Katey Thom

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Senior Lecturer

Email: katey.thom@aut.ac.nz

ORCID: ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7639-3993

Links to relevant web pages:

Academic appointments:

  • Honorary Academic, University of Auckland (2019 - ongoing)
  • Senior Research Fellow, University of Auckland (2013 - 2018)
  • Research Fellow, University of Auckland (2010 - 2013)
  • Assistant Research Fellow, University of Auckland (2006 - 2010)
  • Research Assistant, University of Auckland (2004 - 2006)


  • PHD, University of Auckland
  • MA(Distinction) in Sociology, University of Canterbury
  • BA(First Class Hons), University of Canterbury


Katey is an interdisciplinary social science researcher exploring the spaces where law and health interface. Before moving to Auckland from her hometown of Christchurch, Katey studied sociology at the University of Canterbury completing Masters research on the use of ecstasy within the electronic dance music scene. After working as a research assistant for two years in the Centre for Mental Health Research at the University of Auckland, she embarked on her PhD journey which was confirmed in 2010. Katey’s PhD thesis explored the role of forensic psychiatrists when acting as expert witnesses in trials involving the defence of insanity. Katey co-directed the Centre for Mental Health and senior research fellow at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, until she joined the School of Law at AUT in 2018.

Research interests:

Katey has a keen interest in socio-legal studies examining mental health law and criminal law in practice with the aim of informing policy, practice and legal reform to improve outcomes for some of the most marginalised people in society. Her current research has a strong focus on social justice issues in mental health, covering various aspects of mental health law, human rights and therapeutic initiatives within the criminal justice system. Katey has lead a Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden funded project on the therapeutic nature of New Zealand's specialist courts. Other research has considered the role of advance care planning in mental health, mental health review tribunals, the role of district inspectors and the implications of the United Nation Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disability in New Zealand. She is currently leading a Borrin Foundation funded project to re-envisage the criminal justice system to better respond to people with intersecting mental health, addictions and criminal justice histories. Recently, she was awarded marsden funding to extend her research focus to working with the service users and the police to improve responses to citizens in mental distress.

Teaching summary:

Currently I am engaged in supporting teaching the AUT Law school related to mental health and the law, socio-legal research methods, non-adversarial justice and therapeutic jurisprudence.

Professional activities:

Appointment, affiliation, and membership

  • AUTEC ethics advisor and committee member, Faculty of Business, Economics and law (2018 - ongoing)
  • Member, Centre for Non-Adversarial Justice (2018 - ongoing)
  • Co-Chair, Oceania chapter, International Society of Therapeutic Jurisprudence (2018 - ongoing)
  • Community Advisory Group member, Te Kooti Timatanga Hou, Solutions Focused Court for the Homeless, AK (2018 - ongoing)
  • Executive Committee member, Contemporary Ethnography Across Disciplines (2018 - ongoing)
  • Member, Science Policy Exchange with Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Advisor (2017 - 2018)
  • Access to Justice Consortium, University of Melbourne (2017 - ongoing)

Editorship, reviewing, examining, and judging

  • Journal co-editor, The Ethnographic Edge (2016 - ongoing)

Research outputs:

Journal articles

  • Lenagh-Glue, J., Thom, K., O'Brien, A., Potiki, J., Casey, H., Dawson, J., & Glue, P. (2020). The content of Mental Health Advance Preference statements (MAPs): An assessment of completed advance directives in one New Zealand health board. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 68. doi:10.1016/j.ijlp.2019.101537

  • Thom, K., Lenagh-Glue, J., O'Brien, A. J., Potiki, J., Casey, H., Dawson, J., & Glue, P. (2019). Service user, whānau and peer support workers' perceptions of advance directives for mental health. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 28(6), 1296-1305. doi:10.1111/inm.12637

  • Lenagh-Glue, J., O'Brien, A., Dawson, J., Thom, K., Potiki, J., Casey, H., & Glue, P. (2018). A MAP to mental health: the process of creating a collaborative advance preferences instrument. The New Zealand medical journal, 131(1486), 18-26. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/

  • Holman, G., O'Brien, A. J., & Thom, K. (2018). Police and mental health responses to mental health crisis in the Waikato region of New Zealand. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 27(5). doi:10.1111/inm.12440

  • Thom, K., & Burnside, D. (2018). Sharing power in criminal justice: The potential of co-production for offenders experiencing mental health and addictions in New Zealand. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 27(4). doi:10.1111/inm.12462

  • Thom, K., & Black, S. (2018). Nga whenu raranga/weaving strands in the alcohol and other drug treatment court of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Journal of Law and Medicine, 25(3). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29978664

  • Murray, R., Amann, R., & Thom, K. (2018). Mindfulness-based interventions for youth in the criminal justice system: A review of the research-based literature. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 25(6), 829-838. doi:10.1080/13218719.2018.1478338

  • Black, S. A., Kidd, J., Thom, K., Mills, A., McIntosh, T., & Quince, K. (2017). Researching Ngā Kōti Rangatahi –Youth courts on Marae: Koia te Hāngaitanga?: That’s the right way?. The Ethnographic Edge, 1(1). doi:10.15663/tee.v1i1.18

  • Thom, K., & O'Brien, A. (2015). Environmental factors in the development of schizophrenia: Implications of a recent New Zealand legal case. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 22(6), 795-799. doi:10.1080/13218719.2015.1112338

  • Thom, K., Black, S., & Panther, G. (2015). The decision-making of the Mental Health Review Tribunal in New Zealand. Journal of law and medicine, 22(3), 667-678.

  • Prebble, K., Thom, K., & Hudson, E. (2015). Service Users' Experiences of Voluntary Admission to Mental Hospital: A Review of Research Literature. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 22(3), 327-336. doi:10.1080/13218719.2014.959156

  • Thom, K., O'Brien, A. J., & Tellez, J. J. (2015). Service user and clinical perspectives of psychiatric advance directives in New Zealand. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 24(6), 554-560. doi:10.1111/inm.12157

  • Prebble, K., Gooder, C., & Thom, K. (2014). New Zealand's Mental Health District Inspector in historical context: "the impartial scrutiny of a citizen of standing". Journal of law and medicine, 22(2), 415-425.

  • O'Brien, A. J., & Thom, K. (2014). United nations convention on the rights of persons with disabilities and its implications for compulsory treatment and mental health nursing. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 23(3), 193-194. doi:10.1111/inm.12071

  • O'Brien, A. J., & Thom, K. (2014). Police use of TASER devices in mental health emergencies: A review. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 37(4), 420-426. doi:10.1016/j.ijlp.2014.02.014

  • Thom, K. (2014). New Zealand Mental Health Review Tribunal characteristics and outcomes 1993-2011. Australasian Psychiatry, 22(4), 341-344. doi:10.1177/1039856214541300

  • Thom, K., & Nakarada-Kordic, I. (2014). Mental Health Review Tribunals in Action: A Systematic Review of the Empirical Literature. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 21(1), 112-126. doi:10.1080/13218719.2013.790004

  • Madell, D., Thom, K., & McKenna, B. (2013). A systematic review of literature relating to problem-solving youth courts. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 20(3), 412-422. doi:10.1080/13218719.2012.699790

  • Thom, K., & Finlayson, M. (2013). 'They're Not Really Doing "Normal" Psychiatry': The Socio-Legal Shaping of Psychiatric Expertise in Insanity Trials. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 20(1), 46-59. doi:10.1080/13218719.2011.619060

  • Thom, K., Mckenna, B., Edwards, G., O'brien, A., & Nakarada-Kordic, I. (2012). Reporting of suicide by the new zealand media. Crisis, 33(4), 199-207. doi:10.1027/0227-5910/a000133

  • Thom, K., Edwards, G., Nakarada-Kordic, I., McKenna, B., O'Brien, A., & Nairn, R. (2011). Suicide online: Portrayal of website-related suicide by the New Zealand media. New Media and Society, 13(8), 1355-1372. doi:10.1177/1461444811406521

  • Thom, K., Finlayson, M., & McKenna, B. (2011). Insanity, methamphetamine and psychiatric expertise in New Zealand courtrooms.. Journal of law and medicine, 18(4), 749-758.

  • Thom, K. (2010). Complexity and the role of expert witness: When determinations of legal insanity become murky. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 6(2), 104-105. doi:10.1111/j.1939-3938.2010.01074.x

  • Mckenna, B., Thom, K., Howard, F., & Williams, V. (2010). In search of a national approach to professional supervision for mental health and addiction nurses: The New Zealand experience. Contemporary Nurse, 34(2), 267-276. doi:10.5172/conu.2010.34.2.267

  • O'Brien, A., McKenna, B., Thom, K., Diesfeld, K., & Simpson, A. I. F. (2010). Use of Tasers on people with mental illness: A New Zealand database study. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 14. doi:10.1016/j.ijlp.2010.11.006

  • McKenna, B., Thom, K., O'Brien, A., Crene, S., & Simpson, A. (2009). Duly Authorized Officers' practices under mental health law in New Zealand: Are nurses meeting the requirements of the law?: Feature Article. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 18(4), 231-238. doi:10.1111/j.1447-0349.2009.00619.x

  • O'Brien, A., Moir, F., & Thom, K. (2009). The provision of mental health care by Primary Health Organisations in the northern region: Barriers and enablers. Journal of Primary Health Care, 1(2), 120-125.

  • Thom, K., O'Brien, A., & McKenna, B. (2008). Judging nursing practice: Implications of habeas corpus rulings for mental health nurses in New Zealand. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 15(1), 131-139. doi:10.1080/13218710701879558

  • McKenna, B. G., Thom, K., & O'Brien, A. (2008). Return to nursing programmes: Justifications for a mental health specific course. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 5(1). doi:10.2202/1548-923X.1618

  • Hughes, F. A., Thom, K., & Dixon, R. (2007). Nature & prevalence of stalking among New Zealand mental health clinicians. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 45(4), 32-39.

  • McKenna, B., Thom, K., & Simpson, A. I. F. (2007). Media coverage of homicide involving mentally disordered offenders: A matched comparison study. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 6(1), 57-63. doi:10.1080/14999013.2007.10471249

  • McKeena, B., O'Brien, A. J., Dal Din, T., & Thom, K. (2006). Responsible clinician role offers opportunities for nurses.. Nursing New Zealand (Wellington, N.Z. : 1995), 12(11), 12-14.

  • McKenna, B. G., O'Brien, A. J., Dal Din, T., & Thom, K. (2006). Registered nurses as responsible clinicians under the New Zealand Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 15(2), 128-134. doi:10.1111/j.1447-0349.2006.00412.x

Book chapters

  • Richardson, E., Thom, K., & McKenna, B. (2013). The evolution of problem-solving courts in Australia and New Zealand: A trans-Tasman comparative perspective. In Problem Solving Courts: Social Science and Legal Perspectives (Vol. 9781461474036, pp. 185-210). doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-7403-6-11