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ISSUE 1 (2020)
Message from the Director - Graduate Programmes Update - New Staff - 2020 Highlights - Policy Commons - MPP Corner - Consultation Opportunities

Kia ora koutou.
This is our first newsletter of 2020, and comes at a time when we are all grappling with the extraordinary challenges of COVID19 and the implications for our economy, our communities and our personal and professional wellbeing. The team at the Public Policy Institute began the year busy as usual: we hosted several international visitors, and recordings of their talks can be found on our policycommons website. We became an institutional member of the International Public Policy Association, which will enable us to strengthen our existing global connections and develop new policy research partnerships. And we have pushed out our 2020Auckland Trade and Economic Policy School to 4-5 December, so save the date. Finally, with COVID19, our international speaker events have been curtailed; instead we are revamping our website and publishing an increased number of policy briefs online. Watch this space. In the meantime, we send our heartfelt best wishes to you, your colleagues and your whanau for the coming weeks.
Noho ora mai rā,
nā Jennifer and the team at the PPI.

Update from the Associate Director of Graduate Programmes   

PPI’s Graduate Programmes reached an important milestone this month with the launch of the University’s first online MPP. The University of Auckland is now at the forefront of universities engaged in online education with this innovative new programme designed to leverage the growing national reputation of our on-campus MPP programme by extending learning opportunities to students nation-wide. The programme is designed to mirror the core on-campus curriculum to deliver the MPP degree within a similar timeframe to the on-campus version. The first paper in the sequence, Policy Design, Analysis and Implementation, is currently being taught by PPI’s Associate Director of Graduate Programmes, Tim Fadgen along with PPI’s Director, Professor Jennifer Curtin. The current cohort draws students from diverse backgrounds including, those currently working in government who aim to upskill in policy analysis as well as those looking for a career change into the public policy field. Students are geographically diverse as well, coming to the programme come from Wellington, Canterbury, Otago and Auckland. There is a great deal of enthusiasm amongst the students and teaching team alike for this new programme and extending the MPP programme’s reach to new parts of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Photo: MPP Welcome

MPP Online
Welcome to our new Post-Doctoral Researchers
Sarah Hendrica Bickerton
Sarah Hendrica Bickerton has most recently been a doctoral candidate in the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington, where she has just submitted her PhD thesis for examination, entitled ‘Hashtag NZPol: New Zealand Women Twitter Users and Political Participation Construction’.
Sarah has a background as a sociologist, earning a double degree BA-BSc in Physics and Sociology at the University of Canterbury, where she also gained her Honours and Masters degrees in Sociology. She also attended graduate school at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she worked as a research assistant, teaching assistant, and course instructor, teaching social policy, gender and women’s studies, and sociological theory. Her research interests include the social uses of technology, particularly online social behaviour, as well as gender analysis.
Sarah grew up in Auckland, Central Otago, and the Netherlands, before moving to Christchurch to start university. She also has lived in Chicago, and most recently Wellington, before returning now to Auckland to take up the research fellowship with the Public Policy Institute. Outside academia she has worked for a time in legislative compliance in the finance sector. Her personal interests include both US and NZ politics, science fiction & fantasy literature, comics, film, and TV, as well as travel, good food, good espresso, excellent craft beer, spending too much time on Twitter, and urban design & architecture.
Dr Kiri Edge
Ko Ngāti Maniapoto tōku iwi
Ko Rereamanu ko Mōkau Kohunui ko Napinapi ōku marae
Ko Kiri Edge tōku ingoa 
Dr Kiri Edge is proud descendent of indigenous peoples from Ngāti Maniapoto, and immigrants of Scotland & Ireland. Foregrounded within her professional approaches are Te Tiriti o Waitangi based relationships, processes and practice. Kiri’s academic whakapapa encompasses Māori Psychology and Community Psychology. Kiri is an alumna of the Māori & Psychology Research Unit (MPRU) based at Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato, which has attracted national and international recognition. As part of the Tangi Research Programme, Kiri completed her PhD in 2017, which was entitled Different Coloured tears: bicultural bereavement perspectives. The PhD research explored bereavement pathways of Māori and Pākehā bicultural whānau, in relation to sites of conflict, processes of negotiation and pathways to resolution. These explorations were founded on the Pou Toko Manawa of the framework offered by Te Tiriti of Waitangi and related principles. Kiri was awarded a postdoctoral research fellowship by Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, for the project Relational & Sexual Ethics: Tikanga, Values & Virtues. The project explores tikanga, values and virtues that can guide healthy and flourishing adult intimate and sexual relationships from a Māori worldview. Although focussed upon adult relationships, the research also explores pathways for reciprocal sharing of knowledge, wisdom and new opportunities across generations. As an indigenous and community researcher, Kiri is currently involved in a number of other research and evaluation projects. Established in 2019 with Karyn Okeroa McRae, Kiri is a co-director of Korowai Evaluation and Research. Kiri’s research interests are diverse, but she is most passionate about social justice, community development and indigenous Māori wellbeing and flourishing. Kiri is interested in research orientations that are collaborative, interdisciplinary and cognisant of the knowledge, expertise and experience held within communities. In her most significant role, Kiri is māmā to Mātai, and his badly behaved cat Buddy. Although the concept of ‘spare time’ remains somewhat elusive, Kiri enjoys spending time with whānau and friends, music, reading and hokohoko shopping.   

Professor Michael Orsini (University of Ottawa), Chlöe Swarbrick (Green Party MP), Helen Robinson (Auckland City Mission), Mark Powell (University of Auckland)


Chaired by Professor Jennifer Curtin (Director of The Public Policy Institute)

Notions of kindness, compassion and manaakitanga have become a feature of New Zealand political discourse over the past three years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been a champion of this approach, discarding the oft-used language of blame and shame. Some find it refreshing in that it signals a different way of designing and delivering policy change. Some are not so sure, with questions remaining over how kind words translate into government action. Others continue to believe the ideal world of politics and public policy should be wholly rational, that rational economic actors and processes are the ideal, while emotions represent an anathema to good governance. Yet, researchers, activists and party strategists all recognise that emotion is central to political discussion, public opinion, political tolerance and attitudes to public policy. So can we imagine a society where emotions such as kindness tangibly inform the work of government, the private sector, and ultimately deliver a more humane capitalist economy?
Watch the Video
Professor Karen Hussey 

This talk focuses on:

  • Identifying the multidimensionality of potential risks and responsibilities
  • Understanding trust in emerging technologies
  • Developing institutional effectiveness to seize opportunities and manage risk
  • Highlighting policy, regulatory, legal and community mechanisms to facilitate the positive outcomes from emerging technologies while minimising social, cultural and environmental risks
Listen to Karen's Talk
2019/2020 Summer Research Scholars
The PPI hosted five Summer Research Scholars in December and January, working a variety of projects:
  • Rosalie Alter-Shaw worked with Prof Jennifer Curtin on Looking for Feminist Stories in the Biographies of Women Leaders
  • Frank Gore worked with Jennifer Curtin and Dr Lara Greaves on The New Zealand Election Study: How have New Zealanders’ political attitudes changed since 1990?
  • Amanda-Rose Couchman worked with Dr Tim Fadgen and Jennifer Curtin on Failed Migrations: Deportees and public policy in Samoa and Tonga
  • Vanessa Falcutin worked with Jennifer Curtin, Dr Dulani Jayasuriya, Lincoln Dam and Dr Suzanne Woodward on Policy Rhetoric, Machine Learning and the Politics of Immigration
  • Thais Helena Aguiar worked with Dulani Jayasuriya and Suzanne Woodward on Data Governance with Big Data

Air Pollution Exposure in Walking School Bus Routes: A New Zealand Case Study

Walking School Buses, organized groups for children to walk to school under the supervision of adults, help reduce traffic congestion and contribute towards exercise. Exposure to air pollution is not generally considered, but this research suggest that pedestrians travelling on the footpath next to the less congested side of the road in the morning avoid experience significantly lower exposure.

The politics of the Covid-19 relief package

- Jennifer Curtin

View Covid-19 through a different policy lens

- Jess Berentson-Shaw
Read it here
Policy Pod: Michael Orsini and Jennifer Curtin in conversation
Listen now
Auckland Trade and Economic Policy School 2020

Save the Date: Friday 4 - Saturday 5 December 2020
Dillon O'Brien
MPP Student
Class of 2019
Policy Advisor
Auckland Council
I finished my MPP in June 2019, and have been working as a Policy Analyst at Auckland Council since July. Policy702: Economics of policy and Politics757: Comparative Public Policy in particular have provided me with a useful lens to apply to policy. 702 and shifted my thought process when dealing with policy problems. The style of thinking differs compared to most of the other policy papers and is proving useful in my day to day work. 757 has given me the most practical skills, as a lot of policy work requires you to look at existing policies beyond your scope and adapt them to fit your context. Some of the work that was a part of that paper is driving a piece of work that I’m doing right now for Auckland Council, so very glad I can apply what I’ve learnt practically.

At the council, I work for Community and Social Policy as a Policy Advisor. Specifically, I work in Community Investment, where we deal with all the policy surrounding parks and open space, libraries, aquatic centres, community facilities, and anything of that nature. Our work is wide ranging, from doing business cases on where to put a new pool or library, to doing planning and strategy documents for open space so that our objectives and provision targets are being met, relative to our policies. The MPP provided me with a knowledge tool kit that I was able to demonstrate in the hiring process, helping me beat the 100+ other applicants. Auckland Council was where I wanted to work because I knew I would be exposed to a wider range of policy projects, rather than being siloed like one might be in central government. In this role, I can easily move into by-laws, arts and culture, or social wellbeing, and diversify my skill set quicker. Auckland Council is a great employer, and the new grad program that is available is a perfect opportunity for MPP policy grads to flourish.

Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill

The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 has been law for more than 30 years. The bill would make a range of changes to modernise the Act so it’s better suited to today’s renting environment. It aims to balance the rights and obligations of tenants and landlords.  
Closes: Wed 25 March 2020

Financial Markets (Conduct of Institutions) Amendment Bill

This bill proposes to create a new regulatory regime for the general conduct of financial institutions and their intermediaries. This regime has been designed in response to recent reviews that have identified that certain institutions, particularly banks and life insurers, lack focus on good outcomes for customers and have ineffective systems and controls to identify, manage, and remedy conduct issues.
Closes: Thursday 26 March 2020

Fair Trading Amendment Bill

The bill proposes changes to the Fair Trading Act 1986. These changes aim to fill gaps in legislative protections for consumers and contribute to a trading environment that protects the interests of consumers, allows businesses to compete effectively, and enable consumers and businesses participate confidently.
Closes: Friday 27 March 2020

Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill

The bill seeks to address the health and accessibility concerns around vaping and smokeless tobacco products whilst acknowledging that these products are less harmful than smoking.
Closes Wed 1 April 2020

New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Bill

The New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Bill aims to improve conditions for people looking after family members with special care needs, such as those relating to disability, long-term chronic illnesses, mental health and addiction, and aged care needs.
Closes: Thurs 2 April 2020

Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Bill

The bill seeks to:

  • support the development of Māori land
  • support the development of housing on Māori land
  • modernise rating legislation affecting Māori land.
Closes: Fri 17 April 2020

Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill

The bill would allow prisoners with sentences shorter than three years to enrol to vote. The bill also seeks to: 

  • Set up the process for getting other prisoners onto the electoral roll when they are released, so they can then participate in elections
  • Requires prisons to engage with prisoners about the option to register as a voter. This would happen either when they are due to be released from a sentence of three years or more, or if they are serving a sentence less than three years long
  • Provide for certain prisoners' details to be entered into the "unpublished" electoral roll. This option would be available to prisoners who believed that their safety, or that of their family, would be at risk of their details were in a publicly available electoral roll.
Closes: Friday 24 April 2020

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