John Overton

Professor School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences


Teaching in 2017

Prof John Overton profile picture


MA Canterbury (1978); PhD Cambridge (1983)


Selected Publications

Research interests

I have two main research areas at present. One focuses on aid and development, with particular regard to New Zealand and the Pacific Islands region. This examines the changing policies of donors, particularly as they relate to the tension between domestic political concerns and global agendas for aid, and the way aid might be shaped to fit the aspirations, capabilities and capacity of recipient countries and agencies in the Pacific. Of particular concern is the way local institutions in the Pacific are being either constrained or enabled to develop their own development trajectories and strategies.

The second research area involves wine, place and capital. The global wine industry is being rapidly transformed and this has important geographical implications. Firstly we can see that ‘place’ is becoming an important element in production, helping to establish a wine’s provenance and supposed quality. Wine regions are being constructed by the industry to build and protect ideas of place. Secondly, we can discern some interesting ways in which capital investment in the wine industry articulates in complex ways with other forms of capital, labour and local regulatory institutions. Research involves the wine industry in New Zealand and Chile in particular.