Dr Niki Harre

Diploma of Teaching, PhD

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My teaching and research is in the area of community psychology and the psychology of sustainability. I teach at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

Research | Current

My most recent research addresses issues of sustainability, citizenship, values and political activism. The question that drives it is how to engage people in creating a more sustainable and equitable society. I am intrigued by the lives of those who are (or at least appear to be) dedicated to the common good. I have an ongoing project at Western Springs College in Auckland to investigate the creation of a ‘sustainability culture’ in a secondary school setting.

In 2011 I realised a book - Psychology for a Better World that explores strategies to inspire sustainability. I have given many workshops and talks on the ideas in the book. Click here to see a short video on the main ideas. You can order a 2018 edition of Psychology for a Better World from Auckland University Press here

Additionally, I am very involved in the youth development area. For several years I have worked closely with the Graeme Dingle Foundation's Project K, a major national programme aimed at Year 10 high school students who are at risk of poor long term outcomes. 

My latest research looks at the values and symbols that underlie the human drive to participate in the common good. You can order a copy of my book The Infinite Game: How to Live Well Together from Auckland University Press here. Click here for a podcast in which I discuss the infinite game with Maria Armoudian, and here for a website with more details. 

Teaching | Current

I teach at both the undergraduate and graduate level. My graduate course, Psychology and Sustainability is open to students studying within any graduate programme at the University. 

Psych 715 - Psychology and Sustainability

Postgraduate supervision

I supervise students at Honours, Masters and PhD level. Many of my research projects involve working directly with community groups and I am particularly interested in how our university can contribute to a sustainable society that promotes human wellbeing.


In March 2015 I was appointed as Associate Dean Sustainability in the Faculty of Science.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Harré N (2018). Psychology for a Better World Working with People to Save the Planet. Revised and Updated Edition. Auckland University Press. Pages: 236.
  • Harré N (2018). The Infinite Game How to Live Well Together. Auckland University Press. Pages: 212.
  • Harre, N. F. (2018). Keeping our values in play: A manual to accompany The Infinite Game and Psychology for a Better World. https://cdn.auckland.ac.nz/assets/press/all-books/pdfs/2018/manual-nikiharre.pdf. Related URL.
  • Harre, N. F., & Madden, H. (2017). The infinite game: A metaphor and workshop for living well together. Ecopsychology, 9 (4), 212-224.
  • Turner, S., Boswell, A., Harré N, Sturm, S., Locke, K., & da Souza Correa, D. (2017). The playable university. Ephemera : Theory and Politics in Organization, 17 (3), 673-690.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/40235
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sean Sturm, Stephen Turner, Anna Boswell, Kirsten Locke
  • Chapman, C. M., Deane, K. L., Harré N, Courtney, M. G. R., & Moore, J. (2017). Engagement and mentor support as drivers of social development in the Project K youth development program. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 46 (3), 644-655. 10.1007/s10964-017-0640-5
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/33936
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Kelsey Deane
  • Deane, K. L., Harre, N., Moore, J., & Courtney, M. G. R. (2017). The impact of the Project K youth development program on self-efficacy: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 46 (3), 516-537. 10.1007/s10964-016-0463-9
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/33943
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Kelsey Deane
  • Harré N, Grant, B. M., Locke, K., & Sturm, S. (2017). The university as an infinite game: Revitalising activism in the academy. Australian Universities Review, 59 (2), 5-13.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/38925
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sean Sturm, Barbara Grant, Kirsten Locke


Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 301 - Bldg 301
Level 2, Room 224B
New Zealand

Web links