Dr Komathi Kolandai-Matchett

PhD Mass Communication


Dr Komathi Kolandai-Matchett is a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Auckland. Funded by the George Mason Centre for the Natural Environment, she is currently working on a project that aims to build public understanding of marine ecosystems. Environmental communication is a field that is deeply meaningful to her and she aspires to find novel ways for effectively communicating the complex science behind marine ecosystems to general audiences. She has over 16 years of research and evaluation experience. Transcending traditional research field boundaries, her experiences include environmental and sustainability communications, theology and environmental behaviour, education and training, gambling and addictions, agricultural sustainability, aquatic science, and fisheries policy and wetlands governance.

Dr Kolandai-Matchett’s teaching experiences include guest lectures on different topics:

  • 2006/7: University of Canterbury: (1) Media and the environment: Effects on public opinion and policy; (2) Media’s role: Communicating sustainability and environmental issues; (3) Global environmental problems and international environmental treaties
  • 2009: Lincoln University: Barriers to sustainable consumption and the media’s issue raising role
  • 2015/17: Auckland University of Technology: (1) Evaluation methods; (2) Problem gambling: Public health perspectives; (3) Cultural considerations: Gambling, problem gambling, prevention & treatment; (4) Outcomes: Effective indicators for achieving planning goals; (5) Gambling and politics

Her early career positions with international NGOs (World Wide Fund for Nature and Pesticide Action Network) and private tertiary institutions included staff management, lobbying and advocacy, media relations and communications, advertising and marketing, and on-the-ground practical research for informed decision-making.

Research | Current

Experimental studies on multimedia outreach tools for marine ecosystem sustainability



2009: PhD Mass Communication (Improving News Media Communication of Sustainability and the Environment), University of Canterbury, NZ       

1999: MSc. Environmental Science (A Spiritual Appeal to Environmental Behaviour), Lund University, Sweden. 

1993: BSc. (Hons.) Fishery Science  University of Agriculture, Malaysia.         

1990: Diploma in Fisheries  University of Agriculture, Malaysia.

Awards and Scholarships

2007: Doctoral Research Award (BRCSS Network, NZ)

2004: Doctoral Scholarship Award (University of Canterbury, NZ)

2004: Fellowship Award for Environmental Studies (BFSD, Germany)

2002: Spirit of the Land Award, Salt Lake City

1998: The Swedish Malaysian Scholarship Award

1998: NZODA Post Graduate Scholarship (declined)


  • Designing and implementing experimental studies to test the effects of communication modalities and message frames.
  • Publications and research dissemination (presentations, workshops, guest lectures).

Areas of expertise

  • Environmental communication
  • Media studies
  • Evaluation methodologies

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Rawat, V., Browne, M., Bellringer, M., Greer, N., Kolandai-Matchett, K., Rockloff, M., ... Abbott, M. (2018). A tale of two countries: comparing disability weights for gambling problems in New Zealand and Australia. Quality of life research : an international journal of quality of life aspects of treatment, care and rehabilitation, 27 (9), 2361-2371. 10.1007/s11136-018-1882-8
  • Kolandai-Matchett, K., Bellringer, M., Landon, J., & Abbott, M. (2018). A process evaluation of the 'Aware' and 'Supportive Communities' gambling harm-minimisation programmes in New Zealand. European journal of public health, 28 (2), 369-376. 10.1093/eurpub/ckx120
  • Kolandai-Matchett, K., Landon, J., Bellringer, M., & Abbott, M. (2018). A national public health programme on gambling policy development in New Zealand: insights from a process evaluation. Harm reduction journal, 15 (1)10.1186/s12954-018-0217-y
  • Abbott, M., Bellringer, M., Garrett, N., & Kolandai-Matchett, K. (2017). Design and Methods of the New Zealand National Gambling Study, a Prospective Cohort Study of Gambling and Health: 2012–2019. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 15 (6), 1242-1269. 10.1007/s11469-017-9843-y
  • Bellringer, M., Kolandai-Matchett, K., Taylor, S., & Abbott, M. (2017). Pacific Islands Families Study 2014: Mother and youth gambling report. , Final Report Auckland: Auckland University of Technology, Gambling and Addictions Research Centre. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/45330
  • Kolandai-Matchett, K., Langham, E., Bellringer, M., & Siitia, P. A.-H. (2017). How gambling harms experienced by Pacific people in New Zealand amplify when they are culture-related. Asian journal of gambling issues and public health, 7 (1)10.1186/s40405-017-0026-3
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/46271
  • Kolandai-Matchett, K., Landon, J., Bellringer, M., Garrett, N., Mundy-McPherson, S., Abbott, M., ... Cumming, S. (2015). Evaluation and clinical audit of problem gambling intervention and public health services. , Final Report Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/45347
  • Kolandai-Matchett, K., Bellringer, M., Landon, J., & Abbott, M. (2015). Evaluation of problem gambling public health services: An analysis of provider progress reports. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/45339

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 9, Room 917
New Zealand