James Hancock | Kelliher Economics Foundation Kupe Leadership Scholar

Bachelor of Commerce (Honours)

Climate change has quickly risen to be one of – if not – the most important challenge today. As a keen tramper, climber, and lover of the outdoors, I have begun to see its impacts. I have seen the melting glaciers and severe impact of Cyclone Gabrielle firsthand. Within the challenges of climate change, there is an issue I believe most deeply needs effective: communication between the public, academia, and government.

We are lucky to have both bountiful natural resources and plenty of protectors of these resources. However, the wider public is often greatly misinformed about the state of our environment. Although there have been significant advancements in technology improving climate outcomes in recent years, there is a need to translate these insights into public opinion and policy discussions. From my experience, it will only be through strong leadership in communication that we will be able to bridge the gap between theory and the public voice.

It's an incredibly complex task for a leader, blending many different disciplines. They must also address the significant implications for Māori – Crown relations under Te Tiriti. However, I believe that a unifying voice can make progress on this critical task going forward.

Sponsor: Kelliher Economics Foundation

Mentor: Dave Heatley

Director of Sawtooth Economics. Editor of Asymmetric Information, newsletter of the New Zealand Association of Economists (http://nzae.substack.com). Passionate about quality, insightful economic analysis, and clear exposition of economic theory and practice. Dave worked at the Productivity Commission for 10 years. He previously had a career in IT & business, before moving into economics: rail, social services, digital tech, Covid policy & more.