Sustainable Citizenship and Civic Imagination Research Group: Hei Puāwaitanga

Adelaide Street Art

The international research group for Sustainable Citizenship and Civic Imagination: Hei Puāwaitanga, is a multidisciplinary research team and ‘civics-lab’, at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

The 21st century is the century of the city. By 2050, seven in ten people will live in an urbanizing area. Against this dynamic background, the research team, led by Associate Professor Bronwyn Hayward investigates citizenship and civic governance, participation and democratic urbanization, with a particular focus on sustainability and inclusion especially for children and youth.

Researchers in SCCI Hei Puāwaitanga focus on:

• Citizenship, consumption and civic aspirations across five key energy domains: housing, transport, food, education & employment, leisure & communication;
• Citizenship education, civic leadership and political literacy;
• New methods of public engagement in urban challenges.

Areas of expertise within the group include:

• Longitudinal studies of child and youth participation and activism in urban settings;
• Citizenship education for a changing world;
• Longitudinal research methods;
• Wellbeing and happiness;
• Governance for urban community resilience and inclusion.

Studies employ multi-method approaches spanning:

• Child and community focus groups, citizen juries and new participation;
• Citizenship learning in formal and informal settings;
• Audio visual and digital recording;
• Community mapping.

 The University of Canterbury, NZ, also collaborates with CUSP research partners in India, Bangladesh, South Africa, Japan and Brazil and key global sustainability advisors:

CYCLES - Children and Youth in Cities, Lifestyles Evaluations and Sustainability

CYCLES is a a study of the lifestyles and aspirations of young people aged 12-24 in seven world cities. The study is led by Assc Prof Bronwyn Hayward and coordinated by Dr Kate Prendergast in partnership with the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP) University of Surrey and funded by UK's Economic and Social Research Council.

UC-based researchers

  • Associate Professor Bronwyn Hayward - Principal Investigator SCCI; Research Lead CYCLES (Children & Youth in Cities, Lifestyles Evaluation and Sustainability)
  • Dr Kate Prendergast – Research Fellow and CYCLES, Research Manager: SCCI
  • Luisa Leo – PhD Candidate, wellbeing and migration in a changing climate: Diaspora in New Zealand. (UC Arts Scholarship Funded)
  • Milly Woods – PhD Candidate, Children's experiences of environmental action in New Zealand
  • Md. Mehedi Hasan - PhD Candidate, youth participation and green space in Dhaka, Bangladesh (CYCLES, CUSP / ESRC UK funded)
  • Dr Sylvia Nissen - Research Fellow and Adjunct Lincoln University
  • Niwa Ututaonga –Research Assistant CYCLES
  • Nuku Tau – Research Assistant CYCLES
  • Kendall Lattin – Youth participation in Christchurch local government and planning (Masters Researcher 2019)
  • Jacob Uden – Citizens, ecological justice and the transition town movement (Masters researcher 2019) 
  • Josiah Tualamali'i – Research Assistant SSCI and CYCLES
  • Carol Nery – Research Assistant CYCLES

Research Associates

University of Canterbury

  • Associate Professor Annelies Kamp (Youth Leadership)
  • Professor Angus Macfarlane (AVC Māori Citizenship Education)
  • Associate Professor Ruth McManus (Sociology WellBeing and youth)
  • Dr Kelly Dombroski (Geography Youth, development and Green space)
  • Professor Alex Tan (Political Science: Youth in Taiwan and quantitative research)
  • Associate Professor Jeanette King & Sacha McMeeking (Aotahi School of Māori and Indigenous Studies)
  • Translation Advice and support: Dr Susan Bouterey & Zea Harman (Global, Language & Cultural Studies)

Victoria University Wellington – Dr Maria Bargh (Māori Studies: Citizenship education); Dr Bronwyn Wood (Citizenship Education)

UC College of Education - Dr Glynne Mackey (Children and environmental education).

Lincoln University - Dr Sylvia Nissen Adjunct Fellow Youth activism.

International Partnerships 

University of Surrey, UK – CYCLES Professor Tim Jackson; Dr Kate Burningham; Dr Sue Venn.

University of Oslo, Norway – Youth Activism Professor Karen O’Brien; Dr Elin Selboe


The Sustainable Citizenship and Civic Imagination research group has formal partnerships with:

CUSP logo


UiO Dept of Sociology and Human Geography logo

Event: Reflection with youth: part of Yo-Yo Ma’s Bach Project #CultureConnectsUs

"Ko te wai te ora ngā mea katoa. Water is the life giver of all things." From across the city, 6 young speakers come together to reflect with Yo-Yo Ma on the role of water in our diverse cultures and its importance in our futures.

Date: Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Time: 01:30PM to 03:30PM

Location: The Piano Centre for Music and Arts, 156 Armagh St

Ticket: Free, but please register 

Please follow the link below to find out more about the event and to register.

17 October 2019: SCCI researchers respond to UNICEF’s repot on Children, food and nutrition

SCCI researchers Assc Prof Bronwyn Hayward and Dr Kate Prendergast respond to UNICEF’s shocking global report which reveals that at least two out of three children in the world are not fed the minimum of a healthy diverse diet.


SCCI Contacts

Kate Prendergast

Research Manager
Sustainable Citizenship & Civic Imagination Research Group
Internal Phone: 90467

Bronwyn Hayward

Sustainable Citizenship & Civic Imagination Research Group
Psychology 712
Internal Phone: 95114

PhD Students

Md. Mehedi Hasan

PhD Candidate

Luisa Leo

PhD candidate

Milly Woods

PhD candidate