Institute for Governance and Policy Studies

Upcoming Events



The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were officially adopted by world leaders at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September last year. The goals are part of a new sustainable development agenda to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Each of the 17 goals have specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. The goals and targets apply to all countries including New Zealand and countries are expected to report on progress in implementing them. The SDGs are likely to have a significant impact on governments and businesses in the next fifteen years. At this presentation John Thwaites will discuss the development of the goals, how they have evolved beyond the previous Millennium Development Goals and the role of universities and knowledge institutions in implementing them.
Date: Tuesday 3rd May
Time: 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Location: Old Government Buildings Lecture Theatre 4 (first floor)

JThwaitesSpeaker: John Thwaites is a Professorial Fellow, Monash University, and Chair of ClimateWorks Australia and the Monash Sustainability Institute. John has recently been appointed the Chair of Melbourne Water, Melbourne’s major water utility, which is also responsible for the rivers and catchment around Melbourne. John also chairs the Australian Building Codes Board, the body responsible for developing and managing Australia’s building regulations. He also chairs the Peter Cullen Water and Environment Trust and is a director of the Australian Green Building Council. Heis a Co-Chair of the Leadership Council of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) launched by the Secretary General of the UN to provide expert advice and support to the development of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2013, John was named as one of the 100 Global Sustainability Leaders by ABC Carbon Express. From 2012-2013, John was Chair of the National Sustainability Council, an independent Council appointed by the Australian Government, which produced the Sustainable Australia Report in 2013. John has provided extensive advice to the Australian, state and local governments on environmental and water issues and been appointed to many government advisory bodies. In 2008-2010, John was a special adviser to the Timor-Leste Minister for Infrastructure and helped develop an Infrastructure Plan for Timor-Leste and has been involved in a project to develop sewerage and drainage for the capital Dili. John Thwaites was Deputy Premier of Victoria from 1999 until his retirement in 2007. During this period he was Minister for Health, Minister for Planning, Minister for Environment, Minister for Water, Minister for Victorian Communities and Victoria’s first Minister for Climate Change. In these portfolios he was responsible for major reforms in social policy, health, environment and water.

Whistling While They Work 2 is the largest study ever undertaken in Australia and New Zealand on the eternally thorny topic of whistleblowing.  Working with a huge range of partners across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors across both countries, the project will provide unprecedented insights into what we know and what needs to be done. Join Professor AJ Brown for the NZ launch of this fascinating and important project.
Date: Wednesday May 4th
Time: 12:30 - 1:30pm
Location: Rutherford House Lecture Theatre 1
RSVP: Please RSVP for this seminar

ajBrownSpeaker: Professor A J Brown is Professor of Public Policy and Law and program leader, Public Integrity & Anti-Corruption in the Centre for Governance and Public Policy, Griffith University.  He is also a member of the board of directors of Transparency International Australia.  He has worked or consulted in all branches and at all levels of government in Australia, and has taught and researched widely in public policy, administration and accountability, and constitutional and administrative law.  His research has had a major impact on the design of public integrity systems and whistleblowing law reform around Australia and internationally, as well as on the political culture and practice of Australian federal reform

New Zealand has been a world leader in opening up its public data for legal re-use by others to encourage transparency, innovation, greater engagement in policy development and better social and environmental outcomes. This lecture will provide a historic context, look at some international experience, consider what opening up data has meant for New Zealand and engage in a little crystal ball gazing.
Date: Monday 9th May
Time: 12:30 - 1:30pm
Location: Old Government Buildings Lecture Theatre 3 (ground floor)

Speaker: Keitha Booth has extensive experience in cross-government policy and programme planning, development and implementation.  She led the NZ Open Government Information and Data programme from its inception in 2008 until December 2015 and has advised on or contributed to other cross-government information policies and programmes, including the 2006 eGovernment Strategy (SSC-led), the ICT Strategy and Action Plan to 2017 (DIA-led), the Analytics and Insights/Integrated Data Infrastructure project (Treasury and Statistics NZ-led) and the NZ Data Futures Forum (Statistics NZ-led). At the SSC, DIA and LINZ, she led the development of the 2010 and 2014 NZ Government Open Access and Licensing frameworks (NZGOAL), the 2011 Declaration on Open and Transparent Government, the 2011 NZ Data and Information Management Principles and the progress reporting to Cabinet on Agency Adoption of the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government. She is a member of the Digital New Zealand Advisory Board and the Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand Advisory Panel. 

Join Professor Ilya Somin as he mines the depts of political ignorance in America and reveals it as a major problem for democracy.
Date: Wednesday 11th May
Time: 12:30 - 1:30pm
Location: Old Government Buildings Lecture Theatre 4 (first floor)
RSVP: RSVPs not required

Speaker: Professor Ilya Somin, Professor of Law, George Mason University. His research focuses on constitutional law, property law, and the study of popular political participation and its implications for constitutional democracy.  He is the author of The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain (University of Chicago Press, 2015), and Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter (Stanford University Press, 2013, revised and expanded second edition, forthcoming in 2016), and coauthor of A Conspiracy Against Obamacare: The Volokh Conspiracy and the Health Care Case (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013),

The 2015 Paris Agreement represents a historic achievement in multilateral diplomacy. After years of deeply discordant negotiations, Parties harnessed the political will necessary to arrive at a climate change agreement that strikes a careful balance between the ambition of global efforts to address climate change and differentiation between developed and developing countries. This lecture will trace the four-year negotiation process for the Paris Agreement. In so doing, it will discuss the fundamental disagreements between groups of Parties that persisted until the end as well as the ingenious compromises they arrived at to accommodate their red lines. It will also explore the key building blocks of the Paris Agreement—ambition and differentiation - and the challenges that lie ahead in implementing the Agreement.
Date: Wednesday 18th May
Time: 5:00 - 6:00pm. Refreshments at 6pm
Location: Intercontinental Hotel, Wellington

RSVPs are Essential

2016 Sir Frank Holmes Memorial Fellow - Professor Lavanya Rajamani, Research Professor at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, India


Shortly after the National government came to power in 2008, it set out a policy framework called the Business Growth Agenda that included the expansion of the oil and gas industry in hope of a ‘game changing’ discovery.  To achieve its aims, the Government undertook a number of orchestrated steps in close collaboration with the petroleum industry to remove perceived impediments to industry expansion, promote the petroleum industry to ‘middle New Zealand,’ and defuse, co-opt or subvert environmental opposition.  The petroleum industry developed its own set of strategies, or borrowed them from overseas, to help achieve their mutual aims.  This seminar examines some of these government manoeuvres and oil industry strategies more closely, and how resistance and counter-strategies by environmental organisations and local anti-fracking protesters not only disrupted government/industry efforts but altered institutional relations and values between the state, Big Oil and the environmental movement.

Date: Friday 20th May
Time: 12:30 - 1:30pm
Location: Old Government Buildings Lecture Theatre 1
RSVP: Not required. Please sign in on arrival

TLoomisSpeaker:  Dr Terrence Loomis is a Visiting Research Scholar in the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies at Victoria University.  He holds a BA from Hamline University in Minnesota, an MA (1st Hons) in Social Anthropology from Auckland University, a PhD in Economic Anthropology from the University of Adelaide, and an Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) certificate from the National Development Council of America.  He has over 15 years research and development consulting experience in the US, Canada, Australia, the Pacific and New Zealand.  He was Director of Economic Development for the Mdewakanton Dakota tribe of Prairie Island, Minnesota for four years. Between 1997-2000 he was Foundation Professor of Development Studies in the School of Maori and Pacific Development at Waikato University, before becoming a senior policy advisor with the New Zealand government. 


Note: To view the public lectures given earlier in previous years; many with lecture reviews, power point slides and video recordings, see here.

There are plenty of free public lectures planned for 2016. Please visit this site again soon or subscribe to our online newsletter to receive complimentary email updates.

Unfamiliar with Pipitea Campus? See here for an aerial view and a downloadable PDF map.