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Dr Trisia Farrelly staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (06) 356 9099  ext. 83664

Dr Trisia Farrelly PhD, BA(Hons)

Senior Lecturer

School of People, Environment and Planning

Current Roles and Responsibilities

Co-founder, New Zealand Product Stewardship Council (currently steering committee)

Co-Director, Massey University Political Ecology Research Centre

Editorial Board Member; Deja Lu Selection Committee Member; Student Essay Selection Committee Member, Sites: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies

University Representative, Association of Social Anthropologists Aotearoa New Zealand (ASAANZ)

Co-founder, Carrying Our Future

Current research includes environmental behaviour change; political ecologies of plastic production, consumption, and disposal; hazardous plastics; and social license to operate (marine industries); political ecologies of waste management; and qualitative methodologies (including action research, critical discourse analysis, and collective memory work).  Dr Farrelly  is the Co-director of Massey University’s Political Ecology Research Centre, a co-founder of the New Zealand Product Stewardship Council (NZPSC), a co-founder of environmental lobby group Carrying Our Future, and the Massey University ASAANZ Representative.  Other research interests include community-based development; protected area management; and Indigenous entrepreneurship.


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Contact details

  • Ph: 3+64 6 3569099 Extn 83664
    Location: 5.15, Social Sciences
    Campus: Manawatu


  • Doctor of Philosophy - Massey University (2009)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - Massey University (2009)

Prizes and Awards

  • Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (SYLFF) Leaders Workshops (Japan 2018-2019) - Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (SYLFF) (2018)
  • Moore Institute Fellowship, NUI Galway, Ireland - NUI Galway (2017)
  • Nomination for National (Prime Ministers) Teaching Excellence Award - Massey University (2015)
  • Vice Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award: $10,000 - Massey University (2015)
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences Teaching and Learning Committee Teaching Award (Individual “Excellence and Innovation”): $1500 - Massey University (2015)
  • Massey University Teaching Fellowship: $17, 708.60 - Massey University (2015)
  • 2009 Dean’s List for Exceptional Doctoral Theses - (2009)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Research interests include community-based development; protected area management;conservation; Indigenous Fijian epistemologies and methodologies, development, indigenous Fijian micropolitics, governance, and entrepreneurship; socio-cultural analyses of waste minimisation; informal economies; collective memory work; Pacific Islands waste management. 


21st Century Citizenship, Resource Development and Management

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Anthropology (160100): Anthropology of Development (160101):
Built Environment And Design (120000):
Conservation and Biodiversity (050202): Environmental Management (050205): Environmental Science and Management (050200): Environmental Sciences (050000): Natural Resource Management (050209): Pacific Peoples Environmental Knowledge (050210):
Social and Cultural Anthropology (160104): Sociology (160800): Sociology and Social Studies of Science and Technology (160808): Studies In Human Society (160000):
Wildlife and Habitat Management (050211)


Socio-cultural dimensions of household waste in New Zealand

The politics of plastic pollution

BPAs in food packaging

Waste in the Pacific Islands

Indigenous Fijian methodologies

Indigenous Fijian epistemologies

Indigenous entrepreneurship

Environmental management

National parks and protected areas

Community-based development



Urban ecology

Environmental anthropology


Collective memory work

Action Research

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 1 9
Team Member 0 2

Completed Projects

Project Title: NSC - Conduct a discourse analysis (led by Charlotte Sunde) of Social Licence to Operate (SLO) in New Zealand (Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge)

Date Range: 2016 - 2019

Funding Body: The Cawthron Institute Trust Board

Project Team:

Project Title: Waste minimisation culture in Palmerston North households

This research project aims to understand the drivers and barriers to household waste minimisation in Palmerston North. Residential waste practices occur behind closed doors and, for many, the question of waste is only brought to consciousness and mediated by local curb side services. Trisia Farrelly and Corrina Tucker wanted to know what challenges and drivers Palmerston North households might be faced with when asked to minimise their household waste as much as practicable. The project involved fortnightly 'active interviews', ongoing waste audits, curb side trials, product trials, a site visit to the Awapuni Resource Recovery Park, and hands-on workshops with four Palmerston North households over a nine-month period. The unique methodological approach applied in this action research project revealed participants' household waste attitudes, knowledge, and practices. The research provides sound recommendations for residential household waste minimisation in Palmerston North.
Read Project Description Hide Project Description

Date Range: 2013 - 2013

Funding Body: Massey University

Project Team:

Research Outputs


Creative Work



Teaching and Supervision

Teaching Statement

2015                Vice Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award

2015                Nomination for the Prime Minister’s National Teaching Excellence Award

2015                Massey University Teaching Fellow

2015                College of Humanities and Social Sciences Teaching and Learning Committee Teaching Award (Individual                                 “Excellence and Innovation”)

Courses Coordinated

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Supervisor 0 2
Co-supervisor 1 4

Current Doctoral Supervision

Co-supervisor of:

  • Boglarka Nemeth - Doctor of Philosophy
    Volcanic geoheritage of New Zealand with special relevance to the Auckland Volcanic Field - exploring the link between western and indigenous approaches to geoheritage evaluation

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • 2020 - Ackim Mwape - Doctor of Philosophy
    From international conventions to local park management plans: an analysis of the vertical integrity of Zambia’s national park system
  • 2016 - Aurathai Phongchiewboon - Doctor of Philosophy
    Livelihood Strategies and Environmental Management Practices in Northern Thailand National Parks Communities

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2018 - Alice Taylor - Doctor of Philosophy
    How then could we live? The pragmatic creation of sustainable ecological habitus in cities
  • 2016 - Jeraldine Teng - Doctor of Philosophy
    Asia-Pacific Zoos in the 21st Century: Stakeholder Perceptions of the Roles and Functions of Zoos
  • 2014 - Paul Schneider - Doctor of Philosophy
    Local reality and the climate change adaptation dilemma: Beyond technical fixes and 'business as usual'.
  • 2011 - Winifereti Nainoca - Doctor of Philosophy
    The influence of the Fijian way of life (bula vakavanua) on community-based marine conservation (CBMC) in Fiji, with a focus on social capital and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK)

Media and Links


  • 30 Oct 2017 - Newspaper
    A Pacific Concept for Future Dialogue
    My research into talanoa was cited in this Fiji Times newspaper article
  • 30 Nov 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Scientists propose a ban on glitter
    cited in this news article
  • 30 Nov 2017 - Television, Online
    Scientists Warn That Glitter Contributes to Microp
    Interviewed for this TV Broadcast
  • 30 Dec 2017 - Online, Magazine
    No Shimmer: Why Scientists Want to Ban Glitter
    I was cited in this article
  • 30 Dec 2017 - Online, Newspaper
    Scientists call for global glitter ban due to the
    I was cited in this news article
  • 30 Dec 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Some scientists think that glitter should be banne
    cited in news article and referred to in video
  • 30 Dec 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Glitter is damaging the environment
    I was cited in this article
  • 30 Dec 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Lobster found with Pepsi logo on claw
    I was cited in this news article
  • 30 Dec 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Scientists take the sparkle out of Christmas with
    I was cited in this news article
  • 29 Oct 2015 - Television
    TV3's Story
    I was interviewed by TV3 Story's Mike Wesley-Smith about the challenges associated with single use plastic bags globally and locally.
  • 29 Nov 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Kim Kardashian is promoting a dangerous glitter tr
    I was cited in this news article
  • 29 Dec 2018 - Online
    Stemming Plastic Production Should be Focus
    Interview with Conan Young about UNEA Microplastics and Marine Litter
  • 29 Dec 2017 - Online, Magazine
    Scientist Calls For Glitter To Be Banned Because I
    I was cited in this news article
  • 29 Dec 2017 - Online, Newspaper
    Sinister sparkle? Scientists warn glitter pollutes
    I was cited in this news article
  • 29 Dec 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Jugées trop polluantes, les paillettes vont-elles
    I was cited twice in this French newspaper
  • 28 Nov 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Scientists Call For Ban On Glitter, Say It’s A Glo
    cited in this article
  • 28 Nov 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Scientists Call For Ban On Glitter, Say It’s A Glo
    I was cited in this news article
  • 28 Nov 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Scientists Call For Ban On Glitter, Say It’s A Glo
    I was cited in this news article
  • 28 Nov 2017 - Online, Newspaper
    Scientists call for ban on glitter, say it’s a glo
    cited in this news article
  • 28 Jul 2015 - Newspaper
    Recycling Schemes for Plastic Bags Won't Work
    Conservation Minister Nick Smith's recent announcement of a $1.2 million dollar plan for plastic bag recycling scheme might give the impression the Government is doing something for the environment.
  • 28 Dec 2017 - Online, Magazine
    Glitter may be a big environmental hazard say rese
    I was cited in this article
  • 27 Jun 2017 - Radio, Online
    We are in the midst of a plastic plague
    Radio Live interview with Ryan Bridge
  • 27 Aug 2017 - Online
    Plastic Policy Supported by the Evidence
    I co-produced was cited in the following New Zealand Product Stewardship press release
  • 26 Sep 2017 - Newspaper
    Whanganui Science Forum Attracting Crowds
    I was cited in this story
  • 26 Sep 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Whanganui Science Forum Attracting Crowds
    My research seminar on hazardous plastics was noted in this article
  • 26 Sep 2014 - Newspaper
    City Hears Trash Talk
    An article in the Manawatu Guardian reporting on the Trash Talk Seminar I organised that was held in the Palmerston North City Library
  • 26 Mar 2019 - Radio
    Banning plastic not as simple as it sounds
    Radio interview for ABC Australia
  • 26 Mar 2015 - Online
    Excellence award brings out teachers best
    An education specialist, a sociocultural anthropologist and an Associate Professor of physical geography are the winners of this year’s Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Awards. The awards celebra
  • 26 Jun 2017 - Online
    Plastic Plague
    Quoted in this article
  • 26 Jun 2017 - Online, Radio
    Glitter just as bad as microbeads
    Interview with Mike Hosking for Newstalk ZB
  • 25 Sep 2015 - Radio
    Radio New Zealand
    I was interviewed by Jesse Mulligan for a radio story entitled "Plastic-Free Palmy."
  • 25 Jun 2017 - Online, Newspaper
    Glitter just as bad as microbeads experts say
    Interview with Susan Edmonds Stuff Business Today
  • 24 Sep 2015 - Online
    Palmerston North's George Street goes plastic free
    Palmerston North's George St goes plastic bag free on Fridays
  • 24 Sep 2015 - Radio
    Trisia Farrelly: Plastic Free Palmy
    A busy shopping street in Palmerston North is set to become the first plastic-bag-free street in New Zealand. Massey University's environmental anthropologist Dr Trisia Farrelly spearheaded the campai
  • 23 Apr 2014 - Newspaper
    Survey Shows Recycling Poorly Understood in the Ci
    A survey of 147 Palmerston North households has found a lack of understanding around what can be recycled and what is rubbish. The survey was conducted by Massey University School of People, Environm
  • 22 Sep 2015 - Online
    Palmy poised for NZ's first plastic bag-free stree
    The rustle of plastic could be relegated to the dustbin of history - Palmerston North CBD’s hippest precinct is poised to become New Zealand’s first plastic bag-free street, thanks to a campaign spear
  • 22 Nov 2017 - Online, Magazine
    Scientists want to ban this quintessential gay acc
    Cited in this article
  • 22 Nov 2017 - Magazine, Online
    Public Buzz : les paillettes seraient très mauvais
    I was cited in this article
  • 22 Nov 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Scientists say glitter is bad for the environment
    cited in this news article
  • 22 Aug 2017 - Online
    We Know Plastic Poses a Threat to Marine Life
    I was quoted by One Green Planet
  • 21 Sep 2015 - Newspaper
    Trisia Farrelly: Plastic bag scheme short-sighted
    Opposition to plastic bag recycling without accompanying levy
  • 21 Nov 2017 - Magazine, Online
    Glitter: Bad for the Environment, Apparently
    cited here
  • 21 Nov 2017 - Magazine, Online
    Glitter Is Ruining The Environment
    I was cited in this article
  • 21 Nov 2017 - Online
    彩妝亮晶晶 專家:亮粉也是微塑膠 應禁用
    cited on Taiwanese Environmental Information Centre Website
  • 21 Nov 2017 - Online, Magazine
    Scientists are calling for glitter to be banned to
    I was cited in this article
  • 21 Jan 2016 - Newspaper
    New Watchdog Group to Combat Packaging Waste
    Manawatu Standard article about the plan to establish a New Zealand National Product Stewardship Council emerged from a Plastic Bag Forum held at Massey University. I am cited in the article and desc
  • 20 Sep 2017 - Radio, Online
    The near-indestructible plastic bag
    Trisia Farrelly of Massey University discusses measures being taken to rid us of the plastic bag scourge and what she thinks of New World supermarket's campaign. Interview with RNZ's Jim Mora.
  • 20 Nov 2017 - Radio
    The environmental impact of glitter
    Interviewed on Jesse Mulligan RNZ afternoon show
  • 20 Apr 2016 - Online
    Human impact on planet a focus for new centre
    Cited in Massey News article
  • 19 Nov 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Why this créche chain is banning glitter for Chris
    Cited in this news article
  • 19 Nov 2017 - Online, Magazine
    Forskarnas varning: Sluta använda glitter
    I was cited in this article
  • 19 Nov 2016 - Newspaper
    The Plastic Bag Apocalype Plan
    This is an article I had published in the Tribune newspaper
  • 19 Nov 2015 - Newspaper
    Fielding Herald
    I was cited in the article entitled 'Informative Real Earth Forum Day' for my presentation on synthetic hormones in consumer plastics for the Real Earth Presentations
  • 19 Mar 2019 - Online
    We need a legally binding treaty to make plastic p
    The Conversation
  • 19 Mar 2019 - Online
    We need a legally binding treaty to make plastic p
    The Conversation op ed
  • 18 May 2017 - Online
    Opening the Bin
    Blog written on the PERC website about my attendance at a Swedish waste conference
  • 18 May 2017 - Online
    Wageningen University Visit
    PERC Blog written by Lisa Vonk about my visit to Wageningen to promote PERC and build networks with POLLEN
  • 18 Aug 2017 - Online
    New Zealand to Ban Microbeads Earlier
    Quoted in this article
  • 18 Aug 2017 - Radio
    Microbead Ban
    Interviewed by Jesse Mulligan Radio NZ
  • 17 Oct 2016 - Television, Online
    Is New Zealand Lagging Behind on Plastic Bags?
    Cited in NewsHub online
  • 17 Oct 2016 - Online, Radio
    Greens Push for Mandatory Plastic Bag Levy
    Cited in NewsTalk ZB article online
  • 17 Nov 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Biodegradable Glitter
    Cited in this article
  • 17 Nov 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Top Day Nurseries Chain Bans Children From Using
    Cited in this article
  • 17 Nov 2017 - Newspaper
    Toxic plastic addiction theme for Whanganui Scienc
    Whanganui Chronicle story about my presentation for the Whanganui Science Forum
  • 17 May 2014 - Newspaper
    Waste Watchers Rubbish Research Revealed
    wo Massey Unversity researchers have been keeping a close eye on other people's rubbish. Dr Trisia Farrelly and Dr Corrina Tucker have been tracking the trash of four Palmerston North families for th
  • 17 Jan 2018 - Newspaper
    BBC Brazil interview with Juliana Gragnani
    I was interviewed for a BBC Brazil newspiece about my research into microplastics
  • 17 Aug 2017 - Online
    New Zealand to Ban Microbeads Sooner than Expected
    Quoted in this article
  • 16 Oct 2017 - Online
    Greens Push for Mandatory Bag Charges
  • 16 Nov 2017 - Online
    Tudja milyen károkat okoz a csillogó porral?
    my research cited here
  • 16 Nov 2017 - Magazine, Online
    ¿El glitter te parece lindo? Estos son los riesgos
    My research cited here
  • 16 Nov 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Nursery Bans Glitter for Christmas Crafts
    Cited in this article
  • 16 Nov 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Glitter should be banned over environmental impact
    I was quoted in this article
  • 16 Nov 2017 - Online, Newspaper
    Đội ngũ quản lý quyết định hướng đi và tốc độ đổi
    Photos and cited chairing the NAEM conference in Vietnam
  • 16 Jan 2016 - Other
    Opinion Piece Denise Roche Green MP
    Cited in The Packaging Forum's 'The Packaging Word'
  • 15 Sep 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Auckland drinking water microplastics
    Interviewed and quoted in this news article
  • 15 Jun 2016 - Video
    Carrying Our Future
    I feature in a film made for the environmental community group I co-founded
  • 14 Nov 2017 - Online, Magazine
    Why ravers should think twice
    I was cited in this online news article
  • 14 Jul 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Cleaning up a plastic-filled world
    Interview with Catherine Groenstein Fairfax Media for Stuff Environment
  • 14 Dec 2015 - Newspaper
    Ditching plastic bags 'easiest ethical decision in
    Article discussing attendees at the Single-Use Plastic Bag Forum I organised and led at Massey December 10 2015. This culminated in efforts from all attendees to establish a NZ Product Stewardship Co
  • 13 Nov 2019 - Online
    Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not
    The Conversation
  • 13 Nov 2016 - Video
    The Global Waste Crisis Q and A
    Youtube of panel I contributed to for the Palmerston North Environmental Trust
  • 12 Sep 2014 - Online
    Trash Talk Explores the Challenges of Waste
    A researcher who explored the dumpster-diving subculture in the United States is one of four speakers to give a free public lecture in Palmerston North next week on the environmental and social challe
  • 12 Oct 2017 - Newspaper
    What's on October-12-18th
    My presentation was advertised in the Whanganui Chronicle
  • 12 Jun 2015 - Newspaper
    Palmerston North group to rally to end plastic bag
    A group with a vision for Palmerston North to eliminate plastic bags is rallying for support.
  • 12 Jun 2015 - Newspaper
    Last updated 21:48, June 12 2015 Ads by Google Sa
    Massey University environmental anthropologist Dr Trisia Farrelly is part of a Palmerston North group campaigning to get rid of plastic bags.
  • 12 Jun 2015 - Online
    A plastic bag free future for Palmerston North?
    Dr Farrelly, from the School of People, Environment and Planning, is a member of the Carrying Our Future lobby group, which is working towards a plastic bag-free future for Palmerston North.
  • 10 Nov 2016 - Video
    Why classify polystyrene as hazardous
    Youtube of a presentation I gave at the Palmeston North Environmental Trust presentation
  • 09 Nov 2015 - Newspaper
    Manawatu Standard
    I was cited in article 'Talking back to films focus for festival' for my presentation at the Reel Earth Film Festival
  • 07 Nov 2017 - Online, Magazine
    Why Glitter Must be Banned
    Article based on my email to Alternet
  • 07 Nov 2017 - Online, Magazine
    It's time to ban glitter
    I was cited in this article
  • 05 Nov 2015 - Online
    15,000 Plastic Bags from Landfill
    Cited in 100% reusable bags blog
  • 04 Sep 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Talanoa, A Way of Life
    My research was heavily cited in this news article
  • 04 Nov 2015 - Newspaper
    Supermarket saves 15,000 bags from landfill
    Quoted in this news article
  • 04 Feb 2014 - Newspaper
    Look Under Bin Lids Changes Recycling
    A cleaner Palmerston North could be possible, even if it is hard work and frustrating, according to new research. Findings from Massey University researchers Trisia Farrelly and Corrina Tucker have s
  • 03 Dec 2015 - Newspaper
    The Timaru Herald
    I was quoted in the article entitled 'Is it Time New Zealand Banned Plastic Bags'
  • 02 Sep 2016 - Radio
    Single-Use Plastic Bags in Landfills
    Radio New Zealand Interview Jesse Mulligan
  • 02 Nov 2017 - Radio
    Microfibres in Ocean
    Interview on radio Rhema about the environmental impact of plastic microfibres
  • 02 Dec 2015 - Newspaper, Online
    Is it time New Zealand Banned Plastic Bags?
    Cited in Stuff article
  • 02 Aug 2017 - Online
    Why We Should Ban Glitter
    Quoted in this article
  • 01 Nov 2019 - Magazine
    Organic NZ Magazine
    Minimise Microplastics What Can You Do? Interview with Trisia Farrelly
  • 01 Nov 2015 - Magazine
    Life and Leisure Magazine
    I was interviewed to provide material for the article 'The Scourge of Plastic Bags' and was quoted.
  • 01 May 2016 - Online
    It's in the Bag
    citd in Say No to Plastic Bags report
  • 01 May 2014 - Radio
    Our Changing World
    Helping four Palmerston North households better understand and deal with their rubbish and recycling has been the focus of a household waste minimisation study being run by Corrina Tucker and Trisia F
  • 01 May 2013 - Newspaper
    Recycling Knowledge a Bit Rubbish
    Cited in Tribune article

Other Links

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