Dr Helen Leslie staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (06) 356 9099  ext. 86377

Dr Helen Leslie PhD, MPhil

Senior Lecturer

School of People, Environment and Planning

I completed my PhD in Development Studies in 1999  then worked at Griffith University in Australia and at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji. I joined the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2003 and held a number of senior policy, management and programming roles predominantly focused on the Pacific, including serving as a diplomat in Samoa and Fiji over a period of 7 years. My PhD focused on gender and conflict in Post-conflict El Salvador and gender and conflcit was a research interest of mine during my tenure at Griffith University and USP. My research interests have expanded to include Pacific regionalism and specific approaches to addressing development issues in the Pacific. 

I hold a Masters and PhD in Development Studies from Massey University (1999) and I have over 15 years professional experience in the development field, including 13 years policy and programming experience with the New Zealand Aid programme in the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Most of my professional development experience has been in the Pacific but I have also worked in South East Asia and in multilateral aid engagement. My current research interests include Pacific regionalism, gender and conflict and the impact of HIV and AIDS in the Pacific

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  • Doctor of Philosophy (1999)
  • Master of Philosophy (1996)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Development Studies (1995)
  • Diploma in Comprehensive Nursing - Manawatu Polytechnic (1987)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Pacific Regionalism and the Impact of regional approaches to development in the Pacific

Gender and Conflict in the Pacific

Domestic Violence and Pacific policing

Gender and Development

Health and International Development

Pacific Health Systems and Health Systems strengthening

Development Programme/Project Management

Research Opportunities

  • Summer Scholarship  (12/12/2016) To assist with research exploring the impact of HIV and AIDS in the Pacific and whether the Pacific has escaped a potential development crisis caused by HIV and AIDS

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Anthropology (160100): Anthropology of Development (160101): Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment (160801): Demography (160300): Family and Household Studies (160301): Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific (160606): Human Geography (160400): Political Science (160600): Sociology (160800): Studies In Human Society (160000)


Health and International development

Pacific Development Issues

Gender and Development

Gender and Conflict

Sexual and Reproductive Health (including HIV and AIDS)

Pacific Regionalism

The Framework for Pacific Regionalism

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 0 3

Research Outputs


Leslie, HM., & Wild, K. (2017). Post-hegemonic regionalism in Oceania: Examining the development potential of the new framework for Pacific regionalism. The Pacific Review. , 1-18
[Journal article]Authored by: Leslie, H.
Leslie, HM., & Boso, S. (2003). Gender related violence in the Solomon Islands: the work of local women's organisations. Asia Pacific Viewpoint. 44(3)
[Journal article]Authored by: Leslie, H.
Leslie, HM. (2001). Healing the Psychological Wounds of Gender-related Violence in Latin America: A Model for Gender-sensitive Work in Post-Conflict Contexts. Gender and Development. 9(3), 50-59
[Journal article]Authored by: Leslie, H.
Leslie, HM. (2000). Conceptualising and addressing the mental health impacts of gender roles in conflict and peacekeeping. Development Bulletin - Australian Development Studies Network. 53(October), 65-69
[Journal article]Authored by: Leslie, H.
Scheyvens, R., & Leslie, H. (2000). Gender, ethics and empowerment: Dilemmas of development fieldwork. Women's Studies International Forum. 23(1), 119-130
[Journal article]Authored by: Leslie, H., Scheyvens, R.


Borovnik, M., Leslie, H., & Storey, D. (2014). Practical Issues. In Development Fieldwork: A Practical Guide. (pp. 81 - 100). : Sage
[Chapter]Authored by: Borovnik, M., Leslie, H.
McLennan, SJ., Storey, D., & Leslie, H. (2014). Entering the field. In R. Scheyvens (Ed.) Development Fieldwork: A Practical Guide. (pp. 143 - 159). : SAGE
[Chapter]Authored by: Leslie, H., McLennan, S.Edited by: Scheyvens, R.
Leslie, HM. (2003). Torture. In J. Gardiner, B. Pease, & K. Pringle (Eds.) International Encyclopedia of Men and Masculinities. (pp. 605 - 606). New York: Routledge
[Chapter]Authored by: Leslie, H.


Leslie, HM. (2017). Independent Feedback from Helen Leslie on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade XCI's evaluation report.
[Commissioned Report]Authored by: Leslie, H.


Leslie, HM. (2017, September). Tackling regional development challenges through the framework for Pacific regionalism. Presented at Pacific Security Dynamics. Auckland, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Leslie, H.
Leslie, HM., Prinsen, G., & Das, P.Aid management for aid workers in the 2020s. . Wellington, New Zealand
[Conference Paper]Authored by: Leslie, H.

Consultancy and Languages


  • September 2016- October 2016 - MFAT
    Peer review of the cross-cutting issues evaluation

Supervision and Teaching

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Supervisor 1 0
Co-supervisor 2 0

Current Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • Amanda Whyte - Doctor of Philosophy
    The role of management and governance in aid effectiveness

Co-supervisor of:

  • Michelle Greene - Doctor of Philosophy
    Physical Education (PE) as a Pathway for Empowerment: An analysis of the Pacific Region and Case Studies of Samoa and Fiji
  • Mac Vaoiva - Doctor of Philosophy
    Pacific Entrepreneurship and New Zealand Commerce: 'Factors affecting Samoan Businesses in New Zealand'

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