ASAA/NZ is a vibrant community of anthropologists who are from, work in, or are interested in issues related to Aotearoa/New Zealand and the wider Asia-Pacific region. The photos on this site, which have been taken by or of our members, illustrate the diversity of regions in which we do fieldwork.
ASAA/NZ is a relatively small association, with some 100 members. Our main activity is an annual conference, usually in November or December, hosted by the university programmes in rotation. We also run an active e-list for discussion.
New Zealand anthropology has its roots in the mutual curiosity and intellectual engagement between Māori and British colonial thinkers later informed by the British tradition of social anthropology. The first academic department of anthropology, combined with Māori Studies, was established in Auckland in 1950, although a certificate of proficiency in anthropology had been available from Otago University since the early 20th century. Māori Studies has, since the 1970s, become a separate discipline located outside anthropology programmes.
There are now seven anthropology programmes offered at the following universities: Auckland University of Technology, University of Auckland, University of Waikato, Massey University (Albany and Palmerston North), Victoria University of Wellington, University of Canterbury, and University of Otago. Anthropologists also work in other programmes, government departments, and private practice.
Contemporary social anthropology in Aotearoa/New Zealand is thoroughly globalised but continues to have significant focus on local and Pacific issues.
ASAA/NZ is an affiliated member of, or has representatives on, the following organisations and committees:
- Sites: A journal of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies
- Royal Society of New Zealand
- New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO: Social Sciences Committee
- International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES)
- World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCAA)
- Australian Anthropological Society (AAS). Members of ASAA/NZ are eligible for certain benefits, including access to the AAS email list and member fees at their conferences.