For news from 2010-2013, view the Social Science and Public Policy news archive.
Recently Dr John Buttle was invited to present at the crime seminar at Westlake Girls High School. John's presentation focused on the contribution that criminology can make to New Zealand society when it comes to dispelling the numerous myths surrounding the public understanding of crime. The talk was well received, as the following comments from a teacher shows:
"We can't wait to explore the ideas that you presented and really appreciate the different perspective that you gave on why crime in NZ is falling. It was real food for thought and certainly not the media's or the police's party line… Your talk showed the girls that academic investigation exposes a lot of myths!"
"The students were particularly impressed with the fact that the academic evidence contradicts the official understandings of crime often propagated by members of the criminal justice system. The students had a lively and interesting debate, and considerable interest was shown in going on to university to study criminology."
The importance and role of criminology in society was a central question of a the Criminology Symposium held on 24 February at the AUT City Campus.
The event, jointly hosted by the School of Social Sciences and Public Policy at AUT and the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC) carried the theme "New Zealand Criminology: Crossroads and Connections".
Dr Antje Deckert, Criminologist in the school and recently elected ANZSOC New Zealand Vice President, organised the event in an effort to bring together New Zealand academics, professionals, NGO's, media and the public.
The symposium was designed to provide networking opportunities for future professional and research collaborations. Nine high-profile speakers addressed over fifty attendees who represented academia, the Department of Corrections, JustSpeak, the private research sector, Re-thinking Crime and Punishment, students, Te Puni Kōkiri, and the Wakamoemoea Being the Change Trust.
ANZSOC President Prof Rick Sarre from the University of South Australia opened the symposium by exploring the question: "why criminology matters today?"
Keynote speaker Professor Shoshana Pollack from Wilfrid Laurier University (Canada) shared her experiences with implementing the American Inside-Out Prison Exchange Programme in Canada. Of particular interest was how the programme benefits both tertiary students and incarcerated men and women. Her talk triggered positive responses especially from the Department of Corrections representatives.
Further speakers included:
AUT was represented by Dr Laumua Tunufa'i, who explored why labelling young low level offenders as 'Wannabe's' may have criminogenic effects.
December 2013Edmond Fehoko believes in the transformative power of education — he has seen it in his own life and now helps other students to experience it too.
Edmond's ability to inspire young people in the Pacific community was formally recognised this month with a 2013 Prime Minister's Pacific Youth Award (Cogita Inspiration Award), which includes $5000 to spend on travel and personal development.
While studying towards a Master of Arts in Social Sciences at AUT University, Edmond is also employed by the university as a mentor for young Pacific Island students.
He first came to AUT to complete his undergraduate degree after receiving a Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship while at Kelston Boys' High School.
"I grew up in a low socioeconomic area with nothing and now as a young New Zealand born Tongan male, I am the winner of a prestigious award. Education has illuminated a path for me to see a brighter side of life," says Edmond, who says he was once a gang affiliate well on his way to becoming a crime statistic.
Edmond was encouraged and supported to apply for the award by leaders in the Tongan community and AUT academics including Dr Laumua Tunufa'i and Pro Vice Chancellor of Research Professor Richard Bedford.
Being named as a recipient of the Inspiration Award was an amazing moment.
"While giving my acceptance speech in front of Ministers of Parliament, Pasifika leaders and academics, what stood out to me were the tears of joy of my family. That is a moment I will remember.
"I dedicate the award to my father for his sacrifice migrating from the islands of Kotu and Nomuka to New Zealand so that one day me and my siblings could live up to his dream."
After completing the thesis for his Master of Arts, Edmond hopes to utilise his $5000 award to attend international conferences or workshops. His ultimate dream is to pursue PhD studies overseas.
The Prime Minister's Pacific Youth Awards were established in 2010 to inspire young Pacific people to reach their full potential.
Policy-makers and development practitioners have a new tool to help them devise dynamic social protection programmes — a book co-authored by AUT's Professor Marilyn Waring.
'Anticipatory Social Protection: Claiming dignity and rights' explains the Commonwealth Secretariat's modern-day approach to social protection (social protection programmes typically include labour market interventions, social insurance and social assistance).
Professor Waring and her co-authors Anit N Mukherjee, Elizabeth Reid and Meena Shivdas analyse and discuss a framework for social protection, models of good practice across the Commonwealth and innovative ways of ways of providing social protection.
The authors argue for a more dynamic approach to social protection that uses human rights principles to address social inequities.
"This book explores ways of providing social protection that are not only based on the ideology of men and women being in full-time work in the formal economy. Instead we look at how social protection can become a tool to transform society so that human rights are available to all, including marginalised groups, in an anticipatory, as opposed to reactive, framework.
"It is important to challenge the social and political factors that can contribute to poverty and disadvantage, rather than just providing a 'safety net' that reinforces a mainstream ideology," says Professor Waring.
AUT anthropologist Associate Professor Sharyn Graham Davies says the Fulbright New Zealand Travel Award she received this month, will be an honour for life.
Davies combines lecturing in the School of Social Sciences and Public Policy with an active programme of research currently focusing on procedural justice in Indonesia.
The Fulbright Award will enable Davies to attend the American Sociological Association Conference in San Francisco in August 2014, where she will present research on policing styles in Indonesia.
She will then complete a wider research and teaching trip to leading universities and research organisations in the United States and Europe while she is on sabbatical leave from AUT.
While the Fulbright Award represents a modest contribution towards her travel ($4000), Davies says the real prize will be adding the Fulbright name to her curriculum vitae.
"It is a huge honour to receive a Fulbright Award; it says that as an academic I am willing to engage with a wider audience and put my work out there," says Davies.
Fulbright New Zealand Travel Awards are for New Zealand academics, artists or professionals to present their work to American audiences. Approximately twelve awards valued at up to NZ$5000 are granted each year.
"That I can achieve and take up this award says a lot about the research focus at AUT. The university strongly supports and promotes the Fulbright values of cultural and academic exchange, and has made this possible for me," says Davies.
Having the chance to spend time developing her research and teaching is an exciting prospect, says Davies. It will be good to share my research with other academics and develop it further. I am also keen to see how my American counterparts are teaching and maybe bring some of those techniques back to AUT."
Associate Professor Sharyn Graham Davies recently received praise in the American Anthropologist journal for her research from 2010 entitled: "Gender Diversity in Indonesia: Sexuality, Islam and Queer Selves".
1 September 2013
The State of Auckland Report provides an objective and authoritative reflection on trends and changes over time. It presents indicators as well as analysis and commentary to help readers interpret the information.
This includes an indication whether the outcome could reasonably be expected to have resulted directly or indirectly from the Super City reforms or from actions (or lack of action) from the Auckland Council.
Visit the State of Auckland website for the complete report and summaries.
In the media: