Sandra Grey

Sandra Grey profile picture
Sandra Grey is not coordinating any courses until 2017 as she is on leave.

Sandra Grey

Sandra joined Victoria University of Wellington in 2003 for her first academic post. On completing her PhD, Sandra began further developing her research interest in activism and citizen dissent. In 2008 she won a Marsden grant to examine four decades of contentious political activity by the women’s, union, and anti-poverty movements of New Zealand. Her interest in citizen engagement in politics has extended to include an examination of the openness of New Zealand’s political system to advocacy and dissent by community and voluntary sector organisations.
As well as her keen research interest in social movement activism and civil society politics, since 2010 Sandra has been the spokesperson for the Campaign for MMP which fought successfully to win a referendum on the retention of mix-member proportional representation as New Zealand’s electoral system. During 2011 and 2012 Sandra took leave from Victoria University to work full-time as the National President of the Tertiary Education Union, focusing her energy on the drive to advance the professional and industrial needs of tertiary education colleagues around New Zealand, as well as seeking improvements to our public tertiary education system.


MA (Hons) Auck, PhD ANU

Research interests

Social movements and contentious politics in New Zealand; the role of community and voluntary sector organisations in democracy; international tertiary education policy trends; women’s political representation.

Selected publications

Edited book

Grey S, Sawer M, (2008) Women's Movements: Flourishing or in Abeyance? Abingdon, Routledge. Reprinted in paperback 2011.

Book chapters

Grey S. (2015) 'Interest Groups and Policy' in J. Hayward (Ed.), New Zealand Government and Politics. (Sixth ed.) Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp 460-471.

Grey S. (2015) 'Citizen Engagement' in J. Hayward (Ed.), New Zealand Government and Politics (Sixth ed.) Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp 496-498.

Grey, S., & Sedgwick, C. (2014). Go Study for the Economy. In D. Cooke, C. Hill, P. Baskett, & R. Irwin (Eds.), Beyond the Free Market: Rebuilding a Just Society in New Zealand. Auckland: Dunmore

Grey, S. (2014). More Markets, Less Democracy. In D. Cooke, C. Hill, P. Baskett, & R. Irwin (Eds.), Beyond the Free Market: Rebuilding a Just Society in New Zealand (pp. 130-136). Auckland: Dunmore.

Grey, S, Fitzsimons, M, (2012) Defending Democracy: ‘Keep MMP’ and the 2011 electoral referendum’, in Jon Johansson and Stephen Levine (eds) Kicking the Tyres: The New Zealand General Election and Electoral Referendum of 2011 Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington Press.

Davey J A, Grey S J, (2009) 'New Zealand: from early innovation to humanizing the market', in P. Alcock, & G. Craig (Eds.), International Social Policy - Welfare Regimes in the Developed World. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 88-108.

Grey S J, (2009) 'Women, politics, and protest: rethinking women's liberation activism in New Zealand', in J. Leslie, K. McMillan, & E. McLeay (Eds.), Rethinking women and Politics New Zealand and Comparative Perspectives Wellington: Victoria University Press, pp. 34-61.

Sawer, M., & Grey, S. (2008). Introduction. In S. Grey, & M. Sawer (Eds.), Women's Movements: Flourishing or in Abeyance? (pp. 1-13). Abingdon: Routledge

Grey, S. (2008). Out of sight, out of mind: the New Zealand women's movement. In S. Grey, & M. Sawer (Eds.), Women's Movements: Flourishing or in Abeyance? (pp. 65-78). Abingdon: Routledge.

Grey S, 'The 'new world' ? Women and political representation in New Zealand', in M. Sawer, M. Tremblay, & L. Trimble (Eds.), Representing Women in Parliament: A Comparative Study, Oxon: Routledge, pp. 134-151.

Grey S, Sawer M, (2005) 'Australia and New Zealand', in Y. Galligan, & M. Tremblay (Eds.) Sharing Power: Women, Parliament, Democracy, Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 171-187.

Journal articles

Grey, S, and Sedgwick, C (2015) 'Constraining the community voice: The impact of the neoliberal contract state on democracy', New Zealand Sociology, 30(1). pp. 88-110.

Taylor D. Grey S. (2014) From Class-Struggle to Neoliberal Narratives: Redistributive movements in Aotearoa/New Zealand, New Zealand Sociology, 29(3), pp. 69-89.

Grey, S. (2014). In search of an activist academic. Argos Aotearoa, 1

Grey, S, and Sedgwick, C The Contract State and Constrained Democracy: the community and voluntary sector under threat, Policy Quarterly, 9:3 (2013), pp. 3-10.

Grey, S, (2013) Activist academics: What future? Policy Futures in Education, 11(6), pp. 700-711

Grey S, (2012) Disciplining the unruly subject: Performance Management in New Zealand’s tertiary education 'market’, Worlds of Education, Issue 41, pp. 69-76

Grey, S, de Roo, K, (2010) ‘When the Next Step is Capital Punishment What Choices Do We Have: Penal Reform Movements in the Age of Penal Populism’, New Zealand Sociology, Vol 25(2), pp. 38-58.

Grey S J, (2010) When No "Official Record" Exists, Politics and Gender, 6(4), pp. 622-629.

Grey S, Nickel, P ‘kiwibrand Globalisation: Banking on Pre-Packaged Artificial Resistance.’ Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture. 9.4 (2009).

Grey S, (2006) 'Numbers and beyond: The relevance of critical mass in gender research', Politics and Gender, 2(4), pp. 492-502.

Working papers and research reports

Neilson B., Sedgwick C. and Grey S. (2015) Outcomes Plus: The added value provided by community social services. A research report commissioned by the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services. Wellington

Gordon, L, with C Sedgwick, S Grey and N Marsden, (2014) 'The Youth Guarantee Fees-Free Scheme: A research study' Wellington, Tertiary Education Commission, 41pp.

Grey S. and Sedgwick C. (2013) Fears, constraints and contracts. The democratic reality for New Zealand’s community and voluntary sector, A report presented at the Community and Voluntary Sector Research Forum, Victoria University of Wellington, 26 March 2013.

Grey, S., Sedgwick, C., & Scott, J. (2013). Te Kaupapa Whaioranga: The blueprint for tertiary education. Wellington: Tertiary Education Union.

Grey S, and Gilling A, (2010) Representing Women: MMP and women’s political representation in New Zealand pdf256KB , a report prepared for Women for MMP, 19 September 2010.

Pereda Perez P, Taylor D, Grey S,(2008) Evaluating the effectiveness of SuperGrans Lower Hutt: SuperGrans

Grey S, (2007) Housing voluntary social services in the Hutt: a study of the building infrastructure needs of nonprofit organisations servicing Hutt City (Lower Hutt: Hutt Council of Social Services

Professional and community service

2013-2014 Vice President New Zealand Tertiary Education Union.

2011-2012 National President of the New Zealand Tertiary Education Union.

2010-2015 National Spokesperson for the Campaign for MMP (Mixed Member Proportional representation).

PhD supervision

Greg Gilbert, ‘Mediation, Regulation, Critique: Mapping the Relationship between Cultural Meanings and Political Responses to Poverty, 1970-2010”, PhD thesis 2012.

Paula Pereda Perez, ‘Female Politicians in Chile: Unfolding the Meanings and Implications for Chilean Politics in the Twenty First Century’ PhD thesis 2012.

Asim Ahmed, ‘Drawing the line: a consensual approach to setting poverty standards in the Maldives and examining the implications for poverty’, PhD thesis 2012.

Rosalind Houghton, ‘We had to cope with what we had: agency perspectives on domestic violence and disasters in New Zealand’, PhD thesis 2010.

Linda Beckett, ‘Care in Collaboration: Preventing Secondary Victimisation Through a Holistic Approach to Pre-Court Sexual Violence Interventions’, PhD thesis 2007.

Awards and major research grants

Marsden Fast Start 2008

ANU PhD Scholarship 2000