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Woolf Fisher Trust Scholarship

Congratulations to Athene Laws, who has been awarded a prestigious Woolf Fisher Trust scholarship to study for her doctorate at the University of Cambridge.

Athene is currently completing a BA Honours in Economics at Victoria in the School of Economics and Finance, with thesis supervision from Professor Norman Gemmell. Chair in Public Finance from the School of Accounting and Commercial Law.

“Athene is a superb student who displays terrific economic insight, so I’m not surprised that she’s been selected for this prestigious scholarship,” says Professor Norman Gemmell. “She is by far and away the best student I’ve come across in an Honours year throughout my academic career. Athene is currently working on an Honours thesis addressing the question: ‘how much income mobility do New Zealand taxpayers display?’, using unique data on individual taxpayers since the 1990s.”

Athene has already won numerous awards for academic excellence. Her presentation at the 2013 New Zealand Association of Economists Conference won the Jan Whitwell Prize for best presentation by an undergraduate, honours or master’s student. Motu Economic and Public Policy Research also awarded her the 2013 Sir Frank Holmes Prize, a prestigious scholarship that recognises both general academic excellence and the strong quantitative skills required to support world-class research and high quality public policy. Athene also won a Graduate Award in 2014.

Sir Woolf Fisher (1912-1975), co-founder of Fisher and Paykel, set up his Trust in 1960 to recognise and reward excellence in education. Today it has become one of New Zealand’s largest education trusts. He was later knighted for his outstanding contribution to industry and education in New Zealand.



Pre-election Public Lectures

 In the run up to the 2014 General Election on 20 September, the Chair in Public Finance hosted two Pre-election Public Lectures on the state of the Government's finances after the election, by the Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Bill English and Labour's Finance Spokesperson, Hon David Parker.



The Chair in Public Finance (CPF) is a joint venture between Victoria University and four sponsoring institutions with an interest in public finance - PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Inland Revenue Department, The Treasury and the Ministry of Social Development. The Chair has been established to develop research in the area of public finance broadly defined, including social welfare issues, and to encourage debate and engagement with the public and private sectors on these issues, especially as they relate to policy.

Norman Gemmell was appointed in November 2011 as the first Chair in Public Finance. For further information on Norman Gemmell, visit his profile. A list of his recent publications can be found here.

In these pages you will find more information about the research work of the CPF; other staff and research students at Victory University working on public finance issues, our publications, research, past and up-coming CPF events, sponsorship, etc. The CPF also aims to encourage multi-disciplinary research in public finance (and tax in particular) involving contributions from accountants, economists, lawyers, business and policy specialists in the Tax and Public Finance Research Group.


These pages describe the activities and personal views of the Chair in Public Finance.  They should not be attributed to Victoria University of Wellington or the Sponsors of the Chair.

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