Professor Francis L Collins

Francis Collins

Director of the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis

Qualifications: BA(hons), MA(hons), PhD

Personal Website:

About Francis

Email: [email protected]
Room: K.3.05
Phone: +64-7-8384645

Research Interests

I am a Professor of Geography at the University of Waikato and the current Director of the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis (2018-2021). My principle research interests are in the socio-cultural dimensions of migration and cities. I have been particularly focused on developing theoretically-informed and empirically rich accounts of the experiences, mobility patterns and regulation of international migration in the Asia Pacific region, as well as exploring the contribution of migrants to urban life and the transformation of cities. This body of research includes: international students and urban transformation, higher education and the globalisation of cities, labour migration and marginalisation, time and youth migration and aspirations and desires.

Current Supervision

Zohirul Islam (PhD in Population Studies, University of Waikato) - Temporary Migration and Income Inequality in New Zealand

Senanu Kutor (PhD in Geography, University of Waikato) - Migration, multiculturalism and wisdom development: A study of African immigrants in NZ

Joke Methorst (PhD in Geography, University of Waikato) - Socio-spatial dynamics of digital nomads in Ubud, Bali

Kate Sewell (PhD in Geography, University of Waikato) - Power, Politics and Participation in Hong Kong's Urban Regeneration

Rachael Cowie (PhD in Geography, University of Auckland) - Creative Spatial Practices in Post-disaster Urban Regeneration

Yu Shi (PhD in Geography, University of Auckland) - Cooking a Nation: ethnic migratory chefs and New Zealand state aspirations

Current and recently completed projects:

Nation and Migration: population mobilities, desire and state practices in 21st century Aotearoa New Zealand (2015-2021)

  • Rutherford Discovery Fellowship

The Nation and Migration programme of research re-examines the relationship between nation and migration in the current context of increasing mobility, temporariness ad circularity through three studies that address the changing patterns of migration into New Zealand, the trans-Tasman mobility of New Zealanders, and the role of migration in governmental imaginings and enactments of national futures.

Healthy Diversity? Urban diversity and the potential of workplace encounters (2017-2019)

  • Faculty Research Development Fund, University of Auckland

The Healthy Diversity? project explores workplace encounters with diversity with a specific focus on hospitals. The project examines the interactions between ethnically and culturally diverse staff and patients in a District Health Board in Aotearoa New Zealand, including examining how the DHB’s diversity policies and programmes shaped interactions. The overall aim is to understand what potential and challenges there are in advancing deeper understanding and respect for differences through regular contact in sites of significant diversity, informed also by strategic diversity management, and the implications on enabling more meaningful forms of inclusion and belonging.

Drivers of Temporary Migrant Worker Exploitation in New Zealand (2019)

  • Contract research for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Migrant exploitation is the unjust and often illegal utilisation of migrants for the extraction of profit in a range of circumstances including in labour, accommodation, provision of migration services, and education, amongst others. For this research, we were tasked with providing an understanding of what the exploitation of temporary migrant workers looks like in New Zealand. We explored exploitation, firstly from the migrant’s perspective, and secondly, from the perspective of key stakeholders, including unions, community leaders, migrant representatives, and lawyers. The research was published in a report available from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and has contributed insights informing changes to policy governing temporary work visas and the enforcement of labour standards.

CaDDANZ: Capturing the Diversity Dividend in Aotearoa/New Zealand (2014-2021)

  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Endeavour Research Fund

CaDDANZ investigates how Aotearoa New Zealand can better prepare for an increasingly diverse population. The research measures, maps and analyses the complex societal impacts of diversity and the implications for businesses, households and communities of mobility, migration, indigeneity, ethnic identity, demographic change (including structural ageing and fertility) and urban/regional disparities. A significant component of the research is concerned with the implications of diversity for Māori and with how Māori engage in diversity. The research programme is comprehensive, multi-phased and organised around three themes: ethno-demographic diversity; societal impacts and opportunities; and institutional implications and responses.

My research is published in a range of national and international journals and as books and edited collections. In 2013, I co-edited the book Migration and Diversity in Asian Contexts (ISEAS Publishing) with Lai Ah Eng and Brenda Yeoh, one of the first volumes to address the intersection of migratory processes and diverse social contexts in Asia. Subsequently, I authored Global Asian City: desire, migration and the politics of encounter in 21st century Seoul (Wiley 2018) and co-edited Intersections of Inequality, Migration and Diversification: the politics of mobility in Aotearoa New Zealand(Palgrave 2020) with Rachel Simon-Kumar and Wardlow Friesen. I have also been involved in editing a number of special issues of journals, including: Migration Methodologies in Asia (Area 2012); Globalising higher education and cities in Asia and the Pacific (Asia Pacific Viewpoint 2014); Aspirations, Desire and the Drivers of Migration (Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 2018); and Discrepant Knowledge and InterAsian Mobilities (Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 2018).

Recent Publications

  • Sidhu, R., Cheng, Y. E., Collins, F., Ho, K. C., & Yeoh, B. (2021). International student mobilities in a contagion: (Im)mobilising higher education?. Geographical Research. doi:10.1111/1745-5871.12471

  • Collins, F., & Pawar, S. (2021). Temporary Migration, Employment and Income Inequality. Hamilton: National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis. Retrieved from

  • Collins, F. (2021). Temporary Migration in Invercargill and Queenstown amidst the Covid-19 Global Pandemic. Hamilton: Capturing the Diversity Dividend for Aotearoa New Zealand. Retrieved from

  • Lee, S., Collins, F. L., & Simon-Kumar, R. (2020). Blurred in translation: The influence of subjectivities and positionalities on the translation of health equity and inclusion policy initiatives in Aotearoa New Zealand. Social Science & Medicine, 113248. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.113248

Find more research publications by Francis Collins


Geography; Globalisation; Human Geography; Migration; Population Studies

Cities and Urbanism; South Korea

Contact Details

Email: [email protected]
Room: K.3.05
Phone: +64-7-8384645