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

Raewyn Peart wins prestigious award

EDS’s Policy Director Raewyn Peart has been honoured with a prestigious award from her peers. Raewyn was awarded the Resource Management Law Association’s 2023 Outstanding Person Award “for outstanding research and publications on critical environmental law and policy issues in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

Raewyn has been with EDS since 2000 and has published extensively on oceans, resource management, conservation and climate change matters. Many of her research topics have resulted in changes to government policy across several domains including, most notably, the marine environment.

Congratulations Raewyn, the EDS Team is very proud of you!

Institutional arrangements to support resource management reform

EDS has been intimately involved in resource management reform over the past five years, from making the case for change and presenting a vision for a new system, to engaging with the independent Randerson Panel review and government in bringing the Natural and Built Environment Act and Spatial Planning Act to fruition. This legislation is now going through the parliamentary process, in the most significant environmental reforms in a generation.

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Better linking science to policy project

Many environmental problems facing the country (indeed the world) today are highly complex. There is widespread consensus that if effective solutions are to be found, we need to ‘follow the science'.

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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.

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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challenges and changes in its vast marine environment and the existing oceans management system is fragmented, outdated and ultimately not up to the task of tackling them.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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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