Policy work

EDS is committed to producing thoughtful and comprehensive reports to guide and inspire the government, public and private sector alike. Our reports are free to download. You can view our most recent projects below.

Policy highlight

Conserving Nature wins award

The Conserving Nature: Conservation System Reform Issues Paper was awarded the Resource Management Law Association’s Publication Award 2021. This was “for a significant contribution to the advancement and understanding of current conservation issues in New Zealand for consideration and application across a wide range of professions”. Authored by EDS Senior Policy Researcher Dr Deidre Koolen-Bourke and Policy Director Raewyn Peart, the report is designed to contribute to a national debate on how to build an effective conservation management system for the future. Conserving Nature identifies problems with the conservation system and we are now embarking on Phase 2 our conservation reform project which is identifying solutions. Copies of the report are available in our bookstore.

Climate Change Adaptation

EDS is undertaking research on climate adaptation and managed retreat which is intended to inform the climate adaptation policy process and system design, specifically, the proposed Climate Adaptation Act. The research is exploring options for reform, including consideration of what new legal tools are required to provide for managed retreat, appropriate governance structures and funding obligations.

See project

Reform of the oceans management system

Aotearoa New Zealand is facing considerable problems, challenges and changes in its vast marine environment and the existing oceans management system is fragmented, outdated and ultimately not up to the task of tackling them. As a society we need to think about what we want the system to do in the future. Should we tinker with what we have, or should the system be fundamentally reimagined?

See project

Reform of the conservation system

EDS is investigating our system of laws, policies and institutions designed to conserve nature. Our first report highlights the many issues with its operation and concludes that the system needs to be urgently fixed. The government has since announced a programme to modernise the country's conservation laws.

See project

Reform of the resource management system

Between 2017 and 2020 EDS undertook a major review of Aotearoa New Zealand's resource management system. We concluded that systemic reforms were needed that went well beyond just another amendment to the Resource Management Act. The system is much wider than one piece of legislation and needs to be approached holistically. The government has now embarked on a reform process that has picked up on many of our recommendations, seeking to create a system that is fit for purpose, not just for modern times but also a future that will look very different to the present.

See project

Landscape protection project

EDS has undertaken a comprehensive review of landscape protection in Aotearoa New Zealand to identify ways to better protect our distinctive natural and cultural landscapes for future generations.

See project