Welcome to the October newsletter for The Policy Observatory. We highlight an upcoming report launch on diversity policy, and provide links for the reports launched in September. We also look at the issue of how universities are supporting fluent te reo Māori speakers to write and submit doctoral theses in the medium of Te Reo Māori.

Preview: Edwina Pio and Mervin Singham’s report launch

On 29th November 2018, The Policy Observatory will launch a new report by Professor Edwina Pio, AUT’s University Director of Diversity, and Mervin Singham, currently the Executive Director of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care. Their co-authored report, Inclusive Workspaces: Diversity and Public Policy, discusses the role of public policy in shaping diversity and inclusion in the workforce of Aotearoa New Zealand, and especially the leading role that the state sector can take. The report launch will start at 4:30pm on 29th November 2018 in WZ100C, AUT City Campus.

If you wish to attend, please rsvp to policyobservatory@aut.ac.nz

Narratives on child poverty

Also launched last month was a report by Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw of The Workshop for The Policy Observatory on how best to promote narratives about child poverty that will lead to positive policy change. Her report explores the role of feelings, values and beliefs in people’s understanding of issues such as poverty, and recommends that narratives need to convey the message that family poverty occurs in the context of a complex ecosystem. While a lot of research goes into finding solutions for child poverty, Jess argues that we also need to consider how to communicate effectively the reality of poverty to the public, as this will increase the likelihood that solutions are supported by politicians. Jess’s report is here.

A shorter Briefing Paper that focuses on useful strategies for talking about child poverty is here.

Google, Facebook and the New Zealand news media

Merja Myllylahti’s new report, Google, Facebook and New Zealand news media: The problem of platform dependency,was launched last month and is now available on The Policy Observatory website here.

The report received media coverage on Radio New Zealand’s MediaWatch programme, the National Business Review, Newsroom, Newstalk ZB and sharechat.co.nz. Merja has also written a Briefing Paper with an overview of some of the policy issues arising from the power of social media and search engines, which is available here.

Update: #stuffme merger news

The Court of Appeal has upheld the Commerce Commission’s right to consider public benefits such as plurality – that is, the value of having a number of providers and voices – when deciding whether to allow the merger between news media giants NZME and Stuff. Policy Observatory Director Julienne Molineaux and AUT’s Merja Myllylahti co-authored a submission to the merger application arguing just that: that public benefits and detriments include more than just efficiencies for the firms or the market. A copy of that submission is available here.

te wiki o te reo mĀori: Advice for universities on doctoral theses in mĀori

Ka huri te ao - things are changing. Enrolments in beginner’s Te Reo classes have shot through the roof: Te Wānanga o Aotearoa beginner’s classes have a waiting list of 3500 nationwide; free beginner’s classes at AUT and Unitec are also at full capacity; and the Wellington High School Community Education Centre expects to have nearly three times as many students in 2019 as it had in 2017. Beginner’s Te Reo is thriving, but what is happening at the far end of the learning journey? How well are we fostering our fluent speakers in the education system? As part of a Marsden grant, Georgina Stewart has been looking into the state of doctoral study undertaken in Te Reo Māori medium. In this Briefing Paper she shares some of her findings.

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