Dr Rachel Simon-Kumar

PhD (Waikato, NZ); MPhil. in Applied Economics (JNU, New Delhi, India); M.A. in Psychology (Kerala University, India); B.A. in Psychology (Kerala University)


I have a background in feminist theory, gender, development, policy and migrant communities. I have previously taught at the University of Waikato, Victorial University of Wellington, and in the Arts Faculty at the University of Auckland. I have also worked in the New Zealand public sector in research and evaluation. My current role is as Director, Health Promotion at the School of Population Health. 

Research | Current

Consumption and Conservation: Health and Wellbeing in India, PI - FRDF research

Health Diversity? Urban diversity and the potential of workplace encounters (AI - FRDF with Francis Collins and Sandy Lee)

Teaching | Current

POPLHLTH733: Concepts and Models in Health Promotion

POPLHLTH734: Strategies in Health Promotion

POPLHLTH 761: Women, Gender and Health

Postgraduate supervision

In Progress

  • Howson, M. Healthism and Young Women. 
  • Guha, P. Indian Tied Middling Migrants in Transnational Gender Spaces (PhD, second supervisor)
  • Sakya, P. Adolescent Sexual Health in Nepal (PhD, Waikato University, advisor)

Completed Thesis and Dissertations: 

  • Perry, H. (2017) Children witnessing violence: an educational intervention for school teachers. 
  • Nandedkar, G. (2017) MDGs and education of young adolescent girls in India (The University of Waikato
  • Kumar, S. (2016)Sexual Violence in Ethnic Communities: Data Issues
  • Rahmanipour, S. (2016) Sexual Violence in Ethnic Communities: Analysis of discourses
  • Lal, R. (2016) Austerity and health outcomes for marginalised communities. 
  • Hicks, K. (2015) Health promotion competencies.
  • Tamanam, J (2015) Health seeking behaviours in the South Asian community.
  • Brailsford, R. (2015, second supervisor) The concept of autonomy in health promotion.
  • Okuyama, L. (2014, second supervisor) Resilience and Migrants in New Zealand: Psychological Aspects
  • Fraser, R. (2012) Representation of Migrants and Refugees by NGOs in Aotearoa/New Zealand 
  • Lowry, A. (2012) Deliberative Democracy and Maori Inclusion in policy
  • Kagl, R. (2012) Reproductive Health and Male Involvement in Papua New Guinea
  • Njagi, W. (2012) Abortion in Kenya: An analysis of discourses
  • Boyagoda, K. (2013) Heterogeneity and Female-Headed Households in Srilanka 
  • Duong, K. (2014) Human Trafficking in Vietnam: An evaluation of the National Action Programme (VNAP)




Post-graduate teaching in Health Promotion; Masters and Doctoral supervision; Research.

Areas of expertise

Gender, ethnicity and multiculturalism, reproductive health, policy, inclusion and marginality, development, migration.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

BHSc (Hons) Director, 2017-2018.

Health Promotion (Director).

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Simon-Kumar, R. (2018). Inclusionary policy and marginalised groups in Aoteaora/New Zealand process, impacts and politics. Kōtuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online, 1-15. 10.1080/1177083X.2018.1488750
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/42574
  • Simon-Kumar, R., MacBride-Stewart, S., Baker, S., & Saxena, L. P. (2018). Towards north-south interconnectedness: A critique of gender dualities in sustainable development, the environment and women's health. Gender, Work and Organization, 25 (3), 246-263. 10.1111/gwao.12193
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/40441
  • Simon-Kumar, R. (2018). Translating Inclusion into Influence in New Zealand: The Conundrum of Engaging Gender Organizations in Public Policy. Journal of Women, Politics and Policy, 39 (2), 151-176. 10.1080/1554477X.2018.1449525
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/42555
  • Simon-Kumar, R. (2017). New restrictions will create migrant hierarchy. https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/08/27/44589/new-restrictions-will-create-migrant-hierarchy. Related URL.
  • Simon-Kumar, R., Kurian, P. A., Young-Silcock, F., & Narasimhan, N. (2017). Mobilising culture against domestic violence in migrant and ethnic communities: practitioner perspectives from Aotearoa/New Zealand. Health and Social Care in the Community, 25 (4), 1387-1395. 10.1111/hsc.12439
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/34249
  • Lowry, A., & Simon-Kumar, R. (2017). The paradoxes of Māori-State inclusion: The case study of the Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy. Political Science, 69 (3), 195-213. 10.1080/00323187.2017.1383855
  • MacBride-Stewart, S., & Simon-Kumar, R. (2017). The Janus face of infertility in the global north and south: Reviewing feminist contributions to the debate. In G. Davis, T. Loughran (Eds.) The Palgrave handbook of infertility in history: Approaches, contexts and perspectives (pp. 461-489). London: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1057/978-1-137-52080-7_24
  • Duong, K., & Simon-Kumar, R. (2017). Dignity and human trafficking policy in Vietnam: Deconstructing gender. In E. Sieh, J. McGregor (Eds.) Human dignity: Establishing worth and seeking solutions (pp. 159-178). London, United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1057/978-1-137-56005-6_10
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/40418


Contact details

Primary office location

TAMAKI BUILDING 730 - Bldg 730
Level 3, Room 350
New Zealand

Web links