Dr Kate Prebble

BA, DipNurs, MHSc, PhD

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Assoc Head - Mental Health & A


Kate has had a lengthy career in mental health nursing as a clinician, teacher, and professional leader. Her primary research interest is the social history of mental health services and nursing. Her PhD thesis is entitled, 'Ordinary Men and Uncommon Women: A History of Psychiatric Nursing in New Zealand Public Hospitals, 1939-1972'. Her recent historical research has focused on mental health nursing in the Waikato, post-war women’s immigration, and the district inspector role under New Zealand mental health legislation. Kate's other research interests include current issues in mental health and intellectual disability. 

Research | Current

Research interests

  • History of nursing, history of psychiatric services and psychiatric/mental health nursing
  • Mental health nursing - professional, clinical and workforce issues

Funded Research Grants

  • 2014-2015, Kate Prebble, Insitgators of Change, Oral histories of forensic psychiatric services in the Auckland region, Oakley Mental Health  Research Foundation, $18, 625. 
  • 2011-2013, Linda Bryder, Debbie Dunsford, Kate Prebble, Margaret Horsburgh,  'Nurses’ Oral History Project', Education and Research Foundation (NERF), $180,000.
  • 2011-2012, Gary Bellamy, Merryn Gott, Michal Boayd, Kate Prebble, Rosemary Frey, ‘Developing advance care planning for people with intellectual disabilities: An action research project to inform the work of IDEA services,’ IDEA Services: $40,000.
  • 2009-2010, Kate Prebble, Brian McKenna, Michelle Honey, Kate Diesfeld, Daniel Sutton Russell Vickery, ‘Legislating for care: An exploration of the role of care managers under the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003’, Strategy to Advance Research Fund,  $65,300. 
  • 2008- 2009, Brian McKenna, Marie Crowe, Kate Prebble, Jacquie Kidd, Daryle Deering, David Caryle, Tony O'Brien, 'Nurse-led healthy living programmes people in forensic mental health units', Strategy to Advance Research Fund, $45,000 
  • 2008, Kate Prebble, 'Mental health nursing in the Waikato', Waikato Hospital Memorabilia Trust, $7,000
  • 2007-8, Kate Prebble, 'Forensic mental health services oral history project', Oakley Mental Health Research Foundation, $15,000 

Teaching | Current

  • Mental health nursing
  • History of nursing
  • History of mental health


  • Master's supervision
  • PhD supervision

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Secretary, Oakley Mental Health research Foundation, 2007-
  • Fellow of Te Ao Maramatanga, the New Zealand College of Mental health Nurses.
  • Invited keynote speaker at the annual conference of Te Ao Maramatanga, Hamilton, July 2007.
  • Invited keynote speaker, annual conference of the Australian and New Zealand College of Mental Health Nurses, Rotorua, September 2003. 
  • Inaugural chairperson, National Directors of Mental Health Nursing, 1998-2001.
  • New Zealand Councillor, Australian and New Zealand College of Mental Health Nurses, 1997-2000.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Prebble, K., & Bryder, L. (2008). Gender and class tensions between psychiatric nurses and the general nursing profession in mid-twentieth century New Zealand. Contemp Nurse, 30 (2), 181-195.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/14136
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Linda Bryder


Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 505 - Bldg 505
New Zealand

Web links