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WAIKATO MANAGEMENT SCHOOL IN THE NEWS

Design thinking course

Bay of Plenty Times, 19 September 2020

Waikato Management School has teamed up with Priority One to create a new design thinking course based in Tauranga.

Design Thinking for Business Impact is a new short course that provides an intensive introduction to design thinking. The course offers practical coaching from industry practitioners and formal accreditation from a leading university and has been crafted by experts to get you up to speed and delivering impact fast.

Design Thinking for Business Impact is ideal for individuals or teams who are new to design thinking, or looking for a refresher and want to rapidly get to grips with doing design thinking in practice.


Hamilton Muslim leader on new $30k scholarship: 'Some good things have come from that horrible event'

Stuff & Waikato Times, 26 August 2020

The University of Waikato has established a new scholarship to be awarded annually to four Muslim students who accepted into a programme of study at the university. Each student will receive $7,500 each.

Dr Asad Mohsin, president of the Waikato Muslim Association and an associate professor in tourism and hospitality management at Waikato Management School, has welcomed the news, which he likens to "finding a few slivers of gold" after the terrible Christchurch mosque terrorist attack.

“There is a feeling that the sacrifice of the 51 people ... should not go to waste. The challenge for us now is that we have to find positive ways of making sure something good comes out of that horrible thing that happened.”

Design thinking course Priority One has collaborated with the University ofWaikato and local design thinking experts to create a new design thinking course in Tauranga. Design Thinking for Business Impact is a new short course that provides an intensive introduction to design thinking. The course offers practical coaching from industry practitioners and formal accreditation from a leading university and has been crafted by experts to get you up to speed and delivering impact fast. Design Thinking for Business Impact is ideal for individuals or teams who are new to design thinking, or looking for a refresher and want to rapidly get to grips with doing design thinking in practice.


Together alone: One-person households tipped to surge in Hamilton

Stuff & Waikato Times, 20 August 2020

A predicted surge in the number of Hamilton residents living alone without children is prompting calls for the council to do a rethink on city housing.

Waikato Management School's associate professor in economics Dr Michael Cameron says medium projections show Hamilton’s population will increase from its current total of 172,000 residents to about 200,000 by 2030, and 268,000 residents by 2063.

In his briefing to city councillors, Dr Cameron says, ‘‘In Hamilton, our younger age profile means that we are somewhat protected from [an ageing population] for some time, and it’s not until the very end of the projections that we get to the point where the number of births and deaths actually matches."

Dr Cameron says there will be large increases in the number of residents living alone and couples living together without children. Currently, one-person households make up 24% of the city’s total households. By 2048, one-person households are likely to make up 30% of the city’s total households.


Business owners feeling lonely and neglecting health

New Zealand Herald, 14 August 2020

Many New Zealand small business owners are feeling completely alone because of Covid-19 - unable to talk to loved ones, staff or get Government help, according to a new study by Dr Amanda Williamson at Waikato Management School.

And the biggest danger to struggling businesses - especially those in vulnerable sectors like hospitality and events - is abrupt changes like this week's returns to restricted levels in Auckland, she said.


Cousins come up with solution to prevent flat tyres

StarNews, Southern View, 12 August 2020

A pair of business savvy Christchurch teenagers have come up with a new foam product that prevents sharp objects from puncturing bike tyres.

Josh Baker and Zak Shearer, both 15, were awarded $500 to help them start their Flatless Tyres business from the University of Waikato’s Equity Seed Fund programme for young entrepreneurs. To apply for a share of $10,000 equity seed funding, the cousins had to create a 1-minute video explaining what their business was all about, and how it solved a problem for customers.

The venture was part of the Young Enterprise Trust Scheme (YES), where high school students learn how to run their own business; with real profits and losses.

In June, the University's Waikato Management School ran a Virtual Innovation Bootcamp for around 13 school teams who had received YES equity seed funding. This featured interactive sessions with three of our lecturers - Neihana Jacob, Antoine Gilbert-Saad and Nadia Trent, as well as an entrepreneurship coach.


Japan just announced a fee for plastic bags: Will that stop its obsession with plastic?

CNN, 3 August 2020

Japan's love affair with single-use plastic may be coming to an end, with the Japanese government introducing a fee of up to 5 cents for each plastic bag sold by retailers, effective from 1st July.

Dr Roy Larke, a senior lecturer in marketing at Waikato Management School amd editor of JapanConsuming, says Japan's obsession with plastic dates back to the '60s and '70s.

While Japan generates less general waster per person than most developed countries, it also produces more plastic waste per person than anywhere in the world, except the US.

Manufacturers pay more attention to packaging that appeals to consumers looking for quality, says Dr Larke, and the standards are reinforced by retailers who remain convinced that shoppers prefer elaborate wrapping.

"The big retailers see themselves as acting as arbiters of quality for the customer, so they will reject substandard packaging that is too simple," says Dr Larke.


Japan's 'body-shaming' manga adverts fuel online outrage, but maybe that's the point

AsiaOne & South China Morning Post, 3 August 2020

Adverts that play on consumers' insecurities and self-esteem are "one of the most common forms there is", according to Dr Roy Larke, a senior lecturer in marketing at the University of Waikato, who specialises in Japanese retailing and consumer behaviour.

Dr Larke was asked to comment on the rise of YouTube manga adverts in Japan designed to body-shame consumers into buying their products.

"The more the ads target a common area of insecurity, such as weight, skin, or so on, the more successful they are, although more subtle messaging is more common in the West," he says.

"Where these ads may have crossed the line is if they are too explicit in shaming, rather than implicitly causing anxiety among those worried about the problem."

In his experience, Dr Larke says such adverts would ordinarily stress that the products being sold are "the solution to something that 'everyone' worries about" rather than imply that the consumer should be ashamed.

But advertisers targeting "younger, social media-savvy consumers, whose attention span and dwell-time on these types of ads is shorter than older generations" could feel they need to be "harder hitting as a way to gain greater attention", he says.


Road transport cost comparison report available

New Zealand Truck & Driver, 1 August 2020

The results of a cost survey of road transport businesses commissioned by the Road Transport Forum (RTF) from the New Zealand Institute for Business Research at Waikato Management School are now available for purchase.

The survey results provided the evidence to recalibrate the RTF/Grant Thornton Cost Index, a schedule of cost movements that many operators use to demonstrate to customers the movement in their fixed costs and overheads over time.


Matariki 2020: How Wayfinding Leadership can guide us into a new year

REDnews, Westpac.co.nz, 13 July 2020

In celebration of Matariki, REDnews interviewed Professor of Management Chellie Spiller, co-author of the book Wayfinding Leadership: Groundbreaking Wisdom for Developing Leaders.

"Wayfinding is the human odyssey,” says Dr Spiller, explaining how it was an ancient wisdom that guided Polynesian navigators to explore and discover islands in the Pacific.

Building on this in her research, Dr Spiller started teaching people how to tap into their inner navigator in times of uncertainty and change in their personal lives, as well as becoming more intuitive and adaptive leaders professionally.

“We do need our plans, but we also need to build this ability to respond to a changing environment and get comfortable with being a bit lost," she says. "This is especially relevant in a post-Covid world, where some of our ways are no longer serving us as we enter a new unknown."


Japan hits Philip Morris with record $5.1m fine for misleading IQOS ads

TobaccoIntelligence, 7 July 2020

The Japanese Consumer Affairs Agency has hit tobacco company Philip Morris Japan (PMJ) with a record $5.1 milion fine for misleading discounted price advertising for heated devices that fell foul of Japan’s strict advertising laws.

"It looks like a rookie marketing error to me," said Professor of Marketing Dr Roy Larke, from the University of Waikato's Management School, who specialises in the Japanese retail market.

“Regulations and competitive conditions, including pricing control, in tobacco, is a minefield in itself."


Effective leadership

Daily Post, Rotorua, 4 July 2020

Leadership is a journey, not a destination, says Dr Maree Roche, senior lecturer in leadership at Waikato Management School.

She says the attributes of a good leader are the same attributes that make you a decent human being. "It’s behavioural integrity, it’s honesty, it’s openness to relationships, growth and development.”

There are many different styles of leadership, she says, each as crucial as the next. “There’s real moves afoot to looking beyond the person who’s front and centre to looking at the person who perhaps is behind the scenes a little bit more and enabling other people, a service type of leader. They provide the resources for others to succeed, a real humble type of person, who is just as important to the team.

She cites Dr Ashley Bloomfield and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as two strong examples of leadership on the world stage.


Events help Hamilton post-Covid

Stuff & Waikato Times, 22 June 2020

The return of Super Rugby to Hamilton brought sell-out crowds back to the central city on Saturday night - and the local hotel and hospitality sector is feeling more positive about the future.

However, economist Dr Michael Cameron, an associate professor at Waikato Management School, says events like the Chiefs v. Blues game probably had a very small effect on the economy.

‘‘It is still only one night and not all of those people are spending other than going to the game. The actual impact when you look at the economy on the whole is probably very, very small."

Dr Cameron says what would improve the local economy the most is people spending on a day-to-day basis.


Not all communities will have food security in future as Covid-19 crisis highlights supply and poverty issues

Newshub, 20 June 2020

For many New Zealanders the food shortages seen during the Covid-19 lockdown - empty supermarket shelves and lettuce-less McDonald's burgers - were a first.

And though most shortages were due to supply chain hold-ups, rather than a real lack of food, there are still fears that without better planning around council and government regulations to enable horticulture, New Zealand will struggle to feed itself in the future.

Dr Zack Dorner, a lecturer in environmental economics at Waikato Management School, says the biggest threat to the country's food supply comes from environmental challenges.

"There are future risks we will have to adapt to as our climate changes, such as increased flooding events, droughts, heat stress for crops and so on," he says. "We will have to adapt what we do, for example changing crop varieties or what we farm."


Matt Bolger appointed business executive for Waikato Management School

Stuff & Waikato Times, 10 June 2020

Fonterra senior business manager Matt Bolger has been appointed to lead Waikato Management School, taking on the position of Pro-Vice-Chancellor in August.

Mr Bolger says he is excited by the potential to develop future business leaders in what is a significant period of change globally.

“Waikato Management School has a proud history and I'm excited by the potential for students and staff to make an even bigger contribution to Aotearoa New Zealand and the world,” he says.

Mr Bolger's appointment is a strong signal to the business community, says University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley.

“With his commercial background, industry connections and proven ability to innovate in new fields, Matt is well-placed to develop deeper connections with business and industry, creating greater engagement and impact and build on our reputation as a business school that sits comfortably amongst the best in the world."


Tapsell felt a moral obligation to step forward

Te Ao Maori News, 8 June 2020

Waikato alumna Tania Tapsell (Te Arawa), who graduated from a Bachelor of Management Studies in 2018, says she felt a moral obligation to put herself forward as a political candidate at this year's 2020 general election.

“What I’ve come to realise is the playing field is still quite small," says Tania. "So when our people are facing a significant housing crisis and now a significant economic crisis, to be honest, I just felt a moral obligation to step forward for our communities across the East Coast.”

Tania was 21 when she first entered politics in 2013 and was voted on to the Rotorua District Council. In 2019, she was the highest polling candidate on the Rotorua Lakes Council. She currently chairs the council's operations committee, which oversees $1.2 billion in public assets. And now, Tania has been selected by the National Party as their candidate for the East Coast electorate.

Tapsell's great-uncle was the Māori Labour MP, Sir Peter Tapsell.


Covid-19, climate change and culture

LSE, 3 June 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the urgency of tackling inequalities to create a more just and sustainable future, say two University of Waikato professors, Dr Debashish Munshi (Waikato Management School) and Dr Priya Kurian (Political Science and Public Policy).

If we truly want to prevent future pandemics and tackle climate change, say Dr Munshi and Dr Kurian, then it requires a major culture shift to transform the realities of our planet.

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. In the UK, for example, the death rate of African and Asian people from Covid-19 was more than twice that of Caucasians, because they are more likely to live in deprived, over-crowded homes, and to be socio-economically disadvantaged.

These issues are discussed in their latest book, Climate Futures: Reimagining Global Climate Justice (Oct 2019).


Uni researcher swaps distilling gin for sanitiser

SunLive, 8 May 2020

Dr Thomas Simnadis, a part-time lecturer on the Waikato MBA programme and former research fellow, has been using his distillery skills to meet the current hand sanitiser shortage.

Dr Simnadis is a business entrepreneur and director of Headlands Distilling Co. “In the lead up to the Covid-19 crisis, we were starting to see sales of vodka and gin slow,” he says. "We took this observation on board and began reconfiguring our production process."

Hand sanitiser's key ingredient is ethanol, which by luck is also one of the core capabilities of a distillery.

Dr Simnadis says one of the best ways for businesses to adapt to crises like Covid-19 is to be ready for shocks before they destroy business value.

“Adaptation requires an understanding of how customer habits have evolved, and offering products and services that can fulfil customer needs ... An entrepreneur that isn’t wed to industry norms or traditional modes of operating is well positioned to see these connections or missed opportunities.”


Dealing with vaccine hesitancy in times of coronavirus

Stuff & Waikato Times, 3 May 2020

Dr Margalit Toledano, Senior Lecturer in Management  Communication, says health authorities must try harder to engage with those who have a deep mistrust of vaccines if they wish to successfully eradicate the Covid-19 virus.

To build trust in vaccination and secure herd immunity for the community, better health education is essential to counter conspiracy theories being spread on social media, she says.

“It is essential to listen, understand, and engage in dialogue with these groups – especially with the moderate hesitants," says Dr Toledano. “Otherwise, even once we have a vaccine for Covid-19, achieving the necessary herd immunity will still be a challenge."


Companies named 'Corona' suffer massive hits to share prices

Newshub, and The AM Show, 16 April 2020

Businesses with the word 'Corona' in their name – a Latin word meaning ‘crown’ - or who sell corona-branded products, have taken a financial hit as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The discovery was made by a team of international researchers, including economist Professor Les Oxley from Waikato Management School.

"In all cases, when the World Health Organization put out the alert about coronavirus, their share prices all declined and volatility in their prices increased," said Dr Oxley. "Their prices were lower and their prices were much more variable."

The team of researchers were intrigued by a survey earlier this year which suggested that 38% of beer drinkers in the US would stop drinking Corona, one of the world's top-selling drinks, to avoid catching the Covid-19 virus.

This was "really quite weird", Dr Oxley said, as viruses don't spread through words alone. "The reasons for so would be deemed somewhat irrational, but mostly very unfortunately driven by name association."


Personal wellbeing, sleep, crucial to combating business uncertainties inflicted by Covid-19

Stuff - Business section, Hamilton News, 13 April 2020

A good night's sleep is a critical factor in business managers' ability to be innovative and figure out new ways of operating in a post-Covid-19 economy, says Waikato Management School lecturer Dr Amanda Williamson.

Dr Williamson's research is focused on entrepreneurship and factors that can influence people's ability to behave at their innovative best, think creatively and be more resilient.

Good sleep habits include having a dedicated sleep zone, not overindulging in coffee or alcohol, and limiting screen time before bed.

"When we have a bad night's sleep, when you wake up in the morning, you interpret the world around you more negatively ... your ability to think in new and divergent ways, creative thinking, is greatly reduced," she says. "But when we sleep well, you get the same piece of information and you will interpret it more positively and you can find creative solutions."

In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, Dr Williamson says the need for businesses to be innovative can't be understated.

"Even businesses that are reliant on in-person customers will be better poised to survive under conditions of mass social distancing if they can radically rethink things. For example, a gym might survive by renting out their gym equipment .... and delivering home workouts online and in large outdoor spaces."


Nine days of pain on the markets

Weekend NZ Herald - Business section, 21 March 2020

Economist Professor Les Oxley was interviewed about the unprecedented impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on stock exchanges around the world.

He began to sense something historic was occurring when global exchanges repeatedly began engaging trading halts in response to a sharp rise in volatility.

“In the early rounds of falls in the market, a lot of commentators were simply saying, ‘This is quite common, there’ll be a bounce back. So don’t panic about your portfolio.’ But what we’re seeing now is double, triple, quadruple dips and I bet they are now wishing they had said something different.”

Professor Oxley says the parallels now are beyond living memory — either the Great Depression or the aftermath of the 1918 Spanish Flu. There is already discussion among historians about Covid-19 marking the end of globalisation as we know it.

“We’re probably going to see a period of slowdown in global trade, and possibly in freer movements across borders generally too ... You can stop people moving, but you can’t stop financial markets responding and they’re moving very quickly.”


Holding off the Covid-19 recession: Expert reaction

Scoop - Science Media Centre, 20 March 2020

Economist Professor Frank Scrimgeour was asked to provide expert comment on the Government's $12.1 billion support package for businesses, employees, beneficiaries, and the aviation and health sectors announced on 17 March.

“It is a valuable contribution to sustaining employment and business activity," said Professor Scrimgeour. “It is imperative that the Government processes are implemented in a timely way to ensure the cash moves."

The challenge now, he says, is to ensure that government and local and regional policy decisions align with these monetary and fiscal decisions.

“The Government also needs to address the challenges that remain in the public sector. The education sector for instance is under great stress and their continued functioning is good for the local economy, but if they end up with financially stressed institutions we create problems down the track."

“In the short run we need to sustain employment and firms but in the long run some jobs and firms will not have a future and there transition needs to be facilitated. Hence, all eyes will start to focus on the upcoming budget."


Climate change a 'potentially devastating' risk to tourism sector

Stuff, 27 February 2020

New Zealand's multi-billion dollar tourism sector is at risk from the potentially devastating effects of climate change, a new report by University of Waikato academics has warned.

The 48-page report was co-authored by Professor of Management Communication Debashish Munshi (Waikato Management School), along with his Waikato colleagues Prof. Priya Kurian and Assoc. Prof. Sandy Morrison, as part of a $270,000 research and engagement project funded by the Deep South National Science Challenge.

"For a sector that relies on the country's fragile natural assets such as its beaches, mountains and stunning landscapes, the impacts of climate change are potentially devastating," the report says.

The problems, say the authors, lie with a lack of a coherent national strategy on how to respond; large numbers of small businesses that lack the financial resources or ability to tackle the issue; and a focus on short-term business concerns and profits at the expense of long-term planning.


Eurocentric view of climate change failing to recognise impact in Pacific

Radio New Zealand, 25 February 2020

A Eurocentric view of climate change fails to recognise many of the threats and impacts affecting Pacific islanders, says researcher Dr Jessica Pasisi, who recently completed her PhD thesis at Waikato Management School.

Dr Pasisi interviewed 12 women from Niue to find out how climate change is affecting them in their everyday lives, and discovered they had concerns about the impacts on family, culture, language, traditional food sources and vegetation, and inter-generational knowledge.

She then compared the women's responses to how climate change is covered by mainstream media and academia - and who was doing the talking. That included headlines such as "How to save a sinking island nation" or "Australia to help Pacific neighbours adapt to climate change".

Dr Pasisi discovered a lack of true indigenous representation in discussions, which tends to erode Pacific people's agency and fails to recognise their own perspectives and experiences.


ANZ appoints new managing director

National Business Review and goodreturns.co.nz, 20 February 2020

Ben Kelleher has been appointed to ANZ's senior leadership team as their new managing director of retail and business banking.

Ben studied at the University of Waikato from 1996-2000, where he completed a Bachelor of Management Studies with first class honours in 1999. He followed this up with with a Master of Management Studies in finance and economics (first class honours) in 2000.

ANZ's CEO Antonia Watson says: “Ben brings experience, energy and ideas to retail and business banking at an exciting time. Technology is transforming the industry, enabling us to make banking easier, more convenient and putting the customer in the driver’s seat of their financial future.”


Saving planet earth; one (less) child at a time

North and South magazine, February 2020

Associate Professor of Economics Michael Cameron was interviewed for a cover story about climate change and the world's growing population, which is set to reach 9.8 billion by 2050.

Having fewer children is the single best measure that individuals can take to fight climate change, because every child generates 58.6 tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

Yet the 'population problem' is rarely mentioned in climate change debates, often because of racial/cultural sensitivities, says Dr Cameron.

"Talking about reducing family sizes can offend a lot of people, from Catholics to Maori and Pacific Islanders, who might have bigger families," he says. "It's easy to point the finger at places like Africa and India and say it's their problem, but that can smack of racism and colonialism."

Dr Cameron says it's also easy to step on landmines such as eugenics and forced family planning via sterilisation, abortion and one-child policies. "That's why governments tend to put population in the too-hard basket and focus instead on issues such as reducing industrial and agricultural emissions, which are also critical."


Fighting the tide of fast fashion

Sunday Star-Times, Stuff, 9 February 2020

New Zealanders' love of fast fashion is accelerating the world's climate crisis, with far too much re-usable clothing being sent to landfill. Last year, Kiwis spent an average of $750 per person on new clothing and footwear.

Professor Juliet Roper, co-director of the New Zealand Institute for Business Research's Responsible and Sustainable Research Unit, says the pace of the fast fashion industry is having a vast and unsustainable impact on the planet; both environmentally and socially.

"In 2017 it was estimated that the textile industry produces 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year and that the fashion industry produces about 5% of total global emissions. That's huge," says Professor Roper.

Fast fashion has negative impacts on the climate at all stages of its life cycle, she says. This is seen in everything from "health hazards from clothing dyes, water use, and transport of vast quantities of clothing usually from Asian countries, around the world. Socially, because of continued low wages and unfavourable working conditions."

For example, it takes 20,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of cotton, equating to one t-shirt and a pair of jeans. While people are generally more awake to the climate crisis, Professor Roper says a harmful double standard still exists when it comes to people buying new clothes just to keep up to date with the latest trends.

"If governments were to place restrictions on imports, there would be an outcry from businesses and consumers. Yet at the same time we all express concerns about climate change and pollution," she says.


Coronavirus: Time will tell long-term economic impact on New Zealand

Newshub, 3 February 2020

The government believes the temporary ban on travellers arriving from China due to coronavirus will only have a "marginal" extra impact on New Zealand's economy.

However, Professor Chris Ryan, director of Waikato Management School's China-New Zealand Tourism Research Unit, told RNZ it wasn't just immediate cancellations that were of concern to the tourism industry. It is possible that China's GDP may decrease due to the impact of the virus, he said. That could result in fewer Chinese having the money to travel to New Zealand.

"If in fact the Chinese economy is hit, then I think that will reduce the number of people likely to come to New Zealand, because we are seen as expensive and there are many significant, cheaper and equally attractive destinations that the Chinese would go to," Professor Ryan said.

Last week, Waikato University's China-New Zealand Tourism Research Unit director, Chris Ryan, told RNZ it wasn't just immediate cancellations that were of concern to the industry, but it was possible China's GDP may decrease due to the impact of the virus. That could mean that less Chinese have the money to travel to New Zealand.

"If in fact the Chinese economy is hit then I think that will reduce the number of people likely to come to New Zealand because we are seen as expensive and there are many significant, cheaper and equally attractive destinations that the Chinese would go to," Prof Ryan said.


Call to redraw voting lines: The north-south divide

Waikato Times, Stuff Politics, 29 January 2020

The New Zealand Electoral Commission should scrap Hamilton’s existing east and west electorates and replace them with north and south electorates, to better reflect the city’s diverse “communities of interest”, according to former Green Party candidate Mark Servian.

But the bold idea is “probably a non-starter”, says associate professor of economics Michael Cameron of Waikato Management School, as it potentially clashes with the commission’s objective of having an equal number of people in each electorate.

Social demographics are not a factor the organisation takes into consideration, says Dr Cameron. However topographical features are – and the river is a prominent and natural dividing line.

‘‘The other thing the commission doesn’t want to do is create any unnecessary confusion. Everyone in Hamilton would effectively be in a new electorate under this proposal, so it would probably not be acceptable to them on that basis.’’


Coronavirus: Tourism in New Zealand could suffer

Radio New Zealand, Newshub, New Zealand Herald, and Stuff, 28 January 2020

If China's economy takes a hit from the Wuhan coronavirus, it could prove costly for our tourism industry in the short-term, says China-New Zealand tourism expert Professor Chris Ryan of Waikato Management School.

"If in fact the Chinese economy is hit then I think that will reduce the number of people likely to come to New Zealand because we are seen as expensive, and there are many significant, cheaper and equally attractive destinations that the Chinese would go to," says Professor Ryan.

The prediction of one million visitors was likely to still happen, it might just take more time.

"But we have to remember ... We face a much more competitive situation, every country in the world is really after the Chinese tourist ... We still need to keep very close tabs on Chinese consumer spending patterns. We need to remember that China is also an ageing population."


We got it made: World's first water e-bike

Daily Mail, The Mirror, BBC News, 8 January; Stuff, 14 January 2020

The world's first electric bike that lets you cycle on water at speeds of up to 20 kmph, the Manta5 Hydrofoiler XE-1, has officially launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Watch the video here.

"Being a pure, new invention and not having a lot to go on, the whole design challenge has been huge," says Manta5 chief executive Greg Johnston; who is an alumnus of Waikato Management School (Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours, 2014).

'It replicates the workout of a traditional road or mountain bike - but on water," says Johnston, who believes the bike could potentially become a future Olympic sport. "We're pretty excited at being the first to market and cultivating a whole new sport ... it's a pretty exciting time for us over the next six months," he says.

New Zealand startup company Manta5 is based in the Waikato and was founded in 2011 by Guy Howard-Willis and Roland Alonzo; both passionate cyclists. They developed eight major prototypes for the bike before perfecting the final design.

'Mastering it is like cycling for the first time. It might take a few attempts, but once you get the hang of it, hydrofoiling is a lot of fun,' Johnston says.


Super Rugby: Marketing gurus challenge officials to do more to win back crowds

Stuff - Sports section, 11 January 2020

Crowd attendances at Super Rugby games are are in sharp decline, having fallen by 30% on average since 2015.

Waikato Management School marketing lecturer Korey Rubenstein says the writing is on the wall for some Super Rugby clubs unless they learn to adapt to a competitive environment.

Getting people to buy a ticket for a game is only half the challenge, he says. Organisations then need to make fans "sticky" by creating memorable interactions to keep people coming back week after week.

Everything about the customer experience needs to be quality, he says, from the travel and entertainment to the food sold at the stadium, which has long been a criticism.

Rubenstein says a major problem he sees is that Super Rugby clubs aren't "segmenting the market" appropriately to reward more loyal or higher-spending customers, such as season members. "That could be a tour of the changing room or gym, or going behind the scenes to see them warm up or meet part of the team, or lounge access with cocktails and recliners etc.​"

He wonders if Super Rugby franchises are doing the research to understand their customers' needs and motives. "Make it worth the fans' time and effort to come to those games, and really pull out all the stops to reward them and encourage them to be there," Rubenstein says.


Waikato house prices skyrocket

Waikato Times, Hamilton Press, Stuff, 13 December 2019

The asking price for Waikato homes has skyrocketed by 74% in the past five years, reaching a median sale price of $590,000 in November 2019, information from Trade Me shows.

Professor of Economics Frank Scrimgeour, from Waikato Management Schooll, says the lower interest rate regime has helped buyers enormously.

‘‘I was at an auction the other day, and ... for the period I was there the only houses sold were under $600,000. So buying a house in Hamilton is challenging, but the fact there’s more activity in that space suggests there are a number of people who are finding it is affordable and can make the transition," he says.

But with rising average asking and sale prices, his concern is people’s ability to buy their own homes. ‘‘The interest rate side of things is under control at the moment but there are two important areas: increasing people’s incomes and finding ways to increase supply and reduce cost."

Professor Scrimgeour is also concerned about the lack of land supply pushing up prices. ‘‘The infrastructure is not being put in fast enough to sustain the number of new house builds that we need here.’’

Things like wastewater infrastructure and roading needs to be brought up to standard if people want to develop on an area. Developments seem to be occurring very slowly, he says.


Ex-GM boss calls for end of car ownership

The Washington Post, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Financial Times, Business Insider India, ABC News, Stuff, 13 December 2019

General Motors' ex-boss Dan Ammann, an alumnus of Waikato Management School who is now chief executive of GM's self-driving car startup Cruise, has said in a recent blog post that transportation is “broken” and society "must move beyond the car".

‘‘Imagine if someone invented a new transportation system and said, ‘I’ve designed a new way of getting around: it’s powered by fossil fuels that will pollute our air. It will congest our cities to the point of inciting rage in its users. Its human operators will be fallible, killing 40,000 Americans – and more than a million people around the world – every year’,’’ Ammann wrote. "You’d say, ‘You’re crazy’.’’

Ammann, 47, is promoting the idea that electric, self-driving vehicles purpose-built for ride-sharing are the best cure for modern-day urban transportation woes. At present Cruise is testing its fleet of electric, on-demand vehicles, but it had to postpone a goal of deploying them this year.

Ammann grew up in Hamilton and graduated from the University of Waikato in 1994 with a Bachelor of Management Studies with First Class Honours.

In 2009 he became an adviser for the GM board over its post-bankruptcy restructuring, after working as a banker for Morgan Stanley in New York, covering the automotive industry with General Motors as one of his clients. In 2015 Ammann was appointed as president of GM, before taking the lead at Cruise in 2018.


Seasons workers' important NZ role

Newsroom, 5 December 2019

Economist Professor John Gibson says it's time to start giving credit to the 16,000 seasonal migrant workers from Pacific nations who come to work in New Zealand every year for the crucial role they play in our horticulture and wine industries.

Professor Gibson, who has been analysing the impacts of the government's Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme since it was introduced in 2007, says the RSE has helped to grow our apple, kiwifruit and wine exports by about $1 billion per year.

"At least some of this growth is thanks to the RSE scheme and to the hard work of thousands of seasonal migrants who spend their days picking, packing and pruning every year," he says.


Fieldays sets marker for next 25 years

Waikato Business News, 2 December 2019

2019 was a strong year for Fieldays as the 10-13 June event generated $549 million in sales revenue for New Zealand firms, with $183 million going into the Waikato region. The national figure is an increase of more than $50 million on last year’s figures.

The figures come from an economic impact report conducted by Dr Warren Hughes of the New Zealand Institute for Business Research (NZIBR) at the University of Waikato.

The report states that more than 2000 full-year jobs have been sustained in the New Zealand economy from the 2019 event with almost 900 in Waikato.


Fieldays boost for business

Waikato Times and Newstalk ZB, 14 November 2019

A new economic report published by the New Zealand Institute for Business Research (NZIBR) shows this year’s Fieldays at Mystery Creek generated $549m in sales revenue for New Zealand firms, including $183 million for Waikato businesses. That's an increase of more than $50 million on last year.

The report by Dr Warren Hughes says the 10-13 June agricultural event also sustained over 2000 full-year jobs - 900 of those in the Waikato region - and it generated $247m additional GDP for the New Zealand economy, with $80m of that added to Waikato’s GDP.

Fieldays' general manager commercial Nick Dromgool told Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB that the event is estimated to have contributed over $18 billion to the national economy.

"We're very conscious that we need to lead change, and that's what we're focused on."


Children will have to wait

NZ Herald, 29 October 2019

An article in the NZ Herald investigated whether university graduates are delaying home ownership or having children until they have paid off their student loans.

The article referenced a 2003 study by Waikato University economists John Gibson and Grant Scobie, which found the chances of a non-partnered person owning their own home were reduced by 60% if they had an outstanding student loan, after allowing for age, income sources and other factors.

However, the study found the opposite effect for couples. Couples were actually 11% more likely to own their own homes if they had a student loan, even after allowing for other factors — perhaps because of factors that could not be measured such as stable career paths and perseverance.

Overall,Gibson and Scobie found that student loans had no significant effect on the number of children people had.


Hamilton to get bigger and bigger? Yeah, nah

Waikato Times, Stuff, 28 October 2019

Hamilton's population might be growing at a rate 30 per cent faster than the New Zealand average, but growth is still not as explosive as some people might dream.

Economist Dr Michael Cameron says Hamilton isn't growing nearly fast enough to overtake Wellington and Christchurch within the next 30 to 50 years.

"Hamilton's population is about 50,000 smaller than Wellington and nearly 200,000 smaller than Christchurch, that's a lot to catch up on. Canterbury had a major earthquake which decimated the city of Christchurch, but we still haven't caught up with them."

"If you are talking about, is Hamilton going to be a city of 200,000; sure it's going to be that. But Wellington is certainly going to be big and bigger and Christchurch is also going to be big and bigger."


Participants needed for cost comparison survey

Transport Talk, October 2019

The New Zealand Institute for Business Research has once again been commissioned to carry out the Road Transport Forum's Road Transport Cost Comparison Survey of transport operators in New Zealand to ascertain changing costs on a regional, sector and size basis, such as fuel, road user charges, wages, depreciation, overheads, repairs and maintenance.

This survey is carried out every 4-5 years and feeds into the Road Transport Forum's annually updated Road Transport Cost Index. The survey results will be provided free-of-charge to industry association members.


Government urged to spend surplus wisely

Newstalk ZB, Breakfast show with Mike Hosking, 9 October 2019

Professor of Finance Stuart Locke was interviewed about the Government's $7.5 billion budget surplus, announced this week.

He told Mike Hosking that he believes new spending should be on agriculture and meat alternatives, to protect the economy for the future.

"We shouldn't go and have a street party with the surplus. We do have to use it wisely, especially as the global economy is slowing down," said Professor Locke.


Michael Cameron on the 2018 Census

Newshub's The AM Show, 24 September 2019

Associate Professor of Economics Michael Cameron was interviewed by Newshub's The AM Show on 24 September about the release of the 2018 Census data by Statistics New Zealand.

He believes our increased population of 4.7 million - up 457,000 since 2013 - is due to an influx of people moving to New Zealand, resulting in the need for another electorate. More than a quarter of people (27.4%) said they were not born here.

"International migration is still high, but it's nowhere near as high as it was over that five-year period, so while the population is still growing, it's probably not growing nearly as fast as it was between 2013-2018," said Dr Cameron.


Economist, academic stand by housing affordability report

The Waikato Times, 24 September 2019

A report produced by Auckland company Urban Economics that warns Hamilton faces increasingly unaffordable house prices has been heavily criticised by Hamilton City Council as containing "fundamental inaccuracies".

However, Professor of Economics Frank Scrimgeour gave the report a B+ grade and said it was "not a rubbish report".

"It’s a useful report which raises important questions that haven’t been addressed elsewhere which need to be addressed," said Professor Scrimgeour.

‘‘It’s not an ‘A’, there are some deficiencies, but you don’t fail the student because they haven’t perfected everything and just because the messenger hasn’t got all of the details right, you don’t say the messenger is useless; you say ‘What can we learn from this?"


Expert says PR needs an ethical upgrade

Mediawatch, Radio New Zealand, 22 September 2019

Associate Professor Lee Edwards from London School of Economics has warned that the public relations industry's role in spreading fake news and spinning the truth on behalf of its clients has been overlooked.

Dr Edwards gave a talk at Waikato Management School on 9 September called  'Communication industries in the era of fake news: Between organised lying and professional legitimacy.

"Disinformation is part of the DNA of PR. I don't think the PR industry likes that," she told Mediawatch. "They are people with enormous power to shape the way we see the world."

"I'm not saying the average PR and comms company is involved in fake news. What I am saying is that the techniques they use are used by fake news practitioners."


An economist explains why individual climate actions still matter

The Spinoff, 18 September 2019

Environmental economics lecturer Dr Zack Dorner wrote an opinion editorial for The Spinoff explaining why it's not pointless for individuals to take action against climate change in their everyday lives, such as planting a tree or cycling to work.

"Every tonne of carbon dioxide we stop from going in to the atmosphere makes it more likely we will keep our coral reefs. Every contribution we make to the global climate public good makes extreme storms less likely," he said.

"About every 6,000km you drive in your 2010 1.8L Toyota Corolla will emit 1 tonne of carbon dioxide. By cycling instead of driving that distance ... you have given the world some small but still real benefit of less climate change."

Dr Dorner argued that by doing so, you are contributing to a global public good that benefits 7 billion people. This in turn helps to create new social norms that encourage others to change too. "For those of us who have the ability to make climate friendly choices now, we should do so."


Waikato University academic calls for default unionism

Stuff, 8 July 2019

Professor Mark Harcourt is among 42 New Zealand employment law experts calling for default unionism to help address the rise of income inequality.

Workers would automatically be enrolled as members in a union and could choose to opt out immediately if they wished.

However, it's not a return to compulsory unionism, says Professor Harcourt.

"It preserves the freedom to associate and not to associate with a union, but it makes it a lot easier for people to choose union membership while still enabling them to choose no membership."

Studies from overseas proved the decline of union membership was a major factor in the rise in income inequality, he says.

American evidence shows lowest paid workers' wages increased 30-40 per cent with membership in unions.

"The primary benefit [of default unionism] would be to raise the pay of the lowest paid, because unions would have far more negotiating power than individuals alone."


Opt-out union membership system proposed for New Zealand

Radio Newstalk ZB, 2 July 2019

A world first opt-out union membership system that would see workers automatically signed up to a union when they sign their employment contract has been proposed for New Zealand by academics from the University of Waikato.

Professor of Human Resource Management Mark Harcourt says the current opt-in system makes it harder for unions to gather new members, who are afraid of offending their employer. "At the moment inertia keeps people out of unions, but with a union default, inertia would be seen as an advantage."

He says research shows widening income inequality can be partly linked to the decline in unions and collective bargaining.

"I’m aware people might say this is a backdoor route to socialism; an affront to individual liberty," says Professor Harcourt. "But people would be able to opt out if they chose to. It’s not a closed shop we’re suggesting."

Read the full press release and original article published in The Conversation.


Community approach to helping Kiwi kids

Waikato Business News, 1 July 2019

Hamilton-based social enterprise The WaterBoy is creating stronger communities by helping Kiwi kids realise their dreams of playing sport.

Founder and director Thomas Nabbs (Waikato’s Bachelor of Management Studies, 2010) believes every Kiwi kid should have the opportunity to play sport, as it has countless benefits for developing their self-esteem, social and leadership skills.

But many families are struggling, says Nabbs, and can’t afford to pay for club fees or new soccer boots.

“I’m a firm believer that we’ve got to create an environment for our children to thrive and grow in. And those kids were missing out on so many opportunities to grow and be strong, to reach their potential through the skills they learned in sport,” he says.

Nabbs turned to local businesses for help, and the support was overwhelming – The WaterBoy foundation now has more than 60 sponsors helping to make a positive difference in children’s lives.


51 trees planted to honour Christchurch shooting victims

Northern Advocate / NZ Herald, 1 July 2019

School children have planted 51 trees at Whangārei Falls to honour each of the 51 victims of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

Their inspiration for the tree-planting project came out of a 'Curious Minds-Possible Worlds' course for school children, developed and taught by Professor Kathryn Pavlovich, which seeks to develop children's curiosity, creativity and problem-solving skills.

Watch the video online.


Drug dealers gain skills to become entrepreneurs in Waikato University course

NZ Herald, 15 June 2019

Prisoners busted for drug dealing are being taught how to "go straight" and start a legitimate business through a remarkable new online course taught at Auckland Women's Prison.

Twenty female prisoners; some of whom could barely read and write, have all passed the University of Waikato Management School paper in entrepreneurship, which required developing business plans for a variety of products and services.

Teaching fellow Gina Millar designed the paper, which is delivered via 20 new iPads funded by the University.

“We are looking into different ways to get them to go back out into society and redirect their skills," says Millar. "Most of them have children, and they want to get them back. They know they need to have a legitimate way of earning money.”

Millar said she was afraid it was a little bit too complex because there was such varying ability of literacy and education in the group. "It's been quite amazing seeing the impact, just incredible growth. They are so much more confident and inspired. Just using the business language, they have really assimilated the information, which is quite amazing to see."

Read the full story about this project, The Entrepreneurial Inmate, 27 May 2019


Teams rewarded for innovation at NZ Startup Bootcamp

New Zealand Herald / Waikato Business News, 21 May 2019

A team of students from Waikato Management School have won $10,000 at the NZ Startup Bootcamp Competition with their innovative idea for a 'Chameleon' colour-changing product that can detect gas leaks in refrigeration systems.

After 48 intense hours, the four Bachelor of Management Studies (Honours) students beat nine other teams to win the 'Gallagher Best New Idea' award category on 19 May.

The team plans to invest their $10,000 into their business, and they recommend the bootcamp to anyone who wants to test out a new business idea.

“One of the most valuable things we learnt is that it’s really important that your product is solving a real-life problem,” says team member Namrah Siddiqui Carpio. “Refrigeration is one of the leading causes of emissions, so our product is helping to combat global warming.”

His teammate, Callum Macdonald, credits Waikato Management School's practical papers with giving them presentation skills and experience. “The judges commented on our pitch quality, and I think that’s a direct result of the some of the experiences we’ve had at uni.”

Read more in the Waikato Business News.


Exciting, challenging, scary world full of opportunities

Waikato Business News, 30 April 2019

Avon CEO Jan Zigderveld shared his thoughts on where the global economy is heading to around 200 people at a 'Future of Work' conference held at Waikato Management School on 15 April.

In an increasingly polarised world, in business there are only two models of success - super-premium or super-value, he explained.

“If you think about any market and you go for the middle, you are dead," said Zigderveld. “The average is always wrong. The trick when it comes to data is to look for the peaks and troughs."

“Look at food. We have one billion people that are overweight, we also have one billion people that are still struggling. So they need food and need nutrition and both are business opportunities, but they are actually the opposites.”

Zijderveld, who graduated from Waikato with a Bachelor of Management Studies in 1987, also covered environmental challenges and technological change in his address.

The planet is under stress, he said. Almost all leading organisations in Europe had made a commitment to be carbon neutral or better. “Because they realise that if your business model is based on the old world of destroying and using up this world, it is not a great investment. Your company is not going to be around in 10 or 20 years’ time.”


Global market growing for award-winning Waikato firm

Waikato Business News, 30 April 2019

Quantec CEO Raewyn McPhillips says taking out the supreme award at the annual Natural Health Products NZ awards is welcome recognition that the 10-year-old company is on the right path.

“We are a company that tries to do new and innovative things with bioactive proteins. We don’t take the well-worn path.”

McPhillips completed her Master of Business Administration at Waikato Management School in 2017 and was appointed as the company’s inaugural CEO last year.

China is an enormous and growing market for Quantec, she says. “We’re particularly in the young children range, but know IDP is equally good for gut health and immunity for adults.”


Leading the way for community engagement

Waikato Business News, 30 April 2019

A unique leadership programme that has the community as "part of its DNA" has produced its latest cohort of 18 graduates, bringing the total to 79 over four years.

The Elevate programme sees Waikato businesses paying $25,000 for one of their own leaders to attend the course, as well as a second place given for free to a not-for-profit community leader.

The course is run by the Community and Enterprise Leadership Foundation (CELF) in partnership with Waikato Management School.

“The powerful factor in all of this is having those two groups of people come together and learn off each other and with each other, about themselves, their organisations and their community,” says CELF director Tania Witheford.

For the community organisations, the course offers an opportunity that they would struggle to fund themselves, says Witheford. “Their passion drives them, but unfortunately they don’t have the funding for that professional development."


New Zealand abandons plans to introduce capital gains tax

Business Standard / AFP, 17 April 2019

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has abandoned plans to introduce a capital gains tax on asset sales, leaving New Zealand among a handful of developed countries not to impose such a levy.

However, Professor of Economics Frank Scrimgeour told AFP that a capital gains tax, while universally widespread, has not necessarily been effective.

"The proposal that came back from the Tax Working Group would not really have made a significant difference to the equity argument," he says. "It would not raise significant money and would complicate the tax system."

In a perfect world a tax on capital should be straightforward, but in reality it was difficult to achieve. "In other countries it has not solved the kinds of problems CGT proponents suggested it should."


Millennials' OE could be paid by the boss

TVNZ Seven Sharp, 15 April 2019

Associate Professor Peter Sun has suggested that employers could pay millennial workers while they're on their 'OE' to develop their leadership skills and entice them to stay with the company.

Dr Sun was interviewed live on camera by Seven Sharp co-hosts Hilary Barry and Jeremy Wells during Waikato Management School's Future of Work Conference on 15 April.

Dr Sun said millennials are "more purpose driven" and less loyal than previous generations of employees.

"So the question is how do you retain them? How do you attract them into your organisation? So by giving millennials the OE experience they so desire, I think it is a great lever to attract them and keep them."


Four-day working weeks suggested to help retain millennial staff

Radio Newstalk ZB, 15 April 2019

Four-day working weeks and paid overseas holidays are being suggested as some ways to help retain millennial staff.

A Future of Work conference held at the University of Waikato's Management School is looking at trends that will affect the future of work.

Associate Professor of Leadership Dr Peter Sun has been looking at how to boost retention of younger staff. "Millennials today are more socially conscious than in the past, so companies need to look at having a social purpose in what they do," he says.

"Millennials have replaced baby boomers as the largest working generation globally. They crave more adventure and more work-life balance; it's important for organisations to be aware of how they operate."


Bosses should consider paid OE to retain millennials

Waikato Times / Stuff, 14 April 2019

Being paid to go on your OE by your employer is one of the ideas being tossed about as a way to deal with generational change in the workforce, says Associate Professor of Leadership Peter Sun.

It was one of a raft of issues discussed at a Future of Work conference held at Waikato Management School on 15 April, where Avon CEO Jan Zijderveld​ headlined a group of business leaders and academics to canvas mega trends affecting the future of work.

Unlike their parents' generation, millennials don't feel a strong sense of loyalty to a particular company, says Dr Sun. "Nowadays people are asking the question 'why am I coming to work?'. The new workforce today crave more adventure and more work-life balance."


First look at Tauranga's newest university campus

Bay of Plenty Times, NZ Herald, 12 April 2019

Professor Alister Jones spoke to the Bay of Plenty Times about the opening of the University of Waikato's new $60 million Tauranga campus.

"It is designed to feel like you are not inside a building. The views are great; you can see the sea and you can see the city."

The campus includes a 200-seat lecture theatre, a multi-function space and a 24-hour computer lab. An 18m-high poutokomanawa panel lights up the central atrium, stretching from the ground floor to the fourth floor.

Professor Jones smiles as he walks through the corridors of the campus he campaigned for. "We have taken what was a carpark and turned it into an iconic building," he says. "We think it is going to serve our students and community well."


Trip of a lifetime removing landmines in Cambodia

Bay of Plenty Times, NZ Herald, 9 April 2019

Waikato Management School graduate Portia Thompson (BMS(Hons), 2018) spent a week in Cambodia conducting research into landmines with her former economics lecturer, Dr Steven Lim.

Their task? To help the Cambodian government develop a national strategy for ridding the country of landmines and unexploded bombs by 2025. Cambodia has one of the largest landmine and explosive remnants of war contamination in the world.

Portia says Dr Lim had often talked about the mine clearance work he’d been doing with the Cambodian government and the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC), and he’d used examples of his work in lectures.

Clearing an area of landmines not only means a reduction in deaths and injuries; it also frees up land for production and infrastructure, she says. "That was eye-opening, to see how they'd adapted to their situation."


Labour-tight Japan convenience stores pushing to end 24/7 model

Japan Times, Reuters, The Strait Times, 22 March 2019

Japan's 24-hour convenience stores are struggling to stay open around the clock as an industry that has continually expanded now finds itself at the sharp end of a labour shortage.

Dr Roy Larke, a senior lecturer in marketing who analyses Japan's retail industry as editor of JapanConsuming.com, said he sees the sector as saturated and consolidation inevitable.

"We do have too many convenience stores now, sometimes literally next door to each other. There are probably around 10 per cent too many," he said.


How a default union membership could help reduce income inequality

The Conversation, 22 January 2019

Making union membership the default option for all new employees in a workplace would help reduce inequality while protecting workers’ rights to opt out.

That’s the view of Waikato Management School’s Professor Mark Harcourt and Waikato School of Law’s Professor Margaret Wilson, based on their recent research. This indicates that a union default – with the freedom for employees to opt out after a period of time - would send a clear signal that the state approves of union membership, and help to normalise it.

Unions have traditionally played a key role in reducing income disparities, says Professor Harcourt. They negotiate higher pay for workers, especially the low waged. In the United States, evidence suggests the union pay premium has been a consistent 10% to 20% since the 1930s, and is as high as 30% to 40% for the lowest paid.

Surveys suggest that roughly half of all workers in wealthy countries like New Zealand and Australia want to be union members. But a majority cannot exercise their preference because they belong to a non-union workplace.


Business leader gifts $500k to university to support student business travel experience

NZ Herald, 16 January 2019

Business entrepreneur and Just Water founder Tony Falkenstein has pledged a half-million dollar donation to enable students at Waikato Management School to travel overseas and experience global business innovation.

Falkenstein, who is a champion of innovation and entrepreneurship, said he was "putting my money where my mouth is".

The overseas study tour will form part of a capstone paper in the four-year Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours degree. Students will visit one or more countries and have the opportunity to visit successful businesses.

Mr Falkenstein has been a member of the management school's business advisory board for two years and was inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame in 2008.

“A course which allows students to ‘open their eyes’ to global business opportunities through overseas travel is something I would like to see as the standard in every student’s education,” he says.

Read more in the Waikato Business News, 31 January 2019


Carbon cost shock

Farmers Weekly, 26 October 2018

Huge costs in New Zealand’s net zero carbon emission goals could cost the country more than a trillion dollars by 2050, agricultural economists have warned.

Professor of Economics Frank Scrimgeour shares concerns about the impact of lower carbon emissions on New Zealand's economy. He did some modelling work 10 years ago looking at the impact of carbon and fuel taxes.

“What I found then, and I suspect it holds today, is the devil is in the detail with such policies. They had quite definite impacts on GDP and there could be several ways to achieve the same result.”

A number of indicators he used including household income and capital formation highlighted such policies are also uneven in their impact on sectors.

“There can be quite shocking effects when you look past the average outcome across the entire economy. Such aggressive policies will inflict more economic pain than people realise.”


Low Kiwi dollar could hit online sales in leadup to Christmas

Waikato Times / Stuff, 21 October 2018

The low exchange rate could spell good news for New Zealand retailers as Kiwi shoppers looking for online bargains from stores such as Amazon and Apple risk paying more this Christmas.

University of Waikato Professor of Finance Stewart Locke warned people buying products online to check their actual cost before committing to buying, and look at which country the item was coming from.

Since June the NZ dollar has fallen from 72 cents to 65 cents relative to the US dollar, which has pushed up the price of online goods purchased in US dollars. However, not all overseas imports would be affected.

"Buying things overseas, the US dollar price is going to make it more expensive for us. But for those in countries that are producing the products, the price they are going to get in pounds is going to be a lot more so their prices are falling," said Professor Locke. "We might not be that badly off. American cars might go up in price, but European cars may not."


Countering the dark arts of marketing and advertising

NZ Herald on Sunday, 21 October 2018

We live in a consumer culture, and the appetite to spend is worse the younger you are. One of the reasons we fall for consumerism is that we don't do the sums, says Professor of Finance Stuart Locke.

"From a finance perspective, the promotion of specials incorporating no internet or no payments to be made for 36 months etc. plays on the average person's lack of sufficient financial literacy to work out there are no free lunches here," says Professor Locke.

"These deals are loaded with fees, which simply replace the interest rate as an income stream."


Expert: Waikato businesses good at innovation but fail to commercialise their ideas

BizEDGE New Zealand, 8 October 2018

The Waikato might be one of the best regions for producing innovative ideas, but it’s not so good at commercialising them.

Professor Tim Coltman says New Zealand businesses are still looking over their shoulder to assess ‘threats’ from disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain. But some businesses are better at responding to change than others.

“If we want to grow the nation’s wealth, then businesses across all sectors – from agriculture to tourism – need to find ways of learning from market leaders to reduce the uncertainty associated with investment in technological innovation,” says Professor Coltman.

However, there is promise – solid management science that’s used intuitively could be used to help business leaders make better decisions. “Taking a more scientific approach to understand the impact of disruptive technologies can lead to more accurate forecasts and even slight improvements, and can save you big money,” he says.


Make nature your business, urges academic

Carbon News, 28 September 2018

Companies are being told to take a hard look at what they can do for New Zealand’s struggling biodiversity – because it’s good for business.

“In the United States, what they’re now calling the 'restoration economy' is worth $25 billion and creates 25 million jobs,” Associate Professor Eva Collins told the Carbon News.

Dr Collins is part of a research programme at the University of Waikato looking at how native biodiversity can be improved in cities. “It’s not going to happen without business. Business has to be there, because it’s got the resources," she says.

Collins says businesses are starting to understand the value of getting involved in environmental projects, especially as they start looking at the implications of climate change for New Zealand. “If you’re in the insurance industry, having healthy mangrove and wetland systems there to reduce flooding is of material benefit to you,” she says.

Collins will speak about the power of cross-sector partnerships between business, not-for-profits and the government to scale up innovative biodiversity at the 'Biodiversity and Business - Growth for Good' event at the Mission Estate Winery in Hawke’s Bay on October 9.


Fonterra trading halt rocks dairy sector

Newstalk ZB, 10 August 2018

Agribusiness expert Professor Stuart Locke told Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB that Fonterra's recent trading halt on shares is alarming, and has caught everyone by surprise.

Shares in the dairy giant have been placed on a trading halt, here and across the Tasman, as the company goes over its annual financial statements for the financial year just passed. It says it's found there may be a difference between the final figure and the earnings guidance it's previously given to the market.

"I don't think anybody was expecting this and nobody seems to know which way it's going to go. Was there previous forecast on the high side or was it on the low side?", he said.


Waikato takes the crown in New Zealand business case league

Waikato Times and Hamilton Press, 25 July 2018; Hamilton News, 27 July 2018, Waikato Business News, 9 August 2018

A team of management students from the University of Waikato are relishing the sweet taste of victory after winning the Student Development Society National Business Case League.

Waikato's case team were named national champions at the weekend following their outstanding performance in all three rounds of the inter-university competition, held in Dunedin, Auckland and Wellington.

Team member Liam Whittaker​ said case competitions played an important role in bringing business theory to life.

"All the theory they teach us in class is with reference to real-world case studies, which really highlights the practical nature of business. So when you're asked to present a viable business strategy for a company in a short timeframe, it's not that intimidating because you've already been exposed to this style of lateral thinking before," said Liam.


Good and weak points of Waikato living nailed in unique research

NZ Herald, 25 June 2018

The University of Waikato's New Zealand Institute for Business Research (NZIBR) has completed the first study of its kind to measure a region's attractiveness for people to live, work and play, on behalf of business think-tank Agenda Waikato.

The research was led by three economists from Waikato Management School; Professor Frank Scrimgeour, Dr Vijay Kumar, and Economics PhD student Ngoc Thi Minh Tran.

Based on 87 indicators of wellbeing - related to financial/physical capital, social capital, human capital and environmental capital - the study results show the Waikato beats other regions within New Zealand as an attractive place to live and play, but lags slightly behind on its work score.

Data was collected from multiple sources, including Statistics NZ, NZ Police, Waikato District Health Board, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, NIWA, and city, district and regional councils.


Record spend predicted for New Zealand National Fieldays 2018

NZ Farmer / Stuff, 10 June 2018

Professor of Economics Frank Scrimgeour has predicted a record spend by farmers at this year's National Fieldays. He believes 30% of visitors will spend more money.

"It seems to me with the forecast of the milk price and other agricultural commodities reasonably high, you would expect it would be a very successful event this year. I am expecting another record."

Scrimgeour said it's clear that cash flow is steady for most farm businesses. "I think people have been chastened by price shocks in recent years – weather, angst about the government – so they're not going to be going mad and just throwing money away. But where there is opportunity, people will be taking it."


Waikato reaction to Budget mixed

Waikato Times / Stuff, 26 May 2018

Professor of Economics Frank Scrimgeour says this year's Budget was better than he was expecting. "I was concerned that we might end up like the Australians, where the government abandoned their fiscal responsibility," he told the Waikato Times.

"I think there are several areas where there is potential benefit for the region." Firstly, there is money allocated for investment in economic growth, as well as investment in fisheries management. Secondly, there is significant expenditure on public health, particularly mental health, says Professor Scrimgeour.

"I would have liked for them to have straight forwardly said that they were funding the Waikato medical school. That would have been a good thing to have happened. It's also useful what they have signalled with the expenditure around rail in Auckland and that they announced a bit more of what the gameplan for rail around New Zealand is."


Dark tourism: What draws us to sites of disaster and death

Stuff, 30 April 2018

The reasons why people visit 'dark tourism' sites of disaster or death - such as 9/11 Ground Zero in New York or Nazi death camps - vary widely and can change over time, says Professor of Tourism Management Chris Ryan.

People may initially visit out of respect for those who lost their lives. "But as time passes and the relationship of those living with the deceased melds into decades and even centuries, the motives for visits change," says Professor Ryan. "Those who visit sites such as the battlefield of Culloden or those of the English Civil War may be interested in these places as the sites of significant events, and not simply as places of disaster," says Professor Ryan.

Visitors can also be searching for a better understanding of personal, regional or national identity, he says. "The Battle of Waterloo is writ large in the formation of the island story of Britain, and arguably even more so with the events of Dunkirk."


Head judge Howard Davey offers advice for those entering 2018 Waipa Business Awards

Stuff, 10 April 2018

Professor of Accounting Howard Davey had some sage words of advice for the record 26 businesses who have entered this year's Waipa Business Awards. "When you start out, you'll be getting into work before your employees and leaving after they go home ... but how often do you actually sit down and ask, how is the business going?"

Professor Davey is head judge of the Waipa Business Awards, which are organised by the Cambridge, Te Awamutu and Raglan chambers of commerce, and supported by Waikato Management School. He said the panel of judges would not just be looking for businesses that are making large profits, but also those that are growing year-on-year.


Your personal information is Facebook's business

Stuff, 10 April 2018

Dr Gohan Khan, senior lecturer in digital business, was interviewed about the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which data from 87 million people was collected through a third-party app called thisisyourdigitallife.

It was then sold to the UK-based firm Cambridge Analytica, which allegedly used that information to target people with political messages to influence the Brexit referendum and sway the United States 2016 general election in Donald Trump's favour.

Dr Khan says most third-party apps that you download on Facebook are developed by "immature" companies "who do not handle personal information securely and in an ethical way". If you're concerned about third-party apps misusing your data, he says the best option is not to download them in the first place, or don't log into apps using your Facebook account details.


Gabriel Makhlouf: Natural capital and national wellbeing

Radio New Zealand, 11 March 2018

Secretary to the Treasury Gabriel Makhlouf, the govenrment's lead advisor on economic and financial policy gave a public talk at Waikato Management School on 7 March on the topic of 'Natural Capital and National Wellbeing'.

Mr Makhlouf says putting Treasury's new Living Standards Framework into policy making will be "world-leading" and seeks to measure and improve New Zealanders' living standards over time.

Traditional economic measures, such as GDP, productivity and economic growth remain fundamentally important, he says, but they’re not the whole picture. The Living Standards Framework also takes into account environmental resources, community assets and human capital, such as people’s health, skills and qualifications, and people having greater opportunities to live a life they value.


Straight-up error or clever marketing by L&P?

Stuff (Business Day), 22 February 2018

Brand strategist and marketing lecturer Korey Rubenstein was interviewed about brand equity in relation to the misspelling of the name 'Cook Strait' as 'Cook Straight' on a can of L&P.

"Brand equity is everything a brand does in regard to involving the public to try to grow the brand equity," said Rubenstein. "It could be intentional – L&P is a cheeky little brand and it could be meant to create a buzz. Unintentional or intentional, it's created brand awareness, making it salient, youthful and fun."


Former Minister of Māori Development returns to University of Waikato as academic

Maori Television, 16 February 2018

The University of Waikato recently welcomed former co-leader of the Māori Party and Waikato alumnus Te Ururoa Flavell as a professiorial fellow of the University.

Flavell will be teaching Māori concepts of leadership and Māori business development at Waikato Management School.


New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, is young and unabashedly liberal

Vogue Magazine, 15 February 2018

It's not everyday the New Zealand️ Prime Minister and University of Waikato alumna is featured in Vogue magazine. Jacinda Ardern's time at Waikato Management School studying public relations and communications gets a mention in the article.

She is described as "a 37-year-old with a beaming smile, (who) recently rode a wave of enthusiasm—so-called Jacindamania—to become the world’s youngest female prime minister."


FIANZ hosts New Zealand Muslim community leaders symposium

Indian Weekender, 8 February 2018

Assoc Prof Asad Mohsin (Tourism and Hospitality Management) welcomed delegates to a New Zealand Muslim community leaders’ symposium held in Hamilton on January 20.

The one-day symposium sought to brainstorm strategies to draw on the considerable untapped potential of the minority Muslim community of New Zealand.

Dr Mohsin is president of the Waikato Muslim Association, which organised the symposium jointly with the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ).


Students eye careers working in agricultural sector

The Rural News, 7 February 2018

Many young people don't realise how many exciting career opportunities there are to work in the rural sector. Exposing high school students to that is a key aspect of the 2018 Rabobank Waikato Agri-Leadership Programme, says Celine Walters, a 20-year-old agribusiness and marketing student at Waikato Management School.

She helped to organise this year's Agri-Leadership Programme from Jan 22-25, and is studying for a Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours (BMS(Hons)).


Avon names Zigderveld as new CEO after a long search

CNBC, 5 February 2018

US cosmetics maker Avon Products has named Waikato Management School alumnus Jan Zijderveld (Bachelor of Management Studies, 1983-86) as its new chief executive, based in New York.

The former CEO of Unilever, Zijderveld's appointment caps a nearly six-month search for a new boss at Avon.


Alana Scott: Turning diagnosis into opportunity

Edmund Hillary Fellowship, 10 January 2018

Waikato Management School alumna Alana Scott (Bachelor of Management Studies, 2014) has been named an inaugural Edmund Hillary Fellow after turning her health challenges with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) into an entrepreneurial business opportunity.

The diagnosis, which came along with a restrictive diet to manage her symptoms, was a shock. Alana found herself unable to hang out with friends, stuck at home, and not able to attend her university classes. In a society that places great cultural and social importance on food, Alana found a community of support and resources to be lacking. So she took action to build an online platform to help others in a similar situation, launching A Little Bit Yummy.


CBA's Vittoria Short to take up ASB reins in February

National Business Review, 15 December 2017

Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) alumna Vittoria Short is set to become the new chief executive of ASB Bank in February 2018. Short currently oversees Commonwealth Bank of Australia's corporate strategy, marketing, customer data and advocacy, and merger and acquisitions. ASB is a subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

"Vittoria is an accomplished, values-driven leader with an outstanding record of profitably growing businesses, delivering innovative solutions and managing complex business units," said ASB chair Gavin Walker.


High salaries don't guarantee success, but oversight key

Stuff, 30 November 2017

Professor of Finance Stuart Locke said the majority of hospital boards run deficits, making it hard to argue that society is getting value for money.

Locke said the State Services Commission, which approves salaries for district health board CEOs, is competent and sets responsible salaries. "The problem lies in the health boards. The district health boards have elected people on them and they do not seem to be focussed on controlling the finances.

"How can we possibly believe [Murray's spending] was being monitored, and that was a good deal for our community?"


From cruise ships to doctorate, Ash Puriri changes course

New Zealand Herald, 29 November 2017

For Ash Puriri, completing his doctorate from the University of Waikato is a far cry from his days as a renowned Barry White impersonator. In his mid-50s, Dr Puriri is a veteran of global cruise ship entertainment, an opera singer and songwriter.

Dr Puriri will graduate on 11 December at Te Kohinga Mārama Marae with a doctorate in Māori indigenous tourism management. His research examined the cultural values and processes that a whānau would encounter and engage in when developing a Māori tourism business.

"Management has long been considered and dominated by a Western methodology, coming from a scientific perspective and using qualitative and quantitative research methods, and now I've introduced a dedicated cultural empirical research methodology, a kaupapa Māori methodology," Dr Puriri said.


Zespri executive Simon Limmer new Silver Fern Farms chief

Scoop, 27 November 2017

Bachelor of Management Studies (1990) graduate Simon Limmer has been appointed the new chief executive of Silver Fern Farms. Limmer, 49, has been chief operating officer for Zespri where he has held various roles since 2008.


Jason Minkhorst to join Ballance Agri-Nutrients

Scoop, 27 November 2017

Waikato Management School alumnus Jason Minkhorst (Bachelor of Management Studies, 1989 - 1992) has been confirmed as General Manager Sales for Ballance Agri-Nutrients, with responsibility for Ballance's national sales strategy. He will join the farmer-owned co-operative in March 2018.

Jason is currently Director Farm Source Stores of Fonterra’s rural retail business, Farm Source. He has more than 15 years' extensive commercial experience in senior executive and governance roles in the dairy sector.


Deloitte Top 200: Young Executive of the Year - Komal Mistry, Fonterra

NZ Herald, 24 November 2017

Waikato Management School BMS(Hons) alumna Komal Mistry has been named Young Executive of the Year at the Deloitte Top 200 awards held last night.

Komal, general manager of Fonterra Ventures, has been a driving force in the company's highly successful 'Disrupt' programme - dedicated to finding innovative new ideas among the dairy giant's 22,000 employees.

"We've taken the model from a mere pilot to global in 12 months," she says. "It's essentially a platform where any of our people can come up with business concepts and we second them into bringing them to life."


Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand's 37-year-old leader, rolls up her sleeves

TIME magazine, 20 November 2017

In the latest issue of TIME magazine, Waikato Management School's Professor Debashish Munshi praises the outstanding communication skills of his former student, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (BCS in Public Relations and Politics, 2001).

At 37, she is the youngest female leader in the world.

“We teach students, but there are some students we learn from as well, and I would say that she was one of those students,” says Professor Munshi. “The simple things like humility, social consciousness—you can see what a great communicator she is.”

Professsor Kay Weaver adds: “We don’t have to use Obama’s speeches anymore in class. We can use Jacinda’s.”


Kiwi banks’ low-risk nature avoids scandal

Finsia, 1 November 2017

The New Zealand banking system’s inherently risk-averse nature is one of the key reasons why our banks have been devoid of scandal for many years, says Professor of Finance Stuart Locke.

Locke points to New Zealand’s strong record on transparency and corruption as some factors that could account for the squeaky-clean nature of the Kiwi banking sector. He says banks tend to be very conservative lenders to small business borrowers and small borrowers generally. They can do this because they have plenty of business from quality large borrowers.

As a country without a strong base of domestic savings, much of the money lent out by the banks on mortgages is borrowed offshore. The more they borrow, the higher the risk. One way of mitigating overall risk is not to move into risky areas, which appears to be the approach of Kiwi banks.

“But there's a bit of exclusion [of some customer groups]. My feeling is our banking system has left some holes in the more vulnerable areas in the community. If you transfer the risk by not engaging in certain sectors then you don't look as if you're a problem.”

Kiwibank is positioning to step into that area, to provide services to people other banks won't deal with, says Locke.