Institute for Governance and Policy Studies

Ongoing Research

The Institute for Governance and Policy Studies conducts research across a wide range of topics in the broad areas of governance and public policy.


Following are details of research projects undertaken by the Institute of Policy Studies, predecessor of the IGPS. A review of the research activities conducted by the IPS is available here.

For information on the Henry Lang Fellowship and the Holmes Prize in Public Policy, please go to the end of the page.

Emerging Issues Programme (EIP)
In 2006 Chief Executives in the public sector agreed to pool funds to enable the IPS to conduct research on emerging longer-term issues of cross-cutting significance to the whole public sector. Since then more than a dozen projects have been completed under the EIP. See the EIP page for details of the completed projects.

Current projects are:

1. Post-Treaty settlements issues
Potentially the signalled 2014 end of the historical Treaty settlements process ushers in a new era in Crown-Māori relations. But what will these new relationships look like? To help explore these evolving relations, we have set up a joint venture between the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies and Te Kawa a Māui (Māori Studies) at Victoria University. We commissioned a set of short papers representing a diversity of viewpoints around five questions. These papers were released on a new website which went ‘live’ on the 14th of June, 2011. The questions were:

Question 1: How will the Treaty relationship be conceived of in 50 years’ time given changing demographics and the lasting effects of the current historical settlements?

Question 2: What will be the implications of New Zealand support for, and possible ratification of, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples?

Question 3: Should there be separate Māori representation (seats) in parliament and on local authorities alongside other consultative mechanisms?

Question 4: Are iwi in the post-settlement environment on an equal footing after their Treaty settlements, in terms of the types of redress that were on the table and the adherence to relativities at the time of their negotiations? Are settlements ‘fair and durable’?

Question 5: How will iwi/Crown co-management of resources play out? Are there potential conflicts of interest in iwi being managers, guardians and also developers? And how different is this to the Crown being in all three roles? 

To access the Post Treaty Settlements website click here

2. Ocean Governance: The New Zealand Dimension

This project was commissioned by the EIP Steering Group to address the opportunities to improve ocean governance. The major goals of this project are twofold:

  1. to promote the scholarly analysis of management options for achieving responsible stewardship of the oceans offshore New Zealand, and
  2. to present, on the basis of such analyses, a characterization of the policy tools, options and instruments that can contribute to the consideration by policy makers of alternative, improved ocean management frameworks.

There are two major outputs associated with this project. First, the project will lead to the production of a series of draft “white papers” that will be circulated to policymakers, scientists and stakeholders after the first year of the project. These white papers will be revised based on the comments from the reviewers and organized into a final report that will emphasize the further development of policy change in ocean governance. The final report will incorporate:

  1. information from interviews of a range of stakeholders and government agencies on the important issues and concerns facing future ocean governance;
  2. an assessment of policy tools and instruments that may be needed to address future marine ocean governance issues;
  3. a characterization of important cases of marine issues; and
  4. a comparative case study of other national and international efforts in integrated ocean governance.

In addition, the project will encourage the exchange of information and ideas about future ocean governance in New Zealand. Over the course of the next two years, this project will support four public workshops tentatively entitled “Forum on Oceans, Coasts and Islands” to discuss major themes in ocean governance of the EEZ and continental shelf.

Project manager contact details –

3. Future State 2 - Directions for Reform of the New Zealand public management model
The Future State Part 2 project will investigate new ways the public sector will need to work to address emerging complex policy problems. Issues to be considered include how accountability and performance management systems need to be adjusted to better facilitate cooperative working relationships between public sector entities. A primary objective is to consider directions for reforming the public management system. For further information and a brief summary of the Future State Part 1 project go to Future State

Other Research

The IPS continues to sponsor research and research-informed discussions on a variety of other policy issues including constitutional matters (e.g. political finance, electoral reform, the head of state, etc.), economic issues (e.g. regulatory reform), the funding of research, science and technology. Current research projects include:

Missing Men
This three-year Foundation for Research, Science and Technology research programme is led by Dr Paul Callister. It involves researchers from Victoria University and Waikato University, government agencies and the private sector. A key focus is on the gap between male and female educational participation and achievement, especially within Maori and Pacific populations. For further information, please click here for the project's page.

Criminal Justice Issues
The IPS has sponsored research and research-informed discussions on a variety of issues in the area of criminal justice. This has included the publication of several substantial volumes in recent years:Restorative Justice and Practices in New Zealand: Towards a Restorative Society(edited by Gabrielle Maxwell and James Liu) and Addressing the Causes of Offending: What is the Evidence? (edited by Gabrielle Maxwell).

Current research projects include:

  • Audits of community programmes for youth offenders
  • The preparation of a guide to effective programmes for youth at risk of serious and continued offending
  • The preparation of material on youth justice for Te Ara, the encyclopedia of New Zealand
  • Preparation of a proposal for collaborative research with researchers at the University of Plymouth on the extent to which restorative processes meet young offenders’ needs and respond to victims’ interest in New Zealand and the UK
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of current policy initiatives in addressing the cause of offending

Population Ageing Issues
In 2009 the New Zealand Institute for Research on Ageing (NZiRA) was incorporated into the IPS. Prior to this, the IPS had worked closely with NZiRA on various projects, including the hosting of research-informed events and the publication of a substantial volume (edited by Jonathan Boston and Judith Davey) on Implications of Population Ageing: Opportunities and Risks.

Current projects include a follow-up to the October Round Table on Support and caring for dependent older people – how should responsibility be shared? and presentations on the findings of the Families, Ageing and Migration project. A conference on Retirement Income Policies and Intergenerational Equity, is planned in collaborating with the Retirement Commission for July 2010. There is ongoing interest in workforce participation by older people and the application of the Active Ageing concept, in policy and in the community.

The Holmes Prize in Public Policy: Information on the Holmes Prize in Public Policy.
Henry Lang Fellowship: Information on the Fellowship and the recipients