Associate Professor Deborah Payne

Staff Profile Image of Dr Deborah Payne.

Co-Director - Centre for Midwifery & Women's Health Research / Paper Coordinator within the Doctor of Health Science programme and the Master in Health Science programme

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext 7112


Physical Address:
Room AE116G/H
North Shore Akoranga Campus
90 Akoranga Drive
North Shore

Postal Address:
Faculty of Health & Environmental Sciences
AUT University
Private Bag 92006
Auckland 1142

Links to relevant web pages:
  • Disability, diversity & gender cluster, AUT Centre for Person Centred Research.
  • Member New Zealand Nurses Organisation.
  • Executive member of Auckland Women's Health Council


2003 PhD Nursing, Massey University

1998 MA (Hons) Social Anthropology, University of Auckland

1984 BA Social Anthropology, University of Auckland University of Technology

1979 Auckland Hospital Postgrad course in Surgical Nursing

1977 Auckland Hospital Postgrad course in Operating Room Nursing

1975 New Zealand Registered General & Obstetric Nurse

Memberships and Affiliations:

  • Member New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO)
  • Treasurer 2005 - 2009 NZNO Nursing Research Section and member of NZNO’s Women’s Health section
  • Executive member of Auckland Women’s Health Council

Teaching Areas:

  • Foucauldian Discourse analysis
  • Postmodernism &post-structuralism
  • Women’s health
  • Disability & Health
  • MHSc Thesis supervisor and examiner
  • PhD Thesis supervisor and examiner

Research Areas:

  • Women's health issues
  • Health issues for people living with disabilities, in particular women with disability
  • Assisted Reproductive Technologies
  • Breastfeeding and work
  • Interpretive descriptive qualitative research
  • Post-structural and feminist discourse analysis

Research Summary:

Deborah has a longstanding interest in women’s health issues.  Her PhD thesis was a Foucauldian discourse analysis of ‘elderly primigravida’, that is women who are pregnant for the first time at the age of 35 years or over. She is committed to be involved in research that works towards improving the health and wellbeing of women, and their families, particularly that of women with disabilities. 


Recent research projects have explored issues in relation to women and disability (e.g. motherhood and disability); breastfeeding and work; and assisted reproductive technologies. Deborah is one of the leaders of the Disability, Diversity and Gender cluster in the AUT Centre for Person Centred Research.


Current Research Projects:

Women with disabilities' barriers and enablers to cervical and breast cancer screening.

A study funded by AUT's FHES. Co-researchers: Karen Yoshida, Sarah Derrett, Kath McPherson, Huhana Hickey, Lynette Pivac, & Delys Magill.


Exploring the issues of cervical and breast screening for women with Intellectual Disability in New Zealand.

A study in collaboration with Dr Brigit Mirfin Veitch of the Donald Beasley Institute. Funded by the Public Trust Frozen Funds.


Midwives' perspectives of mental health and maternal mental health. A qualitative descriptive study.

Co-researchers: Judith McAra-Couper, Andrea Gilkison, Christine Mellor, Margaret Roberts, Adjunct Professor Mavis Kirkham.


Smythe, L., Payne, D., Paddy, A. & Heard, K. (2014). Revealing tact within postnatal care. Qualitative Health Research, 24 (2), 163 – 171.


Allot, L. Payne, D. & Dann, L. (2013).  Midwifery and assisted reproductive technologies. New Zealand College of Midwives Journal, 47, December, 10 – 13.


Walters, S., Payne, D., Schluter, P. & Thompson. R. (2012). “It Just Makes you Feel invincible”: A Foucauldian Analysis of Children’s Experiences of Organised Team Sports. Sport, Education and Society. In press.


Smythe, L., Payne, D., Wilson, S. & Wynyard. (2012). The dwelling place of postnatal care. Women & Birth. Http://


Walters, S., Schluter, P., Oldham, T., Thomson, R. & Payne, D. (2012). The sideline behaviour of coaches at children’s team sports games. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 13; 208 – 215.


Smythe, E.A.,  Payne, D., Spence D. (2011). Teaching-as-learning-as-assessment: Maintaining a face online. Herdsa Journal


Payne, D., Goedeke, S., Balfour, S. & Gudex, G. (2011) Perspectives of mild cycle IVF: A qualitative study. Human Reproduction. ; doi: 10.1093/humrep/der361.


Goedeke, S. & Payne, D. (2010). Not just for today but for tomorrow, not just for us but for the families: A qualitative study of New Zealand fertility counsellors’ views and practices regarding embryo donation. Human Reproduction. 25(11):2821-2828.


Payne, D. & McPherson, K. (2010). Motherhood and multiple sclerosis. Journal of Disability & Rehabilitation, 32 (8), 626 – 638.


Payne, D. & Nicholls, D. (2010). Breastfeeding and work. A secondary analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 66 (8), 1810 – 1818.

Last updated: 19-Feb-2015 11.45am

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.