Bishnu Chaudhury with Erawat Gaj, Chitwan, Nepal | Photo by Piers Locke

Bishnu Chaudhury with Erawat Gaj, Chitwan, Nepal | Photo by Piers Locke

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 (see below), 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 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 currently has one section representing medical anthropology. SOMAA, the Society of Medical Anthropology in Aotearoa, is a national collective for medical anthropologists working in or on Aotearoa. Membership is free and we encourage those with an interest in medical anthropology to join.


ASAA/NZ is an affiliated member of, or has representatives on, the following organisations and committees:

Photograph Credits

The authors of the photographs displayed on this website own the copyright to their works. Below are further details about some of the photos used. ASAA/NZ would like to thank everyone who granted us permission to use their photographs.