Dr John Buttle

John Buttle.

Senior Lecturer Criminology

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 extension 8964

Email: john.buttle@aut.ac.nz

Physical Address:

Room WT 1409, Level 14
AUT Tower
Corner Rutland and Wakefield Streets
Auckland 1142.

Links to relevant web pages:
Read more about John's work


  • PhD in Criminology from the University of Wales, Bangor   
  • MA in Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Wales, Bangor  
  • BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Wales, Bangor.  

Memberships and Affiliations:

Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology

Teaching Areas:

  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Policing and Society
  • The Police and Crime Prevention
  • Social Policy
  • Reading Paper
  • Coop Supervision
  • Postgraduate Supervision

Research Areas:

  • Police use of force and non-lethal weapons
  • Police legitimacy and accountability
  • Police reform
  • Rural Crime and policing
  • Public and media understandings of crime and policing

Research Summary:

John Buttle gained his Ph.D. in Criminology from the Centre for Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Wales, Bangor in the United Kingdom. His thesis is entitled “The Shift from Defensive to Offensive Policing: CS spray and the Use of Force”.

John’s current research interests revolve around:

  • Police reform in New Zealand and Indonesia
  • examining what is known about rural crime and policing
  • gaining greater understanding of police legitimacy as well as systems of police accountability
  • examining the public perception of crime and the police.

John has published in reputable academic journals, written chapters for books and he often attends international conferences.  He has written reports for the New Zealand Police, the Ministry of Justice and the National Assembly for Wales.

Local politicians, the police and human rights organisations have sought his advice on matters of policy and criminal justice reform.

John is regularly interviewed by the media and actively engages in public debates on the future of criminal justice in New Zealand. 

Current Research Projects:

I am currently focusing my research on a number of distinct areas and have a number of collaborations with colleagues that will result in future publications. 

I’m investigating the effect that controversial incidents have on public trust in the police. I’m involved with a comparative project that examines how independent New Zealand’s police complaints process is after recent reforms, and future research will investigate recent reforms that resulted from the Policing Act 2008. 

With colleagues, I’m seeking funding for future research on policing in Indonesia. I’m writing groundbreaking articles about policing in rural New Zealand.

My current postgraduate students are conducting research into how the police utilise DNA evidence, and how media representations provoke fear of crime in the public imagination. One student is conducting a comparative analysis of the New Zealand and Hungarian criminal justice systems.


  • Julich, S. & Buttle, J.W. (in press 2011) Beyond Conflict Resolution: Towards a Restorative Process for Sexual Violence. Te Awatea Review: The Journal of Te Awatea Violence Research.
  • Buttle, J.W. & Rodgers, J. (in press 2011) “There Can Be No Orks in New Zealand”: Media Representations of Holiday Crime and Disorder. In R. Mawby, E. Barclay, & C. Jones, (eds) Tourism, Leisure and Crime: The Problem of Pleasure. Collumpton: Willan Publishing. 
  • Buttle, J.W. Fowler, C. & Williams, M.W. (2010) The Impact of Rural Policing on the Private Lives of New Zealand Police Officers. International Journal of Police Science Management. 12:4. P 596-606.
  • Buttle, J.W. (2010) The Case Against Arming the Police. Rethinking Crime and Punishment (RECAP) Newsletter. 82. December. www. rethinking.org.nz
  • Buttle, J.W. (2010) Russell Smith Experiences Auckland’s Emergent Criminology. Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC) Newsletter. 7:2. P 5.  
  • Buttle, J.W. (2010) “Officer Safety and Public Safety” Training the Police to Use Force. In J,Kuhns & J, Knuttsson (eds) Police Use of Force: A Global Perspective Preager: Security International.
  • Julich, S. Buttle, J.W. Freeborn, E.V. &  Cummins, C. (2010) Project Restore: An Exploratory Study of Restorative Justice and Sexual Violence. Wellington: Ministry of Justice.
  • Buttle, J.W. (2009) Review of  T. Newburn, (eds) Handbook of Policing (Second edition). Collumpton, Devon: Willan Publishing 2008, 912. For Zeitschrift für Rechtssoziologie. 2: 30. p
  • Buttle, J.W. (2008) Staring from a Broken Window with Tolerance. Rethinking Crime and Punishment (RECAP) Newsletter. 34. March. www. rethinking.org.nz
  • Buttle, J.W. (2007) A Constructive Critique of the Officer Safety Programme used in England and Wales. Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy. 17:2. p 164-181.
  • Buttle, J.W. (2006) What is Known about Policing Rural Crime: Reviewing the Contemporary Literature. A Report to the New Zealand Police Rural Liaison. Wellington.
  • Buttle, J.W. (2006) Unravelling the “Velcro Effect”: Is deterring assaults against the police indicative of a more aggressive style of policing? International Journal of Police Science Management. 8:2. p133-142.
  • Buttle, J.W. (2003) “What’s Good For Them, Is Good For Us”: Outside Influences on the Adoption of an Incapacitant Spray by the British Police. International Journal of Police Science Management. 5: 2. P 99-111. 
  • Wardhaugh, J. & Buttle, J.W. (2000) Rural Homelessness: A Study of Conwy County. University of Wales, Bangor.


  • Buttle, J.W. & Graham Davies, S. (2010) Panel Discussion on Child Safety in the Criminal Justice System. Child Protection Research Centre, University of Indonesia, Jakarta, 3 Dec. 
  • Buttle, J.W. & Fowler, C. (2010) Public Trust in the New Zealand Police. Indonesian Police Collage, Jakarta, 2 Dec.
  • Buttle, J.W. & Julich, S. (2010) Lessons Learned About the Use of Restorative Justice in cases of Sexual Violence and the Implications for an Inquisitorial Approach to Child Sex Abuse in New Zealand. Contribution of Forensic Psychology Toward Legal Problems Undergone by Children as Witness, Victim, and Suspect of Crime. The Indonesian Association of Forensic Psychologists (APSIFOR) Conference. Faculty of Psychology University of Indonesia, 24-26 November.
  • Buttle, J.W. (2010) Problems with Policing and Preventing Fraud. Evasion and Fraud Conference. New Zealand Inland Revenue. Rendezvous Hotel, Auckland. 1-2 September.
  • Deckert, A & Buttle J.W. (2010) Re-Conceptualising Independence for Civilian Oversight of Police Complaints: An International Comparison. Department of Sociology Colloquium, University of Auckland. 2 June.
  • Buttle, J.W. (2010) The Myth Busting Bonus: What Does Criminology Offer New Zealand Society? Lecture for the University of the Third Age. Te Tuhi Centre For Arts, Auckland. 3 May.
  • 2009 Policing New Zealand: Perspectives of Rural and Urban Police Officers.  A ‘Mirror’ or a ‘Motor’? What Is Criminology For? British Society of Criminology Conference, Cardiff University and the University of Glamorgan, 29 June - 1 July.
  • 2008 The Threat to Police Legitimacy in New Zealand: The Notion of Synergistic Erosion. Criminology: Linking Theory, Policy and Practice- Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology, National Convention Centre Canberra 26-28 November.
  • 2008 “New Zealand – A Land Fit For Criminals?” A Public Debate on the Future of Criminal Justice Policy in New Zealand. Maxim Institute. Central  Theatre, Auckland Grammar School. 26 June.
  • 2007 “The Seduction and Repulsions of Crime: A Criminological Inoculation”. A Speech for the Launch of the BA Criminology. School of Social Sciences, Auckland University of Technology. 25 September.
  • 2006  Securing the Future: Networked Policing in New Zealand. Police Act Review  and the School of Government, Victoria, University of Wellington.
  • 2005 Promoting Social Critique in Criminology: Is it Possible? Is it Enough? Promoting Social Critique-Sociology Association of Aotearoa New Zealand. Eastern Institute of Technology. Hawke’s Bay 25-27 November.
  • 2004 New Frontiers in Restorative Justice: Advancing Theory and Practice. Massey University, Albany. 2-5 December.
  • 2004  ‘The outside influences on the adoption of incapacitant sprays by the British police: A problematic example of policy transfer.’ Department of Sociology Colloquium, University of Auckland. 5 May.
  • 2003 ‘Defining reasonable force: from “fuzzy” concept to practical application’. The Challenge of Comparative Crime and Justice - British Society of Criminology Conference, University of Wales, Bangor 24-26 June.
  • 2003 ‘ “I didn’t see that coming”: the police officers fear of uncertainty’. School of Social Sciences Colloquium, University of Wales, Bangor. 30 October.
  • 2002 “I didn’t see that coming”: the police officers fear of uncertainty’. Crossing Borders - British Society of Criminology Conference, Keele University, 17-20 July.
  • 2000 “The police use of chemical sprays: A historical perspective that raises concerns”. School of Social Sciences Colloquium, University of Wales, Bangor. 11 October
  • 2000 'When the police make you cry: a comparative study of the Police use of chemical sprays by Britain and the United States'. Crimes of the Future: The Futures of Criminology - British Society of Criminology Conference, University of Leicester, 5-7 July.
  • 2000 Presentation and Dissemination of Findings and Argument, Gregynog Colloquium 16-18 June.
  • 2000 State Crime and Corporate Violence: Human Rights Violations in the New World Order, Conference of the British Section of the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control, University of Wales, Bangor, 25-27 April.
  • 2000 'When the police make you cry', The Gregynog Conference, University of Wales, February.
  • 1999 'Wales a Homeless Free Zone: Strategies to End Homelessness in Wales', Plas Menai Nr Bangor, 3 December.
  • 1999 'Tackling Homelessness in Rural Areas', Grantham, Lincolnshire, 11 and 12 November.
  • 1999 'Gun Control: current Issues and Future Challenges', Scarman Centre, Leicester University, 10 February.


I was nominated to represent the Faculty of Applied Humanities (now Faculty of Society and Culture) for the Emerging Researcher category in the 2008 round of the Vice Chancellor’s Research Awards.

I was nominated by students for the 2008 AuSM Awesome Awards for the category of Best Lecturer in the Faculty of Applied Humanities.

I was rated as research active in the “New and Emerging Researcher” category during the 2006 round of the PBRF

Last updated: 19-Feb-2016 12.23pm

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