Carolyn Palmer

Carolyn completed her PhD while juggling full-time work.

Victoria University of Wellington allowed me the ability to juggle full-time work at the Treasury and study for my PhD, and I benefited from the experience of my supervisors in working on New Zealand and international tax policy issues. I really like the close policy links between the academics at the University and the New Zealand Government. As someone interested in policy it is a real advantage to work with academics who understand and also influence government policy.

The Christchurch earthquake led to my PhD project researching the impact of natural disasters on tax policy, with funding from the Robin Oliver Tax Policy Scholarship. Balancing my PhD with full-time work was definitely challenging but the set coursework exceeded my expectations and really helped with progressing my PhD research. My supervisors were also really supportive and understanding.

My research compares the tax responses to the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes in Canterbury, New Zealand, and floods in Queensland, Australia, and investigates the relationship between those responses and the strength of the existing tax policy systems.

One of the key objectives of my research was to provide a useful resource for policymakers who may be faced with responding to similar events in the future. As such, I was pleased to be able to provide a summary of the response to the Canterbury earthquakes to those officials from the Treasury and Inland Revenue tasked with determining the appropriate tax responses to the Kaikoura earthquakes late last year