Massey's election 2020 commentators

Professor Claire Robinson

Massey researchers and lecturers are leading conversations around many key election issues. Their topics area and contacts are listed here.

Political commentators

New Zealand politics: Professor Claire Robinson

Head of the College of Creative Arts, her areas of expertise include political communication, political advertising and marketing, political leadership image-making, media bias, and election campaigning.
Phone: (04) 979 3130; Mobile: 021 244 9054; Email: @SpinProfessor

New Zealand politics: Associate Professor Grant Duncan

Grant Duncan is an expert on New Zealand Government and politics, political administration, political theory, public policy, social policy, elections. Grant is a regular media commentator on current affairs and political issues.
Phone: (09) 213 6473; Email:

New Zealand politics: Professor Richard Shaw

Richard Shaw is a specialist on national elections, public sector reform and new public management. Richard is happy to comment on political issues of the day, as well as broader themes of voter participation, and minority and youth engagement in politics.
Phone: (06) 951 6656; Mobile: 027 609 8603; Email:

Voter participation: Dr Andy Asquith

Dr Andy Asquith is a public management specialist. His commentary focuses on local government and public sector reform.

Phone: (06) 951 6755; Mobile: 021 671 456; Email:

Professor Christoph Schumacher

Issues commentators


Economics, innovation and trade: Professor Christoph Schumacher

Christoph Schumacher is a Professor in Innovation and Economics. He has a particular interest in how innovation can be fostered to grow New Zealand’s economy but can also provide commentary on economic development, New Zealand’s economic performance, trade, privatisation and the impact of the minimum wage. He is currently in Germany and will be here for the rest of the year on sabbatical leave so will not be available for ‘live’ comments due to the time difference.

Phone: (09) 213 6281; Mobile: 021 883 509; Email:

Employment relations, wages: Professor Jane Parker

Jane Parker is Professor of Employment Relations and Human Resource Management in Massey’s School of Management. Her research focuses on comparative employment relations, equality and diversity in workplaces and trade unions. She has recently researched the benefits, costs and perceptions of a living wage and women’s careers.
Phone: (09) 213 6393; Mobile: 022 456 9009Email:

Criminal justice

Crime, policing and courts: Professor Chris Gallavin

Chris Gallavin is a law expert with interests in higher eduction, crime, policing, prisons, courts as well as legal ethics of topical issues like euthanaesia, and the legalisation of cannabis. He also has expertise on international law and justice.
Phone: (06) 9519142 Int extn 86142; Mobile: 021 2388 349; Email: @chrisgallavin


Education policy: Professor John O’Neill

John O’Neill is Professor of Teacher Education and an expert on: educational policy and teachers’ work, public private partnerships, education policy and funding, teaching and learning standards, education governance, educational philanthropy and social investment approaches in education.
Phone: (06) 356 7384; Mobile: 027 332 0289; Email:


Conservation: Professor Doug Armstrong

His research focuses on the effectiveness of wildlife management, including reintroductions of threatened species and control of invasive species. He is the Oceania chair of the IUCN Reintroduction Specialist Group.
Phone: (06) 356 9099 ext. 84207Mobile: 027 329 9750; Email:

Climate change and energy: Professor Emeritus Ralph Sims

Professor Emeritus Ralph Sims sits on the scientific and technical advisory panel of the Global Environment Facility – a team responsible for projects on climate change mitigation and sustainable cities. His interests include renewable energy, energy smart food, greenhouse gas reduction and climate change policy.
Phone: (06) 357 3257; Mobile: 021 166 4555; Email:

Climate change, natural hazards and resilience: Professor Bruce Glavovic
(available from early Sept and by email before)

Bruce Glavovic is a specialist on the role of governance in building resilient and sustainable communities, with a focus on coastal communities and the role of land-use planning, collaboration and conflict resolution. He has written widely on science, policy and practice in managing natural hazard risks in the era of climate change.
Phone: (06) 951 6625; Mobile: 021 856 339; Email:

Rivers and waterways: Professor Dr Ian Fuller
Professor Fuller is Professor in Physical Geography in the Environmental Sciences Group within the School of Agriculture and Environment. He can speak on flooding and swimability of New Zealand rivers.

Phone: (06) 356 9099  ext. 84852Mobile: 021 779 325; Email:


Health, health services and health workforce: Professor Jenny Carryer

Professor Carryer is based in Massey’s School of Nursing. She can comment on: Primary or community based health care including General Practice; Health policy; Nursing workforce and any nursing professional issues; Aged care and ageing issues; Obesity.
Phone: (06) 951 8343; Mobile: 027 449 1302: Email:

Cannabis legislation referendum, drug policy and organised crime: Associate Professor Chris Wilkins

Associate Professor Chris Wilkins is the leader of the drug research team at the SHORE and Whariki Research Centre. He has research expertise in cannabis policy, drug trends, drug markets, public health, drug policy and organised crime. Over the past ten years he has completed a range of studies of drug trends in New Zealand with particular focus on cannabis, methamphetamine, “legal highs”, ecstasy and the non-medical use of pharmaceuticals. He has recently developed “not-for-profit” options to regulate the legal sale of cannabis.
Phone: 09 414 0800 extn 41330; Mobile: 027 242 2265; Email:

Cannabis law reform (medicinal and recreational cannabis): Dr Marta Rychert

Dr Marta Rychert is a Senior Researcher with expertise in drug law reform and public health. She currently leads two externally funded research projects on (1) medicinal cannabis use in New Zealand (NZ Health Research Council) and (2) non-commercial approaches to recreational cannabis law reforms implemented overseas (Marsden Royal Society grant). Her recent studies explored patients’ uptake of the new Medicinal Cannabis Scheme in New Zealand and the role of social enterprises under the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill.

Mobile: 021 423 697; Email:

Mental health and addiction, alcohol: Associate Professor Andy Towers

Associate Professor Andy Towers is the co-lead of the Mental Health and Addiction programme at Massey University. He has expertise in public health approaches to mental health and addiction, and the role of primary health care approaches in reducing harm from alcohol use. He has worked with the Health Promotion Agency on research exploring the patterns of hazardous alcohol use in older New Zealanders and on a project exploring how to enhance screening for alcohol use in primary health care.

DDI: (06) 951-6504; Mobile: 021-105-0798; Email: @AndyTowersNZ

Public health nutrition, sustainable food systems, nutrition for older adults: Professor Carol Wham

Professor Wham can comment on nutrition and public health related to food and nutrient requirements across the life-cycle, gerontology nutrition, current food and nutrition guidelines, national healthy food and drink policy, Healthy Active Learning initiative, healthy food and drink environments, sustainable diets and food systems.

Phone: 09 213 6644; Mobile: 027 6680058; Email:

Māori health, obesity and sustainable food systems: Dr Geoff Kira

Dr Geoff Kira is Senior Lecturer in the School of Health Sciences. Research interests include health equity interventions, obesity, sustainable food systems, cardiac rehabilitation, physical activity, sleep hygiene, and Māori health.
Phone: 04 979 3974; Mobile: 021 403 889; Email: @drgeoffkira

Professor Graham Squires


Home affordability: Professor Graham Squires

Graham Squires is the author of the Massey University Home Affordability Report and is an expert on affordable housing, property, internatioanl real estate trends and urban economics.
Phone: (06) 951 6552; Mobile: Landline diverts to mobile; Email:


Immigration, employment, population: Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley

Paul Spoonley’s research interests are in race, immigration, diversity, employment, national identity and population issues in New Zealand and global contexts.
Phone: (09) 414 0800 ext. 43088Mobile: 021 422 881; Email:

International relations

Asia-Pacific: Dr Anna Powles

Anna Powles can comment on aspects of New Zealand’s foreign policy from New Zealand overseas deployments, security sector reform and development, civil military relations, Pacific Islands regional security and geopolitics, Asia Pacific security, Timor Leste, West Papua, United Nations peacekeeping, women in peace and security, private military and security companies in the Pacific.
Phone: 04 979 3080; Mobile: 022 122 8802; Email:

Asia, Pacific and USA: Professor Rouben Azizian

Rouben Azizian is an expert on Asia-Pacific security and geopolitics, regional organisations, national security strategy, US policy in the Asia-Pacific, Russian politics and foreign policy, security dynamics in South and Central Asia, and regional security architecture in the Pacific Islands region. He is Director of the Centre for Defence and Security Studies.
Phone: (06) 350 5876; Mobile: 021 707 750; Email:

United Nations and defence, security and intelligence: Dr Damien Rogers

Damien Rogers specialises in New Zealand security and defence issues, including intelligence, as well as in the work of the United Nations Security Council, Secretary-General, and the International Criminal Court.
Phone: (09) 213 6478; Email:

Social issues

Aged care: Dr Polly Yeung

Dr Yeung is a senior lecturer in the School of Social Work. Her research interests include ageing and disability, citizenship participation, quality of life of older people living in residential aged care, compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue among social care and animal-welfare related professionals.
Phone: (06) 951 6514; Mobile: 021 029 15973; Email: @Socialpolicy_PY

Ageing population: Professor Chris Stephens

Christine Stephens is an expert on many aspects of health and ageing, including housing needs, loneliness, social integration and care of older people. She co-leads the Health and Ageing Research Team (HART) and the Health Work and Retirement Study (HWR), a longitudinal study of ageing following older New Zealanders and their quality of life in work and retirement since 2006.
Phone: (06) 951 8059; Mobile: 021 242 3904; Email:

Inequality and homelessness: Professor Darrin Hodgetts

Darrin Hodgetts is a societal psychologist with expertise in poverty, inequality, homelessness, housing and welfare. He is the co-author of a new book on urban poverty and health inequalities in New Zealand.
Phone: (09) 414 0800 ext 43758; Mobile: 021 024 75747; Email:

Youth: Professor Robyn Munford and Professor Jackie Sanders

Professor Robyn Munford and Professor Jackie Sanders are based in the School of Social Work and lead two large national studies of vulnerable young people. Key areas of interest are: social and community work practice, theory and research; community development; disability; children, youth and families; family support and wellbeing; bicultural frameworks; family and community; evaluating and planning for social service.

Professor Robyn Munford: Phone: (06) 951 6513; Mobile: 021 379 429; Email:

Professor Jackie Sanders: Phone: (06) 951 6206; Mobile: 027 493 0055; Email:


Retirement age, KiwiSaver, personal finance: Associate Professor Claire Matthews

Dr Claire Matthews’ research interests include superannuation, the retirement age and KiwiSaver. She is a research associate and former board member of the Fin-Ed Centre (Financial Education and Research Centre, a joint venture between Massey and Westpac) and has written several reports on KiwiSaver and the Retirement Expenditure Guidelines.
Phone: (06) 356 9099  ext. 84035Mobile: 021 548 772; Email: @ClaireM_Banking

Transport and infrastructure

Infrastructure investment: Dr Andy Asquith

Dr Andy Asquith is a public management specialist. His commentary focuses on the relationship between central and local government, particularly in relation to infrastructure investment in Auckland.
Phone: (06) 951 6755Mobile: 021 671 456; Email: