Institute for Governance and Policy Studies

Previous Events & News 2017

May

April

March

February

The most recent events are at the top:

19th May - Our Deadly Nitrogen Addiction
The human population has reached a level far in excess of the ability of the planet to sustain it long-term through using synthetic nitrogen. The ‘green revolution’ was driven by a massive increase in fossil energy in food production; this one-off subsidy from the past is close to its end as the easy energy pickings diminish. To be able to feed the burgeoning population without fossil fuels and keep greenhouse gas emissions at a safe level will require removing livestock from human food and reducing transporting and processing food.  This change will have many human and ecological health benefits.
The talk is based a soon to be published chapter in the Land and Food Annual 2017 Massey University Press

Speaker: Mike Joy BSc, MSc (1st class hons), PhD in Ecology is a Senior Lecturer in Ecology and Environmental Science at the Ecology group-Institute of Agriculture and Environment Massey University Palmerston North.  He researches and teaches freshwater ecology, especially freshwater fish ecology and distribution, ecological modelling bioassessment and environmental science.  He has and continues to supervise many Masters and PhD students doing research into freshwater ecology, with topics from native fish ecology to farmers’ attitudes to sustainability.

Mike has published many papers in scientific journals, many international as well as articles and op-eds for newspapers and magazines.  He has authored many reports for Regional Councils and ministry for the environment, and has developed a number of bioassessment tools and associated software used by many North Island Regional Councils. 

Mike is an outspoken advocate for environmental protection in New Zealand and has received a number of awards including an Ecology in Action award from the NZ ecological Society, an Old Blue award from Forest and Bird, he was named 2009 Environmental New Zealander of the year by North and South magazine, Manawatu Evening Standard 2012 person of the year, in 2013 he received the Tertiary Education Union NZ Award of Excellence for Academic Freedom and contribution to Public Education, the 2013 Charles Fleming Award for environmental work from the Royal Society of New Zealand and in 2015 the Morgan Foundation inaugural River Voice Award.

 

12th May - Greening the Future: A social investments approach to environmental problems
The logic of social investment has gained significant traction in New Zealand’s policy landscape. Yet the problem it aims to address – the incurring of long-run costs through failures to intervene in the short-term – is familiar to environmental economics. What can social investment logics offer to contemporary environmental policy, and what is the relevance of the shift from the social to environmental context?

Speaker: David Hall has a D.Phil in Politics from the University of Oxford and currently holds the role of Senior Researcher at The Policy Observatory, AUT. His recent policy work focuses on tree planting in New Zealand in the context of climate change.

 

5th May - Going GLOBAL: Pathways for New Zealand's transition to a low carbon economy

A panel discussion of the Vivid Economics report produced for the cross-party GLOBE parliamentarians' group.
Vivid Economics was commissioned by a cross-party group of 35 MPs to produce scenarios for New Zealand's transition to a low carbon economy. This report breaks new ground in being both a cross-party initiative, and an independent economy-wide analysis. It was launched at the Beehive in March in the presence of the Minister for Climate Change Issues, Hon Paula Bennett.  This is an opportunity to discuss the report and its implications with a panel of experts.
Panel discussants: Kennedy Graham, MP and Chair of GLOBE; Catherine Leining, MOTU; John Carnegie, BusinessNZ; Paul Young, GenerationZero. Chaired by Marjan van den Belt, Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability), VUW

28 April - Imagine That!

A thought experiment to construct descriptive underpinnings for normative frameworks of progress and development

Normative frameworks that seek to define the "good life" often suffer from weak descriptive underpinnings, which might be why policies built on those frameworks often fail to achieve their objectives; the puppeteers know not the puppets they attempt to string! I address this descriptive shortcoming by undertaking a thought experiment: imagine a few thousand Martians dropped on earth to observe, describe, and analyse human lives. The Martian observers have human-like observational powers but their memories are wiped clean at the start.  As a result they have no way of evaluating what they first encounter but must engage in careful observation and build up their understanding of human lives gradually. What would they observe?  What would they make of their observations?  How would they evaluate the varied configurations of human lives across the globe? What sort of definition of progress and development would emerge from this Martian thought experiment? The talk will cover the vast landscape of human lives and offer answers to these questions.

 

Speaker: Dr Jaikishan Desai is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington and contributes to teaching in courses on development policy, policy research methods, and the interplay of state, economy, and society. He has a PhD in economics and an MSc in biostatistics and prior to joining Victoria University worked in international development for almost 20 years.
12th April - Should a Universal Basic Income be Part of the New Zealand Political Project?
Drawing on material from his book, The New Zealand Project, Max Harris makes the case for a universal basic income (UBI) pilot in New Zealand.  He examines the arguments for and against a UBI, using a values-based framework; explains why piloting a UBI is justified and valuable; and recounts the lessons we can take from Finland's experience so far with developing its UBI pilot.

Speaker: Max Harris is author of The New Zealand Project (Bridget Williams Books, 2017).  He is an Examination Fellow and PhD student at All Souls College, Oxford.  He has worked as a clerk to Chief Justice Elias at the Supreme Court of New Zealand and as a consultant for the United Nations Development Programme's Executive Office in New York.

 

31st March - Investing in People and the Planet
In a world threatened by ecological disaster, global inequality and human tragedy, how can we make a difference?  The bank we select, the pension fund and insurance that we choose, the investments that we support, and the voice that we raise to shape Government investments and financial behaviour, can begin to make the changes that are needed when joined with the efforts of others.  This presentation shows why and how.

Speaker: Robert Howell’s primary interest is working to understand the links between ecological degradation, financial systems, and ethics.  He has a particular focus on ethical investment, economic reform, and shareholder activism.  He set up the Council for Socially Responsible Investment (2003-2012) and co-founded the establishment the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility based in Canberra in 2013. He has a background as a CEO, management consultant, and contract university teacher, with competencies in strategic visioning, governance, organisational design, and business ethics. He has a MA in philosophy, a postgraduate diploma in health management, and a PhD in community health planning and management.  He is one of the authors of Right Relationship Building a Whole Earth Economy, and one of a team of authors from Sustainable Aotearoa New Zealand in their publication, Strong Sustainability for New Zealand Principles and Scenarios.

 

Symposium on Improving Intergenerational Governance

23rd March 2017 at Parliament's Banquet Hall

Humanity faces daunting long-term risks and challenges – climate change, failed states, mass migration, the loss of biodiversity, major natural disasters, the social ramifications of the fourth industrial revolution and the fiscal implications of population ageing, to name but a few. In recent years, the international community has agreed on a series of important long-term goals, most notably in 2015 via the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Management.

But how are such goals to be met? Moreover, in a world dominated by short-term pressures, a relentless 24-hour media cycle, and tweeting presidents, how can democracies ensure that long-term issues receive the attention they deserve? How can governments be incentivized to safeguard the interests of future generations? How can public institutions be designed so that societies have  good governance, not merely for today but also for tomorrow? Or, to put it differently, how can the quality of intergenerational governance be improved?

Victoria University of Wellington is committed to the goal of advancing better government, locally and globally. The symposium at Parliament on 23 March is one of a series of events designed to contribute to this objective. Hosted by the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Paula Bennett, it brought together local and international researchers, senior public servants and private sector representatives to explore the challenges of governing well for the future. The symposium concluded with the launch of two books by Professor Jonathan Boston.

Speakers and presentations:

  • Hon Paula Bennett, Deputy Prime Minister - Welcome and opening
  • Professor Wendy Larner, Provost, Victoria Univeresity of Wellington - The role of universities in safeguarding the future
  • Professor Jonathan Boston, School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington - Embedding the future in the present: An agenda for reform
  • Andrew Kibblewhite, Chief Executive, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet - The challenges for the public sector
  • Vicky Robertson, Chief Executive, Ministry for the Environment - E rua tau kai - two seasons of plenty: Creating long-term sustainability
  • Professor Petra Tschakert, Centenary Professor in Rural Development, University of Western Australia - Achieving sustainable development: The challenges of climate change, poverty and inequality
  • Panel 1
    • Andrew Coleman, University of Otago - The intergenerational consequences
    • Professor Wendy Larner, Victoria University of Wellington - Governing through inclusion
    • Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Victoria University of Wellington - Improving intergenerational governance
    • Professor Rawinia Higgins, Victoria University of Wellington - Protecting cultural capital
    • Associate Professor Marjan van den Belt, Victoria University of Wellington - Sustainable development on a finite planet
 
9th March - Housing an Ageing Population
Also in association with the Association for Gerontology and the Health and Ageing Research Team, Massey University.
Current housing issues in Wales and New Zealand are very similar. Both countries are experienc-ing a shortage of housing in main centres which has been referred to as a ‘housing crisis’. Both governments are developing policy responses to create more housing. With the age-ing of the population, the growing numbers of older people affected by housing issues, and the importance of housing and the housing environment for health and wellbeing, the needs of older people must be considered in these developments. Wales is leading New Zealand in this context. The Welsh Government has pledged to build an additional 20,000 affordable homes a year, end ‘Right to Buy’, and introduce a new ‘Rent to Own’ model of social housing. They will also consider other steps that might be taken to im-prove supply including addressing the particular issue of supply of housing for older peo-ple. Professor Phillips will discuss the findings outlined by the Housing an Ageing Pop-ulation Group’s Policy Report and contribute to discussions of how they can apply to the New Zealand context.
Speaker: Professor Judith Phillips, Chair of the Welsh Government Expert Group on Housing an Ageing Population. Chair: Dr Judith Davey, IGPS Senior Associate.
24th February - Exclusive Book Launch: Petroleum Development and Environmental Conflict in Aotearoa New Zealand

Speaker: Dr Terrence Loomis,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. 

 

21st February - Hero or Traitor? The Ethics of Blowing the Whistle
Transparency International presents a panel discussion around the topic of whistle-blowing at work.

Speakers: Rebecca Rolls, Investigations General Manager, Serious Fraud Office; John Perham, Board Chairman, Crimestoppers; Michael Macaulay, Director of IGPS. Chaired by Lyn McMorron, Executive Director, Financial Services Federation

 

20th February - Turning the Corner? Challenges and Opportunities for Pakistan's Democracy
Aasiya Riaz speaks about the challenges for a comparatively recent and still growing democracy both domestically and internationally.

Speaker: Aasiya Riaz, Joint Director at PILDAT, leads PILDAT’s projects and activities, a leading Pakistani think tank she co-founded in 2001. She has over 15 years of experience of providing thought leadership in governance and democracy, policy, communication and management while she promotes strengthening democratic and political institutions under the overall ambit of rule of law. Trained in the field of Media and Political Communication at the London School of Economics, UK, Aasiya has also worked with the mainstream press and electronic media in Pakistan as a political analyst. She was a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, USA, as well as a distinguished fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at the Stanford University, USA. Aasiya regularly appears on national and international media for political analysis and commentaries while she is invited to lecture at Pakistan’s premium public policy institutions as well as many national and international think tanks and universities.

17th February - UK's Climate Change Commission - a model for New Zealand?
The Rt Hon John Gummer, Lord Deben, talks about the role and achievements of the UK's independent Commission and the prospects for climate change post Brexit and post the US presidential election.

Speaker: The Rt. Hon John Gummer, Lord Deben, was the longest serving Secretary of State for the Environment the UK has ever had (1993-97). His sixteen years of top-level ministerial experience also include Secretary of State for Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, Minister for London, Employment Minister and Paymaster General in HM Treasury. He has consistently championed an identity between environmental concerns and business sense. To that end, he set up and now runs Sancroft, a Corporate Responsibility consultancy working with bluechip companies around the world on environmental, social and ethical issues. Lord Deben is Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, Valpak Limited, and the Association of Professional Financial Advisers.

 

Human Rights and Prison Practice in Europe Today
Professor Dunkel presents on human rights and prison practice in Europe.

Speaker: Professor em Dr Frieder Dunkel,is the previous President of the European Society of Criminology (ESC) and a previous Dean of Law (1994-95) and Vice-Rector (2010-2013) of the University of Greifswald in northeast Germany. He taught criminology, penology, juvenile justice, criminal procedure and criminal law and has undertaken many research projects. These include international comparative projects on imprisonment, on juvenile justice systems and on restorative justice in European countries.

 

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