Public Policy Institute

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Policy Commons Blog

Opinion: No voting magic about the age 18

Evidence from countries that have reduced their voting age from 18 show that enfranchising 16-to-17-year-olds fosters political engagement and interest

Opinion by Victoria Woodman: Voting is a civic right, but every democracy limits who can vote. These limits vary across time and place. Historically, New Zealand was considered something of a democratic pioneer, having had, as the historian Neill Atkinson put it, many “adventures in democracy”.

Events

The International Social Survey Programme (ISSP): A wealth of underutilised data

This research on the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) in New Zealand was included in a presentation by Komathi Kolandai (COMPASS & Public Policy Institute) & Martin von Randow (COMPASS) for the COMPASS Colloquium, Wellington, 25 October 2022. The presentation provides an overview of the ISSP – a continuing annual cross-national research collaboration in which New Zealand has participated since 1991. The presentation illustrates cross-time and cross-country trends on selected variables and discusses future social science research implications.

Policy Commons Blog

The strategic importance of the Pacific Islands to Taiwan

In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there have been heightened concerns that a Taiwan contingency involving the People’s Republic of China (PRC) could play out in the not-too-distant future. This year’s Department of Defense Annual Report on China to the US Congress asserts that PRC leadership views unification as pivotal to its policy of “Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation,” and its piecemeal pressure tactics against Taipei has led US President Joe Biden to openly state that the United States would defend Taiwan in the event of an invasion.

Liveability, Ecology and InfrastructurePolicy Commons Blog

Housing Investment & Productivity Growth: A New Zealand case study

New Zealand has the second highest rate of investment in housing as a percentage of total national investment in the OECD, behind only Canada. On the surface, high housing investment could indicate spending on the construction of new houses and modifications of existing dwellings. However, New Zealand’s high level of housing investment has not produced enough supply to tame house prices. In fact, the house price-to-income ratio currently sits at 8.8 times the average household income, while a ratio around 3 is considered to be affordable. High investment coupled with high prices is indicative of individuals and property investors exchanging a relatively diminishing supply of homes relative to demand at higher and higher prices—a process that does not stimulate the country’s productivity.

Liveability, Ecology and InfrastructurePolicy Briefing

Understanding Perceptions of Cycling Infrastructure Provision and its Role in Cycling Equity

Cycling is a mode of transport that provides various health, environmental, and societal benefits. However, different population groups and communities can face unique barriers to cycling related to individual identities. While socioeconomic status is an important factor concerning equitable access to cycling infrastructure, these factors are largely ignored in cycling equity planning.

NewsPolicy Commons Blog

Democracy, Good Governance, and the U.S.-Pacific Island Country Summit

In September, the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders (PICL) was convened at the East West Center in Honolulu. The PICL members included the heads of government from independent Pacific Island Countries, Pacific Island Territories, and the State of Hawaii. It not only offered a platform for regional leaders to address shared issues and develop common approaches to their policy challenges. It provided an opportunity for Pacific Island leaders to engage with American subject matter experts and government officials on the increasing engagement of the United States with their countries.

EventsLiveability, Ecology and InfrastructurePolicy Commons Blog

PPI Seminar – Transport and Auckland: What is required for inclusive urban mobility?

This seminar, part of a PPI monthly series, includes presentations from Simon Wilson, Senior Editor at the New Zealand Herald, and transport researchers Professor Kim Dirks from Engineering and Professor Alistair Woodward from Population Health, the University of Auckland. Together they share research findings on Auckland’s transport challenges, some possibilities and necessities for improved urban mobility and perspectives gathered during the 2022 local election campaign trail.

COVID-19Policy Briefing

Are they paying attention, or are they shoe-shopping? Evidence from online learning

Online learning platforms offer flexibility in the delivery of instruction at all levels of education. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, many schools worldwide made an abrupt transition to teaching online as governments instituted stay-at-home measures.

In light of the lingering Covid-19 pandemic, distance learning has definite benefits for ensuring teaching and learning can continue. Understanding the impact of how instructors choose to engage with various online delivery formats to maximise attentiveness is important for engagement in learning.

Housing Investment & Productivity Growth: A New Zealand case study

New Zealand has the second highest rate of investment in housing as a percentage of total national investment in the OECD, behind only Canada. On the surface, high housing investment could indicate spending on the construction of new houses and modifications of existing dwellings. However, New Zealand’s high level of housing investment has not produced enough supply to tame house prices. In fact, the house price-to-income ratio currently sits at 8.8 times the average household income, while a ratio around 3 is considered to be affordable. High investment coupled with high prices is indicative of individuals and property investors exchanging a relatively diminishing supply of homes relative to demand at higher and higher prices—a process that does not stimulate the country’s productivity.

Understanding Perceptions of Cycling Infrastructure Provision and its Role in Cycling Equity

Cycling is a mode of transport that provides various health, environmental, and societal benefits. However, different population groups and communities can face unique barriers to cycling related to individual identities. While socioeconomic status is an important factor concerning equitable access to cycling infrastructure, these factors are largely ignored in cycling equity planning.

Democracy, Good Governance, and the U.S.-Pacific Island Country Summit

In September, the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders (PICL) was convened at the East West Center in Honolulu. The PICL members included the heads of government from independent Pacific Island Countries, Pacific Island Territories, and the State of Hawaii. It not only offered a platform for regional leaders to address shared issues and develop common approaches to their policy challenges. It provided an opportunity for Pacific Island leaders to engage with American subject matter experts and government officials on the increasing engagement of the United States with their countries.

PPI Seminar – Transport and Auckland: What is required for inclusive urban mobility?

This seminar, part of a PPI monthly series, includes presentations from Simon Wilson, Senior Editor at the New Zealand Herald, and transport researchers Professor Kim Dirks from Engineering and Professor Alistair Woodward from Population Health, the University of Auckland. Together they share research findings on Auckland’s transport challenges, some possibilities and necessities for improved urban mobility and perspectives gathered during the 2022 local election campaign trail.

Latest Events

Events

The International Social Survey Programme (ISSP): A wealth of underutilised data

This research on the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) in New Zealand was included in a presentation by Komathi Kolandai (COMPASS & Public Policy Institute) & Martin von Randow (COMPASS) for the COMPASS Colloquium, Wellington, 25 October 2022. The presentation provides an overview of the ISSP – a continuing annual cross-national research collaboration in which New Zealand has participated since 1991. The presentation illustrates cross-time and cross-country trends on selected variables and discusses future social science research implications.

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