Born and raised in Oamaru, Nigel first attended Otago University, where he completed an MSc in Marine Science. He then moved to Auckland where he trained as a Clinical Psychologist and graduated with a Master of philosophy with 1st class honours in Psychology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology.
Nigel has worked for the last two decades in a number of agencies including Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation, Sex Offender Treatment Programmes, Family Therapy agencies, Child Youth and Family, Probation Services, and extensively in private practice.
He continues to work as a clinical psychologist in private practice consulting with organizations and agencies from throughout the country, and has lectured on a number of senior courses at the New Zealand Police College.
He has written a novel and seven non-fiction books which are now published in nineteen countries and ten languages.
He presented the critically acclaimed television series “Beyond the Darklands”, which was based on his work as a forensic psychologist. “Beyond the Darklands” ran for five seasons in New Zealand. It has screened in Australia, Sweden, Spain and recently in several Latin American countries. He presented the top rating “Politically Incorrect Guide to…” Series which has run for three seasons in New Zealand, and in 2012 presented the same series for Channel Nine in Australia. In addition to this Nigel has also presented documentaries on how to help children cope after the Christchurch earthquake, and how parents can help teenage drivers stay safe on the road.
Other projects include 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 and inequality, child abuse, crime and punishment. In 2015, he did a six part popular science primetime series titled, “Nigel Latta Blows Stuff Up”.
In 2016, Nigel and two of his colleagues who were instrumental in the making of many of these documentary series, started a production company called Ruckus Media. Ruckus’ first production ‘Mind Over Money’ screened on TVNZ in February 2017. ‘Mind Over Money’ examined the decisions we make about money and ran for two seasons. Ruckus also produced a ground-breaking five part live and interactive TV series called ‘What Next’ which explored how New Zealand might respond to the many challenges of the next twenty years. Nigel co-hosted this series with one of New Zealand’s most respected and award winning journalists, John Campbell. More recently Nigel and the team at Ruckus produced ‘The Curious Mind’, a four part documentary series which explores the wonders of the human brain with the help of Baby X, the world’s most advanced virtual human infant.
In 2012 Nigel was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to Psychology as part of the Diamond Jubilee Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
A sought after speaker, Nigel has presented keynotes at a range of industry and corporate conferences both in New Zealand and overseas. His particular gift is blending real world pragmatism, the latest psychological research, and humour in an engaging and thought provoking manner that has relevance to a wide range of audiences and organisations. His specific interests include the psychology of success, dealing with difficult people, mental toughness, decision making skills, leadership, the process of change in an organisation, the ‘myth’ of happiness and stress management.