Care/Work Research Group

About this groupCarework research group

Led by Associate Professor Katherine Ravenswood, the Care/Work Research Group brings together research expertise and scholarship on care work to contribute to better practice, policy and scholarship in this field. Care work can be paid (such as healthcare assistants, nurses, midwives, teachers) and unpaid (such as caring for your family members or volunteering in environmental groups). The Care/Work Research Group focuses on high quality, critical research that is strongly connected to communities and society. The group conducts both qualitative and quantitative research, covering multiple perspectives of care work including topics such as:

  • Gender and pay equity
  • Valuing care work in our society
  • Wellbeing of the healthcare workforce
  • The care and support workforce: creating a sustainable workforce, quality work and quality care, benchmarking workforce trends, workplace health & safety
  • Work-life balance and working parents


Katherine Ravenswood (Research Group Leader)Nimbus StanilandNatasha Cortis (UNSW)
Candice HarrisFiona Macdonald (The Australia Institute)Tago Mharapara
Robin Mayes (QUT)Fiona Hurd 

Current research

Care and Support Workers' Experiences of Workplace Violence

This project is led by Associate Professor Katherine Ravenswood with a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from New Zealand and Australia. The first stage of this project (with Maulupeivao Dr Betty Ofe-Grant and Dr Fiona Macdonald) was funded by a Health Research Council Health Delivery Activation Grant in 2021 (ref HRC . 20/1254).

This research project is informed by a critical feminist lens that support workers are a marginalised workforce. It aims to understand how the socio-political and workplace environment influences support workers’ experience of workplace violence.

Sustainable Midwifery: Balancing work and whānau responsibilities

This 4-year project, beginning 2022, is led by Dr Tago Mharapara and is funded by a Health Delivery Research Project Grant (ref HRC 21/872). This project draws on an international, interdisciplinary team (Dr Lesley Dixon, Dr Nimbus Staniland, Mrs Stacey Gillard-Tito, Mrs Talei Jackson, Dr Janine Clemons, Associate Professor Katherine Ravenswood and Professor Gill Kirton) who will work alongside the New Zealand College of Midwives, Rua Pokai Nga Maia e te Rauroha, and Pasifika Midwives Aotearoa. The project investigates what the impact of midwifery work is on midwives, their whānau and communities.

This project builds on the project ‘'An Inquiry into the wellbeing of community midwives' funded by a Health Research Council Health Delivery Activation Grant in 2021 (ref HRC 20/1202)

Understanding the impact of the 2017 Pay Equity Settlement

Led by Associate Professor Katherine Ravenswood this project was conducted over 2018 and 2019.

See recent comment by Katherine Ravenswood in The Conversation on the continuing issue with pay equity for care and support workers.

Download 'The Impact of the Pay Equity Settlement: Data from the 2019 New Zealand Care Workforce Survey' report

Download 'The Value of Care': report

The New Zealand Care Workforce Survey

Led by Katherine Ravenswood, this national survey of the care and support workforce, was conducted in 2014, 2016 and 2019. It is a key source of workforce trends and information for this workforce in New Zealand.

Download the reports below: