Research Programme

Some of ESRA's key areas of research are organised as Inquiry Groups coordinated by ESRA Researchers. Other projects are carried out by individual researchers. Alongside the work of the Inquiry Groups listed below, research is underway in areas including: longitudinal analysis of Statistics NZ employment and unemployment data; the Productivity Commission; value and work; and welfare law. ESRA’s research programme is very much a work in progress which will develop pragmatically as the organisation grows.


Kiwibuild should have always been public housing

| Featured, Home Page, Housing, Intervention, Published Research, Vanessa Cole | No Comments

In this intervention, ESRA researcher Vanessa Cole considers the Government’s controversial Kiwibuild policy and their continued failure to respond adequately to the housing crisis. more


| Amanda Thomas and Sophie Handford, Environment, Featured, Home Page, Published Research, Uncategorized | No Comments

Recently, ESRA researcher Amanda Thomas spoke to Sophie Handford about the upcoming school strike for climate and the need for inter-generational solidarity in the struggle for climate justice. more

Budget 2019 Report

| Ben Rosamond, Campbell Jones, ESRA, Featured, Home Page, Intervention, Jack Foster, Murdoch Stephens, Published Research, Research, Shannon Walsh, Ti Lamusse, Vanessa Cole | No Comments

ESRA researchers have teamed up with community researchers and activists to consider what the 2019 ‘Wellbeing budget’ means for those who are worst served by our current system. more

Outside the Bunker: A Conversation about Capitalism, Crisis and Cruelty

| Campbell Jones and Baz Macdonald, Featured, Home Page, Political Organisation, Politics, Published Research, Research | No Comments

This interview between documentary film maker Baz Macdonald and ESRA Researcher Campbell Jones discusses capitalism, crisis, and the prospects for change. more

New Forms of Political Organisation

| Book, Campbell Jones and Shannon Walsh, Featured, Home Page, Political Organisation, Published Research, Research | No Comments

Download a free copy of ESRA’s first book, ‘New Forms of Political Organisation’, or purchase a hard copy. more

Minimum Wage Policy in Context: Only a Living Wage Will Lift Workers Out of Poverty

| Home Page, Intervention, Peter King, Published Research, Research | No Comments

This is the first of a series of occasional interventions on the subject of income distribution and adequacy in Aotearoa New Zealand. more

To a Better World

How the Global Tech Elite Imagine the Future

| Anna-Maria Murtola, Home Page, Published Research, Research | No Comments

Aotearoa New Zealand has recently been in the global news as a bolthole for global billionaires preparing for the apocalypse, especially wealthy tech entrepreneurs and financial investors from the US. This report aims to shed light on how this segment of the global elite imagines the future. more

Bernard Spragg - New Zealand TR class locomotive

Auckland Fuel Levy an Attack on the Poor

| Home Page, Intervention, Published Research, Ricardo Menendez March, Tax | No Comments

Solutions to traffic should never have to include depriving low income families of their ability to move around or put food on the table. more

Political Organisation and the Environment

| Amanda Thomas, Environment, Home Page, Political Organisation, Published Research | No Comments

This report focuses on how communities contest colonialism and capitalism to build more just, healthy and accessible environments. more

Nation Destroying: Sovereignty and Dispossession in Aotearoa New Zealand

| Ben Rosamond, Home Page, Matike Mai, Published Research | No Comments

In this piece, Ben Rosamond addresses the nature of the form of sovereign political power imposed in Aotearoa through colonisation. more

Constitutional Transformation and the Matike Mai Project: A Kōrero with Moana Jackson

| Helen Potter and Moana Jackson, Home Page, Matike Mai, Published Research | No Comments

In this interview, conducted in December 2017 by Helen Potter, Moana Jackson discusses the constitutional transformation of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Solitary Confinement in New Zealand Prisons

| Home Page, Prisons, Published Research, Ti Lamusse | No Comments

Solitary confinement is the harshest form of punishment available in the New Zealand prison system. This report by People Against Prisons Aotearoa researcher Ti Lamusse outlines why its use in New Zealand prisons needs to end. more

Land, Housing and Capitalism: The Social Consequences of Free Markets in Aotearoa New Zealand

| Home Page, Housing, Published Research, Shane Malva | No Comments

Housing markets in Aotearoa New Zealand have produced huge capital gains over the past few decades, at the same time as harming and displacing thousands of people. more

Movements, Party, State

| Dylan Taylor, Home Page, Political Organisation, Published Research | No Comments

A successful left politics requires a party capable of responding to popular grievances while also fostering hopeful visions for the future. Such a party should be informed by and work with social movements, and have a critical but sustained engagement with the state. more

Podemos march in Madrid, photo by Barcex

The Resurgence of the Radical Left in Europe: Lessons for Aotearoa/New Zealand?

| David Parker, Home Page, Political Organisation, Published Research | No Comments

There has been a huge resurgence of the radical left in Europe since 2008. It has been enormously inspiring at times, even for those of us as far away as Aotearoa/New Zealand. more

Why We Need a New Left Wing Party

| Home Page, Political Organisation, Published Research, Sue Bradford | No Comments

Those of us on the radical left in Aotearoa/New Zealand find ourselves in the middle of 2017 facing yet another general election in which no parliamentary party seriously champions a future which will start to move us beyond capitalism and the legacies of colonisation. more


Housing Inquiry Group

| Home Page, Housing, Inquiry Group | No Comments

ESRA’s Housing Inquiry Group is made up of activists and researchers who have an interest and expertise in housing, urban contexts and finance. The group is committed to a vision of housing beyond the current containment of capitalist social and spatial relations. Vanessa Cole coordinates the group’s work. more

Economic Planning Inquiry Group

| Economic Planning, Home Page, Inquiry Group | No Comments

ESRA’s Economic Planning Inquiry Group looks at the ways in which the economy is currently planned, and the possibilities for a different way of planning the economy. The group is coordinated by Campbell Jones and Jonathan King. more

Political Organisation Inquiry Group

| Home Page, Inquiry Group, Political Organisation | No Comments

ESRA’s Political Organisation Inquiry Group was formed to address the need for sustained and critical research into the state of political organisation in Aotearoa. The group is coordinated by Ben Rosamond and Finn Morrow. more


Amanda Thomas

| People, Researcher, W | No Comments

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-Maria Murtola

| People, Research Committee, Researcher, Steering Committee, W | No Comments

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

| People, Research Committee, Researcher, Steering Committee | No Comments

Ben Rosamond is an activist, researcher and union official based in Tāmaki Makaurau. His research to date has focused on revolutionary strategy, the place of sovereignty in relation to other models of political organisation, and contemporary critical theory. more

Campbell Jones

| People, Research Committee, Researcher | No Comments

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

Dylan Taylor

| People, Research Committee, Researcher, Trust | No Comments

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

| People, Research Committee, Researcher | No Comments

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

James Roberts

| People, Researcher, Steering Committee | No Comments

James is a PhD student and activist in Tāmaki Makaurau. He currently works and studies at the University of Auckland. James principally locates his research interests in Marxist politics, economic planning, and continental philosophy. more

Jonathan King

| People, Researcher | No Comments

Jonathan’s research is concerned with philosophy and political economy. He has taught Sociology at Massey University, and Political Studies, International Relations, and Business at the University of Auckland. more

Nathalie Jaques

| People, Research Committee, Researcher, Steering Committee, W | No Comments

Nathalie Jaques is a doctoral candidate at the University of Auckland, a member of teaching staff in the department of Sociology and a community activist. Within ESRA, she works as both a researcher and the editorial and publication facilitator. more

Peter King

| People, Researcher | No Comments

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

Shannon Walsh

| People, Research Committee, Researcher | No Comments

Shannon is a doctoral candidate at the University of Auckland and teaches critical theory and popular culture in the department of Sociology. His research focuses on continental philosophy, critical theory and the critique of capitalist ideology. more

Vanessa Cole

| People, Research Committee, Researcher, Steering Committee, W | No Comments

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