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Dr Niki Harre

Diploma of Teaching, PhD

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My teaching and research is in the area of community psychology and the psychology of sustainability. I teach at both the undergraduate and graduate level.


Research | Current

My most recent research addresses issues of sustainability, citizenship, values and political activism. The question that drives it is how to engage people in creating a more sustainable and equitable society. I am intrigued by the lives of those who are (or at least appear to be) dedicated to the common good. I have an ongoing project at Western Springs College in Auckland to investigate the creation of a ‘sustainability culture’ in a secondary school setting.

In 2011 I released a book - Psychology for a Better World that explores strategies to inspire sustainability. I have given many workshops and talks on the ideas in the book. Click here to see a short video on the main ideas. You can order a 2018 edition of Psychology for a Better World from Auckland University Press here

My latest research looks at the values and symbols that underlie the human drive to participate in the common good. You can order a copy of my book The Infinite Game: How to Live Well Together from Auckland University Press here. Click here for a podcast in which I discuss the infinite game with Maria Armoudian, and here for a website with more details. In August 2019 The Infinite Game won the Ashton Wylie Mind, Body & Spirit Book Award.

Teaching | Current

I teach at both the undergraduate and graduate level. My graduate course, Psychology and Sustainability is open to students studying within any graduate programme at the University. 

Psych 715 - Psychology and Sustainability

I am the coordinator of a new three-course Sustainability Module for Arts and Science students. The first course, Sustain 100/100G Sustainability and Us is also available as a General Education option

Postgraduate supervision

I supervise students at Honours, Masters and PhD level. Many of my research projects involve working directly with community groups and I am particularly interested in how our university can contribute to a sustainable society that promotes human wellbeing.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Harre, N., Azizi, A., Brothers, P., Coomber, T., King, E., Mead, A. M., ... Yeo, S. Z. L. (2020). An interdisciplinary teaching module on the global clothing industry: Lessons from working across four disciplines and two universities. In E. Sengupta, P. Blessinger, T. S. Yamin (Eds.) Integrating Sustainable Development into Curriculum (pp. 107-124). Dallas, Texas: Emerald Press. 10.1108/S2055-364120200000018025
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Manuel Vallee, Ties Coomber
  • Harre, N. (2020). Let's assume people are good: Rethinking research in community psychology. The Australian Community Psychologist, 30 (1), 81-91. Related URL.
  • Blythe, C., & Harre, N. F. (2019). Encouraging transformation and action competence: A theory of change evaluation of a sustainability leadership program for high school students. The Journal of environmental education, online first10.1080/00958964.2019.1629381
  • Harré N (2018). Psychology for a Better World Working with People to Save the Planet. Revised and Updated Edition. Auckland University Press. Pages: 236.
  • Harré N (2018). The Infinite Game How to Live Well Together. Auckland University Press. Pages: 212.
  • Harre, N. F. (2018). Keeping our values in play: A manual to accompany The Infinite Game and Psychology for a Better World. Related URL.
  • Harre, N. F., & Madden, H. (2017). The infinite game: A metaphor and workshop for living well together. Ecopsychology, 9 (4), 212-224.
  • Deane, K. L., Harre, N., Moore, J., & Courtney, M. G. R. (2017). The impact of the Project K youth development program on self-efficacy: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 46 (3), 516-537. 10.1007/s10964-016-0463-9
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Kelsey Deane


Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 301 - Bldg 301
Level 2, Room 224B
New Zealand

Web links