PPC Policy Brief Competition 2016

The PPC Policy Brief Competition

This is your chance to develop your policy brief making skills. Practicing these skills will  help you to read, analyse, and condense large amounts of information. It will also help you present information in an effective and engaging way – a skill you can apply in many different fields of work. There are also a number of awards up for grabs that will look impressive on the CV!


Complete registration before the 7th of August 12 pm.
– Once you have registered, you will receive an email with the lengthy competition document you will use to create your policy brief, which will include instructions on how to submit your work.
– Create a policy brief with a maximum of 4 pages.
– For the purposes of this competition you do not need to reference your work.
– Submit your work according to the instructions in the competition document.

NOTE: For your convenience you are not required to use information and sources beyond the document but you may do so if you need it.

Policy Brief Workshop:

If you don’t know how to write a policy brief or need a reminder, we are hosting a workshop open to all.

This workshop is your LAST opportunity to register for the workshop. Bring your registration fee in cash and register in person at the end of the workshop.

When: Tuesday 9th August 1pm -2pm
Where: I-SPACE (Level 4 Kate Edgar, beyond Strata)
What: The workshop will include a presentation on how to write a policy brief, an overview of the instructions of the competition, and how the judges will mark the briefs. It will also be an opportunity to register for the competition with cash.
Who: The workshop will be led by our co-presidents, Monique Francois and Pooja Upadhyay.

Key Dates:

Registration opens: Monday 1st August 2016

Registration closes: Sunday 7th of August 2016 12 pm

Competition opens: Sunday 7th of August 2016     

Competition closes: Friday 26th August 2016

Prize Giving Event: Wednesday 14th September 2016

Registration fee:

Members: $5
Non-Members: $10

Registration Instructions:


The 9th of August policy brief workshop above is your last opportunity to register for the competition.

To register for the competition online, email us at ppcpolicybriefcomp@gmail.com with the word ‘Registration’ in the subject line.

Include in the email:

  • Your full name
  • A screenshot or digital receipt of your online registration fee payment (we will check if you are a member and that the appropriate fee has been paid)

To register for the competition in person and by cash, attend our policy brief workshop on Tuesday the 9th of August at 1pm in i-space. We will take down your name, note that you have paid with cash, and your email address.

To pay your registration fee online, please transfer the appropriate amount into our online account 06-0158-0912026-00.



Blog: Tobacco Tax Increases by 10%

In the 2016 budget, the government increased the tobacco tax by 10%, rejecting the Ministry of Health’s proposal for a 12.5% increase in tobacco tax. The Ministry wanted an immediate Budget night increase followed by a further four annual increases of 12.5% from January next year. However, the government rejected both these proposals and opted for a 10% increase despite being advised that it wasn’t sufficient to achieve their smoke-free goal.


Aside from the associated tax revenue that will come from a tobacco tax, it is hoped that it will reduce smoking as a whole. The tax spike was presented as being part of National’s vision to make New Zealand smoke-free by 2025. The World Health Organisation, World Bank and the New Zealand Ministry of Health along with other researchers all believe increasing the price of cigarettes is one of the most effective tools to decrease consumption.

The way the current system operates means the tax is added on to the product:


New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said tobacco tax hikes would disproportionately affect poor families. He argues that the price increase will push working families to cut down on other goods rather than decrease smoking.

Health campaigners believe 10% is too small and recommended 20% as being more appropriate. The Heart foundation believes it would be more effective if it was bigger because the industry has been able to adapt to the 10% increases.

To be effective, tax increase needs to be accompanied by increased health promotion and targeted ‘stop smoking’ services. The Government spends about $60 million a year on quit smoking programmes and reaps in $1.5 billion a year in tobacco taxes. Some argue that approving e-cigarettes for smoking cessation would be a more effective way of helping people quit smoking.

What do you think?

Is a 10% increase enough? Is a higher tax too much?

Share with your friends, and get discussing!




Blog: Labour’s Birthday Housing Policies

In the past week, the Labour Party has announced a number of housing policies that have been both applauded and criticized. Check out our breakdown of the two main policies below.

With concerns for inequality, representation and social fairness continuing to grow—public frustration having been demonstrated recently in the surging support for Labour parties in the UK and Australia—Andrew Little, on the eve of New Zealand Labour’s centenary, has revealed a plan to help combat New Zealand’s endemic housing crisis, upholding the party’s strong historical stance on housing policy, marked notably by the pioneering 1936 state housing scheme which saw to the construction of some 5000 homes.

Combining historical precedent with public opinion, Labour’s proposed Emergency Housing Plan aims to provide the first, necessary steps in combating the current housing crisis, seeking to address the problem of homelessness evidenced by the number of New Zealanders living without habitable accommodation, as temporary residents, or in commercial and communal dwellings having risen to nearly 42,000 as of 2013; with 4,200 classed as severely housing deprived.

Andrew Little has also proposed a number of possibilities that may alleviate the concerns of New Zealand renters and buyers. The most significant Labour’s policies include improving upon their 2013 KiwiBuild Policy, which requires working with the private sector.

Little criticized National for turning Housing NZ into a “cash cow” and taken a net amount of $523 million from it in dividends. There are now 2500 fewer state houses than in 2011, Little stressed, and that with the housing crisis exacerbating this, the dividends being paid to the government should be used to build more state houses.

The Auckland Unitary Plan is another hot topic that has been brought up during the discussion housing policies. The plan will be revealed later in the year and will cover a range of approaches towards housing.

Is this feasible? Should the government adopt these policies?
Share this to Facebook and find out what everyone thinks.