Dr Patrick Barrett

Senior Lecturer

Qualifications: BSW(Hons), PhD Massey

School of Social Sciences


About Patrick

Dr Patrick Barrett researches and teaches on a variety of topics related to public policy in New Zealand. He is also Chair of the School of Social Sciences.

With an undergraduate degree in social work, Patrick went on to study policy relating to social wellbeing, particularly in terms of the interface between the welfare state and the labour market, and trends towards the growing insecurity of paid employment.

He has written widely on questions of security and wellbeing as they relate to population ageing, frailty and disability in old age, ‘ageing-in-place’, and family care. This includes co-authoring two books on ageing and social care, ‘The Age of Supported Independence: Voices of In-home Care’ and ‘Family care and social capital: Transitions in informal care’.

Patrick has also contributed towards various interdisciplinary research projects, including work on ethics and family care, critical public policy, environmental policy and politics, political theory and disaster politics, and new social media and elections.

His grounding in critical public policy scholarship informs his postgraduate supervision, providing a unifying set of concepts that can be applied across a variety of substantive policy areas including environmental policy, social policy, immigration policy, health policy, justice policy, local government, international relations and development studies.


Policy-making processes in central and local government; policy analysis; social policy in New Zealand; welfare state policies in other nations; policy issues associated with population ageing; vulnerability in old age and New Zealand policy responses; work, employment and social security issues.

Research Interests

Patrick's current research interests include family care and population ageing; disaster politics, depoliticisation and the policy process; and narrative policy analysis.

Recent Publications

  • Barrett, P., & Zirker, D. (2017). Corruption scandals, scandal clusters and contemporary politics in New Zealand. International Social Science Journal, 66(221-222), 229-240. doi:10.1111/issj.12125

  • Akurugoda, I. R., Barrett, P., & Simpson, A. (2017). Different levels of NGO engagement and reactions of the government: Assessing the Sri Lankan experience. Journal of Asian Development, 3(2), 103-119. doi:10.5296/jad.v3i2.11143

  • Steele, Z., Thomson, M., Cochrane, B., & Barrett, P. N. (2017). Labour market development in the Bay of Plenty: A literature review (Prepared for Priority One on behalf of the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Intentions Leadership Group). Hamilton, New Zealand: School of School of Social Sciences, University of Waikato. Retrieved from

  • Zirker, D., & Barrett, P. (2017). Legal corruption in a ‘least corrupt’ country: New Zealand, 2011-2014. In New Zealand Political Studies Association Conference 2017: (Dis)ordering Politics: Exclusion, Resistance and Participation. Conference held at Dunedin, New Zealand.

View all research publications by Patrick Barrett


Patrick's teaching covers topics that include: critical public policy; interpretive policy analysis; theories of the policy-making process; policy analysis; New Zealand government and politics; social policy in New Zealand; social care and population ageing; disaster politics; work, employment and social security issues.

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Barrett, Dr Patrick 5028 pbarrett J.2.09 Political Science & Public Policy