Institute for Governance and Policy Studies

Previous Events 2010

2010 Lunchtime Seminars
For information and presentation downloads from previous seminars, please click here


Offshore Mining, Oil and Gas Development in New Zealand's Offshore Continental Shelf - a workshop
Tuesday 23 November 2010

This public workshop was part of the project on 'Ocean Governance: The New Zealand Dimension", which is funded by the Emerging Issues Programme at the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Victoria University of Wellington. The goal of the workshop was to provide a public forum for the open exchange and discussion of this important coastal marine issue.


Does Inequality Matter? A Policy Forum
Tuesday 16 November 2010

This forum was hosted by the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington, in association with the Centre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Otago

The aim of this one-day policy forum was to assess critically the main arguments advanced in The Spirit Level, and consider whether inequality (especially income inequality) really does matter to the fabric of a society.

Keynote Speaker
Professor Richard Wilkinson, a distinguished British social epidemiologist and co-author of The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone spoke via audio-visual link to the United Kingdom

View presentation slides here
Hear an audio recording with slides here (Duration: 1:46:01)

Critical Reflections on The Spirit Level
Professor Tony Blakely Methodological issues: is the thesis robust?
Dr Xavier Márquez Philosophical and ethical issues: is inequality unjust?
Paul Barber Political issues: is there a constituency for equality?

The New Zealand Context
Ben Gleisner Trends in income inequality and their relationship to other
socio-economic outcomes

Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman Inequality and health
Dr Paul Callister Inequality and education/human capital
Dr Gabrielle Maxwell Inequality and criminal justice
Dr Matthew Gibbons Social mobility

Policy Issues and Implications
Associate Professor Bob Stephens If reducing inequality is important, what are the issues, costs and policy options?
Discussants Des O’Dea and Dr David Bromell here


Re-setting Science and Innovation for the next 20 years
Thursday 21 October 2010

A conference in collaboration with the New Zealand Association of Scientists.

The research, science and technology system is being 're-set' as science and innovation. The NZ Association of Scientists (NZAS) observes that researchers, business and economic advisers often talk past one another. NZAS acknowledges that the research community is only a part of New Zealand's 'innovation system'. We wanted to tease out the various roles, impediments to successful application of knowledge, and how to arrive at a policy language that communicates equally well with all sectors in the science and innovation system. Therefore, this one day conference aimed to identify and clarify the Government's ambitions for New Zealand, what we mean by 'science' and 'innovation' and whether current policy settings are appropriate.

A wide spectrum of speakers who have different roles in the science system were asked to present the main features and desired characteristics of a science and innovation system, working for New Zealand, over the next 20 years.


Reconstituting the Constitution
Thursday 2 & Friday 3 September 2010
Legislative Council Chamber, Parliament

Presented by the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies and the New Zealand Centre for Public Law

Video recordings of the presentations can be seen here.

Keynote Speakers:
Professor Robert Hazell, University College London
Professor Heinz Klug, University of Wisconsin
Father Frank Brennan, Australian Catholic University

It is nearly a decade since academics, officials, business leaders and representatives of civil society gathered at Parliament for a major conference on ‘Building the Constitution’. The purpose of this 2010 conference was to build on the earlier one. It discussed relevant issues and recent events that have arisen over the past decade and highlighted that New Zealand’s constitutional issues are far from settled.


Mining in the Conservation Estate: Lasting Lessons from the Schedule 4 Debate
Monday 23 August 2010

Earlier this year the Government invited public submissions on whether to delete about 7,000 hectares of the conservation estate from Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act, in order to allow mining. Following public submission, the Government announced in July that the suggested deletions would not proceed, but that other parts of the conservation estate would be actively targeted for mining development. The reopening of political debate on commercial development of conservation lands raises wider issues about the balance of development and conservation values. This one-day symposium explored these issues.

Philip Woollaston, Minister of Conservation 1989-90, Origins of the legislation and policy relating to minerals in conservation areas

Tom Bennion, Wellington barrister and Victoria University lecturer in Environmental Studies, Comparing access provisions for mining and other activities

Geoff Bertram, Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Mining in the New Zealand Economy

Viktoria Kahui, University of Otago, Pressure from coastal oil drilling in Norway: lessons for the debate on mining in New Zealand conservation estate

Gundars Rudzitis, University of Idaho, Mining and development, theory and praxis: The United States experience and beyond

Chris Baker, Straterra, Should we let a few facts get in the way of a good protest?

Quentin Duthie, Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society of NZ, The schedule four debate: valuing, protecting and sustainably managing natural resources

Ken Piddington, Institute for Governance and Policy Studies and former Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Minerals: Assaying the Minefield<


Scientific Monitoring to Improve Coastal and Marine Governance
Tuesday 10 August 2010

A workshop presented by the Institute of Policy Studies in association with the Centre for Marine Environmental and Economic Research

This was the first workshop scheduled for the Ocean Governance Project, a commissioned project under the Emerging Issues Programme at the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Victoria University.   The goal of the workshop was to provide information on recent advances in coastal and marine monitoring with respect to marine protected areas, aquatic and coastal marine ecosystems. 


"Te Mahi Kai Symposium; The Language of Food"
Wednesday 28 July 2010

The theme for Te Wiki o te Reo – Māori Language Week for 2010 was "Te Mahi Kai -  The Language of Food". The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) in partnership with the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies hosted a Symposium to celebrate. The purpose of the Symposium was to bring together a range of speakers from community based, commercial, research and policy backgrounds to highlight issues around Māori and food.


Seminar: US-Asian Relations in the Shadow of China
Presented by Dr Satu Limaye, Director East-West Center Washington
Tuesday 27 July 2010

Seminar presented jointly by the School of Government, the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, and Centre for Strategic Studies with the assistance of the Embassy of the United States of America.

China's rise is the central feature of Asia's economic, political and security landscape. The United States is responding to this reality in a number of ways. But China is not the only driver of US relations with the Asia-Pacific. Other important factors include: Asia's general and growing weight in the international system, its increasing impacts across a range of elements of American life, debates about the balance between the region's opportunties and challenges, its utility to wider American objectives at home and abroad, and recalibrations in the mix of American bilateral, multilateral and burden-sharing approaches to the region. US policy towards the Asia-Pacific is in the midst of structural change that go beyond relations with and a result of China.

Dr. Satu Limaye was named director of the East-West Center Washington in February 2007. Immediately prior to being appointed, he worked with the Institute for Defense Analyses in Alexandria, Va., as a member of the research staff. Previously, he served as director of the Honolulu-based APCSS' research and publications division from July 1998 to October 2006.

Dr. Limaye was an Abe Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy's International Forum for Democratic Studies, and a Luce Scholar and head of programs on South Asia at the Japan Institute of International Affairs in Tokyo. He has also written, edited, and co-edited numerous books, monographs, and studies, including US, Australia and Japan and the New Security Triangle, Japan in a Dynamic Asia; Special Assessment: The Asia-Pacific and the United States, 2004-2005; Religious Radicalism in South Asia; and Special Assessment: Asia's China Debate.


Retirement Income Policy and Intergenerational Equity Conference
Dates: Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 July 2010

Download presentations from the conference.

Tuesday 13 July - Infrastructure Workshop jointly presented by IPS and Motu. Held at Te Papa

Dr Arthur Grimes, Motu  - Motu's FRST Infrastructure Programme: Key Findings and New Questions

John Boshier, New Zealand Centre for Advanced Engineering - CAENZ Infrastructure Programme: Key Findings

Stephen Selwood, New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development -
Strategic Decision Making Frameworks  

Andrew King, GNS Science - Climate Change, Natural Hazards & Infrastructure Resilience

Professor Lew Evans, School of Economics and Finance, Victoria University - Infrastructure Investment & Uncertainty

Dr Andrew Coleman, Motu - Infrastructure, Lock-In and Learning-by-Doing

Colin Crampton, New Zealand Transport Agency - A Culture of Lead Infrastructure

Michael Deegan, Infrastructure Australia - Infrastructure Approaches in Australia


Seminar Series: Key Policy Challenges Facing New Zealand

A series of seminars presented by the School of Government and the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Victoria University, focussing on key policy challenges facing New Zealand.

16 June Professor John Hattie - University of Auckland
National Education Standards for New Zealand

9 June Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor
Integrity in Science: Implications for the Climate Change Debate

2 June Kim Workman, Family Commissioner and Dr Kathie Irwin, Families Commission
Whanau Ora Policy Over Time: Tracing Trends and Measuring Success

26 May Simon Murdoch - Member, Advisory Panel, Defence Review 2009
Defence Review 2009: Issues for New Zealand's Strategic Defence Capabilities

12 May Dr Don Brash
New Zealand's Economic Performance: Tackling the Productivity Question

14 April Professor Bob Buckle
Reflections on the Tax Working Group's Process, Principles and Prescriptions for Tax Reform


Critical Global Issues - China and Climate Change

A series of seminars co-hosted by the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute, and the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington.

Monday 17 May China, Climate Change and Renewable Energy
Dr Zeng Shaojun China
Center for International Economic Exchange and Tshinghua University, Beijing

Dr Shaojun Zeng is a Senior Researcher of China Center for International Economic Exchange, the Secretary-general of China New Energy Chamber of Commerce; he is also the Executive Director of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) R&D Center of Tsinghua University, Expert Reviewer for the National CDM Project Board at the National Coordination Committee for Climate Change, and the member of the Chinese Meteorological Society’s Committee on Meteorological Economics. He was appointed as the Chief Negotiator in the international climate change negotiation on behalf of China’s private sector. He devotes himself to the research of public policy and national strategy, as well as climate change and the development of the new energy industry. Dr Zeng has published some 10 books and participated in 10 science research projects under the National Philosophy and Social Science Foundation.

Tuesday 18 May China’s Contribution to Solving the Global Climate Challenges
Yang Ailun
Climate Campaign Manager, Greenpeace China

Yang Ailun is the Climate Campaign Manager for Greenpeace China in Beijing. She has worked with Greenpeace China on climate change and energy issues for more than five years. She has coordinated various projects on public awareness raising and energy policy lobby. The energy research projects she has led include The True Cost of Coal in China, China Wind Report, China Solar PV Report, etc. She has been closely following the international negotiations on climate change, and she is one of the most active Chinese NGO spokespersons on this issue for both Chinese and foreign media. She regularly contributes articles on international climate politics to major Chinese newspaper. She received her Master’s of Finance from the University of Manchester and her Master’s of Sociology from the University of London.

Wednesday 19 May China and the Global Environment
Dr Katherine Morton
Australian National University, Canberra

Dr Katherine Morton is a Fellow in the Department of International Relations, College of Asia and Pacific, at the Australian National University. She is a specialist on China and Global Politics with over a decade of experience working on environmental problems at the local, national, and international levels. Her book on International Aid and China’s Environment: Taming the Yellow Dragon was the first academic study on the effectiveness of international ideas and practices in building capacity to address environmental problems in China. She has also published widely on environmental and climate security, Chinese environmental policies, and civil society, including a recent book on China and the Global Environment. For the past six years she has been conducting research on the Tibetan Plateau looking at the emergence of environmentalism and the local and regional impacts of climate change.


14 May 2010 Political Finance: International Perspectives of New Zealand's Reforms

The National-led government is in the process of reforming the regulation of political (or campaign) finance in New Zealand. The proposed reforms raise important constitutional and policy issues. To facilitate public discussion about these matters, the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies at Victoria University of Wellington and the Law Faculty of the University of Otago co-hosted a symposium on Friday 14 May 2010.

Andrew Geddis - New Zealand's proposed new political finance rules
Andrew Geddis is an Associate Professor at the University of Otago's Faculty of Law. He is the author of Electoral Law in New Zealand: Practice and Policy (LexisNexis NZ Ltd, 2007), as well as numerous articles on matters of electoral finance reform in New Zealand and elsewhere. In 2008 the Government appointed him as chair of an expert panel to review electoral administration and political party funding.

Jacob Rowbottom - What lessons does the U.K.'s experience have for New Zealand's proposals?
Jacob Rowbottom is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. He also acts as the Assistant Director of the Faculty of Law's Centre for Public Law. He is the author of Democracy Distorted: Wealth, Influence and Democratic Politics (CUP, 2010), along with articles on campaign financing issues in the Modern Law Review, Public Law and the Law Quarterly Review. Additionally, he has provided written evidence on electoral finance issues to the House of Commons Constitutional Affairs Committee.

Colin Feasby - What lessons does Canada's experience have for New Zealand's proposals?
Colin Feasby is a partner in the Litigation Department of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, one of Canada's largest and most respected law firms. He holds a SJD from Columbia Law School and has written extensively on matters of electoral finance regulation in journals such as the McGill Law Journal, Osgoode Hall Law Journal, and the Supreme Court Law Review. Canada's Supreme Court has cited his academic work on numerous occasions in cases considering the constitutionality of electoral finance regulation.

Joo-Cheong Tham and Graeme Orr – What lessons does Australia's experience have for New Zealand's proposals?
Graeme Orr is a Reader at the University of Queensland's TC Beirne School of Law. He is the author of a forthcoming book on Australian electoral law matters, and has published on electoral financing issues in the Election Law Journal, Federal Law Review and University of New South Wales Law Review.

Joo-Cheong Tham is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne Law School. He is is writing a book on Australian campaign finance law that will be published by UNSW Press in 2010, as well as having written a number of journal articles and book chapters on this topic. He has also given evidence to parliamentary inquiries into political finance law.


7 May 2010 Catastrophe in the Making - Oil Spills and their Political and Ecological Consequences

Presented by Dr Mike McGinnis, Senior Fellow, Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Senior Lecturer, School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington

There have been three well publicized global catastrophic oil spills in the marine waters off the United States – Santa Barbara (1969), Exxon Valdez (1989), and the Gulf of Mexico (2010).  In the darkness of an oil catastrophe resides the ethical compromise of climate change – with its cultural and ecological consequences.

Each oil spill has a unique political, ecological and economic context.  However, each spill shares a common story about the ways human beings can change the character of nature, and as a consequence, become more vulnerable and exposed – inadvertent authors of their own distress.  Catastrophe is a teacher; the event can represent the beginning of a renewed social capacity for ways of knowing and organizing.  The presentation describes the political and ecological consequences of these three spills. In each story of catastrophe, we find the bridge between the real horror, despair and savagery of human impacts and the sense of reverence that is needed to persevere and protect.


Book Launch of With respect - Parliamentarians, officials and judges too by Mark Prebble
Thursday 1 April 2010

The Hon Dr Lockwood Smith launched this book at an event at the Grand Hall at Parliament. Further details including purchasing information are available on our publications page.


Lock 'em up and throw away the key - criminal injustice and the proposed "three strikes" law
Wednesday 31 March 2010

Presented by the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies in association with the Maxim Institute.

There is significant and justified concern about serious violent crime in New Zealand, with many citizens genuinely fearful about their safety. Against this backdrop, National and ACT advocate a “get tough” approach to such crime including a proposed “three strikes” law under which repeat offenders will face mandatory and extended time in prison.

Yet the proposed “three strikes” law risks gross distortions in sentencing practice; departs from central principles of our se+ntencing regime; and if international evidence is anything to go by, is likely to have many undesirable consequences. Legal experts from the University of Auckland, Professor Warren Brookbanks and Dr Richard Ekins, discussed the “three strikes” policy that Parliament is currently considering. They explained the injustice and irrationality of the policy and discuss other ways we could improve sentencing in New Zealand.

Criminal injustice and the proposed “three strikes” law

Download presentation here
Duration: 1:09:28


A Social Enterprise Approach to Reinvigorating the Provision of Community Social Work Services in the UK
Wednesday 3 March 2010

Presented by Professor Peter Marsh, Chair in Child and Family Welfare at the University of Sheffield, UK

Despite widespread investment, and major reforms, social services in the UK continue to be inefficient, limited in innovation, and relatively ineffective. A recent solution to these problems has been seen in the development of 'social enterprise' (businesses with a social purpose, which run at a profit which is reinvested in the services themselves). New 'social work practices', where social workers create their own professional partnership, as a social enterprise, will deliver comprehensive services to around 100 children looked after by the state. This project is designed to reinvigorate professional social work in children's services, and to provide more innovative, effective and efficient social services. The first pilot practice began in December 2009. The seminar describes the rationale and development of this model.

Professor Marsh holds a chair in Child and Family Welfare at the University of Sheffield, and is Academic Director of Enterprise. He was Deputy Chair of the Government Working Group which proposed social work practices, and is currently a member of the Department of Children, Schools and Families Expert Group which is advising about the development and evaluation of the project. His research, over the past 30 years, has primarily been on partnership based approaches to social work, including major studies of Family Group Conferences.

Mediasite presentation: A Social Enterprise Approach to Reinvigorating the Provision of Community Social Work Services
Duration: 00:45:17


Roundtables on 'Behavioural Economics and Public Policy'
February/ March 2010

There has been much interest internationally in recent years in how insights from behavioural economics and social psychology can improve the design and implementation of public policies in a wide range of areas. This interest was highlighted last year by the huge attention given to the publication of a book by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein entitled Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness (Yale University Press, 2008).

In consultation with various government departments, including officials in the Treasury, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Social Development, the IPS hosted three roundtables on Behavioural Economics and Public Policy in early 2010. The roundtables included presentations from leading academics and officials from several departments, covering a range of topical and important policy issues. The broad aim was to discuss how the effectiveness of various policies might be enhanced by drawing on recent findings from research in the areas of behavioural economics and social psychology.

19 February   
Professor Morris Altman, School of Economics and Finance, Victoria University of Wellington: An introduction to behavioural economics and its policy relevance

Professor Simon Kemp, Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury: Economics and psychology

12 March       
Dr Jaiki Desai, Deputy Director, Health Services Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington: Social psychology and health policy issues

Dr Peter Winsley, Ministry of Economic Development: Behavioural economics and consumer finance issues

26 March      
Dr Veronica Jacobsen, Ministry of Justice: Behavioural economics and criminal justice policy issues

Professor Morris Altman, School of Economics and Finance, Victoria University of Wellington: Behavioural economics and macroeconomic policy issues.


Post-2012 Climate Change Roundtable
24 February 2010
Copenhagen: The International and Domestic Policy Implications and the Ramifications for Business


  • Presentations by members of NZ’s climate change negotiating team, including Roger Lincoln and Bryan Smith, followed by discussion.
  • Brief presentations on the implications of Copenhagen for business, including Mark Belton, Mark Gilbert, Chris Insley and Peter Wilson.
  • Moderated questions and discussion, including contributions from Dr Adrian Macey (NZ’s Climate Change Ambassador).
  • A presentation by Hon Tim Groser (The Minister Responsible for International Climate Change Negotiations), followed by questions and discussion.

Background note

Since 2005 the IPS has hosted a substantial number of roundtables on issues relating to energy sustainability and climate change. These have involved well over 100 participants drawn from business, government agencies, the research community and non-governmental organizations. Most of the roundtables have been conducted under the auspices of the Emerging Issues Programme (EIP) with contributions from all government departments. The IPS has published a number of books, articles and working papers arising out of these roundtables.

The EIP Steering Group agreed in late 2009 to allow funds to be used for a further year of IPS-led activities on post-2012 issues. The roundtables planned during 2010 have two primary aims: first, to provide an opportunity for key stakeholders, including business, non-governmental organizations, research institutions and the public sector, to consider some of the critical issues surrounding the possible global policy architecture for addressing climate change after the expiry of the first commitment period (CP1) under the Kyoto Protocol; and second, to help inform the New Zealand government’s negotiating position on specific policy issues.


Symposium on the 2009 Report of the Regulatory Responsibility Taskforce and the Proposed Regulatory Responsibility Bill
Tuesday 16 February 2010

The Regulatory Responsibility Taskforce report, and its recommended Regulatory Responsibility Bill, proposes major constitutional changes in the way legislation and regulations are promulgated in New Zealand. The Institute for Governance and Policy Studies held a one-day symposium to advance public debate on the Bill. The morning covered, from a wide range of viewpoints, the legal and constitutional issues. In the afternoon, critics of the neoliberal approach were invited to reflect on alternative ways of improving the quality of legislation and regulation in New Zealand.

Morning session: Key Legal and Constitutional Themes; Property Rights and "Takings"

Chair: Sir Geoffrey Palmer

Afternoon session: The Political Economy of Constitutional Reform and Deregulation

Chair: Jonathan Boston

  • Professor Jane Kelsey (Faculty of Law, University of Auckland): The Regulatory Responsibility Act as Embedded Neoliberalism and its Contradictions.
  • Dr Bill Rosenberg (Combined Trade Unions): Overseas Investment: Myopic Deregulation.
  • Dr Brian Easton (Economist): Regulatory Lessons from the Leaky Home Experience.
  • Dr Geoff Bertram (Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Victoria University of Wellington): Deregulatory Irresponsibility? Unintended Consequences of Failing to Regulate - Paper and Slides


Book Launch of Onward with Executive Power - Lessons from New Zealand 1947-57 by Harshan Kumarashingham
Wednesday 10 February

His Excellency Mr George Fergusson, the British High Commissioner launched the first IPS publication of the 2010. Further details including purchasing information are available on our publications page.


Workshop on Clean Technologies:
Monday 8 February 2010

In conjunction with the British High Commission and the Institute of Policy Studies, HSBC hosted a visiting UK delegation working on aspects of clean technology. Presentations are available to download: