Welcome to the May newsletter for The Policy Observatory. We look at the release of a report by the Ministry for the Environment, co-authored by David Hall; the April visit to New Zealand of Ann Pettifor; and we profile the latest Briefing Papers. [You’re receiving this newsletter because you are on one of our mailing lists. If you would like to be removed from our mailing list, reply to this email with the word “unsubscribe” in the subject line.]

Climate finance report launched…

On 13th April, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw, visited AUT to launch Climate Finance Landscape for Aotearoa New Zealand: A Preliminary Survey. This report was prepared for the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) by The Policy Observatory’s Dr David Hall along with impact investment specialist Sam Lindsay.

It is New Zealand’s first ever report on domestic climate finance flows – that is, investment flows into assets and activities that contribute to climate mitigation, climate adaptation, or both. The report is available on MfE’s website here. It is also cited substantially in the Productivity Commission’s Low-emissions Economy draft report (particularly Chapter 6), which was subsequently released here.

To support the release of the Climate Finance Landscape report, David and Sam wrote an op-ed for the Dominion Post which summarised the opportunities around climate finance (see here). The report was also covered by the New Zealand Herald’s Business Editor, Liam Dann (see here), and Science Reporter Jamie Morton (see here). There was also further coverage in Stuff, Carbon News, Voxy and AUTi.

Ann Pettifor’s visit to New Zealand

UK economist Ann Pettifor visited New Zealand in April to be a keynote speaker at the Institute of Directors’ leadership conference. Only here for a few days, Ann made time to give a public talk at AUT on the topic of housing unaffordability, raising the question whether national governments can promote affordability given housing and finance are both global markets. While here Ann also gave some media interviews, including a lengthy one with Radio New Zealand. We have collated her media appearances and information about this visit here.

ACC symposium resources

Proceedings of the December 2017 ACC symposium, hosted by The Policy Observatory, are now online, see here. There has been a renewed interest in the policy area of ACC in the last six months or so with the ACC Futures Coalition re-forming, and the award of a major grant by the Law Foundation to Warren Foster. He will use the grant to report on overseas models of disability support that do not distinguish between sickness and accidents, supporting people based on their needs rather than the reason for their incapacity.

Briefing Papers

The Briefing Papers website hosts papers on a range of policy topics. You can subscribe to new posts using an RSS feed, or have them sent to your mailbox. Latest papers include:

Where modern macroeconomics is going wrong. By Brian Easton

Brian Easton writes about the steadily accumulating criticism of the dominant macroeconomic paradigm. One criticism (of many) is that these models are unable to predict, and therefore help policy makers avoid, deep downturns and shocks in the economy and the finance sector. This paper draws heavily on a journal article by Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz.


What is the new Crown-Māori Relations portfolio? By Keri Mills

The government has created a new portfolio called Crown-Māori Relations, and is consulting with the public about its priorities. One of its tasks will be to manage the thousands of commitments made as part of Treaty settlements. The Policy Observatory’s Keri Mills backgrounds the portfolio and analyses some of the complexities in Crown-Māori relationships. Written for the Briefing Papers, this was also published by The Spinoff website:


War remembrance: Acting out or working through? By Nicholas Haig.

Museum expert Nicholas Haig discusses war remembrance exhibitions, asking what the remembrance is for. Commemoration, particularly that designed to stir up emotions, may not set the scene for a mature understanding of events, but instead leave people vulnerable to simplistic and jingoistic nationalism.


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