A fortnightly newsletter from the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies


In the pipeline - mooted IGPS events

Events in the pipeline for 2022 (with likely coordinator/presenter in brackets) include: Waste and plastics policy (Hannah Blumhardt), the situation of sole parent families (Penny Ehrhardt), The future of rail (Paul Callister), Reserve Bank independence (Chris Eichbaum), effectiveness of Government agencies’ long-term insights briefings (Jonathan Boston), imprisonment trends (Len Cook),political party funding (Max Rashbrooke and Lisa Marriott), the wage share (Bill Rosenberg and Geoff Bertram), open government activities in NZ, Australia and PNG (Keitha Booth), Chinese living in Aotearoa (Bev Hong), hydrogen and global warming (Wallace Rea), Three Waters co-governance (Mike Joy), and social insurance (Michael Fletcher).

Watch this space as the events firm up!


IGPS’s Michael Fletcher Visiting Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in Munich.

In July Michael Fletcher spent three weeks at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in Munich as a Visiting Scholar. Michael has a long association with the Institute and has been its New Zealand Correspondent since 2015. During this visit his research focused on an Institute-led project titled 'Life in Dignity' analysing minimum income protection provisions in a wide range of different countries. In addition, he spent time learning about unemployment insurance systems in Germany and other European countries. The visit also coincided with the publication of a book from an earlier Institute project, 'Protecting Livelihoods: A global comparison of social law responses to the COVID-19 crisis', which includes a chapter by Michael detailing the New Zealand Government’s social and economic responses to the pandemic. The book is available at:


While in Europe Michael was to have presented a work-in-progress paper on intra-household money management at the International Public Policy Association biennial Workshop that was held in Budapest in late June. However, a dose of Covid prevented him from attending the Conference. Fortunately, Michael’s paper was still discussed at the workshop resulting in valuable feedback and useful new contacts with US and other academics working in the same research area.


Catherine Knight to speak at 'Our Future is Now: Democracy and Climate Action Symposium'

IGPS Senior Associate Catherine Knight will be a panellist speaking at the above symposium on Saturday 3 September. The event will be held at Rutherford House, Pipitea Campus, Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington and is free and open to all. 

Registration opens at 8.30am and the day ends at 5.00pm to be followed by a symposium reception 5.30 – 7.00pm.

To RSVP and get further details, please contact Jennifer Frost at:



Recent IGPS event: Professor Robert McLachlan seminar “Planetary limits: How academics are responding to the global ecological crisis” much acclaimed.

Robert McLachlan, Distinguished Professor at Massey University, gave a very much acclaimed IGPS seminar on Wednesday 17th August 2022,(profile: https://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/expertise/profile.cfm?stref=677230

A recording of his seminar is available here:


and Robert has written it up as a blog with graphics here:


There were 40 attendees and same number joined online. A quote from the blog sums up the gist of the talk: “The challenges posed by humanity’s ever-increasing material and energy use and its impacts on planetary systems – most notably climate and biodiversity – are hardly new or unknown. They have been intensely studied in many disciplines for decades. But as we enter a new phase characterised by widespread and obvious impacts and continue rushing headlong into a minefield studded with points of no return, many academics around the world have concluded that current approaches are woefully insufficient and that something new is needed.”

Tara Black attended and did a fantastic graphical summary of the presentation (see above). You can see more of Tara’s work at:



Senior Researcher Mike Joy speaks at seminar, “Ko au te awa, ko te awa ko au: Legal personhood and our rivers”

This seminar was held at The Dowse Art Museum on Saturday 27 August 2022 in conjunction with the exhibition 'My river goes with me: Johnson Witehira and Julie Nagam'.  (See https://dowse.org.nz/events/ko-au-te-awa-ko-te-awa-ko-au for details.)

The event was a great success, with the 100 seats at the gallery sold out plus a similar number joining the panel discussion online. The debate was wide ranging and interesting. It was recorded and we will share the link to it at the next newsletter


IGPS senior associate Geoff Bertram presents paper to international workshop on regulatory governance.

In June Geoff presented a paper titled 'The near-collapse and pending recovery of regulatory governance in New Zealand' to the Workshop on Regulatory Governance: Models and Dynamics which was held in Florence Italy.

The Workshop was convened by Professor Eric Brousseau, Chaire Governance et Régulation/Fondation Dauphine, Université Dauphine, Paris, and brought together a group of 25 academics and regulatory practitioners from around the world.

The Workshop papers will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2023.


Senior Associates Geoff Bertram and Bill Rosenberg paper on wage, profit and rent shares presented at the New Zealand Association of Economists Conference

IGPS Senior Associates Bill Rosenberg and Geoff Bertram presented a paper, 'How policy and institutions affect the shares of wages, profits and rents in New Zealand', to the NZAE annual conference held in Wellington in June.


“Terrible landlords aren't 'bad apples' - they're endemic.”

In his most recent Stuff column Senior Associate Max Rashbrooke discusses the poor state of rental housing in New Zealand. See https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/129555393/max-rashbrooke-terrible-landlords-arent-bad-apples--theyre-endemic for the full article.