Department of Tourism, Sport and Society

Explore how people live well, flourish and succeed in the places that they inhabit and visit.

This department offers the longest-running tourism programme in Aotearoa New Zealand and is the only place in the country where you can study an additional major in Parks and Outdoor Recreation.

Examine the activities and pursuits valued by people and societies and discover how the land supports what they do.  

Draw on theories and practical expertise from multiple disciplines to explore significant issues and challenges faced by both national and international communities, as well as our partners in iwi and hapū. 

The department's approach to education and research is collegial, inclusive and supportive, with awareness of and responsiveness to te tangata whenua and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. 

Key themes for the department

Our areas of specialisation focus on:

  • Tourism 
  • Parks and outdoor recreation 
  • Sport and recreation 
  • Social sciences and humanities 
  • Māori studies

Study programmes

Our main academic programmes include: 

Research centres


Associate Professor Stephen Espiner - Head of Department

Faculty of Environment, Society and Design


Julie Ward - Department Administrator

Faculty of Environment, Society and Design