lead researcher)
Tago Mharapara


Led by Professor Erling Rasmussen, the Employment Relations Research Group investigates key employment relations changes whether it is caused by legislative changes, labour market changes or industry and/or organisational change. The group is also largely involved with the New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations. This journal covers topics such as employment law and human resources management; a must for academics, students, researchers and policy makers. The editors of this journal are Associate Professor Felicity Lamm (AUT), Professor Erling Rasmussen (AUT) and Rupert Tipples (Senior lecturer, Lincoln University).

Group objectives

The Employment Relations Group engages a broad range of projects, focusing on:

  1. Employment relations and human resource management issues and practices
  2. Labour market trends
  3. Employment law
  4. Conflict resolution.

The group also aims to improve dialogue in the area of employment law through collaboration with the Employment Law Forum and the OHS Centre on certain projects and presentations. These forums provide both academic analysis of employment law development and the opportunity for discussion and debate on the law among employment lawyers and employment relations specialists.

Ongoing projects

  • The 'Overworked Worker' Project

Description: This project is done in collaboration with the OHS Centre and union organisers. 

Team: Employment Relations Research Group

  • Barriers to participation in conflict resolution

Description: This collaboration with the Employment Institutions follows the 2018 Symposium. 

Team: Employment Relations Research Group

  • OHS Committees: their prevalence and influence

Description: This project will be conducted in collaboration with the OHS Centre at AUT University. 

Team: Employment Relations Research Group

  • Hospitality employers and their ER issues

Description: Research projects and access to surveys conducted by RANZ will be developed.  

Team: Employment Relations Research Group

  • Employers’ role in and attitudes to employment relations change in New Zealand

Description: This long-term project focuses on researching various aspects of the employers’ role in seeking public policy and workplace change and whether these changes align with employers’ attitudes to employment relations issues. Several surveys have been implemented in collaboration with Massey University, Palmerston North. 

Team: Barry Foster (Massey University) and Erling Rasmussen.

  • ‘Working Poor’ and labour market regulations and transitions

Description: In light of the living wage campaign in New Zealand, this project overviews international research on overseas trends and experiences amongst ‘working poor’. The initial focus has been a comparison between New Zealand and Denmark. 

Team: Jens Lind (Aalborg University, Denmark) and Erling Rasmussen.

  • New Zealand employment relations reforms and the quest for a high wage, high skill economy

Description: This project applies a historical, public policy and labour market angle to current and possible future employment relations reforms. 

Team: Erling Rasmussen


Barry BrunetteBarry Foster
Bill Cochrane Clare George
Danaë AndersonDavid Williamson
Effie TheodorouErling Rasmussen (Lead researcher)
Felicity LammGaye Greenwood
Gemma PiercyJarrod Haar
Julie DouglasKatherine Ravenswood
Marcus HoMichael Fletcher
Mike FrenchPam Nuttall (convenor, Employment Law Forum)
Ronny Tedestedt Swati Nagar
Warren Goodsir


Led by Professor Edwina Pio, University Director of Diversity, the Immigration and Inclusion Research Group is devoted to the promotion of a richer and more sophisticated understanding of immigration and work. Group members work innovatively through pragmatic, thoughtful and authoritative research.

Group objectives

Through building a corpus of multidisciplinary research, the Immigration and Inclusion Research Group focuses on how immigrants, including refugees, navigate the world of work, religious diversity in the workplace, immigrant entrepreneurship and the impact of immigration norms on diasporas. The theoretical lenses of diversity and inclusion, critical management studies and positive organisational scholarship are emphasised.

Ongoing projects

  • Prostrated in prayer and terror: Religious diversity and identity work

Description: This project will explore the notions of identity for peoples who are adherents of minority religions are are visibly different immigrants. The research will provide insights for individual and collective learning in how identities are negotiated through various individual and organisational processes.

Team: Edwina Pio and members of the Immigration and Inclusion Research Group.

  • Immigration, class and work

Description: This project seeks to interrogate how class impacts work ethic minority, visible minority women. The aim is to underscore the importance of disaggregating traditional analytical categories which tend to lump migrant women, in particular non-white women, as one homogeneous group.

Team: Edwina Pio and Rob Kilpatrick.

  • Diversity, religion and inclusion

Description: This project largely focuses on gender equality and women’s empowerment in management, work and organisation. Focus is directed to Muslim women who practice Islam, and how such practice can create conflict at work.

Team: Edwina Pio and members of the Immigration and Inclusion Research Group.

  • Peace building

Description: This project looks at peace building from numerous perspectives to explore the relationship between religion, callings and careers. Using experiences from case studies, it is argued that religion give structure to those on the career journey.

Team: Edwina Pio, Rob Kilpatrick and Timothy Pratt.


Alison BoothAntonio Díaz Andrade
Chris Griffiths Edwina Pio (Lead researcher)
Eleanor HolroydErling Rasmussen
Faiza Ali George Thien
Grace WongJed Montayre
Kakala Vainikolo Mahreen Baloch
Margie Elley-Brown Marjo Lips-Wiersma
Maria HaywardMary Hoover
Oksana OparaPeter McGhee
Prabhash Parameswaran Rob Kilpatrick
Robyn BaileyRoy Smollan
Smita Singh Therese Walkinshaw
Thushini Jayawardena Timothy Pratt

Stakeholder members

Ali Rasheed Irene Kumar
Jacklyn Lim Lian-Hong Brebner
Natina Roberts Paeru Tauraki
Tanya Nabat


Led by Dr Marcus Ho, the Wellbeing and Performance Research Group is a network of diverse researchers and industry practitioners relating to people's wellbeing and performance at work. It brings together research, scholarship and expertise on wellbeing and performance at work and builds on the growth in academic research and service development in this area. The group is working to establish itself as a leading multidisciplinary, innovative and evidence-based consultancy group in the field.

Group objectives

Our mission is to position the Wellbeing and Performance Research Group as a hub for faculty researchers and industry engagement relating to people's wellbeing and performance at work, both nationally and internationally. We endeavour to host research networking opportunities for emerging researchers and leadership and capacity development opportunities for more experienced researchers. The Wellbeing and Performance Research Group encourages interdisciplinary collaboration, internally and externally, in existing research projects so as to strengthen and diversify group capabilities. We then disseminate research to practitioner bodies and industry engagement.

Ongoing projects

  • Wellbeing and Performance in small-medium enterprises (SMEs)

Description: This project focuses on wellbeing and performance issues for entrepreneurs and small-medium enterprises (SMEs).  The project group examines a range of issues to do with wellbeing including mental health of entrepreneurs, stress, and resilience.

Team: Marcus Ho, Jenny Gibb (Waikato) Stephen Teo (Edith Cowan University), Smita Singh, and George Thien.

  • Individual and Organisational Resilience

Description: This project examines the role of resilience in individuals and organisations. There are two major streams of research within this project.  The first is focused on entrepreneurial resilience and resilience in small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs); and the second is focused on organisational resilience and performance.  Findings from the project will have significant implications for the wellbeing of individuals and organisations including the management of employees and best practice.

Team: Marcus Ho, Anna Jenkins and Martie-Louise Verreynne (University of Queensland), Tim Bentley (Massey) and Stephen Teo (Edith Cowan University)

  • Human capital leveraging and performance

Description: In this project, we analyse the role of strategic human capital and the firm. The implications of this study have significance for understanding the HRM-organisational capabilities link, including theoretical developments for strategic human resource management and the resource-based view.

Team:  Marcus Ho, Stephen Teo (Edith Cowan University), Christine Soo (University of Western Australia), and Amy Tian (Curtin University of Technology)

  • The Physical Work Environment

Description: This project examines how the physical work environment (and the way that change to the physical work environment is managed) affects employees on outcomes such as wellbeing, the quality of their interpersonal relationships and productivity. It focuses on outcome such as collaboration, resource and knowledge sharing and stress.

Team: Rachel Morrison and Roy Smollan

  • Stressful Organisational Change Project

Description: This project looks at stressful organisational change in a District Health Board. The research group looks at the experiences, motivations and processes important before, during and after an organisational change event.

Team: Roy Smollan and Rachel Morrison

  • Wellbeing from minority perspectives

Description: The New Zealand Treasury has developed a Living Standards Framework (LSF) to assess the impact of government policies on intergenerational wellbeing. The Treasury is committed to incorporating New Zealand’s diverse cultural perspectives into the LSF framework, of which this project explores. The Asian population is currently experiencing a number of issues related to the determinants of wellbeing, including health (mental health, non-communicable diseases and access to health services) and immigration (employment difficulties). Experiences of perceived discrimination also heavily impact their wellbeing.

Team: Sue Yong, Pola Wang (Hospitality), and Marcus Ho

  • Early Childhood Educators (ECE) Teacher Motivations, Work Design & Wellbeing Study

Description: The NZ government has increased funding for ECE through subsidies for private corporations operating on a for-profit basis and through not-for-profit organisations such as Kindergarten Associations and Kohanga Reo (centres that offer Māori language and culture immersion). Data shows that there has been an increase in the uptake of these systems of formal care. From a research point of view, most research in the ECE arena has focused on pedagogical and affordability issues. Some research (mainly conducted overseas) has focused on ECE teacher wellbeing. This project seeks to address the paucity of research on the motivations, work design and wellbeing outcomes of ECE teachers in NZ.

Team: Tago Mharapara and Marcus Ho


Adnan Khan Anne Messervy
Barbara McKenzie-GreenBarbara Myers
Ben KenobiBeomCheol (Peter) Kim
Candice HarrisCharles Crothers
Clare George Coral Ingley
Diep Nguyen Erica Hinckson
Felicity LammGail Pacheco
Gaye GreenwoodGayle Morris
Helena Cooper-ThomasJarrod Haar
Karen LoKatherine Ravenswood
Kirk ReedMarcus Ho (Lead researcher)
Mark Le FevreNancy McIntyre
Nicola NaismithRachel Morrison
Rebecca JardenRoss Milne
Roy SmollanSean Kimpton
Smita SinghSue Yong
Stephanie Rossouw Thushini Jayawardena
Trish CornerValerie Wright-St Clair
Wendy Wrapson

Memorandums of understanding

We have MOUs in place with several organisations.

  • Career Development Association of New Zealand and NZWRI recognise mutual interest in the nature of people, work, and lifelong career development.
  • The Restaurant Association and NZWRI plan to partner to produce research that will help members to improve their performance and productivity.

Career Development Association of New Zealand website
Restaurant Association of New Zealand website

NZWRI members

Meet our core team, advisory board and research associates.

Our people

Contact us

Get in touch with us if you have a question or want more information.

Contact us