Reports and Projects

The Policy Fix

BY The Policy Observatory

Welcome to The Policy Fix, a podcast by The Policy Observatory. Each podcast is a 15-20 minute interview with an academic or other expert on their policy-related research or work.

As with our Briefing Papers, the audience is the general public. The topics focus on issues of interest to New Zealanders, and the interviews are guided by three questions:

  • What policy problem does your research address?
  • Why should the public care about this?
  • What policy directions do you recommend?


Our first series of podcasts focuses on inequality in Aotearoa. The interviews currently available are:

Peter Skilling on what New Zealanders think about inequality

What do New Zealanders think about inequality? That’s the question driving the recent Marsden-funded research of AUT’s Dr Peter Skilling. His research looks at what levels of inequality New Zealanders think is reasonable, and investigates the dynamics of public conversations about inequality. He talks with The Policy Observatory’s Keri Mills about the results of his research.

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Max Rashbrooke on economic inequality in Aotearoa

What are the problems caused by economic inequality in Aotearoa, and what can we do about it? Max Rashbrooke has written and edited books on wealth, inequality and the role of government, and he talks to The Policy Observatory’s Keri Mills about the state of inequality in Aotearoa today, and where we should go from here.

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Tracey McIntosh on inequality in Aotearoa’s criminal justice system

Aotearoa New Zealand has one of the world’s highest incarceration rates. Māori are more likely to get arrested than Pākehā, once arrested more likely to get prosecuted, once prosecuted more likely to get locked up. The majority of our people in prison are poor, and a sharply increasing number of imprisoned people are Māori women. What are the causes of the gross inequalities in our criminal justice system, and what should we do about them? Professor Tracey McIntosh of the University of Auckland has studied these issues for many years and she discusses her thinking with The Policy Observatory’s Keri Mills.

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Shiloh Groot on homelessness in Aotearoa

In the last few years there has been a new focus on homelessness in Aotearoa New Zealand, amid talk of a homelessness crisis. This is often linked directly to the housing crisis, but homelessness is a complex issue that is about more than just having access to four walls and a roof. Dr. Shiloh Groot, Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology at the University of Auckland, has been researching homelessness for over a decade, and in her work seeks to rehumanise the issue by talking with homeless people about their lives. She shares her thoughts with The Policy Observatory’s Keri Mills.

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The Policy Fix