Our current research areas

Sustainable Cities

Researcher: Holly Walker

In partnership with WSP New Zealand

Aotearoa needs low-traffic neighbourhoods and cities to reduce emissions, improve road safety, and to create the connected urban communities we need in a post-pandemic future.

In this research stream, we set out why transport matters for equity, illustrate why reducing car dependence is the key to decarbonising urban transport, explain the risks of pursuing rapid decarbonisation without adequately considering equity, and lay out a path for how Aotearoa New Zealand can
transition to the connected, low-traffic cities we need.

We take this urban focus because, as we outlined in a recent report about Aotearoa New Zealand’s diaspora and demographic trends, nearly three quarters of Aotearoa New Zealand’s population growth in the next 30 years will happen in cities. Tāmaki Makarau Auckland alone will account for half this growth. By 2048, there will be almost one million more people living in our cities than there were in 2018.

This growth places increasing pressure on our urban infrastructure and creates demand for new investment, including new and improved transport infrastructure.

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Improving Health Equity in Aotearoa New Zealand

Researcher: Matt Shand

In partnership with The Health Coalition Aotearoa

Health Equity Fellow Matt Shand is working on a range of research projects that seek to improve health equity in Aotearoa New Zealand. This research has been undertaken in partnership with the Health Coalition Aotearoa and the MAS Foundation.

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Our previous research areas

Loneliness in Aotearoa New Zealand

Researcher: Holly Walker
In partnership with WSP New Zealand

Loneliness is a significant challenge for many people in Aotearoa New Zealand, and especially so during the COVID-19 pandemic. Deputy Director and WSP Fellow Holly Walker investigated policy approaches to helping minimise the negative effects of loneliness.

This work includes a submission to the Interim Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, an article in the journal Policy Quarterly, and two research reports.

This research was produced as part of our partnership with WSP New Zealand.

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Inclusive Recovery and Minimum Wage Policy

Researcher: Kathy Errington
In partnership with NZIER

The global COVID-19 pandemic caused a major social and economic shock to Aotearoa New Zealand, and these impacts have not been distributed evenly.

This work explored what an inclusive growth agenda for Aotearoa New Zealand could look like.

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Drug Policy Reform in Aotearoa New Zealand

Researcher: Kathy Errington

Cannabis use is a reality in New Zealand, and the results of our current policy approach damage our health, worsen social equity, and drive crime. The status quo is unacceptable, and our research explored how we can do better.

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Reducing Online Harm

Researchers: Claire Mason, Kathy Errington

In the wake of the March 2019 Christchurch terrorist attack, which was livestreamed in an explicit attempt to foster support for white supremacist beliefs, it is clear that there is a problem with regard to regulating and moderating abhorrent content on social media. Both governments and social media companies could do more.

This research explored how we can best reduce harmful content online, and ensure that the internet becomes a sphere of equal public participation.

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