Authored by EeMun Chen, Ben Craven and Mette Mikkelsen

This is a lightly edited version of a report first produced in May 2020

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Senior Consultant Andrew Horwood looks at two influential frameworks for tackling the problem of waste — the circular economy and the waste hierarchy — and at how they are both reflected in government thinking and planning around waste in Aotearoa.

In 2005, among other pet welfare measures, Rome’s city council banned round goldfish bowls. The argument against round bowls is, apparently, that they’re disorienting for the fish (and also usually too small).

In tackling the planet’s exploding waste problem though (described in the first article in this series), experts agree that circles are better than straight lines. …

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Introducing our new series on New Zealand’s ongoing waste explosion and how to address it, Senior Consultant Andrew Horwood explains why it’s a good time to be thinking and writing about waste.

If you are what you eat, the average central Wellington office worker is 80% coffee, and 15% sushi, topped off with a cheese scone. Although more cardboard and (semi‑)compostable materials are coming on the scene, the coffee probably still comes in a plastic-lined takeaway cup and the sushi in a plastic tray with little plastic containers for soy sauce. …

With Kevin Jenkins / 22 June 2020

This article was first published in The New Zealand Herald on 7 June 2020.

Kevin Jenkins talks to Privacy Commissioner John Edwards about global trends in data protection and what the regulatory innovations in New Zealand’s new Privacy Act, due in force later this year, will mean for businesses in this country.

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Businesses will have to start taking greater care of the data they collect. Image: Unsplash


When asked about the key global trends he was seeing, Privacy Commissioner John Edwards didn’t hesitate.

He immediately pointed to recent cases of stern action from data protection regulators as indications of a “rising regulatory tide”.

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With Kevin Jenkins / 2 June 2020

This article was first published in The New Zealand Herald on 17 May 2020.

There’s a huge debate just getting started on what our post-Covid-19 world will — or should — look like. Some are arguing it’s our last opportunity to redesign our economy for a sustainable future, with talk about ideas like “portal economics”.

Others point out that the way different countries are responding is reinforcing their national traits, and in many cases this may lead to a drive for growth no matter the cost. …

With Andrew Horwood / 27 May 2020

Senior Consultant Andrew Horwood looks at two European economies that have been wrestling with their own transitions to a low-emissions future. From their experiences Andrew draws out some lessons for us here in Aotearoa.

There’s reason to be proud of the level of renewable power generation in New Zealand. We’ve been lucky to have had a relatively high percentage for decades, but in the last 20 years we’ve achieved a quite spectacular jump, from 65% renewable in 2001, to 84% in 2018 — largely because of the lower long-run marginal cost of renewables…

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With Nick Davis, Director, and Harvey Brookes, Lead for Waikato and Bay of Plenty

The COVID-19 epidemic and its economic impacts are rapidly changing how governments work, what they fund, and how much influence they have over our daily lives. Much of the focus across the world over the past two months has been on national-scale responses from governments and central banks, including here in New Zealand.

The scale of that response in Aotearoa has been unprecedented. The government has already committed $50 billion in response funds, and the Reserve Bank has bought $33 billion of bonds, with more to…


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