Hal Levine

Senior Lecturer School of Social and Cultural Studies

Research interests

Social and cultural change. Treaty of Waitangi issues.

Dr Hal Levine profile picture


BA PhD (SUNY Stony Brook)

Research specialties

Ethnicity; social organisation and social change; New Zealand; the Pacific.


Hal Levine received his Ph.D from S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook in 1976 while a lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington. He did his initial fieldwork on urban ethnicity in Papua New Guinea. His PhD and the monograph Urbanisation in Papua New Guinea: A Study of Ambivalent Townsmen (co-authored with M. Levine), published by Cambridge University Press in 1979, was based on this research.

In 1981 he did a study of the fishing community of Stewart Island, New Zealand. A number of papers published in widely scattered journals were put together by the Anthropology Department and issued as Stewart Island: Anthropological Perspectives on a New Zealand Fishing Community . Hal's next two research projects centred on Maori claims to fishing resources before the Waitangi Tribunal, and Jewish identity in New Zealand.

Being Jewish in New Zealand with Ann Beaglehole was published by Pacific Press in 1995 . It was followed by a monograph on the three ethnic identity projects entitled Constructing Collective Identity . The latter book was published by Peter Lang in 1997with a grant from Victoria University's Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Hal has more recently published papers dealing with debates about the meaning of iwi, Samoan chiefly practices in Wellington, and the implications of surrogate motherhood for the anthropological study of kinship. He has taught a wide variety of introductory and advanced papers in anthropology and is currently putting together a course about the interrelationships between society, culture and internal experience.

Selected publications

Levine Hal.New Zealand's ban on kosher slaughtering, Ethnology: An International Journal of Cultural and Social Anthropology, Vol 50, No 3 (2011), pp 209-222.

Levine Hal. 'Tieke: marae and/or tourist campsite? Confrontation and cooperation in Whanganui National Park, New Zealand', Anthropological Forum, 21, 1, March (2011), pp. 43-56.

Levine Hal. 'Visiting Tieke Kainga: the Authenticity of a Maori Welcome', Oceania, 81, 2, July (2011), pp. 137-147.

Levine Hal. 'Claiming indigenous rights to culture, flora and fauna: a contemporary case from New Zealand', PoLAR, 33, S1, March (2010), pp. 36-56.

Levine Hal. 'A critique: Questioning collapse: human resilience, ecological vulnerability and the aftermath of empire.', Oceania, 80, 2 (2010), pp. 237-240.

Levine Hal. 'Embracing neoliberalism? A reconsideration of the restructuring of a New Zealand nongovernmental organization', Ethnology, 48, 2, Spring (2009), pp. 161-174.

Levine, Hal. 'Foundations of Society and Culture', (ed) (McGraw Hill Custom Publishing, 2009), 2nd edition, 599pp.

Levine Hal. 'Tackling the effects of Neoliberalism? Integrating Services at Barnardos New Zealand', Social Policy Journal of New Zealand, 36, August (2009), pp. 172-182. http://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/journals-and-magazines/social-policy-journal/spj36/social-policy-journ.

Levine, Hal, 'The Wellington cemetery desecration of 2004 - their impact on local Jews' Journal of New Zealand Studies 2005-2006: 91-109.

Levine, Hal, 'Lumpers, splitters and sagging pillars' Sites: Special Issue. Beyond Ethnography, pp 98-115.

Levine, Hal, 'Ethnic Conflicts in Oceania' Encyclopedia of the Developing World (Routledge), pp. 615-618.

Levine, Hal. 'Melanesians" Encyclopedia of the World's Minorities', (Routledge)

Levine, Hal. 'Moving beyond Cultural Essentialism', in James Liu, et al (eds), New Zealand Identities, Departures and Destinations, (Wellington: VUW Press, 2005), pp. 104-117.

Levine, Hal. 'Ethnic Conflicts in Oceania', in Encyclopaedia of the Developing World, (London: Routledge, 2005) Vol. 1, pp. 615-518.

Levine, Hal. 'Melanesians', in Encyclopaedia of the World's Minorities, (London: Routledge, 2005), Vol. 2, pp. 806-808.

Levine, Hal. 'Gestational Surrogacy: Nature and Culture in Kinship', Ethnology, 42, 3 (2003), pp. 173-185.

Levine, Hal. 'Some Reflections on Samoan Cultural Practice and Group Identity in Contemporary Wellington, New Zealand', Journal of Intercultural Studies, 24, 2 (2003), pp. 175-186.

Levine, Hal. 'The maori iwi - contested meanings in contemporary Aotearoa/New Zealand', in Erich Kolig and Hermann Muchler (eds), Politics of Indigigeneity in the South Pacific: recent problems of identity in Oceania (Lit. Verlag Munster, Hamburg, 2002), pp. 73-84.

Levine, Hal. 'Can a Voluntary Organisation Be a Treaty Partner? The Case of Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust', Social Policy Journal of New Zealand, 17 (2001), pp.161-170.

Levine, Hal. 'Reconstructing Ethnicity', The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 5, 2 (1999), pp. 165-180.

Levine, Hal. Constructing Collective Identity a Comparative Analysis of New Zealand Jews, Maori, and Urban Papua New Guineans (Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main, 1997), 179pp.