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Fresh Shot of Ideas: CIS Announces NZ Policy Unit

Fresh Shot of Ideas: CIS Announces NZ Policy Unit

The Centre for Independent Studies (CIS), Australia’s leading independent public policy ‘think tank’, announces the establishment of the New Zealand Policy Unit to focus specifically on New Zealand policy issues.

For almost 30 years, CIS has been at the forefront of the ideas business in Australia, providing the momentum for improved public policy through research-based, solution-driven debate and policy recommendations.

The Centre has had an ongoing involvement in public policy ideas and debate in New Zealand since the 1980s but will now be increasing activities to create a truly trans-Tasman institute.

According to CIS Executive Director, Greg Lindsay, ‘Australia and New Zealand can learn a lot from each other and this will allow the ideas flow more effectively’.

Initially the unit will focus on social policy work, specifically tax and welfare reform, building on the Centre’s recent work in this area in Australia. The unit will also look at foreign policy issues, particularly the problems facing the Pacific Island nations.

Phil Rennie has been appointed as Policy Analyst working from the Centre’s Sydney office.

‘There is a definite need in New Zealand for fresh policy ideas, and a perspective based around a free and open society,’ says Rennie.

‘There are a whole bunch of big issues that we really need to start debating. Our tax and welfare systems are still largely stuck in a 20th century mindset, and difficult issues like education and social dysfunction need some new thinking.’

‘A think tank like the CIS can have an important role to play in the contest of ideas in New Zealand.’

Phil Rennie previously worked as a Researcher and Press Secretary for National MPs in the New Zealand Parliament, and as a Researcher / Writer for the NZ Institution of Professional Engineers. He has a law degree and a BA in Politics & Public Policy from Victoria University in Wellington. Phil's research at CIS will initially focus on tax and welfare reform.

He is available for comment. For more information on The Centre for Independent Studies visit www.cis.org.nz


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