The People Behind ESRA

ESRA’s organisational and research activities are carried out by a diverse group of academic and activist volunteers. Sue Bradford is the overall project coordinator and Jonathan King coordinates communications. The two staff are paid for ten hours a week each; the rest of their work is undertaken on a voluntary basis. A wider group constitute ESRA’s mandated Researchers, Steering Committee, Research Committee, and Trust.


Sue Bradford

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Dr Sue Bradford is a community-based activist and former Green MP whose 2014 doctoral thesis A major left wing think tank in Aotearoa: an impossible dream or a call to action? instigated the development of ESRA. She now coordinates the work of the emerging organisation. more

Jonathan King

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Jonathan coordinates ESRA’s communications as it develops into a fully-fledged think tank. His research addresses philosophy and political economy, and he has taught on the future of work at Massey University. He has previously taught Political Studies, International Relations, and Business at the University of Auckland. more


Amanda Thomas

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Dr Amanda Thomas has a PhD in geography and is a lecturer in Environmental Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. Her research is largely grounded with communities, and examines democracy and the ways that environmental politics interact with social justice. more

Anna Fielder

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Anna has worked in various areas of university-based research and women’s health and is enrolled as a doctoral student at the University of Auckland. She is Secretary of ESRA. more

Anna-Maria Murtola

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Dr Anna-Maria Murtola is a Senior Lecturer at Auckland University of Technology where she teaches global political economy. Her research is grounded in the critique of political economy and draws on critical theory, cultural studies, philosophy and sociology. more

Ben Rosamond

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Ben is a student, activist and researcher based in Tamaki Makaurau. He is currently completing a Masters degree at the University of Auckland around the question of sovereignty in Aotearoa/New Zealand, alongside his work at ESRA and sustained commitments to several activist organisations. more

Bill Bradford

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Bill is an organiser and community activist with FIRST Union. His job involves developing and implementing new organising methods which will begin to reverse declining union membership and rebuild the power of workers to negotiate decent pay and conditions and to influence political decision makers. more

Campbell Jones

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Dr Campbell Jones is a philosopher and sociologist specialising in the analysis and critique of capitalist ideology. He is a Researcher for Economic and Social Research Aotearoa and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Auckland. His most recent book is Can the Market Speak? (Zero, 2013). more

David Parker

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Dr David Parker was born and raised in Lancashire, England. He came to Aotearoa/New Zealand in 1988. He is an activist, writer, editor and educator, and works as a postgraduate learning advisor at Auckland University of Technology. Currently David is co-chair of the Kotare Trust, a centre for Tiriti-based radical social change education. more

Dylan Taylor

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Dr Dylan Taylor is a lecturer in Sociology at Victoria University of Wellington and editor of Counterfutures. Dylan has written for academic publications, including Thesis Eleven, Rethinking Marxism and New Zealand Sociology. He is the author of Claiming the Century: The promise of social movements and democracy in the 20th Century. more

Finn Morrow

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Finn is a union organiser with the New Zealand Nurses Organisation, and he co-coordinates ESRA’s Political Organisation Inquiry Group, a collaborative research project addressing the organisational and strategic impasses reproduced by the left in Aotearoa, and possible ways of overcoming them. He has previously taught at the University of Auckland. more

Helen Potter

Helen Potter

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Dr Helen Potter is a co-director of Tīaho Ltd, a recently formed kaupapa Māori research group. She brings to ESRA a background in kaupapa Māori research across a range of fields including education, health, and whānau and environmental wellbeing. more

James Roberts

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James is a masters student and activist in Tāmaki Makaurau. He currently works and studies at the University of Auckland. James principally locates his research interests in the challenging of financial discourses, critical pedagogy, and continental philosophy. James is a member of ESRA’s Steering Committee. more

Karen Davis

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Dr Karen Davis has extensive experience in helping to set up and run community organisations and a strong background in financial administration and community based research practice. She has a PhD in Linguistics, but has chosen to use her analytical and education experience as a community worker, activist and economics educator. more

Nathalie Jaques

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Nathalie is a doctoral candidate at the University of Auckland, a member of teaching staff in the department of Sociology and a community activist. Her role in ESRA is within the Research Committee, developing the initial procedures and projects of the think tank’s research component. more

Peter King

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Dr Peter King is a sociologist and Principal Researcher with Parallax Research.  He brings to ESRA a background in social policy research in the fields of poverty measurement, income distribution, material deprivation, barriers to employment, and social gerontology. more

Tim Howard

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Tim is a community-based activist. His work in community development in Taitokerau / Northland includes engagement in housing, community voluntary sector development, economic and environmental activism, with a focus on social justice and welfare advocacy. He is a Pakeha Tiriti o Waitangi educator and advocate. more

Vanessa Cole

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Vanessa is a researcher and activist specialising in housing and urban planning in Aotearoa. She is an active supporter of the state housing struggle, and an advocate with Auckland Action Against Poverty. She also coordinates ESRA’s Housing Inquiry Group. more

Warren Brewer

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Warren is a carpenter by trade, construction worker by preference, Warren was a rank and file activist, delegate and member of the Whakatane sub-branch executive of the Building Trades Union before being elected organiser and then District Secretary of the Midland Branch of the union. more

Warwick Tie

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Dr Warwick Tie is a sociologist with Massey University who brings his research background in the politics of conflict resolution, in socio-legal studies, in utopian studies and in political organisation. His teaching focusses on contemporary social theory and on interventions with the ‘unstructured problems’ emerging from the contradictions of late capitalism. more