Public Policy Institute to address key policy issues

Auckland, November 8, 2017

The University of Auckland’s Faculty of Arts is launching a comprehensive Public Policy Institute (PPI) to foster independent, critical research on key policy issues affecting New Zealand, the Asia-Pacific and the broader global community.

Led by inaugural director, Jennifer Curtin, Associate Professor of Politics and Coordinator of the Master of Public Policy, the new institute is modelled on similar institutions overseas and has been developed at Auckland with input from the University’s eight faculties.

Cross-disciplinary Research
“We can bring together cross-disciplinary research teams to create and disseminate evidence-informed, policy relevant knowledge that speaks to policy agendas and amplifies policy impact,” Dr Curtin said.
“This is a great opportunity for policy makers, influencers and media to get information from sources other than those already closely connected to government and the bureaucracy,” she added.
Dean of Arts Professor Robert Greenberg said that the PPI puts the University of Auckland on the map as a place addressing key policy issues affecting New Zealand and beyond.

“It will make our wide-ranging research accessible broadly to the public and will maximise our impact on the business, non-profit, local and national government sectors,” he said.

Fostering future policy
The PPI is also fostering future policy leaders in its role as the new home for the University’s internationally-popular Master of Public Policy (MPP).
Postgraduate students, a third of whom are from overseas, will be based at the PPI’s headquarters in Grafton Road in Auckland.
“Through the PPI, they will continue to engage with researchers and professionals with policy expertise from the government, non-profit and private sectors, to address challenging policy questions. This builds on the highly successful internship programme we offer our MPP students,” Dr Curtin said.
The PPI has begun working on several research projects with government agencies and non-government organisations, and aims to expand its range of partnerships both within New Zealand and internationally.
A website ( has been launched and is publishing a series of policy briefs across a range of topics such as measuring and managing health system performance, locating methamphetamine manufacture in New Zealand, managing migration in our big cities, and climate change.
A database of affiliated policy scholars will be housed on the website and a blog called Auckland Policy Commons has been launched as a more informal forum for evidence-informed debate, and the sharing of ideas, critiques and strategies.

About Public Policy Institute
The new Public Policy Institute will be launched at the University’s Fale Pasifika on November 9, 2017 with guest speaker, Professor John Hewson, former politician and leader of the federal Liberal Party of Australia, and international policy specialist.

He is due to deliver a public lecture titled, “Most Risky and Unpredictable Global Outlook in My Lifetime” on Friday 10 November 12-1 pm in Owen G Glenn Building (Lecture Theatre 5 in the Business School).

Professor Jennifer Curtin
Associate Professor Jennifer Curtin is Director, PPI and Coordinator of the University of Auckland’s Master of Public Policy programme. She teaches comparative public policy and runs an internship course for postgraduate students, which has involved working with the Auckland Policy Office, MBIE and Auckland Council, as well as with smaller policy consultancies and non-profit organisations.
Dr Curtin’s research focuses on Trans-Tasman policy innovations, sport and politics, and gender analysis in policy making. She has undertaken collaborative research projects with women’s policy agencies in Australia and women’s organisations in New Zealand, and has published widely on topics related to this theme.

She was a NZ-Fulbright Senior Research Scholar in 2012, and was recently elected to the College Board of the International Public Policy Association. She regularly speaks about issues connected with her research at national and international conferences and in the media.
The PPI’s research team includes Dr Gerard Cotterell (Research Manager), Dr Suzanne Woodward (Knowledge Translation Specialist) and Celestyna Galicki (Research Analyst).

Photo Caption: Professor Jennifer Curtin

Picture Courtesy: Fairfax Media

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