We are a non-partisan think tank applying hindsight, insight and foresight to explore major challenges and opportunities facing New Zealand over the long term. 

We are committed to positively influencing public policy by empowering New Zealanders to have the uncomfortable, but necessary, conversations that are required to enable New Zealand to realise its potential.

COVID-19 Nation Dates

Project PandemicsNZ

COVID-19 Nation Dates: A timeline of significant events in Aotearoa New Zealand’s COVID-19 pandemic is the newest book in the Nation Dates series. This book presents a timeline of significant events that have shaped the COVID-19 pandemic in Aotearoa New Zealand. It is available for purchase for $35.00 on our BigCartel store.

The Institute hosted a book launch for COVID-19 Nation Dates on Thursday, 23 March. This was to commemorate three years from when Prime Minister Hon Jacinda Ardern declared a State of National Emergency for Aotearoa New Zealand at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Brief to the Incoming Government (BIG Ideas)

Project ForesightNZ

Wednesday 22 February 2023

Thank you to all who attended the Brief to the Incoming Government event. The Brief to the Incoming Government is an exercise based upon crowd-sourced ideas that have an overall aim of shaping Aotearoa New Zealand’s long-term future (for the better). Throughout the event, these ideas were collected, considered, challenged and debated between attendees. This process was extremely helpful to test our thinking and help guide our work programme going forward. We wish to thank you all for your insightful participation.

Our new discussion paper proposes a polysolution – a package of BIG policy actions that have scale and together are able to ‘shock’ the emerging polycrisis with a diverse range of actions designed to slow, control and ideally reverse the mass of crises we face.

Discussion Paper 2023/01 – BIG Ideas: Brief to the Incoming Government has been published in a short read and long read form. The long read has 197 references.

Brief to the Incoming Government webinar

Short Read

Discussion Paper 2023/01 – BIG Ideas: Brief to the Incoming Government (Short Read)
Download (PDF, 3MB)

Long Read

Discussion Paper 2023/01 – BIG Ideas: Brief to the Incoming Government (Long Read)
Download (PDF, 6MB)

Bursting Bubbles Series

The last Thursday in the months of May, June, July and August.

Thursday, 27 July 2023
How to be non-partisan in a partisan world, with James Picker

Register to attend in person / Register to join by Zoom

Thursday, 31 August 2023
How to sharpen your political nous in government, with Sally Washington

Register to attend in person / Register to join by Zoom

Thursday, 25 May 2023, from 5.00pm is the first!
Register here

Our new location enables us to host events and this series of events is the result. We are delighted with the quality of speakers and know that they will provide some invaluable insights and skills as we navigate 2023 and beyond. If this is of interest, please register early.

Event flyer

Download flyer (PDF, 1MB)

Recent Publications

Project ClimateChangeNZ

Working Paper 2022/14 – Reviewing TCFD information in 2017–2021 reports of NZSX-listed companies

September 2022
Download (PDF, 38 MB)

This research updates Working Paper 2021/06 – Reviewing TCFD information in 2017–2020 Annual Reports of NZSX-listed companies. This year, we have also analysed the TCFD reports of NZSX-listed companies against the six weather and climate extreme events discussed in Chapter 11 of the 2021 IPCC 6th Assessment Report. Although only 19 reports were reviewed, it was very clear that compounded events have not been sufficiently reported on. This implies compounded events are not being fully discussed and understood at board level (see Figures 2–4 in the working paper).

Proposal to create New Zealand’s first ecological corridor along the West Coast of the South Island

Learn more about the stewardship land reclassification project (West Coast):

(i) 21 September 2022
Oral presentation powerpoint presented to the Hearing Panel
Download (PDF, 16 MB)

(ii) 23 August 2022
Written submission
Download (PDF)

Learn more about ecological corridors:

April 2018
Think Piece 28 (the Institute’s original think piece on ecological corridors)
Download (PDF)

Designing a Water Management System for 2050

Project WaterFuturesNZ

Given the recent events, the Institute has created a new research project, WaterFuturesNZ: Securing our water future. All of the Institute’s documents relevant to the recent Bill can be found on the WaterFuturesNZ page.

Think Piece 39 – Three Waters: New body corporate model reduces government accountability

September 2022 (final draft)
Download (PDF, 2 MB)

Water Services Entities Bill – Slideshow

5 September 2022
Download (PDF, 16 MB)

The Institute’s oral submission included the Scottish Water Annual Report 2022 and the 2009 Scottish Water Governance Directions.

Water Services Entities Bill – Oral submission

Latest Submissions

Submission – Document 1: Summary and Q&A – Submission to NZX on: (i) Exposure Draft: NZX Corporate Governance Code Review – 2nd Consultation (ii) Exposure Draft: NZX ESG Guidance Note – Initial Consultation

October 2022

Submission – Aotearoa New Zealand Climate Standards Climate-related Disclosures: Exposure Drafts

September 2022

Submission – Reclassifying stewardship land on the West Coast

August 2022

Policy Projects

Exploring New Zealand’s probable and possible futures
Contributing to an informed New Zealand
Building pathways to New Zealand’s preferred future

Nation Dates

Nation Dates (4th ed.) published

Nation Dates presents timelines of significant events that have shaped Aotearoa New Zealand as a nation.

Threads link related events and illustrate patterns that have formed over time. More than just a record of the past, Nation Dates provides invaluable context for the future at a time when society is facing major questions about the way forward. The 4th edition includes 4 new timelines: Political Agreements, New Zealand Wars, Government Net Worth and COVID-19.

Learn more at www.nationdatesnz.org
Purchase here for $35.00 (incl. GST).

Presentations & Events

2021 Government Department Strategies Index launch webinar

On 9 June 2022 Wendy McGuinness, Chief Executive of the McGuinness Institute, presented 2021 GDS Index. View her presentation slides here.

Long-term Insights Briefings: A novel policy instrument to deal with foresight

In September 2021 Wendy McGuinness, Roger Dennis and David Skilling presented Long-term Insights Briefings in Parliament. Learn more here.

Blog Posts

Prime Minister’s Summer Reading List 2022/2023

The theme for the Prime Minister's Summer Reading List 2022/2023 is the things we cannot see (or the things we decide not to see). We cannot easily see carbon in the air, dolphins in the ocean, seabirds flying above, or more specifically, the mental health of someone we love or the neighbour’s...

A step closer to New Zealander’s voting at 16

Make It 16 Inc v Attorney-General [2022] NZSC 134   The November 21st decision of the Supreme Court in Make It 16 Inc v Attorney-General presents a significant moment in which to consider and observe Parliament’s response to declarations of rights inconsistency under the recent New Zealand...

Educational Grants 2022

The McGuinness Institute is pleased to award Jess Jenkins and Michelle Pawson educational grants for 2022. Jess JenkinsJess completed her undergraduate studies in law, policy and development at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington in 2018. Since 2019 she has worked at Te Tai Ohanga...

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The annual McGuinness Institute newsletter focuses solely on the work programme. It shares our journey since the last newsletter and our plans going forward.