Dr Karen Webster

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Senior Lecturer

Email: karen.webster@aut.ac.nz

ORCID: ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9894-0276

Academic appointments:

  • Leadership and Management Pathway Lead, School of Clinical Sciences (2018 - ongoing)
  • Senior lecturer, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland (2015 - ongoing)
  • Part time lecturer, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland (2014 - 2014)
  • Professional teaching fellow (Part time), University of Auckland, Auckland (2013 - 2017)


  • PhD, AUT University
  • MBA, Massey University
  • BSc, Otago University
  • Registered General and Obstetric Nurse, Auckland School of Nursing


Dr Karen Webster is senior lecturer in the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences at AUT University. She teaches leadership and management and governance and quality at the postgraduate level. Her teaching and research follows 15 years’ experience in Auckland local government, two decades of service in the New Zealand Army, 10 years in real estate and nursing in the public and private sectors.

If you would like to discuss your prospective research you are most welcome to contact Karen

Research interests:

Karen's wide-ranging research interests focus on leadership and management and governance in health and local government, public policy, local representation, Māori and Pākehā governance models.

Teaching summary:

Karen's teaching includes: Postgraduate leadership and management and clinical governance and quality; and undergraduate clinical risk management, policy research methods and research and evaluation.

Fields of research:

  • Corporate Governance and Stakeholder Engagement
  • Public Administration
  • New Zealand Government and Politics

Professional activities:

Appointment, affiliation, and membership

  • Chairperson, Arts Access Aotearoa (2018 - ongoing)
  • Delegate, Transparency International New Zealand (2017 - ongoing)

Research outputs:

Journal articles

  • Webster, K., Asquith, A., Rohan, M., Cardow, A., & Marjavu, M. (2019). Auckland, New Zealand–fair game for central party politics. Local Government Studies, 45(4), 569-592. doi:10.1080/03003930.2019.1584558

  • Webster, K. L., & Fa'apoi, E. (2018). Political representation on the new Auckland Council - has amalgamation led to greater diversity?. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 77(2), 331-351. doi:10.1111/1467-8500.12259

  • McGregor, J., & Webster, K. (2018). Women’s local government representation in Auckland – does size matter?. Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance, (20), 24-43. doi:10.5130/cjlg.v0i20.6023

  • Webster, K., & Cheyne, C. (2017). Creating Treaty-based local governance in New Zealand: Māori and Pākehā views. Kōtuitui : New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online, 12(2). doi:10.1080/1177083X.2017.1345766

  • Webster, K. (2014). Social capital and voter turnout: The case of the Auckland supercity. Journal of African and Asian Local Government Studies, 3(3). Retrieved from http://www.jaalgs.net/journal/index.php/jals

  • Webster, K. (2013). Local political governance for sustainability in Aotearoa New Zealand. Journal of African and Asian Local Government Studies, 2(4).

Book chapters

  • Drage, J.., & Webster, K. (2016). Political representation: The councillor's role. In J. Drage, & C. Cheyne (Eds.), Local Government in New Zealand – Challenges and Choices (pp. 140-151). Auckland, New Zealand: Dunmore Publishing Limited. Retrieved from https://www.dunmore.co.nz/

  • Webster, K. L. (2014). Post graduate supervision with MJW. In M. Bjornholt, & A. McKay (Eds.), Counting on Marilyn Waring: New advances in feminist economics (pp. 323-338). Bradford, Ontario: Demeter Press. Retrieved from http://demeterpress.org/

Conference contributions

  • Webster, K., & Crothers, C. (2019). Whose voices are being heard in Auckland local government? Women, youth, minorities and electoral success in Auckland, 2013 2016 and 2019. In New Zealand Political Studies Association Annual Conference. Christchurch.

  • Webster, K., & Crothers, C. (2018). How representative is local government in super-diverse Auckland, New Zealand - Who stood and who was elected?. In 2018 EGPA Annual Conference: The European Group for Public Administration (EGPA). Lausanne.

  • Webster, K., & Asquith, A. (2017). Auckland local government: Fair game for party politics. In New Zealand Political Studies Association Conference 2017. Dunedin.

  • Webster, K., & Asquith, A. (2017). It's my party: I'll lie if I want to: Political party (in)action in local government elections in Auckland, New Zealand. In Australian Political Studies Association Annual Conference (APSA 2017). Melbourne.

  • Webster, K. L. (2017). Political party influence in the 2016 Auckland council election. In 5th Local Elections Research Symposium. Local elections: looking back, looking forward. Wellington.

  • Webster, K. (2016). How representative is Auckland local governance?. In NZPSA Conference. Divergent Democracies: Politics in the 21st Century. Wellington.

  • Webster, K. (2015). The amalgamated Auckland: How diverse is Auckland "supercity" governance. In 6th International Conference on Local Government (The 6th ICLG). Khon Kaen.

  • Webster, K. (2014). Social capital and voter turnout: The case of the Auckland Supercity. In 5th International Conference on Local Government (ICLG) 2014. Palembang.

  • Webster, K. L. (2014). Super city deflated: Voter turnout and elected member turnover. In 2013 Local Elections Research Symposium: Future Directions for Local Elections. Wellington.

  • Webster, K. L. (2013). Local political governance for sustainability in Aotearoa New Zealand. In 4th International Conference on Local Government (ICLG 2013). Surabaya. Retrieved from http://4th.iclg.in.th/

  • Webster, K. L. (2012). Local government and sustainability in Aotearoa New Zealand: The Te Ao Maori research approach. In 3rd International Conference on Local Government. Khon Kaen.

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