Nau mai haere mai

If you were to experience a traumatic brain injury falling from a ladder, how would you recover? In all probability, you would get support under the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) social investment model – including up to 80% of your pre-accident income.

But what if the brain injury wasn’t because of an accident? What if the traumatic event was medical, such as a stroke?

Ineligible for ACC, New Zealanders suffering from strokes, cancers or mental health conditions, along with other non-accident related injuries, are frequently left to negotiate health and related rehabilitative services alone. And that leaves a significant number of people struggling to recover in the face of emotional and financial stress.

According to research from the University of Waikato’s Michelle Cameron, New Zealand needs to consider introducing wraparound care for people who are ineligible for ACC. “Despite many wanting to return to work,” she writes, “this population often falls between the cracks of health and social services.”

In her research, Cameron explores the strengths and weaknesses of a pilot scheme delivered between 2016 and 2021 in the Waikato. She argues the government needs to make a long-term financial commitment to programmes like this to ensure those with debilitating medical issues don’t get left behind.

There is plenty more to read here and on our homepage, including a look at the modelling which suggests targeted protection against COVID-19 will be more effective than blanket measures.

As always, thank you for reading and mā te wā.

Debrin Foxcroft

Deputy New Zealand Editor

Accident or medical, new research shows we need to treat conditions equally to get people back to work

Michelle Cameron, University of Waikato

For people with health conditions, disabilities or injuries that do not qualify for ACC, the road to recovery can be long and hard. It is past time for us to do better.

Natural hazards, a warming climate and new resource laws – why NZ needs geoscientists more than ever

Martin Brook, University of Auckland

Some New Zealand universities have proposed staff and course cuts in earth sciences. This could leave the country ill prepared to deal with natural hazards and extreme weather.

Talk of a new Cold War is overheated – but NZ faces complex challenges in the era of ‘strategic competition’

Nicholas Khoo, University of Otago

With the rise of China and shifting international power dynamics, New Zealand needs to find its place in a complex system of alliances and partnerships.

Financial education has its limits – if we want New Zealanders to be better with money, we need to start at home

Stephen Agnew, University of Canterbury

Both major political parties have promised to introduce financial literacy to New Zealand’s curriculum. But is school really the best place to teach students about money?

With COVID now endemic, modelling suggests targeted protection will be more effective than blanket measures

Michael Plank, University of Canterbury; Freya Shearer, The University of Melbourne; James McCaw, The University of Melbourne; James Wood, UNSW Sydney

As COVID finds its equilibrium, infection rates will rise and fall, influenced by seasons, school holidays and new subvariants. Managing the risk is complex and needs to be cost effective.

The defence dilemma facing NZ’s next government: stay independent or join ‘pillar 2’ of AUKUS?

Robert G. Patman, University of Otago

Does New Zealand have more to lose than gain by joining ‘pillar two’ of the AUKUS security pact? The next government will have to decide, with serious implications for the country’s foreign policy.

From our foreign editions

‘Every flight is a learning event’: why the V-22 Osprey aircraft won’t be grounded despite dozens of crashes and 54 fatalities

Peter Layton, Griffith University

54 people have died in crashes of the controversial ‘tiltrotor’ V-22 Osprey aircraft – but the military advantage it offers is too great to be discounted.

How drought in Central America is pushing up the cost of living in Australia

Stephen Bartos, University of Canberra

Central America is a long way from Australia but a drought in the region is having an impact on the availability and price of some products.

Shutting off power to reduce wildfire risk on windy days isn’t a simple decision – an energy expert explains the trade-offs electric utilities face

Tim C. Lieuwen, Georgia Institute of Technology

Losing power also has real consequences for people’s businesses, livelihoods and potentially their health and safety.

Hurricane Idalia forecast to intensify over extremely warm Gulf waters, on track for Florida landfall as a dangerous storm

Haiyan Jiang, Florida International University

A hurricane scientist explains the conflict between 2023’s abnormally high ocean heat and the storm-disrupting wind shear accompanying El Niño when it comes to hurricane intensification.

International ransomware gangs are evolving their techniques. The next generation of hackers will target weaknesses in cryptocurrencies

Alpesh Bhudia, Royal Holloway University of London; Anna Cartwright, Oxford Brookes University; Darren Hurley-Smith, Royal Holloway University of London; Edward Cartwright, De Montfort University

What will ransomware attackers focus on next?

How Russian history and the concept of ‘smuta’ (turmoil) sheds light on Putin and Prigozhin – and the dangers of dissent

Danica Jenkins, University of Sydney

The connection between periods of crisis and autocratic rule is deeply embedded in the Russian consciousness.

Climate change threatens the rights of children. The UN just outlined the obligations states have to protect them

Noam Peleg, UNSW Sydney

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has released a statement on the responsibilities of governments to reduce harm from climate change. Here’s what’s in it for Australia.

Why we need to set limits on sperm donation

Manuel García Ortiz, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha; Luis Arroyo Jiménez, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha

When donors can father multiple children, there are risks that need to be considered.

AI is reshaping the workplace – but what does it mean for the health and well-being of workers?

Arif Jetha, University of Toronto

The rapid rate of AI adoption is putting workplaces at risk of overlooking its potentially adverse impacts, particularly those that could impact the health and well-being of workers.

Cannabis is illegal in Nigeria but provides a living for families - study calls for rethink of drug laws

Gernot Klantschnig, University of Bristol; Ediomo-Ubong Nelson, Swansea University; Janet Ogundairo, University of Ibadan

Contrary to popular views, it was not just uneducated and socially deviant individuals who were engaged in cannabis farming or trade.