Mr Luke Duane Oldfield

MA (Waikato)

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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy

Research | Current

Reconsidering incarceration in the pursuit of social and economic benefits: What role could populism play in modifying the trajectory of penal reform?

My thesis examines the limited success of progressive politicians in counteracting penal populism and the consequential rise in persons imprisoned. An overarching hypothesis is that politicians advocating for decarceration might be more successful if they were to also draw from a more populist-style of politics.

A mixed method approach begins by interviewing key persons in Alberta politics during the reign of Premier Ralph Klein. Through blending data in these interviews with the theoretical literature on populism, I have developed an experimental tool for use in a New Zealand wide public opinion survey. My goal is to determine the relative strength of a populist-style of politics being deployed as an argument for decarceration.

Teaching | Current

I am a tutor in the Arts faculty and a Research Assistant to Dr. Lara Greaves.


2021 Recipient: Arts Teaching Excellence Awards, Faculty of Arts, University of Auckland. 

2019 Best Postgraduate Essay 2019: SAANZ Graduate Essay Competition, Sociological Association of Aotearoa / New Zealand.

2015 Finalist: Nola Campbell Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Waikato.

2015 Captain: Waikato's University Challenge Team, Prime Television.

2014 Recipient: Summer Research Scholarship, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, University of Waikato.

2013 Finalist: Mature Student Award for Excellence, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, University of Waikato.


2020 - 2021  Senior Research Assistant: New Zealand Election Study, Public Policy Institute, University of Auckland.

2020 - 2021  Spokesperson: Tertiary Education Action Group Aotearoa.

2018 - 2019  Sociological Association of Aotearoa / New Zealand Conference: Lead organising team, University of Auckland.

2018 - 2020  National Postgraduate Representative: New Zealand Political Science Association.

2017 Team Co-Ordinator: Fact or Fiction (New Zealand General Election), a joint project between Radio New Zealand and the University of Auckland's Public Policy Institute.

2017 Research Assistant: Vote Compass (New Zealand General Election), a joint project between Television New Zealand, Vox Pop Labs and the University of Auckland.  



Areas of expertise

Political Systems, Australian & New Zealand Politics and the Politics of Crime & Punishment.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.

Contact details

Primary office location

HSB - EAST - Bldg 201E
Level 9, Room 901
New Zealand

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