Dr Gemma L Piercy-Cameron


Qualifications: PhD BSocSc(Hons) MSocSc PGCertTT Waikato

School of Social Sciences


About Gemma

I am the undergraduate advisor for Sociology and Social Policy.

I am also a lecturer primarily based in Tauranga with teaching and supervisory responsibilities in Hamilton as well, as such I can be found on either campus depending on the day. My contact details on each campus are as follows:

Tauranga: Office: TCBD.4.03  Phone ext. 3584
Hamilton: Office: K.2.03A Phone ext. 9360


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

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.As a labour studies and adult education trained academic 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. I am also interested in the changing nature of work and I am conducted research on interactive service sector work for my PhD that was completed in 2018.

Recent Publications

  • Piercy, G. (2018). [Review of Transforming workplace relations in New Zealand 1976-2016 by G. Anderson, A. Geare, E. Rasmussen, & M. Wilson (eds)]. New Zealand Sociology, 33(3), 141-147. Retrieved from;dn=035371084264650;res=IELHSS

  • Piercy, G., Mackness, K., Rarere, M., & Madley, B. (2017). Investigating commentary on the fifth labour-led government’s third way approach. New Zealand Sociology, 32(1), 49-72. Open Access version:

  • Piercy, G., & Steele, Z. (2016). The importance of social skills for the future of work. New Zealand Journal of Human Resources Management: Special Issue: 'The Future of Work', 16(1), 32-42. Open Access version:

  • Piercy, G., & Cochrane, B. (2015). The skills productivity disconnect: Aotearoa New Zealand Industry Training policy post 2008 election. New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations, 40(1), 53-69.

View all research publications by Gemma Piercy-Cameron

Papers Taught


I am currently supervising:

A 120pt Masters in Social Policy investigating the connection between welfare reforms that emphasise entry into paid work as the main source of security and wellbeing, and the prevalence of an increasingly-precarious workforce in New Zealand. This thesis is due to be completed in July 2020.

A 90pt Masters in Social Policy focusing on the shift of Legal Executive education to a fully online teaching experience and the perceptions of graduates and employers in terms of the skill acquisition and application in the workplace. This is due to be completed in 2020.

I have supervised the following projects:

Chian Yow, Kwek (Yoyo) "I want to be employable!  Constructions of employability from university students and recent graduates in New Zealand" Masters thesis 90pts (University of Waikato, 2018) (second supervisor)

Waller, Arianna Leigh “Mana Ora Kainga Rua: Experiences of Kura Kaupapa Māori Graduates” Masters Thesis 120pts (University of Waikato, 2016)

Korach, Haydn Clyde “Strengths and limitations of early career mentoring schemes: Case Study, the New Zealand Police Field Training Officer programme” Masters Thesis 120pts (University of Waikato, 2015)

Burgess, Michael "Failure to comply, a barista's tale of defiance" Honours Dissertation 30pts (University of Waikato, 2018)

Burton, Hannah “Hospo’ Waitressing: More than just carrying plates” Honours Dissertation 30 pts (University of Waikato, 2012)

Ranchodbhai, Tejal “What are the gender issues women face in relation to work and what are some possible solutions towards creating gender equality?” Honours Dissertation 30 pts (University of Waikato, 2012)

Whitham, Michael Philip “"It's about community" - Finding Local Solutions to Local Problems: Exploring Responses to the Social Problem of Youth Unemployment” Masters Thesis 120pts (University of Waikato, 2012)

Whitham, Michael Philip “CUP-PLE of reasons for University: Motivations for high school students entering University without UE” Honours Dissertation 30 pts (University of Waikato, 2011)

Wu, Yuanyuan “Women's experiences of higher education in New Zealand: Comparing the perspectives of New Zealand and Chinese women” Masters Thesis 120pts (University of Waikato, 2012)

I have also supervised undergraduate projects on skill formation in the context of tikanga; reforms to the Employment Relations Act; with Dr David Neilson a project examining habitus, individualism in response to neo-liberalism and the risk society.

I have also supervised a number of work placements.

Bailey, Chantelle The Order of St John HSW Placement SOCPY390 (University of Waikato, 2018)

Kennedy, Emma Waikato DHB HR Placement FASS296 (University of Waikato, 2017)

McDonald, Ella Tompkins Wake HR Placement FASS396 (University of Waikato, 2017)

Samuels, Zenia Accor Group Hotel HR Placement FASS296 (University of Waikato, 2016)

Garratt, Hannah Name withheld HR Placement FASS396 (University of Waikato, 2016)

McNicol, Caroline New Zealand Nurses Union Placement FASS396 (University of Waikato, 2016)

Gardiner, Emma LIC HR Work Placement FASS396 (University of Waikato, 2012)

Bartlett, Christine NZITO HR Work Placement FASS396 (University of Waikato, 2012)

Fitzell, Rose Anglican Action Work Placement SOCP389 (University of Waikato, 2009)

Fisher, Kylie Methodist City Action Work Placement SOCP389 (University of Waikato, 2009)

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Piercy-Cameron, Ms Gemma 3584 gemma TCBD.4.03 Sociology and Social Policy