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

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

Recent Research

This year the Institute’s work programme is primarily focused on climate change and its wider impacts. Please see our recent publications below. We also wish to congratulate and acknowledge the hard work of the staff at the Climate Change Commission. See the Climate Change Commission final advice here.

    This animation shows the carbon dioxide concentration at Baring Head between 1973-2021. Special thanks to NIWA for collecting this data!⁠⁠ You can find more about this animation on our infographics page

    Recent Event

    Mission Aotearoa: Mapping our Future webinar | 30 March 2021

    Thank you to all the speakers and participants for joining our discussion about New Zealand’s long-term future.
    This webinar was a collaboration between Callaghan Innovation and the McGuinness Institute.

    The webinar marked the tenth anniversary of Sir Paul Callaghan’s keynote address at StrategyNZ: Mapping our future, where he challenged New Zealanders to think about the type of country we might like Aotearoa to become. Sir Paul’s 20-minute address identified and busted key myths, then suggested the country should focus on creating ‘a place where talent wants to live’. The link to the 2011 keynote address is here (20 mins).

    In 2021, we were delighted to host a discussion on where New Zealand is now, and how we might create a mission-oriented strategy. Mission Aotearoa: Mapping our Future brought together international and local speakers. Learn more about the purpose of the webinar and speakers here.

    International speakers included:

    • Catherine Callaghan QC (UK): Barrister at Blackstone Chambers and daughter of the late Sir Paul Callaghan.
    • Rowan Conway (UK): Head of Mission Oriented Innovation Network at University College London (UCL).
    • Dennis Bushnell (USA): Chief Scientist, NASA Langley Research Center.
    • Aaron Maniam (Singapore): Deputy Secretary, Industry & Information, Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), Singapore.

    New Zealand speakers included: Sam Morgan, Alex Fala, Sacha McMeeking, Jamie Newth, Donna Purdue, Vic Crone, Te Wai Coulston and Wendy McGuinness. Learn more here.

    Rowan Conway presentation – Mission Aotearoa


    Rowan Conway (IIPP) – Mission Aotearoa Webinar
    30 March 2021 (29 March in UK)

    Download (PDF, 46.2 MB)

    Dennis Bushnell presentation - Mission Aotearoa

    Dennis Bushnell (NASA, Langley Research Center) – Mission Aotearoa Webinar
    30 March 2021

    Download (PDF, 2.3 MB)

    Pandemic Work Update

    New WP 2020/20: An analysis of the responses to the ‘Open Letter to District Health Boards (dated 25 March 2020)

    New OIA to MoH: 29 March 2021

    YouTube: NZNO Interview with Kerri Nuku

    Survey: An analysis of the 2020 NZNO PPE survey

    Other Updates

    Briefing to the Incoming Government

    2020 Annual Newsletter

    Policy Projects

    Exploring New Zealand’s probable and possible futures

    Contributing to an informed New Zealand
    Building pathways to New Zealand’s preferred future

    Latest Videos

    NZNO interview with Kerri Nuku: Impacts and lessons from COVID-19

    New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO), Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa represents the largest group of nurses in the country with 51,000 members including registered nurses, midwives, healthcare assistants and students. Kerri Nuku discusses how nurses had to deal with a lack of preparedness at work and the fear of endangering their own families.

    Learn more about NZNO here.
    Read Survey Insights: An analysis of the 2020 NZNO PPE Survey here.

    Latest Publication

    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).

    Blog Posts

    Prime Minister’s Summer Reading List 2020/2021

    Every year we select books that we believe the Prime Minister (and others interested in public policy) would benefit from reading over the summer break. As we apply a non-partisan approach to our work, we also provide copies of the selected books to each of the leaders of the other major political...

    18 Months in Review – What we’ve been up to

    1. Our 2020 work programme Our 2020 work programme, like many, was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The image at right illustrates an outline of the 2020 work programme. It is not an exact representation of all the work completed this year; however, it does provide an overview illustration of...

    4th Edition of Nation Dates now launched

    ‘Interconnected impacts from these chains of events, people, communities and dates – in this summation – ripple outwardly, appearing unrelated and yet related once revealed, once collated: a recorded intergenerational summation.’ – Trevor Moeke, Horouta, Mātaatua, Tākitimu waka, Māori foresight...

    Recent News & Events

    Auckland Council Accountants Presentation

    On 19 February 2021 Wendy McGuinness, Chief Executive of the McGuinness Institute, presented Climate Change Reporting: How to prepare and report climate scenarios. View her presentation slides here.

    A Near Horizon Webinar

    On 28 May 2020 the McGuinness Institute, Simpson Grierson, and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) hosted a virtual roundtable discussion to hear the perspectives of some of the world’s thought leaders on climate change and finance. Learn more here.

    Join our Newsletter

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