New Zealand Asia Institute
Our studies centres
The institute has four studies centres which combine research and networking both internationally and domestically.
Associate Professor David Robb, Director
David is an Associate Professor at The University of Auckland Business School. After receiving a BE(Hons) from The University of Auckland he worked for Fletcher Steel and then obtained his MBA and PhD from the University of Calgary.
He has taught, researched and consulted in operations and supply chain management in New Zealand, Canada, and China for 25 years. During this time he also spent 7 years at Tsinghua University where he was involved with the International MBA, the Tsinghua-INSEAD Executive MBA and provided short courses to executives from leading business schools and firms including Sanofi Aventis and Sinopec.
David is also Director of the China Studies Centre at The University of Auckland, Advisor to the Beachlands Programme, China Advisory Group of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Research Fellow at Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management and co-Director of the Consortium for Operational Excellence in Retailing – Greater China.
Professor Mark Mullins, Director
Mark R Mullins joined the University of Auckland’s School of Asian Studies as Professor of Japanese Studies in January 2013. Prior to this appointment, he was engaged in academic work in Japan for 27 years and taught at Shikoku Gakuin University, Meiji Gakuin University, and Sophia University, where he also served a three-year term as editor of Monumenta Nipponica. He completed his postgraduate studies in the sociology of religion and East Asian traditions at McMaster University (PhD 1985). His teaching and research focus is on the role of Japanese religions in modern societies both within and outside of Japan.
He is the author and co-editor of a number of works, including, Religion and Society in Modern Japan (1993), Perspectives on Christianity in Korea and Japan (1995), Christianity Made in Japan: A Study of Indigenous Movements (1998), and Religion and Social Crisis in Japan: Understanding Japanese Society Through the Aum Affair (2001). He is currently engaged in research on neo-nationalism and religion in contemporary Japanese society.
Dr Richard Phillips, Director
Dr Phillips is Senior Lecturer in Asian Studies at The University of Auckland School of Asian Studies. He has been a Head of the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures and has served two terms (1999-2002 and 2007-9) as Head of the School of Asian Studies. He received his BA and PhD from Cambridge University and also spent a year as a Special Student at Harvard University.
Dr Phillips teaches courses on the history of China and co-teaches courses on East Asia and in Asian Studies. His primary research area is Republican China, in particular Manzhouguo in the Chinese North-East. In 2007 he became a student at The University of Auckland studying the Korean language.
Professor Kenneth M Wells, Research Fellow
Kenneth Wells is currently a Research Fellow at the New Zealand Asia Institute. He received an MA at the University of Canterbury and a PhD on Korean History at the Australian National University. He has taught at Indiana University in Bloomington and at the Australian National University, where he was appointed the Korea Foundation Professor of Korean History in 2003. He founded the ANU Centre for Korean Studies in 1994 and the Korean Studies Association of Australasia in 1995. Between 2009 and 2011 he taught at the University of California at Berkeley.
He has written extensively on modern Korean nationalism, religion, ideology and gender movements. His academic publications include the books, New God, New Nation: Protestants and Self-Reconstruction Nationalism in Korea, 1896-1937 (1990), South Korea’s Minjung Movement: the Culture and Politics of Dissent (1995), and the forthcoming Korea: Outline of a Civilisation.
Associate Professor Natasha Hamilton-Hart, Director
Natasha Hamilton-Hart is Associate Professor in the Department of Management and International Business. She has a BA(Hons) from the University of Otago and a PhD from Cornell University. Natasha joined The University of Auckland in 2011, after teaching at the National University of Singapore for ten years and holding a postdoctoral fellowship at the Australian National University.
Natasha’s research interests include regional integration and cooperation in East Asia, business in Southeast Asia and business-government relations, particularly in the banking and natural resource sectors. She is the author of Asian States, Asian Bankers: Central Banking in Southeast Asia and (forthcoming), Hard Interests, Soft Illusions: Southeast Asia and American Power, both with Cornell University Press.