Our Changing World

A series of five free public lectures

Unprecedented world events call for a better understanding of the country we live in. Come and hear the leading minds in humanities and social sciences at Massey University discuss critical contemporary issues.

Emergency workers Are natural disasters the new norm?

Thursday 2 February 2017 | Professor David Johnston, Director of the Joint Centre for Disaster Research

The devastating 2011 Christchurch earthquake cost an estimated 40 billion dollars. The 2016 Kaikoura earthquake wreaked carnage along important transport routes with the rebuild projected to reach billions of dollars. Our capital city is perched upon one of the most active geological zones

Our changing physical environment is significantly affecting our economy, politics and society. The potential loss of loved ones, property and livelihood is becoming the new reality for many, while others watch through a media lens. How does the country come together, and how do we cope with natural disaster and sustain a united and socially compassionate response?


Ethnically diverse people People on the move

Thursday 6 April 2017 | Chair Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley, with Dr Anastasia Bakogianni, Dr Liangni Sally Liu and Dr Jessica Terruhn

Global, local and internal mobility are creating several types of migration. Asian peoples seek new space and contexts, while refugees from troubled parts of the world flee danger. Some governments try to stem the flow of refugees, but welcome economic migrants. However, even economic migration is controversial when locals feel the pressure on scarce communal resources, and blame migrants for rising house prices. With internal migration, cities grow and rural areas decline.

This lecture will get behind the rhetoric to help you understand the real issues of migration and the Government response.


Wellington Beehive and Seddon statue

Trust, distrust and the end of politics as we knew it

Thursday 1 June 2017 | Associate Professor Grant Duncan, with Dr Warwick Tie and Dr Damien Rogers

New Zealand holds a general election in 2017, while recent political events have challenged orthodox ideas and realigned power balances in countries around the globe.

How can we make sense of this changing environment?

What could be the consequences for New Zealand politics today?


Kiwi house

Inequality in New Zealand: what’s to be done? 

Thursday 3 August 2017 | Professor Darrin Hodgetts, Professor Stuart Carr and Professor Kerry Chamberlain

Inequalities are increasing in Western countries, and New Zealand is no exception. The days when New Zealand was a leader in social initiatives have long passed, and we are now experiencing major divisions between sectors of our society, with many New Zealanders living in impoverished and precarious conditions, related to their work, income, housing, health, and poverty of opportunity.

This panel discussion addresses these issues and offers a discussion around how we might enable a more equitable, just and fair society, seeking to enhance the wellbeing and citizenship of our people. 


US and NZ flags

New Zealand in contemporary world affairs

Thursday 5 October 2017 |Professor Rouben Azizian, Dr Marc Lanteigne and Dr Anna Powles

New Zealand and the USA have recently fostered closer defence relations. This talk explores Asia-Pacific’s changing security landscape, and the roles New Zealand might play in the region as tensions rise over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme, and China’s territorial claims over parts of the South China Sea, alongside potential changes in US foreign policy under the Trump Administration.

Event details

Time: 6pm to approx. 7.30pm

Date: Thursday 2 February, 6 April, 1 June, 3 August and 5 October 2017

Location: The Round Room, Atrium Building, State Highway 17, Gate 1, Massey University Auckland campus.

East Precinct Auckland campus map

Nibbles, juice, tea and coffee provided.

Register for free now!


Find out more about Massey University College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

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