Breadcrumbs

A philosopher in the economist’s den

5 September 2018

Dr Dan Weijers.

Dr Dan Weijers is heading to Wellington to contribute his optimistic vision for politics, and policy. He has helped organize and is speaking at the Third International Conference on Wellbeing and Public Policy.

The conference aims to  (1) critically evaluate the rapidly expanding field of wellbeing research across a range of disciplines; (2) share the work of leading international organisations; and (3) distil ideas and practices which will aid governments in developing a wellbeing approach to public policy.

Dr Weijers’ presentation is on “The Politics and Public Policy I hope for”. He jokingly describes it as a speculative talk, as a philosopher surrounded by hardened economists. But the reality is his audience are the policy makers and economists who are prepared to look at new and different ways of doing things, not only measuring success through income.

In terms of specific policies, Dr Weijers suggests a lot more care and funding for mental health issues as an example. He says international research shows governments can save money by investing more in mental health. “It might even mean more people have better lives.”

The idea he is promoting involves a move away from regular people relying on personalty or scandal-gate-type coverage to assess which politician or party to vote for. Dr Weijers would like to clearly see political parties state their policy goals, have an independent body assess them, and also have their implementation measured, in a very clear, defined, and transparent way. “It’s about seeing what a party really stands for - not what they say they stand for, but what they really stand for in terms of policies.”

Related stories

Armon Tamatea

University of Waikato secures more than $6m in MBIE research funding

The University of Waikato has received more than $6 million in research funding from the…

Waikato scientists ranked as some of most-influential in the world

23 Waikato scientists appear in a new international database of the 100,000 most influential scientists…

Dr Lee Streeter

Waikato researcher given ‘Kudos’ for big problem

Dr Lee Streeter has solved a problem. But not just any problem – one that’s…

UoW Engineering

Top researcher recognised for highly cited work

Waikato researchers converged in Melbourne recently for the 22nd International Conference on Composite Materials (ICCM),…

Kudos 2019

Time-of-flight technology and internet behaviour secure Kudos Awards for top researchers

Two University of Waikato researchers have been recognised for their scientific prowess at the Kudos…

Dr Chris Tanner (NIWA), Associate Professor Maui Hudson, Tim Manakau

Celebrating Lakes Resilience

A four-year MBIE-funded research programme led by the University’s Environmental Research Institute and School of…

Todd Henry

Visual masters for prized photographer

Award-winning photographer and filmmaker Todd Henry has just submitted his masters thesis at the University…

crowd

Public support for union default

A new survey of nearly 1500 New Zealanders shows the majority support a union default…

Brendan and co

New funding for Kaumātua study

Waikato professor to lead $2.5 million Kaumātua study with a mana motuhake focus.

Professors Robyn Longhurst and Lynda Johnston

Research looks into ‘belonging’ for disabled people

Understanding why and where disabled people feel they belong is the focus of a joint…

Ethan Flintoft receiving Award from NZGS

Ethan’s our new poster boy

The research work of a first-year civil engineering student at Waikato University has earned him…

Professor awarded $1.1m research grant for child concussion study

Professor Nicola Starkey from the University of Waikato has been awarded a project grant of…