Dr Mary Simpson

Mary Simpson

Senior Lecturer in Management Communication

Qualifications: PhD

Personal Website:

About Mary

My research focuses on stakeholder participation in organisations and the changing nature of organisational membership, with most of my research concentrating on elders (people over 65yrs). My PhD looked at communication issues associated with retirement village organisations and retirement village residents. Currently I am exploring digital communication and online citizenship in relation to intergenerational communication.

My research interests lead me to working with the Rauawaawa Kaumātua Charitable Trust (RKCT) in 2009, and becoming a long-term supporter of the Trust. In 2011 and 2015 we collaborated on a presentation for the Kingitanga Day at the University.  In 2014 I served on the Trust’s advisory group to develop a suicide prevention strategy for Kaumātua. Since 2012 my key support role has involved to organise a volunteer student communications team for Trust’s Kaumātua Olympics. This event has more than 300 competitors and 80 volunteers.

My teaching centres on digital enhanced, interpersonal and team communication. Currently I teach the following papers: Communication in an Online Society (LCOMM102); and Managing Virtual Team Communication (MCOM502). These papers enable me to explore contemporary communication issues with students, with a special focus on digital, professional, and intercultural communication.

I am a member of the International Communication Association (ICA) and the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA), and I am currently on the executive for ANZCA.

Before joining the University of Waikato I worked in relationship management, organisational development, business planning, teamwork, and health social work practice. I am passionate about teaching the practical implications of theory in real work practice.

Papers Taught

Recent Publications

  • Oetzel, J. G., Hokowhitu, B., Simpson, M., Reddy, R., Nock, S., Greensill, H., . . . Smith, L. T. (2019). Kaumātua Mana Motuhake: A study protocol for a peer education intervention to help Māori elders work through later-stage life transitions. BMC Geriatrics, 19(1), 11 pages. doi:10.1186/s12877-019-1041-2

  • Simpson, M., Greensill, H., Meha, P., Nock, S., Harding, T., Shelford, P., . . . Hokowhitu, B. (2018). Kaumatua mana motuhake: Communicating kaumatua voice and vision in developing a health intervention with kaumatua. In 68th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association. Conference held Prague, Czech Republic. Retrieved from

  • Oetzel, J., Meha, P., Wilson, Y., Nock, S., & Simpson, M. (2018). Findings, challenges, and lesson learnt from two National Science Challenge research projects: A partnership between Rauawaawa Kaumatua Charitable Trust and the University of Waikato. In National Kaumatua Service Providers Conference. Conference held New Plymouth, New Zealand.

  • Nock, S., Simpson, M., Wilson, Y., Reddy, R., Meha, P., & Johnston, K. (2018). Community-University collaboration in kaumatua research: Kaumatua driven approaches. In New Zealand Association of Gerontology Conference. Conference held Auckland, New Zealand.

Find more research publications by Mary Simpson


Adult Education; Ageing; Assessment and Evaluation in Education; Communication; Curriculum; Doctoral Education; Education; E-Education; Health; Leadership; Learning; Management; Management and Education; Pedagogy; Professional Learning; Public Relations; Social Movements; Social Networks; Social Work; Sustainability; Teaching; Teaching Online; Tertiary Education; Treaty of Waitangi

Ethics; Organisational Communication; Organising

Contact Details

Room: MSB.4.35
Phone: +64 7 837 9278
Cellphone: 027 294 6586