Life Members


On occasion, the Population Association of New Zealand awards life membership to individuals who are highly regarded experts in their field, and who have made a significant contribution to the social science of demography, as well as to national understanding of population related issues.

Current life members are :

Professor Richard Bedford
Professor Richard Bedford has a huge national and international reputation in the area of population studies, through his research on population movement, especially international migration. Throughout all of his academic career, spanning almost 40 years, Richard has been a loyal member of the New Zealand Demographic Association (now the Population Association of New Zealand), serving as a Councillor for almost two decades, and as President in the mid-1980s. Richard’s significant contribution to research and policy development has already been recognised in a number of ways, including the Companion of the Queen’s Service Order in 2008. It is our honour to recognise his achievements and we welcome Richard as a Life Member.

Dr. Ruth Farmer
Dr Ruth Farmer life membership has made a substantial contribution to the increased understanding and appreciation of population, and particularly international migration and refugee issues, in New Zealand. She played an important role in the development of both the Population Studies Centre at the University of Waikato and the New Zealand Demographic Society and strove to enhance the practical application of demographic knowledge in population policy-making in New Zealand. Dr Farmer spent 30 years teaching at the University of Waikato before taking up the position of Co-ordinator/Director of the Bromley Refugee Network in the United Kingdom in January 2000.

During her time at the University of Waikato she advocated a broadly based population studies curriculum and in 1973, she initiated and wrote a proposal to establish a Demography Centre at the university. This eventually led to the establishment of the Population Studies Centre. She then became an active participant in the Centre’s teaching, research and conference related activities. She was elected a foundation Council member of the New Zealand Demographic Society and was heavily involved from the outset in the Society’s deliberations about population policy issues. Dr Farmer became the Society’s third President in 1978.

Dr Farmer’s prominence in the field of population research is most obvious in the field of international migration. She developed an undergraduate and graduate programme in migration studies at the University of Waikato. It was the first department to teach migration in a comprehensive way. Ruth furthered her interest in population policy issues through the New Zealand Planning Council’s Population Monitoring Group and in many other activities in New Zealand and in international collaborations. Dr Farmer’s research was at the forefront of New Zealand academic research on refugees and refugee settlement in the 1980s.

Mansoor Khawaja
Mansoor was Chief Demographer at Statistics New Zealand for many years. He was a foundation member of the original New Zealand Demographic Society in 1975, and from the beginning was actively involved in its activities. He was on the Council of the Society for over 25 years and was President between 1987 and 1989. He has only recently stood down in 2010. Mansoor has been indispensable behind the scenes of PANZ conferences and no doubt his expertise will be called on in future years. He has been a leader in the provision of statistics that inform public debate about population issues and is a lively, engaging presenter. We wish him well in all his future endeavours.

Professor Ian Pool
For over 25 years, Ian Pool has continually challenged and lifted the place of demographic work in academic and public life in New Zealand. His extra-ordinary vitality, the depth of his international engagement, and his powerful insights into demographic processes in all facets of the New Zealand population are well recognised, through his prodigious publication, his passion for the teaching of population, and his accessibility and willingness to engage in the many ways expected of leaders in New Zealand.

Ian Pool has already been well recognised by many distinctions that distinguish our finest scholars, including being elected a fellow of the Royal Society of NZ in 1994. He was awarded its James Cook Fellowship for 2004-06. Ian has been a visiting fellow at overseas universities on many occasions.

Ian Pool was the founding Director of the University of Waikato Population Studies Centre, leading it from 1980 until 2004. He has been twice elected President of the Population Association of New Zealand, and been a member since 1978.

Dr. Janet Sceats
Dr Sceats pioneered several important areas of research in medical demography and family formation in New Zealand. Her wide-ranging career in academia, the health sector, and private consultancy reflects her lifelong passion for undertaking research at the intersection of demography and health policy. In addition to her work in medical demography, Dr Sceats has had a long interest in family formation. She was one of the first demographers to examine, in detail, family dynamics in New Zealand including induced abortion, and changes in birth timing and spacing.

From the late 1970s until her retirement in 2009, Dr Sceats occupied senior advisory, research and management roles in the health sector. Her long list of roles included positions with the Canada Department of National Health and Welfare (1970s), the New Zealand Department of Health (1970s), the Waikato Area Health Board (1980s), the Midland Health Funding Authority (1990s), and Pinnacle Primary Health Network (2000s). After establishing her own consultancy in the late 1990s, Dr Sceats continued to provide expert advice and research to clients including the Ministry of Health, Health Waikato Ltd, local government and iwi authorities.

During her term as PANZ President (1990-1992), Dr Sceats was instrumental in ‘modernizing’ the association, not only effecting a name change from the New Zealand Demographic Society to its current moniker, but also instigating the association’s flagship journal, the New Zealand Population Review. In several of her roles she was able to train and mentor a cadre of aspiring women demographers and health policy analysts, several of whom are now senior demographers in their own right.

Associate Professor Andrew Trlin
short bio to come

Dr Arvind Zodgekar
short bio to come