A non-partisan think tank working towards a sustainable future for New Zealand.

The Institute applies hindsight, insight and foresight to explore major challenges and opportunities facing New Zealand over the long term.



Public health emergency of international concern

The recent coronavirus outbreak in China is now considered a public health emergency of international concern. For this reason we are beginning to see a diverse range of changes in the behaviour of countries, companies and individuals.

The Institute published two reports in 2006 and 2015 (Managing the Business Risk of a Pandemic: Lessons from the Past and a Checklist for the Future, Lessons From the West African Ebola Outbreak in Relation to New Zealand’s Supply Chain Resilience respectively), which may be of interest.

For further updates on the Coronavirus situation, see the World Health Organization’s situation reports here.

Survey Insights published

Survey Insights: An analysis of the 2019 Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) survey

This paper, Survey Insights, contains high level observations drawn from the survey. The paper is framed around respondent’s perspectives on the TCFD framework in regard to the application of its key elements within New Zealand. Because of this, we considered it important to gather an insight into the experiences and expectations of New Zealanders interested in the Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. We were delighted with the overall level of engagement. The answers, comments and opinions were both thoughtful and thought-provoking. 63 people completed the survey, see the results here.

The Survey Insights are discussed further in our submission to MBIE and MfE on climate-related financial disclosures – found here.

ForesightNZ Survey Open

ForesightNZ Survey Open

This survey is open to the public and closes 1 March 2020.

This survey is intended to draw on and further develop discussions from the event Revisiting Tomorrow: Navigating with Foresight, which considered the legacy of the Commission for the Future (CFF) and New Zealand Planning Council (NZPC), held on 30 October 2019 as part of the Institute’s Project ForesightNZ.

Responses to this survey will be used to develop a think piece, to be published in 2020, considering how a new futures thinking institution might be developed for New Zealand. Responses will also be used to help shape future ForesightNZ events held by the Institute. You may like to read the Revisiting Tomorrow Newspaper on the right before completing the survey. 

Click here to complete the survey.

Latest Publications

Submission: Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill (January 2020)

Submission: The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Attack on Christchurch Mosques (December 2019)

Submission: Climate-related financial disclosures Understanding your business risks and opportunities related to climate change (December 2019)

Survey: Survey Insights: An analysis of the 2019 Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) survey (December 2019)

Newspaper: Revisiting Tomorrow – 30 October 2019  (October 2019) 

Discussion Paper: 2019/01 – The Climate Reporting Emergency: A New Zealand case study (October 2019)

Workshop booklet: KiMuaNZ: Exploring climate futures (October 2019)

Think Piece: Think Piece 32 – Exploring Ways to Embed Climate Reporting in the Existing Framework (September 2019)

Submission: Submission to New Zealand Productivity Commission on local government funding and financing  (August 2019)

Submission: Submission to Marlborough District Council on NZKS’s application for more water space (July 2019)

GDS Index and Handbook: 2018 GDS Index update (Working Papers 2019/01–2019/04) and the GDS Handbook (May 2019)

Journal: Āpōpō Journal: Navigating the future with foresight (January 2019)


Latest technical research from the Institute 

Discussion Paper 2019/01 – The Climate Reporting Emergency: A New Zealand case study

It is with much pleasure that we announce that Discussion Paper 2019/01 – The Climate Reporting Emergency: A New Zealand case study is now available in final here! We could not have undertaken this research without the help of many people; in many ways it was our first crowd-sourced research publication. Thank you!

Climate reporting is a new and emerging area of study and this paper looks at how we might use the existing complex reporting system to support new climate-related disclosures. What we found is that our existing system and traditional institutions are not well-positioned to produce a climate reporting standard at present. In response to this finding, the paper outlines four goals to guide the design of a functional climate reporting framework and groups recommendation under each.

Another important finding was that New Zealand’s reporting and ‘public filing’ infrastructure is behind international best practice. We are now in the process of meeting with Ministers, MPs and other parties to share our findings and discuss the way forward. The two TCFD Workshops: Practical steps for implementation hosted with Simpson Grierson and the CDSB were a development of this work programme. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like a hard copy of the discussion paper or if you are interested in meeting to learn more about our research.

Recent Event: TCFD Workshops

TCFD Workshops: Practical steps for implementation
Navigating Climate-related Financial Disclosures

On Wednesday 16 October and Thursday 17 October, the Institute partnered with Simpson Grierson to deliver two workshops in Auckland and Wellington to explore the Recommendations of the TCFD (the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures). 

Special thanks to Michael Zimonyi, the Policy & External Affairs Director of the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), who came over from Berlin to lead the workshops, and to Hon James Shaw, Minister for Climate Change, who joined us in Wellington to share a government perspective.

Thank you to everyone who attended one of the workshops, and to our speakers for sharing their expertise

Check back here over the coming weeks to see the outputs of the workshops.

Revisiting Tomorrow Newspaper

Revisiting Tomorrow: Navigating with Foresight
Lessons from the Commission for the Future and the New Zealand Planning Council

On Wednesday 30 October 2019 the McGuinness Institute hosted a panel discussion at the National Library between Rt Hon Jim Bolger and former members of the Commission for the Future and the New Zealand Planning Council. They considered the impacts of these organisations followed by reflections on how we might embed foresight into public policy in 2020 and beyond.

The two organisations had influential, albeit short, lifespans, and published numerous reports on key issues for New Zealand’s future. The Commission for the Future was controversially disestablished in 1982 under the Robert Muldoon-led Third National Government, while the Planning Council was disbanded in 1991 under the Jim Bolger-led Fourth National Government. Their legacy was to provide a blueprint of how foresight can be embedded into public policy.

The Revisiting Tomorrow newspaper explores this legacy. Read the full newspaper here

ForesightNZ Playing Cards

What do the futures of New Zealand look like?

Devised by a diverse group of 36 young New Zealanders in 2016, the ForesightNZ playing cards instil players of any age with the capability to apply futures thinking, to be innovative and to wrestle with the futures of New Zealand. The pack of 64 is spilt into four categories: Capital Cards (x 4), Event Cards (x 32), Trend Cards (x 25) and Joker Cards (x 3). Capital Cards refer to the four capitals at the heart of the New Zealand Treasury’s Living Standards Framework. Event Cards represent possible events that are categorised into one of four high-impact event types, depending on two factors: how aware society is of the event and the probability of each event occurring. Trend Cards show growing changes or movement in a particular direction over time. The Jokers spur on imagination and enable players to come up with their own events and trends.

You can order a pack of cards on our online store ($15 per pack).


The annual McGuinness Institute newsletter focuses solely on the work programme. It shares our journey since the last newsletter and what we hope to achieve over the next year. 

Policy Projects

As a result of our observation that foresight drives strategy, strategy requires reporting, and reporting shapes foresight, we have developed three interlinking policy projects: ForesightNZ, StrategyNZ and ReportingNZ.

Research Projects

These diverse topics represent areas where New Zealand has the potential to bring about meaningful change. How New Zealand responds to these issues will shape our public policy landscape for generations to come.


The Institute facilitates workshops on public policy issues that are strategic, complex, and long-term in nature. Learn more.

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