Association of Social Anthropologists of Aotearoa / New Zealand (ASAA/NZ)
World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCAA)

The Association of Social Anthropologists of Aotearoa/New Zealand (ASAA/NZ) was established in 1975 as the Association of University Teachers of Social Anthropology which then became The New Zealand Association of Social Anthropologists (NZASA). New Zealand anthropology has its roots in the mutual curiosity and intellectual engagment between Maori and British colonial thinkers later informed by the British tradition of social anthropology. The first academic department of anthropology, combined with Maori Studies, was established in Auckland in 1950, although a certificate of proficiency in anthropology had been available from Otago University since the early 20th century. There are now six anthropology programmes offered at the following universities: Auckland, Waikato, Massey, Victoria (Wellington), Canterbury, and Otago. Anthropologists also work in other programmes, government departments, and private practice. Maori Studies has, since the 1970s, become a separate discipline located outside anthropology programmes. Contemporary social anthropology in Aotearoa/New Zealand is now thoroughly globalised but continues to have significant focus on local and Pacific issues. The name ASAA/NZ was adopted in 1997. It is a relatively small association, with some 100 members. Its main activity is an annual conference, usually in November or December, hosted by the university programmes in rotation, and an active e-list for discussion.


Congratulations to Associate Professor Ruth Fitzherald who has been awarded the 2015 Te Rangi Hiroa Medal by the Royal Society of New Zealand for her work as a medical anthropologist.

The inaugural ASAA/NZ Best Graduate Student Conference Presentation Awards will be held at the 40th Annual Conference.

The 40th Annual ASAA/NZ Conference will be held from 25-27 November 2015 at Massey University in Palmerston North.