Professor Jennifer Claire Curtin

MA (Hons) Waikato , PhD ANU


I am a Professor of Politics and Director of the Public Policy Institute at the University of Auckland (  My research and publications focus on Australian and New Zealand electoral politics, trans-Tasman policy innovations, sport, and gender, politics and policy. I am the Academic Director of Auckland’s Master of Public Policy Programme and I teach comparative public policy, lesson drawing and the politics of policy. I also run an internship course for postgraduate policy students, working with a range of government agencies, policy consultancies and non-profit organisations.  I was a NZ-Fulbright Senior Research Scholar in 2012 and I regularly speak about issues connected with my research to national and international media outlets.

I hold a BA and MA (First Class Hons) from Waikato University (1990; 1992), a PhD in Political Science from the Australian National University (1997) and a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education from the University of Canberra (2001).

Prior to my arrival at The University of Auckland, I taught politics and policy at Monash University, and the University of Canberra and held a postdoctoral position at the Australian National University. I worked as a policy research officer in the Australian Federal Parliament and was the Australian Parliamentary (postdoctoral) Fellow in 2000.

Prior to my academic career I worked in the finance sector, both here in New Zealand, and in London.  I was also a territorial soldier for 4 years, first in Artillery and then Signals. 

Research | Current

  • New Zealand and Australian politics and public policy
  • Women and gender politics and public policy
  • Comparative politics and public policy
  • Sport, politics and policy

My research on women/gender politics has focused on the representation of women in formal political institutions and policy making environments (as political leaders, ministers, members of parliament, the bureaucracy and trade unions).  I am currently engaged in a project that examines women's political leadership and cabinet representation in four Westminster countries, including New Zealand.  I am also working on an internationally funding project that examines the policy impact of women political leaders at the subnational level, and surveying citizens views on complex policy problems.  Most recently I won an MBIE Smart Ideas grant to design a sustainable gender budgeting strategy for New Zealand.  

In my spare time I am working on a book project that explores women's engagement with rugby union in New Zealand (1840-present).
I have expertise in New Zealand and Australian politics with a particular focus on voters, elections, rural and regional representation, and the rise of independents and minor parties. I am a principal investigator in the New Zealand Election Study.

Teaching | Current

POLICY 790 Research Project

POLICY 792 Dissertation

POLITICS 757 Comparative Public Policy

Postgraduate supervision

I am always interested in supervising graduate students in any of the subfields listed above, and especially if the research project has a cross-national comparative dimension. 

I have supervised 13 PhD students to completion since 2007; and I continue to supervise and co-supervise a large number of PhD and Masters by research students. 



I am the Coordinator of the University of Auckland's Master of Public Policy.  You should feel free to contact me to find out more information. Alternatively, follow this link to the MPP home page.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Gauja, A., Chen, P., Curtin, J., & Pietsc, J. (Eds.) (2018). Double disillusion : the 2016 Australian federal election. Canberra: Australian National University Press. Pages: 690. Related URL.
  • Vowles, J., Coffe, H., & Curtin, J. (2017). A Bark but no Bite. Inequality and the 2014 New Zealand General Election. Canberra, Australia: ANU Press. Pages: 382. 10.22459/BBNB.08.2017
  • Sawer, M., & Curtin, J. (2016). Organising for a more diverse political science: Australia and New Zealand. European Political Science, 15 (4), 441-456. 10.1057/s41304-016-0070-y
  • Celis, K., Childs, S., & Curtin, J. (2016). Specialised parliamentary bodies and the quality of women's substantive representation: A comparative analysis of Belgium, United Kingdom and New Zealand. Parliamentary Affairs, 69 (4), 812-829. 10.1093/pa/gsw007
  • Curtin, J. (2016). Before the 'Black Ferns': Tracing the beginnings of women's rugby in New Zealand. International Journal of the History of Sport, 33 (17), 2071-2085. 10.1080/09523367.2017.1329201
  • Curtin, J. (2016). Gendering parliamentary representation: A mixed system producing mixed results. In M. Tremblay (Ed.) Women and legislative representation: Electoral systems, political parties, and sex quotas (pp. 191-202). New York, USA: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1057/9780230610378
  • Curtin, J. (2015). Feminist contributions to New Zealand political science. Women's Studies Journal, 29 (1), 4-20.
  • Curtin, J. (2015). Revisiting social liberalism and feminism in New Zealand. In A. Yeatman (Ed.) Feminism, social liberalism and social democracy in the neo-liberal era: Four Essays (pp. 51-66). University of Western Sydney: Ed. A. Yeatman, Whitlam Institute, Working Paper Series. Related URL.


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 5, Room 543
New Zealand

Web links