Dr John Ryks

Director of NIDEA, Convenor (Demography, Population Studies)


About John

Dr Ryks is the Director, National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis, University of Waikato, New Zealand. He completed a PhD in Human Geography at the University of Waikato in 2002.

Between 2002-2012 he held senior research positions with the Ministry of Social Development, Te Puni Kōkiri and the then Ministry of Science and Innovation. From 2012-2015 he ran his own research consultancy, leading research for the Health Promotion Agency, Families Commission and Te Puni Kōkiri.

He was also project leader for Tāone Tupu Ora, part of the wider Resilient Urban Futures programme of research funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and led by the University of Otago. Tāone Tupu Ora involved analysing and mapping mana whenua and taura here population change in urban environments using iwi census data and GIS.

Research Interests

New forms of gentrification; Māori representation and participation in planning and development; collaborative and community-based decision making; indicator development for measuring social wellbeing; mapping inequalities in urban and regional planning; social policy; Māori Affairs policy; research-policy interface.

Forthcoming and Recent Research

Ryks. J.L., Simmons, N., and J. Whitehead (in press): 'Cities and indigenous communities: the health and wellbeing of urban Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand' in Handbook of Global Urban Health. Pearson, A (ed). Routledge. New York.

Waa. A, Pearson. A, and J.L Ryks 2016: ‘Mortality Resilience and Wellbeing within Urban Māori communities’. Health and Place. 43.

Simmonds. N, Kukutai. T, and J.L Ryks 2016: ‘Here to stay: Reshaping the regions through mana Māori’ in Saving the Regions. Spoonley, P (ed). Massey University Press. Palmerston North.

Ryks, J.L., and R. Shum 2016: ‘Beyond the city: gentrification and exclusion on the coastal margins’. In From Contested Cities to Global Urban Justice Proceedings. Conference held in Madrid, Spain.

Ryks, J.L., Waa. A and A. Pearson 2016: ‘Mapping urban Māori – a population-based study of Māori heterogeneity’. New Zealand Geographer. 72(1): 28-40.

Ryks, J.L. 2014: ‘Land/seascapes of exclusion – the new colonial project’. Asia-Pacific Viewpoint. 55(1): 38–53.

Waa. A, Ryks. J, Stuart. K, Howden-Chapman. P and B. Robson 2014: ‘Māori participation in urban development: challenges and opportunities for indigenous people in Aotearoa New Zealand’. Lincoln Planning Review. 6: 4-17.

Ryks, J.L, Wythe. J, Baldwin. S and N. Kennedy 2010: ‘The teeth of the taniwha: Māori representation and participation in local government’. Planning Quarterly. June 2010, Issue 177: 39-42.

Ryks, J.L. and D. Bishop 2009: Measuring Māori wellbeing – challenges and opportunities. Conference of the Population Association of New Zealand: ‘Distinct communities, diverse populations, different futures: towards 2030’. 31 August – 1 September 2009, Wellington.

Peace, R. M. and J. Ryks 2004: Population change, community services and social infrastructure in local communities. NZAIA 2004 Conference: ‘Sustainability, Community Futures and the Role of Impact Assessment’, March 18-20, Solway Park, Masterton District, Wairarapa, Wellington.

Ryks, J.L. 2003: ‘Castles made of sand’, in Tensional landscapes: the dynamics of boundaries and placements. Backhaus, G and Murungi, J (eds). Lexington Books. Maryland. USA.

Ryks, J.L. and R. Kirkpatrick 2001: The ethics of mapping the poor. Proceedings of the 2001 conference of the New Zealand Geographical Society, Dunedin.

Ryks, J.L. 2000: Coastal exclusion and territoriality in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Conference of the Society for Philosophy and Geography, April 2000, Baltimore, USA.

Other peer-reviewed research reports and presentations

Kukutai T.H and J.L. Ryks 2013: Implementation plan for measuring and monitoring Māori wellbeing in Tāmaki Makaurau. Report for the Independent Maori Statutory Board. Independent Maori Statutory Board, Auckland.


Chief Supervision

Renee Frances Shum (PhD, Population Studies). Homelessness in Hamilton: a case study of The People's Project.

Jesse Whitehead (PhD, Population Studies). Health Equity and Access to Rural GP services

Aidan Wackrow (Masters, Environmental Planning). Mapping green infrastructure in the Waikato

Second supervision

Jonathan Kilgour (PhD, ANU, Canberra). Complexity and indigenous development: what can we learn from the intersection of complexity theory and indigenous development?

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Ryks, Dr John 4645 ryks K.3.03 National Institute Demographic Economic