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ISSUE 2 (2019)
Message from the Director - Upcoming Events - Policy Briefs - Research Impact Grants - 2019 Highlights - Policy Commons - Policy Pod - MPP Corner - Consultation Opportunities
Kia ora koutou. It has been a busy couple of months for the Public Policy Institute.  In March, we hosted Professor Myles Allen, a 2019 University of Auckland Distinguished Visitor from the University of Oxford. Myles gave lectures and talks to an array of audiences on methane, carbon and the challenge for New Zealand’s policy makers in meeting targets. In late April, with our Tai Tokerau campus, we co-hosted the eminent Marcia Langton, Professor of Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne, whose talks also addressed climate change (amongst other things) and the insights we can gain from indigenous wisdom and knowledge. We held the first of two Master of Public Policy Alumni celebrations (our programme is now ten years old) in Wellington, which was great fun, and inspiring to catch up on the achievements of our grads. The Auckland event will be on June 14th, so save the date. And in between all of this, I was commuting to Wellington, as part of a five week Visiting Research Fellowship with the New Zealand Treasury.  My thanks to Tim, Kerri, Roseanne, Jonathan, Rosie, Kirsten and the SDS team for the warm welcome and support. More soon on the outcomes of that work, and watch this space for the announcement of our inaugural Auckland Trade and Economic Policy School to be held this September.

Hamid Mamdouh: Challenges to the Multilateral Trading System

Monday 20 May, 12pm
Prior to his retirement from the WTO at the end of September 2017, Hamid was the Director of the Trade in Services and Investment Division. On 29 March, Hamid Mamdouh will give a talk on services trade – its complexity, importance, benefits, and challenges – with a discussion of its place in the current challenges and controversies facing the international trading system.  .
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Cultural Identity and Mental Health Outcomes for Indigenous Māori Youth in New Zealand
Māori youth mental health is complex and multi-dimensional with multiple contributing factors embedded in cultural, historical, spiritual, physiological, psychological, structural and social domains. Our findings suggest that public health programmes and services that genuinely seek to address equity for Māori youth, will ensure cultural programming and policies that are culturally and developmentally specific, as core components of any mental health and suicide prevention strategy. 
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Competitiveness, sustainability and the environment

How might domestic firms enjoy profitability and international competitiveness with fewer harmful environmental impacts? Private firms that either produce material goods or use physical inputs in supplying services can improve their profitability by increasing their resource productivity. Not only does a positive change in resource productivity mean increased profitability for the individual firm, but it also means a dramatic improvement in the impact of business on the environment, particularly with regards to climate change and the depletion of natural resources.
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Challenges in the provision of mental healthcare in prisons

Headline-grabbing articles on suicide and self-harm declare that prisons are currently plagued by a 'mental health crisis'. Such a crisis is not new, rather mental distress, self-harm and suicide have been present since prisons first appeared at the end of the eighteenth century. Even with comprehensive mental health services, prisons are ultimately damaging; a steady simmering of multiple harms and indifference.
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The effects of access and accessibility on public transport users' attitudes

With trip-making behaviour in Auckland growing in complexity in terms of purpose and spatial destinations, challenges arise in providing an attractive public transport system. Private vehicle use has been preferred to public transport because of instrumental functions (freedom, comfort and convenience); symbolic functions (social status); and affective functions (driving perceived as pleasurable). Although improvement in service quality is likely to increase ridership, the level of increase can be limited if travellers hold prejudices towards the image of public transport.
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Research Impact Grants

PPI Impact Grants Awarded

The following research projects received the PPI Impact Development Grants:

  • Engaging Pacific Populations in Disaster Risk Reduction: Applying a Guiding Framework for Reach, Relevance, Receptiveness and Relationships.

Researchers: Jay Marlowe, Prof. Andreas Neef, Rohan Jadarum

  • Royal Commission on Abuse in State Care Forum

Researchers: Dr Stephen Winter, Rosslyn Nonnan, Andrew Erueti

  • Developing community-led vaping policies in Mangere, Auckland

Researchers: Prof. Chris Bullen, Karen Bissell, Villi Nosa

The PPI has established an Impact Development Fund to assist academic staff undertake activities that foster innovative engagements and knowledge exchange, and enhance the end-user impact of their policy-relevant research.  End-users can include government officials, local governments, non-government and community organisations, iwi and hapū, and other agencies that enable the engagement of citizens in policy discussions and knowledge mobilisation.

The fund is intended to support the dissemination of existing interdisciplinary research and relationship-building activities with policymaking stakeholders.

For more information, contact the PPI
Recent highlights

Marcia Langton – Ancient Wisdom for Modern Problems

* Delivered on Tuesday 30 April for the Public Policy Institute, as part of the Global Speakers Series

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia maintained knowledge traditions with their own philosophies and epistemologies that originated in ancient Australia, at least six millennia before the present day. They have been transmitted from generation to generation over thousands of years by knowledgeable people.  As questions about the sustainability of human systems and natural environments become the key challenges globally, the realisation has dawned on environmental thinkers that Indigenous populations lived in parts of this continent for at least 65,000 years, adapting and innovating as they witnessed an Ice Age, the disappearance of the megafauna, the rising of the seas, and the drying-up of the continent.  In this paper, I look at several instances of the relevance of ancient Indigenous knowledge to modern problems in Australia and discuss their relevance to the endeavours of scientists and researchers from a range of disciplines.

Watch Marcia's lecture
Prof Jennifer Curtin, Professor Myles Allen, Professor Cindy Kiro
Leading the World to Net Zero: The opportunities and challenges of New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Act
New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Act could make it one of the first advanced economies in the world to commit itself to net zero emissions — and the first with such a large agricultural sector. Like any pioneer entering uncharted waters, there are challenges to be overcome as well as first-mover opportunities. A successful pathway to net zero needs clarity in the destination, and fairness and transparency in the transition. I will argue that the simplest way of designing fairness and transparency into the Zero Carbon Act is to focus on the long-term temperature goal set out in the Paris Climate Agreement. This means treating all sectors equally in terms of their impact on global temperature.
Watch Myles' lecture

RPRC and PPI Summit: The 2019 retirement income policy review, and you

The Retirement Income Policy Review terms of reference have been released by the Government, and a project manager for the review is appointed at the Commission for Financial Capability. In line with this Government’s emphasis on wellbeing and sustainability, the terms of reference stress that the review must assess “the effectiveness of current retirement policies for financially vulnerable and low-income groups, and recommendations for any policies that could improve their retirement outcomes”.

The RPRC’s public Summit at the University of Auckland Business School examined some of the issues, including: the fiscal impact of ageing, the future shape of the age pension in New Zealand, KiwiSaver, intergenerational equity, the changing nature of work, the capacity of the health sector, the health of the financial sector, and lessons for New Zealand from international developments in finance and pensions. 

Speakers included Diana Crossan, former Retirement Commissioner; Matthew Bell, Treasury; Judith Davey, Institute for Governance and Policy Studies; Richard Klipin, EO Financial Services Council; Len Cook, former Chief Statistician for New Zealand and the UK. International speakers, including David Harris, MD TOR Financial Consulting Ltd; and Calvert Duffy, an Australian Governance, Risk and Compliance consultant, will comment on likely implications and possible lessons from overseas events including the Australian Royal Commissions.

Professor Kenneth Benoit (LSE):
‘The Ten Most Important Things I’ve Learned about Quantitative Text Analysis’
Following nearly two decades of applied text analytics for social science and ten years actively developing analytic software for text analysis, this talk represents my top ten list of “If only I knew then what I know now” lessons. It includes the epistemology of text analysis, some very practical issues about getting started, some illustrations of pitfalls to avoid, reasons both to embrace and to be wary of open source software, and career issues about developing community projects.
Listen to Ken's talk
Professor Marcia Langton - Ancient Wisdom for Modern Problems


Education in Extraordinary Times - Prof John Morgan, Prof Elizabeth Rata, Dr Claire Meehan

Climate Change: Carbon/Methane Challenges - Professor Myles Allen



MPP 10th Anniversary Celebration: Wellington
As the MPP programme celebrates its 10th year this 2019, the Public Policy Institute hosted an event for the Wellington-based MPP alumni at The Old Bailey. The programme, which started with just 5 students in semester one 2009, already has over 100 graduates as of April 2019.

Chief Economist, Tim Ng, gave the guest address at the celebration. It was attended by alumni who now work in a range of ministries and civil service roles in Wellington.

The celebration for the Auckland based alumni and partners will be held in June 2019. 
Master of Public Policy Graduate Profile
Trade Commissioner

Consulate General of Canada
Ho Chi Minh

Class of 2017
Minh now working at the Consulate General of Canada in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam as a Trade Commissioner supporting Canadian companies doing business in Vietnam.

Working at the Consulate has been a great experience given the dynamics of global trade in the past few years, such as the US-China trade war, protectionism, and new free trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region.
The MPP has equipped me with crucial research skills and techniques for market research and briefing, as well as the ability to do policy analysis and evaluation. I enjoyed the courses of Comparative Public Policy and the Politics-Policy Internship the most. While the former engaged me in debates of understanding and explaining policy making and policy outcomes across countries to draw the most relevant lessons for my country, the latter gave me practical experience in working at a Member of Parliament's office.
In photo is Minh Truong with Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau
MPP Welcome Reception
MPPers gathered last 19th March to welcome the new students for Semester One 2019.
The Master of Public Policy programme currently has 60 students, both domestic and international students from a range of countries.
Technological Change and the Future of Work
The Government asked the Productivity Commission to examine disruptive technological change and its impact on work.  The Commission recently released its issues paper and invites you to participate. The issues paper presents four scenarios for considering the future impacts of technological change. Your feedback will help the Commission to better understand specific issues and assist it in providing relevant and credible policy recommendations to the Government.
Submissions due 5 June 2019

New Zealand Obstetric Ultrasound Guidelines
Ministry of Health
Submissions are open for the Obstetric Ultrasound Guidelines which aims to assist radiology professionals and maternity carers in the delivery of maternity ultrasound services across the country.
Consultation open until 5pm, Friday 3 May 2019
West Coast Te Tai o Poutini Conservation Management Strategy 2010 (CMS) amendments
Department of Conservation
The department of conservation is accepting submissions for the amendment of the Conservation Management Strategy 2010 (CMS) which is the principal statutory planning document for the West Coast region.
Submissions close Monday 20 May 2019
Building System Legislative Reform Programme public consultation
Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment
Have your say to the proposed changes to New Zealand’s building laws
Submissions due: 16 June 2019, 5pm

Government consulting on draft ageing strategy
The Government is inviting feedback on a draft new ageing strategy.
The deadline to submit feedback is 3 June 2019.

Consultation open on health and disability system review
The Government is currently asking for feedback on the New Zealand health and disability system.
The deadline to submit feedback is 31 May 2019.
We welcome your feedback: 
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