Psychologist, Author, Broadcaster
Nigel was born in Oamaru and at age eighteen he left home to study at the University of Otago gaining a Bachelor of Science in Zoology, and then a Master of Science in Marine Science. Nigel subsequently enrolled at the University of Auckland to train as a Clinical Psychologist. He graduated with a Master of Philosophy with First Class Honors in Psychology, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology.
His professional experience to date spans over two decades and reflects a dual interest in both forensic psychology and working with young people and their families. He began his career working in organisations involved in family therapy, sex offender treatment programmes and alcohol/drug rehabilitation. He developed an increasing specialty and passion for working with kids in the ‘too-hard’ basket.
In 1997, after having finally accepted the fact that working in organizations just wasn’t for him, Nigel started up in private practice. In addition to working with literally thousands of families over the past two decades, he has also consulted with a range of private and public organizations from throughout New Zealand including social service agencies, sex offender treatment programs, prisons, the Department of Corrections, the New Zealand Police and Child Youth and Family Services.
Nigel's career as a broadcaster began with the critically acclaimed "Beyond the Darklands" which ran for five seasons and was based on his book 'Into The Darklands'. He presented the top rating 'Politically Incorrect Parenting Show' and 'The Politically Incorrect Guide to Teenagers', both of which are based on his books by the same name. This was followed up by 'The Politically Incorrect Guide to Being a Grownup'. Nigel also filmed an Australian version of the parenting show for Channel Nine. He presented 'After the Quake', a documentary exploring how to help children and young people cope with natural disasters, and 'Surviving Teen Drivers', a two part documentary about how best to support young drivers.
Nigel’s other TV projects include 'Cold Science', a six part popular science primetime series titled 'Nigel Latta Blows Stuff Up', as well as a documentary series which screened on TVNZ in 2014 and investigated some of the important issues within our society including, alcohol, education, sugar/obesity, poverty/inequality, child abuse and crime and punishment. This was followed up by a second documentary series ‘The Hard Stuff With Nigel Latta’ which screened in 2016 and covered a number of issues including how to discuss suicide safely, retirement, housing affordability and immigration.
In 2016, Nigel and the team involved in making many of these documentaries started their own production company, 'Ruckus Media'. Ruckus' first production was the highly rated, six part, prime time series, 'Mind Over Money', an entertaining look in to the psychology of money. Ruckus is currently in the process of producing the ground breaking live television series 'What Next' due to screen on TVNZ in June 2017.
In 2010, as a result of his passion for science and science education, Nigel was invited to become an associate of the world leading Mutlidisciplinary Health and Development Study at the University of Otago. In 2012 he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to psychology.
He continues to consult with organisations and speak at conferences both in New Zealand and abroad.