NZIER is thrilled to have won the WriteMark New Zealand Plain English Awards People’s Choice — Best Communication category

08 November 2016

Let’s be honest, economics is seldom fashionable. And understanding the implications of free trade agreements is rarely on the public’s to-do list. But the public and political debate around the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement brought both economics and trade policy into sharp focus.

Phrases like “Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS)”, “expropriation of Intellectual Property” and “threat to New Zealand’s sovereignty” were heard around many water coolers. Misinformation was rife, and social media newsfeeds were full of alarmist, apocalyptic rhetoric.

NZIER wanted to provide an independent contribution to this debate. We aimed to translate some of the complex concepts and jargon that characterise the ISDS provisions of TPP into plain English. We added empirical data where we could to support our views.

Our main message was simple: there are risks associated with ISDS; but they are manageable.

We are delighted to have been recognised by WriteMark New Zealand for this piece of work, and pleased to have made a small contribution to the public debate on TPP in New Zealand.

We will continue to make clear communication a priority at NZIER. Economic analysis lacks effectiveness if no one understands it. We know that our reports need to be crisp and clear to help busy decision-makers. Our aim is to make economic issues accessible and interesting so that the New Zealand public can engage on them with confidence.

Our report can be read here.

For further information, please contact:

John Ballingall
 Deputy Chief Executive
 021 606 477
John.ballingall@nzier.org.nz

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