Dr Patrick Barrett

Qualifications: BSW(Hons), PhD Massey

([email protected])

About Patrick

Dr Patrick Barrett researches and teaches on a variety of topics related to public policy in New Zealand.

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.


Ageing; Environmental Policy and Politics; Politics; Social Policy

Politics, community participation, public policy

Research Interests

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

Featured Publications

Forthcoming Publications

Recent Publications

  • Skilling, P., Barrett, P., & Kurian, P. (2021). Evidence, interests and argumentation: an environmental policy controversy in a small New Zealand town. International Review of Public Policy, 3(3). doi:10.4000/irpp.1688

  • Barrett, P., Cretney, R., Kurian, P., & Simmonds, N. (2021). Shifting discourses of nature in participatory processes for environmental management. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, 1-20. doi:10.1080/23276665.2021.1972322

  • Barrett, P. (2021). Critical Public Policy. In J. Hayward, L. Greaves, & C. Timperley (Eds.), Government and Politics in Aotearoa New Zealand (seventh ed., pp. 311-320). Oxford University Press.

  • Barrett, P., & Garrett-Walker, R. (2021). Statistical representations of the housing problem in briefings to incoming ministers, 2008–2020: The politics of housing numbers. New Zealand Population Review, 47, 305-331.

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.

Associations and Memberships