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Nau mai, haere mai ki Te Ihowhenua 

Geography is an environmental science concerned with the causes and organisation of natural and human phenomena across the globe. It is primarily an integrative discipline aiming to establish knowledge of inter-relationships between and among human and natural systems.

Geography provides a basis for comprehending and managing many of the issues facing New Zealand and the World - environmental conservation and degradation, social and economic structures, development regions, demographic influences on society, the spatial characteristics and problems of cities and rural areas, and management of water, soil, air and biological resources.

By studying such themes in different contexts and places, Geography helps break down insularity and contributes to international understanding while providing its students with a wide range of vocationally relevant skills, for instance in information gathering, data analysis and critical assessment.

The Geography Department offers undergraduate courses in physical geography, human geography and environmental studies. Postgraduate studies include Master of Planning, Master of Arts, Master of Science, postgraduate diplomas, and a strong PhD programme.


Geography Department location map







Departmental Booklets

2014 Course Information Handbook

2014 Environmental Management Guide

2014 Crowded Planet Guide to Surviving Graduate LIfe in Geography


Te Ihowhenua - the connection between people and the earth

Our name in te reo Māori is derived from an important tikanga (custom). The identity it suggests, speaks of the pivotal relationship between people and the earth (Papatūānuku). Traditionally, it has been common to bury or return the placenta (whenua) of a newborn child to Papatūānuku, thereby connecting the child with the land (also 'whenua'). This practice is known as iho whenua and is central to the concept of being tangata whenua (people of the land). For us as a Department of Geography, the name Te Ihowhenua symbolises our focus on the interwoven human and physical processes that together constitute the environment.