Evaluation and Research Projects


Regional Growth Programme Evaluation

The Regional Growth Programme (RGP) was designed to support regions with persistent economic underperformance to identify opportunities and leverage them to increase jobs, income and investment, for the ultimate benefit of all New Zealanders. MBIE and MPI commissioned this evaluation of the RGP to: assess the extent to which the programme was working as intended with regards to its implementation, systems and processes; assess the value of the outcomes achieved to date; and capture lessons learned at central, regional and project levels to inform the RGP going forward. This evaluation focused on the way the government agencies were working with each other and with the regional stakeholders and Māori in the regions. It was not an evaluation of regional economic progress. Where the evaluators discussed such progress, this was provided as an exemplar of the way support from government agencies helped or hindered regional progress.

There are four documents linked to this evaluation

The Regional Growth Programme Evaluation Report (103 pages) – full evaluation findings and methodolog

Three infographics which provide:

Three Case Studies: companion document to the SFF Evaluation (46 pages):

  • Protecting the sustainability of New Zealand vineyards
  • Top of the South: Setting an example for sustainable water quality
  • Sustainable development and podocarp restoration on Tuawhenua lands.
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Evaluation of stakeholder perceptions of the implementation of the Waste Minimisation Act (2011) 

The evaluation of stakeholder perceptions of the implementation of the Waste Minimisation Act, looked into waste stakeholders’ perceptions of the early implementation phase of the Waste Minimisation Act, and the short-term outcomes (20092010). This baseline evaluation of stakeholder perceptions was undertaken by the Ministry for the Environment with consultants Judy Oakden and Kate McKegg of the Kinnect Group in late 2010. The evaluation used ‘a mix of focus groups, key informant interviews and an online survey of 325 stakeholders’.

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Sustainable Farming Fund Evaluation   

The Evaluation of the Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) provided an independent, formal assessment confirming the SFF’s value. It also provided information to help ensure the SFF is well-positioned for the future by aligning more closely with Government objectives.

Judy Oakden led the evaluation of the Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) during 2013 for the Ministry for Primary Industries. The results have now been published:

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Journeys of clinicians who embrace peer workers in their practices (2011) 

Judy Oakden led this project to uncover and document the journeys of clinicians who embrace peer workers in their practice for Wellink Trust, with Kate McKegg.

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Characteristics of good peer support (2009)

Judy Oakden worked with Kate McKegg to determine the characteristics of good peer support for Wellink Trust.

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Wellington’s knowledge economy — coming to grips with technology change 

In response to concerns about the state of the economy and employment opportunities in the greater Wellington region, this research drew on the experience of 113 knowledge economy businesses. Judy Oakden had a key role in designing the process that supported Bachelor of Commerce students from Victoria University to conduct the survey between July and September 2013. From this work, a report of findings was prepared for the Wellington Regional Council by Dr Richard Norman from Victoria Business School, and Judy Oakden.

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