The Big Q

Questions - Ideas - Scholarship - Debates

Project for Public Interest Media

Why is housing so unaffordable?

New Zealand is the second most overvalued housing market in the world, with Auckland its most unaffordable city, writes Dr. Michael Rehm.

Q+A: What is going on in Hong Kong?

The movement in Hong Kong is now entering its fourteenth week. So, what are the causes of the protests, and what are the stakes for China and the world?

Q+A: Why do so few people vote in local elections?

Local government elections in New Zealand are fast approaching, but participation in local democracy has been declining for several years. The problem is particularly bad in Auckland where turnout was under forty percent during the last elections in 2016. Lachlan Balfour spoke with Janine Hayward about low turnout in local body elections.

Politics & Society

Why is housing so unaffordable?

New Zealand is the second most overvalued housing market in the world, with Auckland its most unaffordable city, writes Dr. Michael Rehm.

Q+A: What is going on in Hong Kong?

The movement in Hong Kong is now entering its fourteenth week. So, what are the causes of the protests, and what are the stakes for China and the world?

Q+A: Why do so few people vote in local elections?

Local government elections in New Zealand are fast approaching, but participation in local democracy has been declining for several years. The problem is particularly bad in Auckland where turnout was under forty percent during the last elections in 2016. Lachlan Balfour spoke with Janine Hayward about low turnout in local body elections.

Q+A: Why does the government remove Māori babies from their family?

In recent months, Oranga Tamariki (the Ministry for Children) has faced widespread criticism for its often-traumatising practice of ‘uplifts’, whereby newborn babies are taken from their mothers into state care. What has been causing the recent spike in uplifts?

Why isn’t my professor Pasifika or Māori?

The number of Māori and Pasifika students attending New Zealand universities has been increasing steadily, but for many of these students, they will not be taught by Māori or Pasifika throughout their degree.

Science & Technology

Why is cannabis use declining among young people? 🔊

New research from the University of Otago has revealed that cannabis use is in decline among young people in New Zealand. The research showed that between 2001 and 2012 lifetime use of the drug among teenagers dropped from 38% to 23%.

Q+A: Do gender categories in elite sport need changing?

New research has been undertaken by a group of Otago University professors who suggest that it is time that existing gender categories in sport be abandoned in favour of a more ‘nuanced’ approach when it comes to the inclusion of transgender athletes.

Business & Economics

Why is housing so unaffordable?

New Zealand is the second most overvalued housing market in the world, with Auckland its most unaffordable city, writes Dr. Michael Rehm.

Q+A: Boom or bust: What is the state of housing in New Zealand?

New Zealand is enduring a housing crisis. The chance of buying a home is out of reach for many, while at the same time rents remain high. Gautami Sithambaram spoke with Dr. Campbell Jones about the state of housing in New Zealand and what initiatives young people can take to get into the property market.

Q+A: Is New Zealand ready to go carbon zero?

In New Zealand, recent policy plans by the government show the first steps towards zero-carbon emissions. Oil and gas exploration has been banned although with controversial stipulations, while a zero-carbon bill is currently going through parliament which proposes putting a price on carbon. Is New Zealand ready to go zero carbon?

Arts & Culture

Remapping the order of knowing: The idea of ‘Latin America’ revisited ▶

Is ‘Latin America’ part of ‘the West’? Why ask this question and what do these terms mean for understanding the world today? In this lecture, Professor Walter Mignolo will ask what role the Americas played in forming the colonial matrix of power, introduced by Spain and Portugal in the 16th century.

Black Lives Matter, Otherwise all lives do not matter ▶

In a lecture given at the University of Auckland, Professor Onwubiko Agozino attempts to demonstrates the theory that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. By treating Black Lives as if they do not Matter, the lives of human beings everywhere are threatened and so all should rally in support of Black Lives in the interest of humanity.