New Zealand’s approaches to fisheries management, science education, bilateral relations, military operations and social housing will be under the spotlight in a series of policy reports by visiting American policy researchers scheduled for release over the coming fortnight. The five authors of Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowships in Public Policy reports have spent seven months based at New Zealand government agencies relevant to their topic of research, and will launch their reports at a series of free public seminars in Wellington.
Caroline Park from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been based at the Ministry of Primary Industries (formerly the Ministry of Fisheries), researching US and New Zealand approaches to sustainable fisheries. Her report examines how New Zealand and the United States are meeting fisheries challenges with ever-constrained financial resources. New Zealand’s answer, in part, has been to devolve certain responsibilities to commercial fisheries stakeholders. Caroline’s report looks at service delivery models that have been adopted, and how views on the role of the Crown and risk were factored into decision-making.
David Vannier from the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Science Education has been based at the Ministry of Education, researching policies and practices that lead to effective science instruction in New Zealand primary and secondary schools. Drawing on interviews with stakeholders, a case study of primary schools and current education data, David’s report aims to connect the dots between education policy, successful science programmes, student and teacher engagement with professional scientists, education research and realities in the classroom. The findings point to strategies for improving science education for all children.
Cornelia Weiss from the United States Air Force has been based at the New Zealand Defence Force, researching the impact of military justice, human rights and the rule of law on Defence Force operations. Her report examines how the New Zealand Defence Force’s selection process, training, self-leadership, size, types of operations, force composition and culture as well as New Zealand culture and political leadership contribute to “one of [the New Zealand Defence Force]’s great, unacknowledged strengths” – its respect for human rights and the rule of law in military operations.
Bruce Vaughn from the Congressional Research Service has been based at the Ministry of Defence and Victoria University of Wellington, researching shared New Zealand-United States interests in promoting stability in the South Pacific. His report examines recent developments in the bilateral NZ-US relationship, with a particular focus on security and defence cooperation and recent activity in the South Pacific. The report’s focus on the bilateral relationship is set in the context of the United States rebalancing towards Asia and recent developments in New Zealand relations with the South Pacific and Asia.
Christian Stearns, formerly of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development has been based at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (formerly Department of Building and Housing), researching the use of sustainability as a framework for social housing in New Zealand. Using an action research model and appreciative inquiry, Christian’s report explores current social housing reform in New Zealand, evaluating and highlighting unique New Zealand policy foundations and trying to build upon them to help construct sustainable social housing policy.
The five Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowships in Public Policy reports will be available to download from the Fulbright New Zealand website – www.fulbright.org.nz – following their release at the seminar series in Wellington from 20-29 August.