Dr Helen Leslie staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (06) 356 9099

Dr Helen Leslie

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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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 1 3

Research Outputs


Leslie, H., & Prinsen, G. (2018). French territories in the Forum: Trojan horse or paddles for the Pacific canoe?. Asia Pacific Viewpoint. 59(3), 384-390
[Journal article]Authored by: Leslie, H., Prinsen, J.
Leslie, HM., Banks, G., Prinsen, G., Scheyvens, R., & Stewart-Withers, R. (2018). Complexities of development management in the 2020s: Aligning values, skills and competencies in development studies. Asia Pacific Viewpoint. 59(2), 235-245
[Journal article]Authored by: Banks, G., Leslie, H., Prinsen, J., Scheyvens, R., Stewart-Withers, R.
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, H., & McAllister, M. (2002). The Benefits of Being a Nurse in Critical Social Research Practice. Qualitative Health Research. 12(5), 700-712
[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.


Azizian, R., Choi, S., Belgrave, D., Greener, B., Harding, N., Hoverd, W., . . . Prinsen, .(2018). The 2018 Strategic Defence Statement: Ten Different Views from Massey Scholars.
[Discussion Paper]Authored by: Azizian, R., Belgrave, D., Choi, S., Greener, B., Harding, N., Hoverd, W., Leslie, H., Powles, A., Prinsen, J.Edited by: Greener, B.
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.


Mafile'o, T., Foliaki, S., Koro, T., Leslie, H., Redman-MacLaren, M., West, C., . . . Roskruge, M.(2019). Review of Tokelau's Clinical Health Services and Patient Referral Scheme.
[Technical Report]Authored by: Foliaki, S., Leslie, H., Mafile'o, T., Roskruge, M.
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.


McLennan, S., Huish, R., & Leslie, H. (2019, July). Cuba in the Pacific: Solidarity and capacity building in health and development. Presented at International Medical Geography conference. Queenstown NZ..
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Leslie, H., McLennan, S.
Bell, S., Stewart-Withers, R., & Leslie, H. (2018, December). Exploring Competencies in Development Studies Teaching: Session Workshop: Teaching Development: Challenges and Responses. Presented at Aotearoa New Zealand International Development Studies Network Conference. Christchurch, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Leslie, H., Stewart-Withers, R.
McLennan, S., Huish, R., & Leslie, H. (2018, December). Cuba in the Pacific: Solidarity, Sustainability and Transformation. Presented at DevNet Conference: Disruption and Renewal. Christchurch, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Leslie, H., McLennan, S.
Leslie, H., Banks, G., Scheyvens, R., Prinsen, G., & Stewart-Withers, R. (2018). Working towards values-based, ethically informed and practice-orientated pedagogy in development studies: what role can competencies play?. , Pedagogy in Practice: How we teach in Development Studies Conference
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Banks, G., Leslie, H., Scheyvens, R., Stewart-Withers, R.
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

Teaching and Supervision

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Co-supervisor 0 1

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2019 - Maatusi Vaoiva - Doctor of Philosophy
    Lupe Fa′alele: Releasing the Doves: Factors affecting the successful operation of Samoan Businesses in New Zealand

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