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(BSc (Hons), MSc Otago)John Harraway (2022)

Honorary Associate Professor
Past President International Association for Statistical Education
Member International Association of Official Statistics
Elected Member of International Statistical Institute
Member Otago Global Health Institute

Office: Science III, room 513
Tel +64 3 479 7778


After 50 years teaching undergraduate Statistics I retired but was then appointed Honorary Associate Professor in Statistics at Otago. In this position, I am developing training methods for the Indian Statistics Institute in Kolkata and Statistics Teaching modules for the United Nations institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in Geneva. The work in India is supported by the Indian Government as a foreign aid project for Government workers taken to India from Developing Nations for statistics training while the United Nations statistics modules are for training their staff and others in governments around the world.

Teaching responsibilities

I continue to review these projects. I became involved while President of the International Association of Statistical Education following Professor Helen MacGillivray as President of the Association. Helen Chairs GIST, the Global Network of Institutions for Statistical Training including the World Bank, the World Health Organization, the International Labor Organization, the United Nations and others, meeting periodically in New York at the United Nations.

I have also developed a set of 20 motivational case study videos showing statistics use with data collected by active researchers in the real world. Lessons associated with the videos and the collected data are used for teaching. The lessons, based on data collated for the research, use the latest developments in the R statistical package including a careful structured introduction to coding in R. As well as being relevant for the Indian and United Nations projects, these lessons are useful for training students in undergraduate statistics classes even in the large classes at first year in an increasing number of universities. A further benefit resulting from the case study work is that all the studies, the lessons and free R coding provide a useful approach to on-line learning during teaching restrictions resulting from covid.

Research Interests

I have two themes associated with my research, Applied Statistics and Statistics Education.

Applied Statistics

My recent published research which also features in many of the videos involves analysing low iron levels in New Zealand infants; modelling the profiles of New Zealand women who would consume alcohol when pregnant; analysing trace element data in relation to food authentication with particular application to oysters, ginseng and honey using multivariate techniques; modelling changing attitudes to sustainability of students while at university using confirmatory factor analysis and linear mixed models to investigate a cohort of 300 students over four years at university in a range of university subjects; modelling dolphin habitat selection and dolphin - human interactions both around the New Zealand coast and along the Red Sea coast of Egypt, the purpose being to avoid disturbing the habitat of the dolphins with uncontrolled tourist activity.

Statistics Education

Currently developed a set of three free interactive Apps for providing training in Official Statistic for Government Agencies especially in Developing Countries using phones, tablets, laptops and desk top computers; a member of a research group in the University Higher Education Development Centre investigating potential student teaching of a university course for credit; recording researchers in departments using statistics talking about their applications of statistics as an aid to motivating statistics study; attitudes to and use of the video lessons are being measured for discovering long term teaching benefits. All these learning products were discussed recently at ICOTS III in Argentina with positive results for teaching effectiveness. A refereed paper on the use of the videos with R coding is confirmed for publication in the conference proceedings at the end of 2022. The videos are currently used in 30 countries with over 3,000 individual email hits over the last two years. China and the United States are the countries making the greatest use of the videos.


Parackal, S. M., Parackal, M. K., Harraway, J. A., & Ferguson, E. L. (2009). Opinions of non-pregnant New Zealand women aged 16-40 years about the safety of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Drug & Alcohol Review, 28(2), 135-141. doi: 10.1111/j.1465-3362.2008.00018.x Journal - Research Article

Parackal, S., Ferguson, E., & Harraway, J. (2007). Alcohol and tobacco consumption among 6-24-months post-partum New Zealand women. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 3, 40-51. Journal - Research Article

Shephard, K., Smith, N., Deaker, L., Harraway, J., Broughton-Ansin, F., & Mann, S. (2011). Comparing different measures of affective attributes relating to sustainability. Environmental Education Research, 17(3), 329-340. doi: 10.1080/13504622.2010.542450 Journal - Research Article

Pfannkuch, M., Regan, M., Wild, C., Budgett, S., Forbes, S., Harraway, J., & Parsonage, R. (2011). Inference and the introductory statistics course. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science & Technology, 42(7), 903-913. doi: 10.1080/0020739x.2011.604732 Journal - Research Article

Parackal, S. M., Parackal, M. K., & Harraway, J. A. (2010). Warning labels on alcohol containers as a source of information on alcohol consumption in pregnancy among New Zealand women. International Journal of Drug Policy, 21(4), 302-305. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2009.10.006 Journal - Research Article

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