Dr Niki Harre

Diploma of Teaching, PhD

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Associate Professor
Associate Dean-Sustainability


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, and in 2009 received a university award for sustained excellence in teaching.

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 to those working on sustainability related issues. Click here to see a short video on the main ideas. A new edition of Psychology for a Better World will be released in early 2018.

Additionally, I am very involved in the youth development area, which overlaps with the school sustainability project mentioned above. 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. See www.infinite-game.net. 

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)

  • Harre, 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.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sean Sturm, Barbara Grant, 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., Harré 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
  • Riemer, M., & Harre, N. F. (2017). Environmental degradation and sustainability: A community psychology perspective. In M. A. Bond, I. Serrano-Garcia, C. Keys, M. Shinn (Eds.) APA handbook of community psychology. Vol. 2, Methods for community research and action for diverse groups and issues (pp. 441-455). Washington DC, USA: American Psychological Association.
  • Townrow, C. S., Laurence, N., Blythe, C., Long, J., & Harré N (2016). The Maui's Dolphin Challenge: Lessons From a School-Based Litter Reduction Project. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 32 (03), 288-308. 10.1017/aee.2016.27
  • Harré N (2016). Commentary on the Special Issue: Youth Leading Environmental Change. Ecopsychology, 8 (3), 202-205. 10.1089/eco.2016.0030
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/31379
  • Deane, K. L., & Harre, N. (2016). Developing a thoughtful approach to evaluation: Values-driven guidelines for novice evaluators. Evaluation Matters—He Take Tō Te Aromatawai, 2, 53-78. 10.18296/em.0011
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Kelsey Deane
  • Long, J., Harré N, & Atkinson, Q. D. (2015). Social clustering in high school transport choices. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 41, 155-165. 10.1016/j.jenvp.2015.01.001
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Quentin Atkinson


Contact details

Primary location

SCIENCE CENTRE 301 - Bldg 301
New Zealand

Web links