Dr Helen Leslie staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (06) 356 9099

Dr Helen Leslie

Senior Lecturer

School of People, Environment and Planning

I completed my PhD in Development Studies in 1999  then worked at Griffith University in Australia and at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji. I joined the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2003 and held a number of senior policy, management and programming roles predominantly focused on the Pacific, including serving as a diplomat in Samoa and Fiji over a period of 7 years. My PhD focused on gender and conflict in Post-conflict El Salvador and gender and conflcit was a research interest of mine during my tenure at Griffith University and USP. My research interests have expanded to include Pacific regionalism and specific approaches to addressing development issues in the Pacific. 

I hold a Masters and PhD in Development Studies from Massey University (1999) and I have over 15 years professional experience in the development field, including 13 years policy and programming experience with the New Zealand Aid programme in the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Most of my professional development experience has been in the Pacific but I have also worked in South East Asia and in multilateral aid engagement. My current research interests include Pacific regionalism, gender and conflict and the impact of HIV and AIDS in the Pacific

More about me...View less...

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Pacific Regionalism and the Impact of regional approaches to development in the Pacific

Gender and Conflict in the Pacific

Domestic Violence and Pacific policing

Gender and Development

Health and International Development

Pacific Health Systems and Health Systems strengthening

Development Programme/Project Management

Research Opportunities

  • Summer Scholarship  (12/12/2016) To assist with research exploring the impact of HIV and AIDS in the Pacific and whether the Pacific has escaped a potential development crisis caused by HIV and AIDS

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Anthropology (160100): Anthropology of Development (160101): Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment (160801): Demography (160300): Family and Household Studies (160301): Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific (160606): Human Geography (160400): Political Science (160600): Sociology (160800): Studies In Human Society (160000)


Health and International development

Pacific Development Issues

Gender and Development

Gender and Conflict

Sexual and Reproductive Health (including HIV and AIDS)

Pacific Regionalism

The Framework for Pacific Regionalism

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 1 3

Consultancy and Languages


  • September 2016- October 2016 - MFAT
    Peer review of the cross-cutting issues evaluation

Teaching and Supervision

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2019 - Maatusi Vaoiva - Doctor of Philosophy
    Lupe Fa′alele: Releasing the Doves: Factors affecting the successful operation of Samoan Businesses in New Zealand

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 contact@massey.ac.nz Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey