Meri Kirihimete! Welcome to The Policy Observatory newsletter for December 2017, our last newsletter for the year. We include information about our upcoming symposium on ACC and our updated website, and links to the latest Briefing Papers. We also issue a call for Briefing Papers for 2018.

Fifty years from the Woodhouse Report: A celebration and assessment of ACC

In December 1967 the Woodhouse Report was released, recommending a no-fault accident compensation scheme for New Zealand. Half a century later, ACC remains operates largely intact, an uncommon feat amongst New Zealand public policy initiatives.

On Monday December 11th, AUT City Campus (room WF710), the Policy Observatory will host a one-day symposium reflecting on the Woodhouse report and on the successes and challenges of the ACC scheme.

We have a range of speakers covering different aspects of ACC, from legal, rehabilitative and social security perspectives.

For more information or to RSVP email: policyobservatory@aut.ac.nz

Briefing Papers website

Following feedback, the Briefing Papers website has recently been updated:

  • Readers can now register to receive email notifications of new papers. Click on the envelope icon on the right of the top menu bar, and fill in your details.
  • The search function now searches the author field as well as the paper.
  • If you click on the ‘categories’ and ‘tags’ at the end of each paper, a grouping of other papers with the same category or tag will be collated for you.

Briefing Papers 2017

The Briefing Papers website began in 2014 by Emeritus Professor Ian Shirley and continues with a new paper most weeks. In 2017 we have published Papers on issues such as free trade, climate change, MMP, social welfare, immigration, child abuse prevention, the future of capitalism and more. Recent Briefing Papers include:

The Economic Rationale of Free Trade Agreements? By Robert Wade

The renegotiated and rebranded Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (now the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership - CPTPP), is back on the table and in the news. The Green Party has said it will not back the deal, so the new Labour-led Government will need the support of the National Party.

What’s all the debate about? Professor Robert Wade of The London School of Economics and Political Science explains some of the assumptions behind the arguments for free trade and makes the case for "managed trade".


An Unlikely Political Football. By Julienne Molineaux

Government agencies are frequently restructured: health economist Alan Maynard called this 'redisorganisation'. Archives New Zealand has been booted in and out of the Department of Internal Affairs since 2000. Is it about to be restructured again?

In this Briefing Paper, Julienne Molineaux explains the constitutional role of the Archives, and argues for one final organisational change to protect their core function and put them beyond the kicking range of future governments.


Dividing Relationship Property - Time for a Change? By Helen McQueen

Our relationship property law is now more than 40 years old, and no longer reflects the range of relationships and families in New Zealand. The Law Commission is currently reviewing the law, and seeking public submissions on how it should be changed.

Law Commissioner Helen McQueen provides a brief overview of the issues, with links to background papers and information about how to make your views on this issue heard.


Rethinking the Teaching of Economics. By Girol Karacaoglu and Julienne Molineaux

For many people the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 led to a loss of faith in the world’s financial systems, but have our university curricula caught up with these developments? In this Briefing Paper Girol Karacaoglu and Julienne Molineaux describe a new approach to teaching economics which challenges orthodox thinking and embraces complexity.


Changing Climate, Changing Minds. By David Hall

“To treat climate denial as merely a facet of psychology, then to treat psychology as innate and non-adaptive, is to give the game away.”

For those who accept the fact of human-created climate change, how to convince climate change deniers has become an increasing focus of discussion. Insights from psychology can help explain why some people do, and others don’t, accept the science of climate change; they also imply different approaches for dealing with climate change denial. David Hall urges caution about how these ideas are used as guides for political action.


Call for Briefing Papers for 2018

The Briefing Papers are aimed at providing the public with an overview of critical issues facing New Zealand society in the 21st century. The goal is to promote the informed discussion and debate that is crucial to economic and social development. The central question motivating all Briefing Papers is “How is the public interest being served?”

If you are doing policy relevant research and would like to write a briefing paper on your topic of interest, please contact us at briefingpapers@aut.ac.nz

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