Category Archives: Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture

Tūhoe leader Tāmati Kruger to give 2017 Bruce Jesson Lecture

A leader of the Tūhoe people’s drive for self-determination, Tamati Kruger, will give the 2017 Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture on 31 October. Entitled ‘koia mārika – so it is’, the lecture will cover the following topics:

  • Being Tūhoe
  • The Tūhoe Settlement and Te Urewera Act.
  • Te Mana Motuhake o Tūhoe and NZ Culture and Identity

The lecture, at the University of Auckland, will be a historic opportunity for Tūhoe to explain their philosophy of Mana Motuhake/Self-Determination to a national audience, and to report on how the approach is working out in practice since the iwi signed a settlement with the Crown in 2013.

The settlement transferred management of the Tūhoe homeland in the former Urewera National Park to a new entity Te Urewera, which Kruger chairs, run jointly by the Crown and Tūhoe.

It also agreed in principle that Tūhoe should run its own social services, including healthcare and education, for its own people.

So far Tūhoe has opened a health clinic at Taneatua and plans two more, it runs youth and counselling services, offers educational scholarships, and is becoming involved in wider educational and social services.

Tāmati Kruger was educated at Victoria University in Wellington, where he also tutored in te reo Māori and was involved in the early days if the Te Reo Māori Society in the 1970s.

He was the chief Tūhoe negotiator in the settlement process and also chairs the tribal body Tūhoe Te Uru Taumatua.

The lecture will be held at the University of Auckland. Details and a registration link will be provided closer to the event.

Lisa Marriott to Deliver 2016 Bruce Jesson Lecture

The 2016 Bruce Jesson Lecture will be delivered by Lisa Marriott on 10th October and entitled

‘All New Zealanders are Equal, but some are more equal than others

Why are those less advantaged in New Zealand society treated differently from those who are in relatively privileged positions? Why are white-collar tax evaders treated differently to welfare fraudsters? This talk will consider circumstances where this occurs, aiming to highlight and challenge issues of equity, privilege, and the construction of crime and criminals in New Zealand.

The presentation will cover:

  • Investigation, prosecution and sentencing of tax evaders and welfare fraudsters;
  • The sentencing of serious white-collar financial crime;
  • The individual treatment of taxpayers and the collective treatment of welfare recipients;
  • Different treatments of debtors to the Crown (taxpayers, welfare recipients and students);
  • The introduction of legislation that provides for more punitive treatment for partners of welfare fraudsters than the partners of those engaging in other financial offending; and,
  • The preferential treatment of the wealthy in the tax system

Dr Lisa Marriott is an Associate Professor of Taxation at Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Accounting and Commercial Law. Lisa’s research interests include social justice and inequality, and the behavioural impacts of taxation. Lisa has publications in a range of refereed journals and is the author of The Politics of Retirement Savings Taxation: A Trans-Tasman Perspective. Her work is interdisciplinary covering disciplines including sociology, political science and public policy. Lisa was awarded a Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Grant to investigate the different treatments of tax evasion and welfare fraud in the New Zealand justice system. Lisa has worked in the private sector in the United Kingdom and in the public sector in New Zealand. For the past ten years, Lisa has worked in academia.

Monday 10th October, 6pm

Room G36, OGHLecTh, Old Government House (Building 401) View Map

Due to limited seating, REGISTRATION IS ENCOURAGED

Rod Oram’s 2015 Bruce Jesson Lecture

On 14th October Rod Oram delivered the 2015 Bruce Jesson Lecture to an appreciative audience at the University of Auckland.

Addressing the future of business journalism in NZ, he identified the necessary starting point as grappling with the fundamental issues shaping our economy, and went on to outline how a new model for NZ business journalism would be built on three foundations: money, people and relationships.

A PDF version of the lecture can be downloaded here. A link to the video recording of the lecture will be posted as it becomes available.

Rod Oram to Deliver 2015 Lecture

The 2015 Bruce Jesson Lecture will be delivered by Rod Oram and entitled

‘Follow the money ‒ the future of business journalism’

The feeble state of business journalism in New Zealand and around the world is but a subset of journalism’s general decline. To try to survive financially, many media organisations are increasingly blurring the distinction between journalism and advertising, devaluing both in the process. Yet, there has never been a more important time for business journalism.

Profound change is sweeping through business and economics and the societies they help shape. Journalists should be trying to explain what’s happening – the good and the ill – for the benefit of participants and public alike.

Wednesday 14 October, 6pm

Maidment Theatre, 8 Alfred Street, The University of Auckland

Doors open at 5.45pm, lecture starts at 6pm The Maidment Bar will open from 5pm

2014 Bruce Jesson Lecture Available

On 15 October, Mike Joy delivered the 2014 Bruce Jesson Lecture at Auckland University. His topic, Paradise Squandered; New Zealand’s Environmental Asset Stripping. Mike’s capacity to blend an engaging narrative with the detail in his many informative slides meant an attentive audience, with many thirsty for more information and access to to resources referenced. Mike undertook to write the lecture up for distribution and it is now available in PDF form here.

Of particular note was that this lecture was not just an account of the damage that has been wrought on New Zealand’s environmental assets, but a call to action:

Crucially we must immediately stop the procrastination; we must get the science back and get rid of the politics. We must accept the reality that we can’t collaborate away environmental reality. Community agreement won’t stop the reality of impacts once the conditions for declines and biodiversity losses exist.

He went on to outline key actions required to arrest and then reverse this degradation:

At the many talks I have given to farming groups the usual response is “that’s all very grim, so now give me some solutions”, which translated means give me some (preferably technical) solution so that we can keep doing what we are doing because I’m not prepared to stop doing what I am doing. Of course this is not possible to really achieve improvements, so we must make these simple changes. We must:

  • put a cost on pollution (or premium on not polluting)
  • farm for profitability not for capital gain
  • Immediately move away from fossil fertiliser
  • Immediately move away from imported fertiliser and feed.

Please take the time to download Mike’s lecture, read it, and distribute it as widely as possible.

The 2014 Bruce Jesson Lecture Mike Joy – Paradise Squandered; New Zealand’s Environmental Asset Stripping

New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and most of our groundwater are in a critical state. Decades of misguided regulation and a free-for-all on diffuse pollution have encouraged agricultural intensification and driven our increasing reliance on imported feed and fertiliser.

The inevitable consequences have been devastating environmental impacts as well as increasing economic and biosecurity risks.

The solutions are many but require a paradigm shift; a move away from dependence on imported feed and fertiliser to keeping nutrients on farm and adding value to products, and strong leadership to move away from short-term thinking that accepts the massive ecological debt we are running up. 

Mike Joy MSc(Hons), PhD in Ecology is a Senior Lecturer in Ecology and Environmental Science at the Ecology Group-Institute of Agriculture and Environment, Massey University, Palmerston North. He has received a number of awards, including the Ecology in Action award from the New Zealand Ecological Society; an Old Blue award from the Royal Forest and Bird protection Society; Environmental New Zealander of the Year from North and South magazine and the Manawatu Evening Standard Person of the Year.

Presented by Politics and International Relations and the Bruce Jesson Foundation

Wednesday 15 October, 6.30pm
Maidment Theatre
Alfred Street
The University of Auckland
The Maidment Bar will open from 5.30pm

2013 Bruce Jesson Lecture: Sir Edmund Thomas – Reducing Inequality: A Strategy for a Cause

Below is the abridged version of the 2013 lecture. It may also be downloaded as a PDF here.


I did not know Bruce Jesson personally. But I am familiar with his writings.  All his books have a place on my bookshelf.  He undoubtedly influenced my thinking.  Much of what I have to say tonight echoes views he expressed over two decades ago.  As I share his distaste for neo-liberalism, his work, and the spirit of his work, infuse and inform my lecture.  It is, therefore, a profound privilege to have been invited to give the Bruce Jesson Lecture this year.

This country, as with many other countries, has undergone a traumatic neo-liberal transformation.  A theory that insists human well-being can best be advanced by liberating individual entrepreneurial freedoms and skills within a framework of strong property rights, free markets and free trade has been pursued in New Zealand to a radical extent.  The outcome, as in other countries that have pursued the neo-liberal creed, has been extreme and even obscene inequality.  Continue reading 2013 Bruce Jesson Lecture: Sir Edmund Thomas – Reducing Inequality: A Strategy for a Cause

Coming up, the 2013 Bruce Jesson Lecture

The speaker, a Distinguished Fellow at the Law School at The University of Auckland, argues that the gross inequality in income and wealth which besets New Zealand is the outcome of the neo-liberal economic measures of the mid-1980s and early 1990s and the culture of liberal individualism and unfettered free market ideology which it spawned.

A breakdown in social cohesion and a sense of community is the result. Reforms to counter this inequality are widely mooted. But increasing focus and discussion on the topic is confronted by a plethora of mantras and myths purveyed by the rich and powerful. The stimulus for change is deadened.

The speaker advances a strategy designed to provide a coherent impetus to reduce the rank inequality that now prevails.

The Rt Hon Sir Edmund Thomas will deliver the 2013 lecture on Wednesday 30 October, 6.30pm, at the Maidment Theatre (bar opens at 5.30pm).

Nicky Hager Delivers the 2012 Bruce Jesson Lecture

Nicky Hager - Photo John Miller
Hager delivers 2012 Jesson Lecture (Photo: John Miller)
Nicky Hager
Taking questions (Photo: John Miller)
Jane Kelsey & Nicky Hager
Jane Kelsey & Nicky Hager (Photo: John Miller)

On Wednesday 31 October, Nicky Hager delivered the 2012 Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture to a packed and attentive Maidment Theatre audience. Entitled ‘Investigative journalism in the age of media meltdown: from National Party Headquarters to Afghanistan‘, the lecture described the key political, commercial and economic influences Nicky identifies as degrading public and democratic discourse. He particularly noted the impact of PR machines, but drew on material from his books to illustrate the impact of other interests.  Continue reading Nicky Hager Delivers the 2012 Bruce Jesson Lecture