Mrs Gemma Piercy

Senior Tutor, Convenor & Graduate Student Adviser (IR & HRM), Undergraduate Student Adviser (Labour Studies)

Qualifications: BSocSc(Hons) MSocSc Waikato

School of Social Sciences



Adult Education; Globalisation; Indigenous Education; Lifelong Learning; Organisational Learning; Pedagogy; Social Movements; Social Policy; Social Sciences and Education; Teaching and Learning; Tertiary Education; Work Experience-Based Learning; Youth

Employment relations Industry Training Apprenticeship

Research Interests

I am a qualitative researcher primarily interested in policy analysis, the use of interviews in gathering empirical information and auto-ethnography.  My research interests include: social policy - particularly employment relations and tertiary/adult education and training.  I have specifically investigated the nature of apprenticeship training and I am currently working on a broader research focus which includes at a macro context skill formation and at a micro workplace learning. As a labour studies and adult education trained academic I am also interested in social movements, particularly the labour and union movements and the role they play in society today.  I am also interested in the changing nature of work and I am conducting research on interactive service sector work.

Recent Publications

  • Piercy, G., Mackness, C. L., Rarere, M., & Madley, B. (2017). Investigating commentary on the fifth Labour-led government’s Third Way approach. New Zealand Sociology, 32(1), 51-75. Retrieved from;dn=036513381701534;res=IELNZC

  • Piercy, G. (2016). Research as resonance: Weaving knowledge(s) to construct mystory. In Contemporary Ethnography Across the Disciplines (CEAD) 2016: Ethnographic Imaginings: Place, Space and Time. Conference held at Cape Town, South Africa.

  • Piercy, G., & Steele, Z. (2016). Growing vs. getting the 'right' people for the job. In 2016 Conference on Labour, Employment and Work (LEW2016): 'The Changing Nature of Work and Employment'. Conference held at Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand.

  • Mackness, K., & Piercy, G. (2016). Changing parameters of consultation in local government: loss or gain for democracy?. In New Zealand Political Studies Association Conference: Divergent Democracies. Conference held at University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Open Access version: hdl:10289/10787

View all research publications by Gemma Piercy

Papers Taught


I am currently supervising two 120pt Masters dissertations.  One is examining an early career mentoring scheme used by the Police Force.  The second is investigating the persistence strategies of young Maori women from a Kura background in Higher education.  I am also supervising a 30pt honours dissertation which is investigating the impact of the industry training review 2011-2012.

I am supervising undergraduate projects on skill formation in the context of tikanga; reforms to the Employment Relations Act; and with Dr David Neilson a project examining habitus, individualism in response to neo-liberalism and the risk society.  I also am involved with work placements for example one in the New Zealand Nurses Organisation focussed on the union movement's use of the organising model.

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Piercy, Ms Gemma 9360 gemma K.2.03A Sociology Programme
Piercy, Ms Gemma 9360 gemma K.2.03A Labour Studies