Robert Patterson

Robert Patterson
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Tēnā koutou,

I feel extremely fortunate to be able to represent the voice of U35s in our industry on the National Industrial & Professional committee. As a Research Development Advisor here at VUW, I have a unique perspective of the research funding environment in New Zealand and the ‘soft money’ culture which so many early career researchers, research assistants and tutors have to endure.

The contribution of U35s across the tertiary education sector is crucial to its sustained development, yet this is not necessarily reflected in job security or living wages. Utilising my unique knowledge of the New Zealand funding ecosystem, I aim to turn the conversation toward more equitable funding opportunities for early career researchers and push for more longevity and security for those currently on short term and hourly contracts across institutions. Our work shouldn’t always be casual work.

This will be my first position on a committee of the TEU and I aim to be a truly representative voice by tabling our priorities in discussions around national policy and the union’s national strategy.

At a time of financial unrest in the sector, it’s vital that we have robust collective agreements and national strategies which can protect our undervalued workers.

Noho ora mai,


If you’d like to reach out to me, please email me at