Case Studies

Since its inception in 2000, Motu has developed a sound reputation for our well-informed, well-reasoned and fastidiously researched information on public policy issues. This, combined with our fully independent status (not compromised by any ideology or political position), the experience and qualification of our senior researchers, and links to a large pool of internationally renowned experts, is the secret to our success.


Some recent Motu projects, which received significant acclaim here and internationally include:

  • Motu's innovative stakeholder dialogue process for investigating challenging topics that are the subject of polarising public debate. 
  • Arthur Grimes's work on wellbeing and sustainability measures in order to understand how policies affect wellbeing both within and across countries.
  • Suzi Kerr and Catherine Leining's work on creating a low-emission future, mitigation in the agricultural and forestry sectors, and on transforming the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme.
  • A project for the World Bank creating a handbook for any jurisdiction wanting to design or revamp an emissions trading system.
  • A significant evaluation of the government's insulation and heating scheme, undertaken by a consortium led by Arthur Grimes over a number of years. 
  • The best documented and only validated land use model in New Zealand.
  • Work done by Dave Maré on the impact of wage subsidies formed part of Ministry of Social Development discussions on the topic. 
  • Arthur Grimes’s project fleshing out the pros and cons of a common New Zealand/Australia currency, extensively quoted in discussions about the issue.
  • Suzi Kerr’s research on water quality in New Zealand, which helped re-frame the issues and increase the ability for constructive thinking and communication between the agricultural sector and policy makers.
  • Dave Maré’s body of work looking at the economic impacts of immigration, cited prominently in a number of reviews.
  • Arthur Grimes’s conclusions on at land and property taxes were put into the Tax Working Group.
  • A framework constructed by Adam Jaffe for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for quantifying the beneficial economic, social and environmental impact of publicly funded scientific research.