Our experts weigh in on COVID-19

21 Apr, 2020
BEL_covid experts

As COVID-19 grips the globe, academics from the AUT’s Faculty of Business, Economics and Law are sharing their expertise across a variety of media, addressing a range of issues related to the pandemic – from over-buying in supermarkets and the mental and physical toll of redundancy, to the upside of KiwiSaver downturns, what’s really going on in terms of our gross national happiness, the legal implications of lockdown, and the call to enshrine  human rights in a digital world.

By sharing their evidence and expertise, our faculty and AUT continue to be recognised as valuable contributors to national and international conversations about COVID-19.

Warren Brookbanks, Professor – Law

“Lockdowns may significantly affect some fundamental rights and freedoms.”

Warren spoke of the legal uncertainties around the government implementing a Level 4 lockdown, especially given the mixed messages during the initial phases of lockdown.

Sommer Kapitan, Senior Lecturer – Marketing

“Stocking up for the lockdown means more consumer waste.”

Sommer Kapitan spoke to Stuff about the increase in packaging waste and need for recycling due to consumers purchasing more than they usually needed.

Ayesha Scott, Senior Lecturer – Finance

“If you’re not going to use your KiwiSaver funds anytime soon, it doesn’t matter what it’s doing today.”

Ayesha featured on NZ Herald and Newstalk ZB's Cooking the Books podcast, talking about why KiwiSaver balances have diminished, how some people could make money from this if they have time, and what to do if you wanted to use your KiwiSaver in the near future.

Stephanie Rossouw, Senior Lecturer – Economics

“Initial findings that showed Kiwis and Aussies feel impervious to the global health threat.”

Stephanie Rossouw’s research – the Gross National Happiness Index’, featured in a Stuff article, showing that initially, more New Zealanders were affected by the death of basketball icon Kobe Bryant than were concerned about the threat of coronavirus.

Cassandra Mudgway, Senior Lecturer – Law and Kate Jones, Senior Lecturer – Marketing

As millions of people are moving work and social interactions online to protect themselves from COVID-19, existing online safety measures may not be enough to deal with a surge in harassment and abuse.”

In this article in The Conversation, Cassandra and Kate argue that with increased use of digital platforms, governments have obligations under international law and should establish a digital human rights charter, with special protections built in for women and children.

Paulette Brazzale (PhD student –management) and Jarrod Haar, Professor – Management

“Many people list redundancy as a hugely significant life event, along with getting married, or the death of a partner.” ~ Paulette Brazzale

“People haven't lost their jobs because they are poor performers. People have lost their jobs because they have no business.” ~ Jarrod Haar

Paulette and Jarrod commented in a Stuff article on the mental and physical effects of redundancy, as unemployment figure move towards double digits in the wake of COVID-19 and the lockdown.

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