Prof Jo Kirkwood's Inaugural Professorial Lecture

Prof Jo Kirkwood's Inaugural Professorial Lecture

We warmly invite you to join us at our upcoming inaugural professorial event. Jo Kirkwood is speaking on "Is Tall Poppy Syndrome holding NZ back?"


RSVP: By Tuesday 30 August by email or online registration

If you are unable to attend the livestream but would like access to a video recording of the lecture afterwards, please let us know.

Tall Poppy Syndrome (TPS) is a tendency to begrudge, resent, or mock people of great success, talent, or status and is often described as being an Australasian phenomenon. There has been limited research on TPS in New Zealand to date, but what has been conducted is around entrepreneurs, elite athletes, and in the creative sector with a study of female comedians. It is unclear how widespread TPS is across New Zealand as no pre-existing data is available for the general population. However, a recent survey of New Zealand Instagram users (predominantly younger people) found that 45% of respondents believed they had been victims of TPS.

At the end of 2021, the debate about Tall Poppy Syndrome increased again in the media and social media, concerning the tragic case of a young entrepreneur who died by suicide. The government was also urging New Zealanders to “be kind” in the face of the Covid pandemic. Jo Kirkwood's recent collaborative research has been finding out how people experience TPS, what impact TPS is having on New Zealand society and economy, and what, if anything, can be done about reducing TPS.

This presentation will discuss the findings of the study and suggest possibilities for how we may change the conversation around success and TPS in New Zealand.


Professor Jo Kirkwood has been working in higher education in New Zealand for 25 years. She is experienced in teaching at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and has particular interest and expertise in facilitation, academic mentoring and assessment at the postgraduate level. Jo's research has focused on women entrepreneurs / mumpreneurs, Tall Poppy Syndrome and its impact on entrepreneurs and sustainable entrepreneurs / ecopreneurs.