Emissions Reduction Plan Strategy Mapping Workshop

21 MAY 2021


The aim of the workshop was to connect a group of highly motivated and informed parties to:

  1. Learn more about the strategy mapping tool.
  2. Prepare and design an emissions reduction plan strategy map (with two designers available to capture the participants’ thinking). Note: The aim was not to create an optimal strategy map but to give the participants a chance to create one. This exercise allowed participants to learn more about the tool by doing. It also gave them an opportunity to collectively develop their thinking around the Emissions Reduction Plan in an explorative and creative way.
  3. Garner ideas from attendees on what should go into Aotearoa New Zealand’s ERP (and what should not).
  4. Create a set of questions that can be used by others to stress test future ERPs.

The outputs of this workshop will be collated into a summary paper explaining how we went about creating and using strategy maps. This publication will also contain the lessons we learned as a group. The Institute believes many organisations and councils may wish to create their own reduction plans. Our intention in writing up the lessons learned is to support the future replication and improvement upon this strategy mapping exercise by other players across various fields.

Limitations and Disclaimer
The workshop participants came together as a diverse range of individuals, including several public servants, to explore strategy mapping (in this case for an emissions reduction plan for New Zealand) over a four-hour period. The outputs from this workshop will in no way represent the individual views of any of the attendees or the organisations that they represent. The workshop was established to simply explore and develop skills for designing strategy maps, and as such this strategy map was intended to be a learning exercise for attendees, rather than a competing strategy to the upcoming Emission Reduction Plan. We hope that this exercise can be repeated and improved upon in both the public and private sector as New Zealand continues to plan its move to a zero-carbon economy.

In a four-hour workshop, we tested whether a strategy mapping exercise (worksheet 1) followed by an assumption mapping exercise (worksheet 2) could contribute to improving the design and communication of a strategy.

  • The agenda can be found here.
  • The workshop PowerPoint can be found here.
  • The two exercises below (found here) form the key components of the four-hour session.

Discussion paper 2021/02 – Need for speed: strategy mapping and adaptive management was published in August 2021. The author is Lachlan Rule (a patron of the Institute). The paper can be downloaded here (PDF, 5 MB).

This is the first in a series of discussion papers being prepared by the Institute to consider solutions to policy knots that relate specifically to climate change.








Significant dates in New Zealand’s climate policy programme include:

  • 31 May 2021: Final package of advice due to Government, as per the Act.
  • 15 June 2021: The Minister of Climate Change must table the Final package of advice in the House of Representatives, as per the Act.
  • 28 June 2021: The Commission must release the Final package of advice to the public (i.e. on the website alongside supporting evidence and information).
  • 31 December 2021: The Government must set the first three emissions budgets out to 2035 and release its first emissions reduction plan (ERP).
  • August 2022: The Government will publish the first national adaptation plan (NAP).
  • Before August 2026: The second national climate change risk assessment will be published within six years of the first: see the August 2020 National Climate Change Risk Assessment (NCCRA) here.

The Institute is currently in the process of scoping and writing our latest Project 2058 report – Report 18: Climate change strategy for Aotearoa New Zealand. The 2058 report aims to provide an independent integrated and dynamic climate change strategy that chronicles our past and provides insights into our future. Our goal is that the 21 May 2021 workshop and the 2058 report will both contribute to Aotearoa New Zealand’s climate policy agenda.

Worksheet 1: Strategy mapping exercise
Worksheet 2: Assumption mapping exercise