A fortnightly newsletter from the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies


Upcoming IGPS Event: “Planetary limits: How academics are responding to the global ecological crisis” with Professor Robert McLachlan, Rutherford House, RHMZ03 (Mezzanine), 5pm to 6 pm, 17 August 2022

Robert McLachlan is Distinguished Professor in Applied Mathematics at Massey University. He writes on climate and environmental issues at planetaryecology.org.

"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.”

Venue: Rutherford House, RMZ03 (Mezzanine), 5.00:pm to 6.00 pm, Wednesday 17 August, Victoria University of Wellington, Pipitea Campus.


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 Catherine Knight and Mike Joy help judge the “Our Papatūānuku' environmental art competition

Catherine and Mike were invited to be judges in an inaugural competition for school children involving writing and art on environmental themes. See:


Catherine said:

“The quality of the student's writing was outstanding - I was especially impressed by the depth and independence of thought that had gone into each piece of writing. I have no doubt that these young people will be among our future leaders, and if so, Aotearoa New Zealand will be in good hands”.

Above is just one of the many beautiful pictorial entries by Anon. Catherine and Mike were given no names, so unfortunately we can’t make an attribution.


IGPS senior associate Hannah Blumhardt on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report discussing supermarkets

Hannah was on RNZ Morning Report on 3 August talking about changes in consumer behaviour with respect to supermarkets. Focussing on reducing waste and lowering prices, Hannah said:

“People are fed up with the two big chains restricting choice and gouging prices”.

See: https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018851918/shoppers-skipping-supermarkets-in-favour-of-independents


Short-term and long-term book news from IGPS senior associate David Bromell in Christchurch

David’s been very busy, with more news of engagements pending in the coming months. However, an important recent Bromell theme has been books. The second, revised edition of David’s book on 'The art and craft of policy advising' has been published. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-99562-1

He wishes to acknowledge Mark Prebble as a valuable conversation partner, especially in re-working the chapter on Creating public value. David is also currently commencing a new long-term project – likely another book - provisionally entitled 'Step back and think about it: Political philosophy for public officials', but that needs another year of reading, thinking and gestating.


IGPS Director Simon Chapple on Radio New Zealand on policy centralisation trends and political donations

Simon Chapple was interviewed on the Detail podcast by Sharon Brettkelly of Radio New Zealand on issues of centralisation of recent public policy solutions evident in Three waters, health reforms and polytechnics.

"I think we're seeing two forms of centralisation," says Chapple. "One is centralised solutions, but we're also seeing highly centralised processes that led to these solutions. Basically the political arm of government is coming to the table with a solution to a problem they've identified. And that centralisation means that they've been particularly poor at looking at ranges of plausible alternatives to the particular services they've chosen.

"But also. they've not been particularly good at a process of consulting the public with an open mind. And I think that's the reason we're seeing public disquiet or pushback."

See https://www.rnz.co.nz/programmes/the-detail/story/2018851666/why-are-we-suspicious-of-centralisation for a summary and a link to the full podcast.

Simon also appeared on the Radio New Zealand’s the Panel with Wallace Chapman on Monday 1 August to discuss political donations.


Mike Joy windswept, interesting & busy on a variety of forms of engagement

On 3 August, Mike spoke on the Electra Business Breakfast on the topic “Civilisation is facing peak everything, and climate change is but one symptom”. Seventy people attended, including former PM Jim Bolger.

On Monday 29 July Mike gave a guest lecture for GEOG 214 Environment and Resources: New Zealand Perspectives. On 4 August Mike gave an online lecture for AUT Design and Ecology class, a second year paper ‘Design for Sustainability’ and on 9 August he delivered a guest lecture for MAOR 301 Tā Te Māori Whakahaere Rauemi/ Māori Resource Management.

Mike is also currently involved in regular meetings and supervision of three PhD and one Masters student.


“What’s the point? Reflections on the changing role of universities” from a former student, academic, politician and Vice-Chancellor - Steve Maharey with Linda Clark

The function of universities and the role of academics has changed fundamentally over the past 50 years. As a student, academic, politician and Vice-Chancellor, Steve has experienced these changes – some positive, some not so much – first-hand. Steve held a discussion with Linda Clark, former journalist, Victoria University law graduate and now partner at Dentons Kensington Swan, on the 20th of July 2022 at Victoria University of Wellington.

A link to a recording of this discussion can be found here: