Victoria University of Wellington, Victoria Business School

University of WellingtonLocation: Wellington, New Zealand
Accreditation Status: Business and Accounting

Innovation Statement

Victoria Business School has established six Partnership Professorial Chairs focusing on contemporary issues that are of critical importance to its local and regional stakeholders.

Call to Action

Victoria Business School’s partnership chairs were established following extensive consultation with New Zealand business, public sector, and community leaders. The purpose of the chairs is to enable high-caliber academics to focus their research, teaching, and graduate supervision on important New Zealand contemporary issues and to support partnering organizations with research, implementation of initiatives, and training of staff in these critical areas. Each chair is supported by an advisory board comprising members of partnering organizations. Advisory board members contribute advice on the work programs, facilitate engagement with partnering organization staff, and assist with promotion of activities.

The diverse partners differ across chairs. They include the Department of Internal Affairs, Datacom, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), and the Ministry of Education for the chair in digital government; IRD, the Ministry for Social Development, the Treasury, the Productivity Commission, and PwC for the chair in public finance; the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, and NZ Trade and Enterprise for the chair in business in Asia; the Earthquake Commission and the Ministry for Primary Industries for the chair in economics of disasters; the Grace Memorial Trust, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Department of Corrections, the NZ Police, the Ministry of Social Development, the NZ Defence Force, and the Accident Compensation Corporation for the chair in restorative justice; and a private donor, the Gama Foundation, and the Financial Markets Authority for the chair in ethical leadership.

Innovation Description / Impact

The Chair in Digital Government, established in 2008, provides thought leadership, research, and advice on digital government. Examples of the impact of the chair are advice to government on how to use social media to engage with the public, innovations to ease small businesses interactions with government, and use of social media during disasters.

The Chair in Public Finance, established in 2011, builds expertise in public finance and undertakes research, debate, and policy analysis. The chair was a member of the advisory group to NZ Treasury on long-term fiscal sustainability, has assisted IRD to organize a conference on Tax Administration for the 21st Century, and is providing advice on dividend imputation policy.

The BNZ Chair in business in Asia, established in 2014, creates and shares knowledge that promotes and supports effective New Zealand business engagement in Asia. The chair has established a blog on business developments in China and gives advice to business and public policy executives.

The Chair in Economics of Disasters, established in 2013, focuses on research and policy advice to improve understanding of the economic impact of disasters and provides insights to improve disaster management and policy. The chair has generated influential research on economic consequences of the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch and lessons for insurance policy and other policy responses to earthquakes.

The Diana Unwin Chair in Restorative Justice was established in 2014 to facilitate collaborative, interdisciplinary research and teaching on restorative justice. It has been influential in the training of restorative justice practitioners.

The Chair in Digital Government was appointed to a cross-sector group of influential individuals responsible for leading the new Data Futures Partnership. The chair delivers an executive course called Using Social Media for Effective Public Engagement and established a Master of e-Government program to enable students to learn how to successfully manage complex transformational e-government initiatives. The chair has a regular seminar series and in 2015 hosted an Identity Conference.

The Chair in Public Finance publishes a regular public finance newsletter and holds regular seminars, pre-election public lectures, and an annual series of public debates. The BNZ Chair in Business in Asia publishes a monthly “Understanding China” column on and has produced two six-part “Eye on Asia” columns in major New Zealand daily newspapers. The chair is a regular conference speaker and delivers executive education courses.

The Chair in the Economics of Disasters runs a seminar series on the economic aspects of the management of natural and other disasters throughout the year. The chair supervises seven PhD students and works with two masters’ students, teaches a course on Disasters and Economic Policy, and is featured regularly in the media on issues relating to natural disasters.

The Diana Unwin Chair in Restorative Justice recently hosted a conference called Family Violence, Restorative Justice and the Law. The chair hosted a major cross-sector roundtable looking at the future of restorative practices in New Zealand, and has hosted overseas experts for public lectures.

The Chair in Ethical Leadership has just been established.



← Back to 2016 Innovations That Inspire