Associate Professor Deborah Payne

Deb Payne 2 photo 2015

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 MB219
South Campus
Great South Rd
Manukau City

Postal Address:
Faculty of Health & Environmental Sciences
School of Clinical 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:

Ethics Committee for Assisted Reproductive Technology – Committee member.
NZ Nurses Organisation.
NZ Nurses Organisation’s Nursing Research Section.
New Zealand Nurses Organisation’s Women’s Health Section.   
Auckland Women’s Health Council - Executive member

Teaching Areas:

Foucauldian Discourse Analysis
Disability & Health
Women’s Health
MHSc Thesis supervisor and examiner
PhD Thesis supervisor and examiner

Research Areas:

•    Post-structural discourse analysis
•    Women’s health
•    Disability & Health
•    Fertility, infertility & Assisted Reproductive Technologies  

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 being involved in research that works towards improving the health and wellbeing of women, and their families, particularly that of disabled women.

Deborah is one of the directors of the Centre for Midwifery & Women’s Health Research and a co-leader of the Disability, Diversity and Gender cluster in the AUT Centre for Person Centred Research.

Recent research projects have explored issues in relation to women and disability: motherhood and disability; disabled women’s perspectives on breast and cervical screening; sexuality and disability)
and assisted reproductive technologies (‘short cycle’ IVF, embryo donation).

Deborah is an experienced Masters and Doctoral supervisor, supervising postgraduate students researching the above areas and/or using Foucauldian influenced methodologies.    

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, Huhana Hickey & Lynette Pivac.Sarah Derrett, Kath McPherson and Nick Garrett.
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 (PI) of the Donald Beasley Institute. Funded by the Public Trust Frozen Funds.

A Foucauldian analysis of health literature on sexuality and women with Learning or Intellectual disability
Co-researchers: Helen Allan, Brigit Mirfin Veitch, Jenny Conder & Deborah Balmer  
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.

A study of childbirth fear and maternity care preferences among Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and British university students
Co-researcher: Annabel Farry.
Awaiting ethical review - TBC August 2015.


In Sickness & Health, ISIH 6th International Conference: Challenging inequity: A call to action.
Palma de Majorca
Spain, 8-10 June, 2015.

“Building an enabling society” Rehabilitation Conference.
NZ Rehabilitation Association
13 -17 October 2015
Wellington, NZ.


Silcock, M., Payne, D. & Hocking, C. (2015). Governmentality within children’s technological play: Findings from a critical discourse analysis.  Children & Society. DOI:10.1111/chso.12123
Payne, D., Guerin, B, Roy, D., Giddings, L. Farquhar, C., & Mc Pherson, K. (2014). Taking it into account. Caring for disabled mother during pregnancy and birth. International Journal of Childbirth 4 (4), 228 – 239.  
Smythe, L., Payne, D., Paddy, A. & Heard, K. (2014). Revealing tact within postnatal care. Qualitative Health Research, 24 (2), 163 – 171.
Silcock, M., Hocking, C. & Payne, D. (2013).  Childhood constructions of contemporary technology: Using discourse analysis to understand the creation of occupational possibilities. Journal of Occupational Science,
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, 20:2, 241-257, DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2012.745844
 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: 27-Jan-2016 12.00pm

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