Greg's blog

09 September 2014
Professor Greg Whittred
Professor Greg Whittred

I have been watching the Nigel Latta programme on the television lately – have you? I’ve found all of the sessions quite revealing, though one in particular struck me as the topics he covered were ones many of you may have heard discussed at our Ballot Box series.

It was about the “haves and have nots”, and the implication that the economic recovery is not being shared fairly across the socio-economic groups of New Zealand society. I agree this is a challenge not just for the Government, but for business to address. 

Over the past few decades, Mr Latta reports, those in the bottom 10% of incomes have seen their inflation-adjusted wages increase by 13% while the top 10% have seen theirs increase by 78%; in the middle, real incomes have risen by only 19%.

It’s quite frightening to see these figures and we are quite aware that for many of our students there is an impact on them in terms of needing to take on more part-time work to cover the cost of living and to reduce their student loan debt. 

The average student leaves university about $50,000 in debt. Quite possibly, when you and I studied, we were paid a bursary to attend university and we were generally able to find plenty of part-time summer holiday work. Part-time work is now becoming increasingly difficult to source and students are finding it hard to balance work and study commitments.

In this edition of UABS Quarterly we share the story of two young first-year students, Ashkay Bassi and Tai Truong, who are the inaugural recipients of the alumni-funded Inspiring Futures Scholarship. These newly established fees scholarships have made a world of difference to these two students and their families. 

Making a difference for more than 100 years is the estate of Sir John Logan Campbell. Here was a businessman who in the late 1880s realised the “trickle down” approach was not working and that a more equal society was important. Today, through his business acumen, foresight and largess, the Sir John Logan Campbell Residuary Estate’s endowment continues to support Auckland.

The trust supports the Business School in the employment of leading New Zealand businessman Greg Cross, Chairman of PowerbyProxi, as the Sir John Logan Campbell Executive-in-Residence, and for the past three years has sponsored the Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Series bringing you business-relevant academic research. Lectures are recorded and posted on our website, giving access to some of the world’s foremost business thought leaders. I encourage you to take the time to view them and make the most of your relationship with the Business School. 

Best regards

Greg Whittred