Associate Professor Robin Peace staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (04) 801 5799  ext. 63594

Associate Professor Robin Peace BA (Geography), DipTchg, MSocSci, PhD

Associate Professor in Research and Evaluation

School of People, Environment and Planning

Research exertise: cultural geography (migration); evaluation (theory and practice); methodologies (Qmethod, mixed method, evaluation method.

Current Teaching: postgraduate & professional short courses in evaluation. PhD Supervision: NZ evaluation theory & practice, disaster research, international development.

Regional Director for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Wellington

Director of eSocSci - engaged Social Science | Hui Rangahau Tahi (eSocSci)

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Contact details

  • Ph: 62172
    Location: Level C Room 30, 7
    Campus: Wellington


  • Bachelor of Arts - University of Canterbury (1973)
  • Diploma of Teaching - Christchurch College of Education (1978)
  • Master of Social Science - University of Waikato (1995)
  • Doctor of Philosophy - University of Waikato (2000)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

I undertake migration research as part of the Integration of Immigrants Programme (IIP) 2007-2012 and Nga Tangata Oho Mairangi (NTOM) 2013-2015 funded by MSI.

I have ongoing research interest in the politics of social exclusion, social cohesion, social inclusion, identity and recognition and currently focus these interests on the linguistic landscapes of Chinese ethnic settlement areas in Aotearoa New Zealand.

My engagement with thesis research is mostly related to evaluation activities in New Zealand, however I have a wide range of interests and supervision experience across such diverse areas as social exclusion and poverty, migration and settlement indicators, mental health and housing, the spatial implications of social policy, the research policy interface, the politics of recognition and redistribution and feminist and post-modern epistemologies.


21st Century Citizenship

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Citizenship (160602): Human Geography (160400): New Zealand Government and Politics (160608): Policy and Administration (160500): Political Science (160600): Public Policy (160510): Research, Science and Technology Policy (160511): Social and Cultural Geography (160403): Social Policy (160512): Studies In Human Society (160000)




Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 1 5
Team Member 0 4

Current Projects

Project Title: eSOCSCI Hui Rangahau Tahi: a social research knowledge space

There are many complex and demanding problems that face New Zealanders in the 21st century, many of which reflect responses to global changes. There are also many researchers - in our eight universities, three w?nanga, the CRIs and in other settings - whose work is focused on finding ways to address these challenges, yet who can be working independently from each other and weakly connected to those who might contribute to framing the research problem and end-users of research. Developing a knowledge space for New Zealand social research matters because social science offers understanding of: how our diverse communities work and respond to change and policy; how science, business and innovation succeed; and how we manage and sustain our environment. eSOCSCI Hui Rangahau Tahi (engaged Social Science), is a virtual platform for dialogue that aims to bridge research locations, improve access to social research and knowledge, and increase the capacity of researchers, scientists and policy makers and self-organising informed communities to share knowledge in ways that lead to robust and engaged research, evaluation, policy, and policy implementation. eSOCSCI, the website, is the central hub linking six key activities: debates which will inform research priorities, collaborative workshops, network building, and skills training for knowledge transfer. These activities facilitate learning across sectors and the identification of solutions. The hub will create a range of spaces where dialogue between a broad audience of users and communicators, along with archiving knowledge and information, contributes to increasing social, cultural, economic, and environmental wellbeing in New Zealand. Building new kinds of in-person and virtual relationships across disciplines and sectors, and producing an environment that individuals and institutions are willing to support are key to the project¿s long term success.
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Date Range: 2012 - 2017

Funding Body: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Project Team:

Completed Projects

Project Title: Nga Tangata Oho Mairangi: Regional Impacts of Demographic and Economic Change

New Zealand is experiencing significant population changes as mobility (immigration, emigration, internal migration) combines with an ageing population to impact on labour supply, community development and a sense of belonging or attachment. These demographic and economic changes vary considerably by region and have markedly different outcomes for rural and urban communities. This research provides a detailed model of the nature of these changes at the regional level over the period 1986 to 2013 and will provide projections out to 2036. In addition, household members, employers and secondary school pupils provide their understandings of demographic and economic change in their communities, and their perceptions of, and responses toward, the implications. These responses are important given recent demographic developments such as increased cultural diversity, the interconnected effects of demographic ageing and mobility/migration on communities, and regional issues of labour supply (including critical skill shortages) and demand as industries/firms grow or decline. In this context, immigration will continue to be an important component of New Zealand¿s future as a way of providing the required skills and to compensate for ageing or emigration. The research seeks to answer questions such as what keeps individuals or households in a particular community or region? What investments do people make in education/training or employment, and how do these relate to current and future employment opportunities, especially locally? What impact does diversity have on social and economic notions of belonging and attachment, and how do employers respond? Answering these questions via complex models and statistical projections as well as interviews to reveal the subjective understandings and strategies of individuals and households will generate a multifaceted and nuanced understanding of demographic and economic change and the implications for New Zealand/New Zealanders.
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Date Range: 2012 - 2016

Funding Body: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Project Team:

Research Outputs


Spoonley, P., Muhammad, I., Jackson, N., Peace, R., & Cain, T.(2016). Transport demand implications of changing population age and ethnic diversity in Auckland: A thought piece. Auckland: A Joint Modelling Application Centre (JMAC) Report - NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport and Auckland Council
[Technical Report]Authored by: Cain, T., Muhammad, I., Peace, R.


Spoonley, P., Lewin, J., Meares, C., Cain, TM., & Peace, R. (2013). Namasté New Zealand: The experiences of Indian immigrant employers and employees in Auckland, New Zealand. (pp. 1 - 72).
[Working Paper]Authored by: Cain, T., Peace, R.

Consultancy and Languages


  • English
    Last used: today
    Spoken ability: Excellent
    Written ability: Excellent

Supervision and Teaching

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Supervisor 2 4
CoSupervisor 2 3

Current Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • Hakimeh Khajeh - PhD
    Understanding the social complexity in Muslim communities in New Zealand and pathways to belonging.
  • Catherine Averill - PhD
    Evaluative Management- From Frameworks to Governance, Principles for Development

CoSupervisor of:

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • 2017 - Heather Christine Nunns - PhD
    The practice of evaluative reasoning in the Aotearoa New Zealand public sector
  • 2016 - Thomas Jack Huggins - PhD
    Optimising Visual Solutions for Complex Strategic Scenarios
  • 2016 - Patricia Ann Thompson - PhD
    To Smack or not to Smack, is that the Question? The Social Perspectives on the issue of Child Discipline held by a Cohort of Mothers in Aotearoa New Zealand and what they indicate
  • 2014 - Michael Brock Blewden - PhD
    Why do evaluators intentionally seek process use? Exploring meaning and reason as explanation

CoSupervisor of:

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