Dr. Jarrod Gilbert

PhD, BA (hons), Dip Ad
Research Director
Dr Jarrod Gilbert is a New Zealand sociologist at the University of Canterbury. He is the author of Patched: The History of Gangs in New Zealand, an award winning and bestselling book, and the co-editor of Criminal Justice: a New Zealand Introduction. He advises a number of government agencies on policy matters and is a columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Ben Elley

MA, BA (hons)
Lead Researcher
Ben has a Masters Degree with Distinction in Sociology, a First Class Honour’s Degree in English literature and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Media & Communication. Ben’s academic expertise is in semiotics, youth culture, and digital radicalism, and he is currently pursuing a PhD looking at radicalisation among alt-right communities online. Ben’s contemporary outlook adds an important dynamic to the work undertaken by Independent Research Solutions. His skill as a writer, in both natural and academic forms, helps to ensure that every report is technically excellent, efficiently written and easily understood.

Julie Scott

Executive Assistant
Julie is an administrative professional having worked in senior administrative roles at the University of Canterbury Law School, the New Zealand Police and Lincoln High School. Julie is a skilled communicator who assists in managing the day-to-day operations within the office while assisting our contractors throughout New Zealand. She is also the primary contact for clients at iRS.

Mel Jessep

Mel has a Bachelor of Criminal Justice and a Masters with Distinction in Criminal Justice. Her research interests lie in youth justice and alternative court processes.

Beck Eleven

BA, Dip J.
Interviewer and Writer
Beck was an award-winning journalist, feature writer and columnist at The Press newspaper for more than a decade before beginning a career in freelance and contract work. Her areas of research and writing expertise include human interest stories, crime, people and pets (for television and print publications).

Donna Chisholm

Cert J.
Interviewer and Writer
Donna Chisholm is an award-winning journalist and editor who has worked in newspapers and magazines for more than 40 years. She has specialised in feature writing in science, health, crime and social justice.

Phil Taylor

BA, Dip J.
Interviewer and Writer
Phil Taylor worked as a journalist for 40 years during which he developed a special interest in crime and justice reporting. He has won New Zealand’s premier prizes for reporting, feature writing and investigative journalism and was awarded journalism fellowships to Green College, Oxford University, and Wolfson College, Cambridge University.

Danielle Moore

MCJ, BA (hons), BCJ
Danielle has a Masters with Distinction in Criminal Justice, and she is currently pursuing a doctorate in Criminal Justice. She has a particular interest in youth justice, and mentors with the organisation Pillars, a charitable organisation that provides support to the children of prisoners. As part of her studies, Danielle has researched the reciprocal mentoring relationship and the retention of youth in addiction treatment programmes, and she is now researching the intergenerational cycle of offending.

Oliver Ploeg

BCJ, BSc Hons
Oliver has a Bachelor of Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Psychology, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Forensic Psychology. His research interests lie in violent crime, with a particular focus on homicide and intimate partner violence

Jess Maclean

BSc and BA Hons
Researcher, Interviewer and Writer
Jessica Maclean is a lecturer at Aotahi School of Māori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Canterbury, with an interest in Criminal Justice and in particular the over-representation of Māori in the justice system. She has previously been involved in research projects supporting Te Pūtahitanga o Te Wai Pounamu, the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency for the South Island, and is currently working on a PhD in Māori and Indigenous Studies.

Teuila Fuatai

BA, BCom
Interviewer and Writer
Teuila Fuatai is a writer with a background in news and current affairs reporting. She currently works at E-tangata, and has a focus on Pasifika stories. She grew up in Tāmaki Makaurau and is of Sāmoan descent.

Russell Brown

Interviewer and Writer
Russell Brown is an Auckland-based freelance journalist who covers a range of topics, including drug law and policy from a public health perspective. He was the founder of the award-winning Public Address community blog site and hosted Media Watch on RNZ National and the TV shows Media7 on TVNZ 7 and Media Take on Māori Television. He has served on the boards of 95bFM and the Digital Media Trust and advises and writes for the New Zealand music heritage website AudioCulture.

Rose O’Connor

Bachelor of Broadcasting Communications (Screen Production)
Interviewer and Writer
Rose O’Connor has an extensive background in all forms of reportage – from television production and government communications, to the oral histories she has recorded both professionally and for friends and family.

Catherine Masters

Interviewer and Writer
Catherine Masters is an award-winning journalist with a strong newspaper and feature writing background. She has covered many major events and has written extensively on social issues.

Naomi Arnold

Interviewer and Writer
Naomi Arnold is a Nelson-based freelance journalist, author and contract writer. She has written for most New Zealand magazines and newspapers, specialising in feature writing across a range of subjects, and has been a staff journalist for RNZ and Stuff. She is a 15-time winner or finalist at New Zealand media awards and is the author of Southern Nights, a story of New Zealand astronomy.

Amy Glass

Dip J.
Interviewer and Writer
Amy Glass is a photo-journalist who has worked in print and online media across New Zealand, Australia, the UK, United Arab Emirates and Canada. She is an experienced court reporter and has covered major New Zealand news events, including the Pike River mine explosion and subsequent Royal Commission, and the Canterbury earthquakes.

Dr Chris Gallavin

Ph.D LLB(hons)
Chris is the Chief Executive of Sisters of Compassion Group Ltd and the former Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University. Chris is recognised nationally and internationally as an expert in the area of criminal justice. He has presented at more than 35 conferences, and has in excess of 1000 media citations. Chris’ contribution to Independent Research Solutions is highly valuable and ensures complex legal policy concerns are considered. Chris offers legal consultancy services of the highest standard.

Emeritus Professor Greg Newbold

Greg is one of New Zealand’s leading sociologists with expertise around many elements of criminal justice. He is widely published including authoring seven books. He speaks regularly at overseas conferences and has published more than fifty articles and book chapters in New Zealand and internationally. He frequently acts as a consultant to the government on matters of criminal justice policy. His methodological understandings, his eye for detail and his demands for excellence help to ensure the highest possible quality of work.

Additional staff

With our close links throughout the academic and research communities, we are capable of sourcing relevant experts and other staff on a contractual basis. This means that each project has specific expertise and staffing levels as required.