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About the New Zealand Geographical Society


Our history

The New Zealand Geographical Society promotes and stimulates the study of Geography within Aotearoa New Zealand and seeks to communicate this work locally, nationally and globally. As one of the country’s most enduring scholarly associations, celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2019, the society has continually encouraged generations of geographers at both secondary and tertiary levels across the country. Facilitating lifelong learning and study is one of its core aims. It was founded in Wellington in August 1944, when the Canterbury and Wellington Geographical Associations joined to form the national body.  It was officially incorporated on 6 November 1944.  

A close relationship is maintained with the Institute of Australian Geographers. Joint NZGS/IAG conferences are regularly held on both sides of the Tasman Sea. NZ Geographical Society is also a member of the International Geographical Union via its membership of The Royal Society of New Zealand. 


Executive Committee

Our Executive committee is made up of members from universities, schools and organisations across Aotearoa New Zealand. Committee members collectively guide the direction of the organisation, realising the aims and objectives of the society’s constitution, facilitating connections with international organisations, and supporting our membership. In general, the term of appointment for committee members ranges from two to four years.

A/Prof Sophie Bond


From Ōtepoti Dunedin, having grown up and studied there. She has previously worked in Geography schools at the University of Glasgow (Scotland) and Victoria University of Wellington before arriving back in Ōtepoti to take up her current position at the University of Otago’s Te Ihowhenua/School of Geography in 2013.  Her research and teaching is diverse, spanning environmental politics, resource conflicts, climate justice, and social justice. She is keenly aware of global and local socio-environmental challenges and seeks to create change through her research and teaching and is passionate about the ability of geography as a discipline to achieve this.

Prof Lynda Johnston

Past-President and International Geographical Union Representative

Served as Vice President (2016-2017) and President (2018 - 2019) and is currently the Past President (2020-2021) and International Geographical Union (IGU) New Zealand Representative for NZGS. Lynda has also held the role of Chair of the Gender and Geography Commission of the IGU (2016 - 2020). As a Professor of Geography and Assistant Vice Chancellor at the University of Waikato, Lynda's research focuses on the challenges and complexities of social inequalities and justice. Their latest sole authored book - Gender Variant Geographies: Transforming Gender, Sex and Place (2019, Routledge) - explores where gender variant people feel in and / or out of place. For many years Lynda has researched gendered geographies (in gyms, cities, leisure spaces) and geographies of sexualities (in homes, rural places, gay pride festivals, sporting spaces). This research highlights the exclusionary ways in which various forms of discrimination and marginalisation – such as sexism, racism, ableism, homophobia, and transphobia – shape people’s everyday lives, structure the resources available to them and influence who they become. Lynda's research is relevant for community groups, teachers, and scholars who engage in debates about social justice, equality, and embodied difference.

Dr Axel Malecki


Teaches across a range of programmes at the Manawatū Campus of Massey University’s School of People, Environment and Planning. His research interests sit at the intersection of development geography, population geography and political geography, coalescing around aspects of migration, the SDGs, inequality and climate change. Outside of paid and voluntary work, Axel spends most of his time with friends and family on, in, with and around the four Bs, that is, Bicycles, Bush, Books and the Beach.  

Ko Elde te awa, ko paratika moana. Nō Tiamani, nō Parani hoki ōku tīpuna. I whānau mai au i Ludwigslust. Ko Axel tōku ingua. Ko Malecki te ingua o tōku whānau. I tēnei wā kei Te Papaioeia ahau e noho ana. E mihi ana ki ngā tohu o nehe, o Manawatū e noho nei au. 

Kei Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa au e mahi ana kaiwhakaako Te Kura Pūkenga Tangata. Nā tō rourou, nāku te rourou ka ora ai te iwi. 

Angus Dowell


Angus is an PhD Candidate and economic geographer in Auckland University's School of Environment. His research examines the relationship between cloud technology services (artificial intelligence, machine learning, data security) and the state. Angus is interested in how the practice of government is changing from state-cloudtech integration and what this means for the way the state responds collectively to social and environmental challenges.

Prof David Conradson

Managing Editor, New Zealand Geographer

A human geographer at the University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha.   After growing up on the West Coast of the South Island, he studied Geography at the University of Canterbury and then completed a PhD at the University of Bristol in the UK. David’s research is concerned with the lived experience of disrupted environments, with a particular focus on issues of welfare and wellbeing. Early work considered rural and urban places affected by economic restructuring and neoliberal welfare reform, while more recent projects have focused on disaster-affected places. David is currently the Managing Editor and Acting Chair of the Editorial Board for the New Zealand Geographer.

Louise Richards

Chair of the New Zealand Board of Geography Teachers

Louise is Assistant Principal at Shirley Boys’ High School. She has been instrumental in helping create the popular geography slot on Brian Crump’s Nights programme on RadioNZ.

Dr Ed Challies

Membership Officer

A human geographer and senior lecturer at the University of Canterbury. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of environmental politics and governance, political ecology, and collaborative and collective approaches to the management of environment and resources. His work spans rural and urban contexts in Aotearoa New Zealand and beyond. 

Dr Polly Stupples

Information and Privacy Officer

A Senior Lecturer in Te Kura Tātai Arowhenua - The School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences at Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington, Polly holds a PhD in Development Studies from Massey University. Her research interests include creative practice and cultural policy, island and ocean geographies, and geographies of waste.    

Dr Cadey Korson

Communications Officer

An Instructor in Geography in the STEM Division at St Clair County Community College, Port Huron, Michigan, USA. She holds a Ph.D. in geography from Kent State University, USA. Her research interests include geography education and filmmaking, cultural geography, Indigenous placemaking and governance in small islands.

Salene Schloffel-Armstrong

Early Career Researchers Network Representative

A doctoral student in the School of Environment at Waipapa Taumata Rau / The University of Auckland. She is an urban geographer investigating the changing role of the public library in the contemporary city. This research interrogates the trend of newly constructed flagship library branches, to think about the value of social infrastructure in restructuring urban spaces. Her broad research interests are focused on public space, social infrastructures, the right to universal services and their links to potentially radical futures. 

Heather Paterson-Shallard

Early Career Researchers Network Representative

A doctoral student in the School of Environment at The University of Auckland/ Waipapa Taumata Rau. Heather is a human geographer interested in society-environmental interactions, environmental governance, and policy. Her research focuses on natural resource governance, with particular interest in institutional structures, the multi-scalar nature of decision-making processes, and collaborative management approaches.

Prof Robin Kearns

Geographic Board Representative

A Professor of Geography and current Head of the School of Environment at the University of Auckland. His doctoral study took him to Canada supported by a Commonwealth Scholarship where he examined the inner city experience of impoverished psychiatric patients. In the three decades since, he has maintained an interest in the links between health and place and is an editor of the Elsevier journal of the same name. Robin has collaborated with a wide range of geographers and others with funding from agencies such as the Health Research Council of NZ and the NZ National Science Challenges. He is a qualitative methodologist with particular interests in experiential and observational approaches. His current research centres on islands communities, the cultural politics of naming places, place attachment and home environments. Robin’s most recent book is the co-edited Blue Space, Health and Wellbeing: Hydrophilia Unbounded (Routledge, 2019). Robin spent his childhood in England and rural Northland, has lived in Auckland most of his life and, since 2019, resides on Waiheke Island. He is the NZGS nominee on the board Nga Pou o Taunaha o Aotearoa which educates and officiates on place names in New Zealand. When not working, he is a lover of wild places, birds and plant life, live music, poetry and a varied mix of good company and solitude.


Regional Branches

Auckland Branch of the NZGS

President Graeme Campbell 
Chair Karen Fisher 
Secretary June Logie 
Treasurer Tom Baker
Branch Representative on the NZBoGT Mary Robinson 

Postal address
c/o School of Environment 
The University of Auckland 
Private Bag 92019 

Waikato Branch of the NZGS

President Lex Chalmers
Acting Chair Lynda Johnston
Secretary Richard Calderwood
Treasurer Claire Gibson

Postal address
c/o Professor Lynda Johnston
Geography Programme
University of Waikato
Private Bag 3105
Hamilton 3240 

Manawatu Branch of the NZGS

President Prof Glenn Banks
Chair Prof Mike Roche
Secretary Dr Aisling Gallagher
Treasurer A/Prof Russell Prince

Wellington Branch of the NZGS

Co-chairs Mirjam Schindler and Brendon Blue
Emails: and
Treasurer Kevin Norten

Canterbury Branch of the NZGS

Chair Dr Karen Johnston

President Dr Nicholas Kirk
Vice-President Dr Ramzi Tubbeh
Secretary Dr Nicholas Kirk
Treasurer Dr Vaughan Wood

Otago Branch of the NZGS

Chair Michael Hilton
Vice-Chair Christina Ergler
Secretary Sean Connelly
Treasurer Ralf Ohlemuller
School Links Coordinator Hugh Morrison