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Head of School
Etienne Nel image
Chief Course Adviser and Senior Arts Adviser


Richardson Building, room 4C8
Office Hours: See Reception (Rm 4C9) to make an appointment.
Tel +64 3 479 8548

Inaugural Professorial Lecture

Etienne's Inaugural Professorial Lecture "Dealing With Difference: Responses to uneven geographical development" is available as an audio and video file.

IPL Video Podcast (mp4)

PL Audio Podcast (mp3)


  • GEOG 214 Economic Geography of the Post-World War II Era
  • GEOG 374 Economic Geography of the Post-World War II Era
  • GEOG 457 Advanced Urban Geography

Etienne also contributes to:

Research interests

Etienne's research interests are as follows:

  • Local Economic Development
  • Urban Entrepreneurialism/Urban Economic Developments
  • Community Economic Development
  • Small Towns
  • Economic Policy
  • Marginality
  • Regional Development
  • Local Government

Current research

Etienne is currently undertaking research in the economic and urban history and development in South Africa, local development and urban agriculture in Zambia and regional, local and small town development in New Zealand. He is currently leading a National Sciences Challenge investigation of rural and small town New Zealand.

View previous research projects

Postgraduate student supervision

Students (current)

  • Fleener, R. Governance in South Africa
  • Uko, E. Urban Farming in Nigeria
  • Floyd, A. Place based development – New Zealand
  • Forsyth, C. Perceptions of crime - New Zealand
  • Basubas, D. Working for water - South Africa
  • Wither, D. Resilience in New Zealand
  • Soal, E. Water Management - New Zealand
  • Quashie-Harry, R. Childhood poverty - Caribbean

PhD - students (completed)

  • Bateman, J. Rural Development - Sierra Leone
  • Latai, A. Climate Change - Samoa
  • Ross, J. Rural Nursing - New Zealand
  • Smart, J. Urban Agriculture - Zambia
  • Gibb, M. Local Economic Development in South Africa
  • Ironside, J. Land reform - Cambodia
  • Motteux, N. Participatory Rural Appraisal
  • Thornton, A. Urban Agriculture
  • Vista, B. Land reform - Philippines
  • Tamimi, M. Environmental Education - Palestine
  • Farminer, A. River appreciation - New Zealand

MA/MBA/MPlan/MSoc – Students current and completed

  • Bergen, S. Evolutionary Economic Geography – New Zealand
  • Stirling, S. Christchurch Rebuild
  • Brown, L. Counter-Urbanisation in Canterbury
  • Anderson, C. Development of Dunedin
  • Watson, R. Tourism Development in Niue
  • Alebiosu, O. Integrated Development Planning
  • Buthelezi, S. Response to Economic Change
  • Douma, A. Land reform - Tanzania
  • Gibb, M. Training for Development
  • Goodenough, C. Corporate Social Responsibility/Local Economic Development
  • Goodwin, R. Conservation farming in Zimbabwe
  • Hale, M. Tourism
  • Husband, M. Shrinking Towns - New Zealand
  • Keyse, M. Industrial Development - New Zealand
  • Lefusto, D. Urban Transport
  • Liddle, E. Groundwater - Zambia
  • Maka, E. Regeneration - New Zealand
  • Meyer, S. Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Mkize, N. Urban Agriculture and Entomology
  • Pio, E. Small Town Development
  • Taine, K. Tourism - Samoa
  • Trotter, D. Nature-based Tourism.
  • Anderson, C. Economic Development - New Zealand
  • Baird, S. Local Development - Tauranga
  • Fitchett, R. Urban Agriculture - Lusaka
  • Gilroy, J. Small Town Development
  • McNaughton, C. Small Town Development
  • Price, S. Regional Development - New Zealand
  • Stevenson, T. Strategic Planning - New Zealand
  • White, R. Small Town Development
  • Williams, R. Cycling Policy - New Zealand
  • Topp, F. Sustainability on Campuses


Sutherland, C., Nel, E., Nel, A., & Hill, T. (2024). Countering urban binaries within a third space: Durban, South Africa's experience as a counter-city. Cities, 152, 105165. doi: 10.1016/j.cities.2024.105165 Journal - Research Article

Alam, A., Nel, E., & Bergen, S. (2024). New Zealand’s small-town disruptions and the role of immigrant mobilities. In A. Triandafyllidou, A. Moghadam, M. Kelly & Z. Şahin-Mencütek (Eds.), Migration and cities: Conceptual and policy advances. (pp. 121-141). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-031-55680-7_7 Chapter in Book - Research

Freeman, C., & Nel, E. (2024). Planning for the caring city. New York, NY: Routledge, 268p. doi: 10.4324/9781003177012 Authored Book - Research

Binns, T., Nel, E., Dixon, A., & Lynch, K. (2023). Africa: Diversity and development. London, UK: Routledge, 496p. doi: 10.4324/9780429028403 Authored Book - Research

Alam, A., Nel, E., Hill, D., & Bulloch, H. (2023). Settling in New Zealand’s small towns: Experiences of minority ethnic immigrants. Journal of International Migration & Integration. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s12134-023-01044-6 Journal - Research Article

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