Our people

Meet our interim leader, research fellow, and research associates that make up the Pensions and Intergenerational Equity research hub.

Susan St John and Claire Dale
Dr Claire Dale and Associate Professor Susan St John

Interim leader

Associate Professor Susan St John, BSc, MA, PhD, QSO, CNZOM

Email: s.stjohn@auckland.ac.nz

Susan St John’s projects include overseas pensions policy, analysis of suitable decumulation products, fiscal sustainability of New Zealand pension policies, tax reforms, social insurance, child poverty and family income assistance, welfare reform, long-term care policy, the role of home equity release, and the economic implications of Accident Compensation. She is an economics adviser to Child Poverty Action Group and a member of the ACC futures Coalition. In 2019 she was awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to social policy.

Webpage: https://susanstjohn.auckland.ac.nz/

Research Fellow

M Claire Dale, BCom, MA (Hons), PhD

Email: m.dale@auckland.ac.nz

Claire Dale has research interests in economic theory and public and social policy development, including tax and welfare, decumulation, intergenerational equity, longevity risk and long-term care provision, pensions and pension portability, and age-friendly cities and communities. Her interest in financial literacy and capability includes a KiwiSaver focus. She leads an action research project in microfinance in New Zealand, Ngā Tāngata Microfinance, partnering with other national organisations with loan funds provided by Kiwibank.

Research associates

Ngaire Kerse, MNZM, PhD, FRNZCGP, MBChB

Email: n.kerse@auckland.ac.nz

Ngaire Kerse is the inaugural Joyce Cook Chair in Ageing Well, this Foundational Chair is promoting all areas of health and wellbeing for older people. Ngaire is a Professor of General Practice and Primary Health Care, a GP, and President of the New Zealand Association of Gerontology. She has 25 years of research leadership, evidence by over 50 grants and projects, 250+ peer reviewed publications and Ministry of Health and ACC advisory roll about comprehensive assessment, injury and falls prevention and COVID-19 guidance for residential aged care. She was recently awarded Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to seniors and health.

For LiLACS NZ: https://www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/en/faculty/lilacs.html

David Harris, ToR Financial Consulting

Email: david.harris@torfinancial.com

David Harris, Managing Director of TOR Financial Consulting Ltd, is well known in the financial services industries in the UK, USA and Australia as an expert on pension systems and reform. Prior to founding TOR, he was a senior consultant with Watson Wyatt & Co. in the UK and Watson Wyatt LLP in Washington DC. David has worked for the financial services and consumer protection regulators in Australia and the UK, and worked with the OECD and Irish Government on evaluating how the existing framework can be improved. He has testified several times before the United States Congress on international social security and pension reform.

Len Cook

Email: Len.Cook@lencook.co.nz

Len Cook, Statistician, was New Zealand’s Government Statistician from 1992 to 2000, and the UK’s National Statistician from 2000 to 2005. He was a member of the Royal Commission on Social Policy in 1987-88. He was chair of the board of Superu and is a member of the Remuneration Authority. Len's prime interests include public administration, population change and public policy, official statistics and the place of science in policy. He has more recently been involved in analysing the impact of the Justice system on Maori, 2018 census evaluation, and the place of statistics in responding to COVID-19.

Honorary Academic: Michael Littlewood, BA, LLB

Email: michael.littlewood@auckland.ac.nz

Barrister and Solicitor: New Zealand (1969), Western Pacific (1972); Solicitor: England (1975). Michael retired from an international career in employee benefit consultancy and helped establish the Retirement Policy and Research Centre (2006) Michael is principal editor of www.PensionReforms.com, and a major contributor to public debates on public and private retirement issues, KiwiSaver and KiwiSaver providers, including "Pre-funding a government's future financial obligations – the New Zealand Superannuation case study." (2010) New Zealand Economic Papers Vol. 44(1).

Ben Spies-Butcher, PhD

Email: ben.spies-butcher@mq.edu.au

Ben Spies-Butcher lectures in Economy and Society in the Department of Sociology, Macquarie University, Sydney. Ben completed his PhD in Economics at the University of Sydney while working in the non-government sector on issues of human rights. His research focuses on the economics and politics of social and environmental policy, and political participation. He teaches courses on economic sociology and political sociology at undergraduate and post-graduate level. He is a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development, and a member of the Centre for Research on Social Inclusion.

Brian Easton, DSc

Email: eastonbh@paradise.net.nz

Brian is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, a Chartered Statistician, a Distinguished Fellow of the New Zealand Economic Association and the long-time economics columnist of The New Zealand Listener. His interest in the history and development of retirement incomes policy is part of a broader interest in New Zealand’s economic and social development. Some of this public commentary can be found on Brian's website.

Brian has advocated raising the age of eligibility for NZS and has worked on KiwiSaver type schemes. His chapter 5 in The Whimpering of the State (1999) offers an analytic framework which could underpin more of the public policy thinking on retirement.

Alec Waugh, BA, MPP

Email: alwaugh@xtra.co.nz

Alec Waugh retired from NZ Police at Superintendent rank. He has a lifelong interest and involvement in pension, superannuation and retirement income policy, beginning with the development of the Police and Families Credit Union in the 1980’s and Police Retirement schemes, with GSF Board membership in same period. For the last 20 years his research focus and article reach on Retirement Income issues has been global. He was CEO of Business Information Services (Biz Info) from 1999-2003, and in 2013 created a consumer group representing retirees, known as Kaspanz (Kiwi Saver, Annuities, NZ Superannuation Protection Society Incorporated www.kaspanz.com) with an information focus.