Institute for Governance and Policy Studies

Upcoming Events




World Bank

31 October:

Divided Welfare?

31 October:

An Enduring Presence



4 November:

What is Policy Failure and Why Do Governments get it so Wrong (sometimes)?

13 November:

Catrin Parish

14 November:

Transport, Climate and Health

26 November:

Flexible Budgeting


1 December:

Maori and First Nations in the US

2 December:

John Benington

3 December:

Jean Hartley

Note: To view the public lectures given earlier on in 2014; many with lecture reviews, power point slides and video recordings, see here.


POSTPONED - Due to injury

Procurement transformation around the world - and in New Zealand

Chris Browne - World Bank Chief Procurement Officer

Join Christopher Browne and John Ivil to learn how procurement contributes to agency outcomes, why it needs modernisation, and what is being done to transform it – around the world and here at home.


Christopher will share examples from the World Bank's procurement project portfolio and discuss the transformation program that he is leading across 168 countries. He will share the complexity and challenges faced in reforming the Bank's procurement policy and refocusing and repositioning procurement capability. His experience emphasises the view that strengthening procurement policy can drive beneficial results in countries around the world, at all stages of development.


John will share New Zealand's procurement reform story - and the emergence of procurement functional leadership. John believes that clever market engagement helps find sustainable and effective solutions to deliver better public services. His teams work to build capability, create an environment for businesses to succeed, and deliver value for money for all New Zealanders.


Chris Browne

Chief Procurement Officer, World Bank


Chris has been the World Bank's Chief Procurement Officer since November 2012 and is responsible for leading the modernization and reform of the World Bank's procurement policy, system and approach. The Procurement portfolio provides support to $26 billion in projects each year, across 168 countries. Chris has over 26 years procurement experience in State Owned Enterprises, Local Government, Government Agencies, Central Government with a focus on civil engineering procurement, sustainable procurement and procurement transformation projects. Chris was also the lead European Technical Advisor to the UN Marrakesh Task Force on Sustainable Public Procurement. Chris has also been instrumental in our own New Zealand Government Procurement Reform Program - and following the devastating earthquakes in Christchurch, he led the procurement to repair 100,000 properties for residents (circa $4 billion contract) in less than a week. For this, and his work on procurement reforms Mr. Browne was given the Procurement Professional of the Year award by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply in 2011. Chris is a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, has a Diploma in Management Studies and an MBA. As an early pioneer of sustainable procurement, Mr. Browne was asked to develop and co-author the UK Sustainable Procurement Strategy for the Blair Administration.


John Ivil

General Manager, Government Procurement


John is the General Manager, Government Procurement and is responsible for New Zealand Government procurement policy, capability and capacity development, collaborative procurement (including all-of-government contracts) and the establishment of a commercial pool of procurement resources to assist government agencies. Prior to commencing work at the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, John was employed at the Ministry of Health and in the New Zealand Defence Force. John served 26 years in the NZDF both in New Zealand and overseas, the majority of that time in uniform as a logistics officer. John has served in diverse locations such as the Sinai Peninsula, Angola and Canberra. John holds a Master's Degree in Management Studies from the University of NSW, majoring in Project Management.

Date: TBC
Venue: TBC
Time: TBC


Friday 31 October 2014

Divided Welfare?

Tax funded welfare in Australia's targeted model

Having shared similar social policy settings during much of the twentieth century, Australia and New Zealand experienced quite different processes of economic restructuring during the 1980s and 1990s. Australia's more consensual politics led to both a more progressive tax structure – maintaining a higher top marginal tax rate and successfully introducing a capital gains tax – while also extending a model of targeted social assistance.


Australia's family and aged pension payments stand out internationally as a highly progressive, cost effective model for assisting low and middle income earners without stigmatising access or linking payments to work obligations. Yet alongside this highly redistributive system of payments, Australia has also developed a rapidly expanding set of tax expenditures, often covering similar areas of social provision.


Our paper outlines these two components of Australian social provision and proposes a model for understanding the political dynamics that sustain it. This suggests useful points of comparison with the New Zealand experience we hope to explore in discussion.

Ben Spies-Butcher

Senior Lecturer and Director, Masters of Policy and Applied Social Research, Sociology Department, Macquarie University


Ben has a PhD in Economics from the University of Sydney and his work focuses on the political economy of social policy. Ben is a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development and a Research Associate at the Retirement Policy and Research Centre at the University of Auckland. His most recent co-authored book is Market Society published by Cambridge University Press..


Adam Stebbing

Lecturer and Director, Bachelor of Social Science, Sociology Department, Macquarie University.


Adam has a PhD in Sociology from Macquarie University and his research focuses on the interactions between social policy, tax policy and inequality. Adam is a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development and is currently undertaking research on emerging housing and retirement income inequalities in the context of an ageing population.

Date: Friday 31 October
Venue: Victoria University of Wellington, Pipitea Campus, Old Government Buildings, GBLT3
Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm


Friday 31 October 2014

An Enduring Presence:

Moving beyond single interventions with vulnerable youth

This seminar will present the findings from the Pathways to Resilience and Youth Transitions research programmes based at Massey University. It will include an outline of the International Resilience Research Programme – a five-country study of resilience and risk that involves 7,000 young people and which is based at The Resilience Research Center in Halifax, Canada.


The presentation will focus on a key finding from the New Zealand part of the study: the importance of an enduring presence in the lives of vulnerable young people. The impact that episodic interventions have upon outcomes for vulnerable youth will be discussed alongside the benefits youth gain from sustained and engaged interventions that draw on youth development theory. Effective interventions respond to the unique needs of young people and when practitioners work together to provide consistent and sustained interventions, better outcomes are achieved.


Four key themes are at the core of effective interventions: strong relationships, persistence, adaptability, and time.

Dr Robyn Munford

Professor, School of Health and Social Services, Massey University


Dr Munford co-leads two large national studies of vulnerable young people with Associate Professor Jackie Sanders. These studies: Pathways to Resilience and Successful Youth Transitions examine patterns of risk and resilience in the lives of vulnerable youth and the ways in which formal and informal systems of support assist them in the processes of growing up. She maintains a national network of professional relationships with statutory and NGO organisations that work with youth through which findings from the research are translated into practice.


Dr Jackie Sanders

Associate Professor, School of Health and Social Services, Massey University.


Dr Sanders co-leads two large national studies of vulnerable young people with Professor Robyn Munford. These studies: Pathways to Resilience and Successful Youth Transitions examine patterns of risk and resilience in the lives of vulnerable youth and the ways in which formal and informal systems of support assist them in the processes of growing up. She maintains a national network of professional relationships with statutory and NGO organisations that work with youth through which findings from the research are translated into practice.


Dr Linda Liebenberg

Co-director, Resilience Research Centre, Dalhousie University, Halifax Canada.


Dr Liebennerg is a methodologist with an interest understanding the lives of children and youth who live in challenging contexts. She has more than 15 years of experience undertaking research and evaluation projects with marginalised women and youth. Dr. Liebenberg works internationally as a research and evaluation consultant with organizations such as the World Bank, SOS Children's Villages, Right to Play, the Child Soldiers Initiative and Child-to Child. She has published and presented internationally on research- and resilience-related themes relevant to understanding youth across cultures and contexts.

Date: Friday 31 October
Venue: MSD, Auditorium, 3rd floor, Bowen State Building
Time: 1pm - 2.30pm



Tuesday 4 November

What is Policy Failure and Why Do Governments get it so Wrong (sometimes)?

Governments throughout the world seem cursed to suffer periodic policy failures, yet understanding such failures is something of an enigma. Defining failure seems bedivilled by a host of methodological problems including differing interpretations, grey areas and 'failure for whom?'. Ascertaining the causes of failure seems equally challenging, given multiple potential causal factors, the 'bias' of hindsight, blame games and more.


This presentation explores these issues and provides a way forward in advancing our understanding what is and what causes policy failure. A theme throughout is that only by tackling head on, issues such as 'degrees of failure', mixtures of success/failure and widely differing views on 'what went wrong', can we hope to advance our understanding, and the real politick of this enigmatic phenomenon.

Allan McConnell

Professor in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney


Allan is originally from Scotland and moved to Australia in 2004. His broad area of specialism is public policy and has published and seven books and scores of articles and book chapters on topics such as the politics of crisis leadership, post-crisis inquiries, politics of risk and policy success. He is currently attempting to grapple with a number of less-written about issues in public policy, including policy failure. In 2013, he and his colleague Andrew Hindmoor from the University of Sheffield won the Harrison Prize for the best article published in Political Studies in 2013, for the article 'Why Didn't they See it Coming? Warning Signs, Acceptable Risks and the Global Financial Crisis'.

Date: Tuesday 4 November
Venue: Victoria University of Wellington, Pipitea Campus, Rutherford House, RHLT3
Time: 5.30pm - 6.30pm


Thursday 13 November

Catrin Parish

Connectedness and Canterbury

The Canterbury earthquake sequence of 2010 and 2011 presented the Government with unprecedented challenges, not least of which was to ensure consistency and connectedness across each of its agencies who had a role in the response.


This presentation will discuss particular instances where government agencies connected in responding to the earthquake's impact on the built environment, and identifies elements of the experience that should be incorporated in planning for future natural disasters.


The key observations are:


• Examples of connectedness often came about due to existing relationships and networks that were not born out of disaster planning but were fortuitous in enabling aspects of the Government's response.


• Individual agencies gathered large amounts of information in their response roles, but this could often only be utilised between agencies in an ad hoc way in the absence of existing frameworks for information sharing.


• There are opportunities for broader government policies to be implemented as part of the rebuild, but these may be overlooked or under utilised due to competing priorities or lack of advance planning and role awareness.


• A whole-of-government review of the experience in Canterbury is required and a strategic approach is necessary to implement change. As part of this, the importance of connectedness should be acknowledged and built into frameworks.

Catrin Parish

State Services Commission / IGPS Research Fellow

Date: Thursday 13 November
Venue: Victoria University of Wellington, Pipitea Campus, Rutherford House, RHLT2
Time: 5.30pm - 6.30pm


Friday 14 November

Transport, Climate and Health:

Wellington at the cross-roads

Aims: To explore the health & climate implications of the major roading infrastructure planned by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to last for the next 100years in Wellington. The impacts on cycling, walking and physical exercise will be emphasized.

Method: Analysis of relevant statistics from the World Health Organisation, NZTA, the NZ Ministries of Transport and the Environment, Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory and its Land Transport Strategy.


Results: Motorised traffic induction will have negative health impacts because of increased air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Active and public transport will be discouraged relative to private transport. These results combined with the small resource allocated for walking and cycling infrastructure will discourage physical activity which has major implications for public health.


Conclusions: At a time when vehicle kilometres travelled per person are diminishing and uptake of driving licences by the young plummeting in Wellington, major doubt must be cast on the wisdom of Roads of National Significance for Wellington

Russell Tregonning

Orthopaedic Surgeon and Senior Lecturer, Wellington School of Medicine, Otago University

Date: Friday 14 November
Venue: Victoria University of Wellington, Pipitea Campus, Rutherford House, RHLT3
Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm


Wednesday 26 November

SSC, ANZSOG and The Treasury Present:

Flexible Budgeting

The SSC, ANZSOG and The Treasury are pleased to present Flexible budgeting with Dr Michael Di Francesco, in Wellington on Wednesday 26 November. Dr Michael Di Francesco is Senior Lecturer in Public Sector Management at ANZSOG and Honorary Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne, who has taught previously at Victoria University of Wellington.


Public sector budgeting and financial management is often seen as 'rule' driven, caught between contending imperatives for consistency and responsiveness.


But does the potential for budget flexibility in the public sector lie in rule variability rather than simply fewer rules?


Please join us as Michael reports on recent research analysing the strengths and weaknesses of conventional and modernised budget practices, and how they can inhibit collaboration and agility, both of which are crucially important in the context of the aspirations of Better Public Services. As well as mapping the problems, he will also scope a range of possible 'rule-based' options for better balancing control and flexibility.

Dr Michael Di Francesco

Senior Lecturer in Public Sector Management, ANZSOG and Honorary Senior Fellow, University of Melbourne

Date: Wednesday 26 November
Venue: Te Raukura – Te Wharewaka 15 Jervois Quay, Taranaki Street Wharf

Wharewaka is in between the Boat Shed and St John's Bar/Macs Brewery

12pm - 12.30pm Registration & Light Refreshments

12.30pm - 1.45pm Presentation



Monday 1 December

Comparative Situations of Maori and First Nations in the US

Deatils TBC


Professor Alan Parker

Director, Northwest Indian Applied Research Institute

Date: Monday 1 December
Venue: Victoria University of Wellington, Pipitea Campus, Old Government Buildings, GBLT2
Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm


Tuesday 2 December

Adding Public Value at the Interface Between Government and the Community:

Achieving a strong customer and client focus

To solve complex problems the public service needs to understand and engage more and differently with our customers? What enables this, including the nature of leadership?


What lessons can we learn when the public service and the community work together as they have done in Great Britain?


What value can the public service add to ensure actual results are achieved?


In the words of the Deputy Prime Minister in his speech to IPANZ in February 2014 "There are a few lessons we should take from the Better Public Services progress report. One is that some of the things we always thought were too difficult, actually are soluble. It's absolutely critical for a public service that its ways of thinking and forms of analysis don't lead it to the conclusion, as has happened in the past, that there are people beyond hope and that there are problems beyond solutions".


This address, followed by an interactive question and answer session with Professor Benington, will look at the British experience of dealing with complex and longstanding social and health issues and how the public sector adds value and new ways of thinking in working at the interface with communities.

John Benington

Emeritus Professor, Warwick Business School

Date: Tuesday 2 December
Venue: Russell McVeagh Boardroom
Time: 5.30pm - 6.30pm


Wednesday 3 December

Public Managers and Political Astuteness:

Lessons for the New Zealand State sector

As public managers, we work in an inherently political environment: one with numerous, diverse and often competing interests and stakeholders. What kind of small-p political skills do we need to achieve publicly valuable outcomes in a world of complex, often wicked, problems?

The Leading with Political Astuteness research project led by Professor Jean Hartley  investigated the importance placed on political skills by public managers in NZ, the UK and Australia.


Please join Professor Hartley as she shares her findings and provides the answers to some fascinating and critical questions: how different are Kiwis really? How well do we score ourselves  and others on the various dimensions of political astuteness?  And if political astuteness is so important in contemporary government, can it be selected for, taught and learned?



Professor Jean Hartley

Department of Public Leadership and Social Enterprise, The Open University

Date: Wednesday 3 December
Venue: Rydges Hotel

75 Featherston Street, Wellington
Time: 12.00pm - 12.30pm Registration & Light Refreshments 12.30pm - 1.45pm Seminar


There are plenty of free public lectures planned for the remainder of 2014. 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.