One of the meanings of Motu is “island.” Our research rises above uninformed debate.
We help Kiwi decision makers grapple with complex social and environmental issues with world class economic and public policy research.
Motu (named after Taputeranga: the island in Island Bay, Wellington) is New Zealand’s leading economic research institute. It is in the top 10 global economic think tanks and top 10 global climate think tanks.
Motu is independent and never advocates an expressed ideology or political position. A not-for-profit and charitable trust, Motu is founded on the belief that sound public policy depends on rigorous research, accompanied by well-informed and reasoned debate.
Motu is among the top 10 economic think tanks globally and is the top-ranked economics organisation in New Zealand. Motu is also among the top 10 climate think tanks globally. This is all because of the quality of our researchers.
Motu was first dreamed up at Harvard University in the early 1990s, when a group of Kiwi graduate students discussed a vision to return to New Zealand and dedicate themselves full-time to independent public policy research.