Painting above is from "Random Numbers", Peter James Smith (1977). Victoria University of Wellington Art Collection. View entire painting

Notices & News

  • NZSA are pleased to announce that Steffen Klaere (University of Auckland) is our new newsletter editor.   Steffen is currently collecting material for the next edition.  Please email Steffen (  your contributions by mid-July.

    Steffen Klaere, NZSA Newsletter Editor

    Steffen Klaere, NZSA Newsletter Editor

    read more

  • Auckland R Meet Up

    Hadley Wickham presents Pipelines for Data Analysis

    “Pipelines for data analysis”, Hadley Wickham


    Friday, 15th July 2014
    Room B05, Building 303 Science Building, University of Auckland

    Over the last year and half, three things have had a profound impact on how I develop tools for data analysis: Rcpp, writing the advanced R book ( and the pipe operator (%>%, from magrittr). In this talk, I’ll focus on the pipe operator and how it’s influenced the development of tidyr, dplyr and ggvis, the next generation of reshape2, plyr and ggplot2. Come along to learn about why I think pipelines are awesome and see how pipelines + tidyr, dplyr, and ggvis can make your data analysis fast, fluent and fun.

    More information: Meet Up 07-2014


    read more

  • NZMASP2013

    NZ Mathematics and Statistics Postgraduate Conference

    Massive mountains, lush landscapes, a secluded settlement – Cass, home to the homonymous University of Canterbury field station, turned out to be an ideal venue to facilitate fruitful exchange of mathematical ideas among postgraduate students from throughout New Zealand. A group of thirty PhD and Masters students attended this year’s instalment of the annual NZ Mathematics and Statistics Postgraduate (NZMASP) conference, on the 11th to 14th of November. NZMASP2013 was held thanks to generous funding from NZMS, Mathworks, NZ Statistical Association, Royal Society of NZ, SAS, Statistics NZ, and the Mathematics and Statistics departments of NZ Universities.

    Besides a wide variety of student talks, which everyone agreed to be of an excellent standard, the agenda featured invited speakers Emmanuel Jo (SAS Institute Inc.), Alex James (Applied Mathematics), Jeanette McLeod (Pure Mathematics) and Elena Moltchanova (Statistics). Students benefited from the opportunity to network with young and established researchers, to chair sessions, and to present their research in front of a supportive audience. The invited speakers even provided detailed written feedback on the contributed talks for the speakers to put into practice at future presentations.

    One highlight, which isolated Cass had to offer, was the view of the stars on a clear night. Imagine a bunch of excited mathematicians spotting satellites, observing shooting stars and identifying brightly shining planets – made easy with augmented reality star maps on smartphones!

    Congratulations to this year’s winners of the four prizes for the best talks, Jennifer Creaser, James Dent, Katie Sharp and Timm Treskatis. The conference organisers, Peter Jaksons, Nick Brettell, James Dent and Rachelle Binny (postgraduate students from the University of Canterbury), did a great job running a conference that never went behind schedule. Next year’s NZMASP conference, to be hosted by students from the University of Auckland, will be awaited with much anticipation.

    Cass Field Station,  the venue of NZMASP2013

    Cass Field Station, the venue of NZMASP2013

    Timm Treskatis  (University of Canterbury)

    read more

  • ERA, RAE, PBRF – anyone for acronym bingo? As some readers may recognize, they all relate to research assessment schemes. Success in such activities is becoming increasingly important to secure research funding (and in some cases to maintain employment!). A variety of dimensions of research output, impact and recognition are taken into account for these types of evaluation. For those aiming high, receipt of research awards are pure gold. However, until recently, statisticians in New Zealand were at a distinct disadvantage in gaining such recognition in comparison to researchers in other scientific disciplines. There was only one national award targeted exclusively at statisticians, the New Zealand Statistical Association’s Campbell Award. Moreover, that was not awarded every year, and was not specifically a research award, being available also for prolonged achievement in areas like statistics education and promotion of statistics.

    Things changed from 2013, with the New Zealand Statistical Association (NZSA) establishing two new research awards. The Littlejohn Research Award recognizes excellence in research, based on publications during the five calendar years.  It is named in commemoration of Roger Littlejohn, who worked as a biometrician for nearly 30 years, and who was a stalwart of the NZSA. The Worsley Early Career Research Award recognizes outstanding recent published research from a New Zealand statistician in the early stages of their career. It commemorates Keith Worsley, a world leader in the statistical analysis of functional and structural brain imaging data.

    The inaugural research awards were presented at the conference dinner for the joint NZSA-ORSNZ (Operations Research Society of New Zealand) meeting in November 2013, in Hamilton. The Littlejohn Research Award was won by Professor Richard Barker (University of Otago), for his outstanding work in ecological statistics (in particular, with capture-recapture models) and the Worsley Early Career Research Award by Dr Ting Wang (University of Otago) for her excellent research in statistical geophysics. John Harraway received the Campbell Award for his a remarkable and ongoing contribution to statistics teaching and learning. John is also from the University of Otago – it’s obviously something in the air down there!

    Littlejohn Award 2013

    Ting Wang receives the Worsley Early Career Research Award from NZSA Award Committee Convenor, Martin Hazelton.

    Lastly, for anyone who did try their hand at deciphering the acronyms, ERA is Excellence in Research for Australia; RAE is the British Research Assessment Exercise; and PBRF is the New Zealand Performance Based Research Funding.

    Martin Hazelton, NZSA Awards Convenor

    For more information of the NZSA honours visit:


    read more

  • Joint NZSA + ORSNZ Conference 2014

    Victoria University of Wellington

    23-26 November 2014

    Dates have been set for this year’s NZSA conference, which again will be joint with ORSNZ.  A reception is planned for the evening of Sunday 23 November, followed by 2 1/2 days of talks.

    For more information, visit the conference website:

    To contact the organising committee, please email John Haywood (

    read more

More News

Young Statisticians

Kylie Maxwell, from Statistics NZ, has joined the NZSA committee as the new Young Statistician’s Representative.

Visit the Young Statistician’s page. for more details.

We thank the outgoing representative, Catherine Lloyd-West, for the sterling job she did!

Read More


The mission of the NZSA is to lead New Zealand to value and make intelligent use of statistical thinking and good statistical practice.  Join the NZSA today!

Join Now

Last Modified: Wednesday, 18th September 2013