Final Jenesa Jeram1

Jenesa Jeram

Research Fellow

Jenesa is a Research Fellow at The New Zealand Initiative, focusing mainly on social issues and lifestyle regulations. She is the author of Health of the State, a report that looks at the evidence and ideology behind public health and lifestyle regulations. She has an interest in sugar tax regulations, and has also co-authored publications on poverty, inequality, social impact bonds, economic growth and housing. Jenesa is available to comment on all of these areas.

She has a Bachelor of Arts with first class Honours from the University of Otago, majoring in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. 

Latest reports:
Smoke and Vapour: the changing world of tobacco harm reduction (2018)
The Inequality Paradox: Why inequality Matters Even Though it has Barely Changed (2016)
The Health of the State (2016)
Poorly Understood: The State of Poverty in New Zealand (2016)
Investing for success: Social Impact Bonds and the future of public services (2015)
The Case for Economic Growth (2015)

Phone: +64 4 499 0790

Email: jenesa.jeram@nzinitiative.org.nz

Recent Work

Snow

Welcome to my safe space

I recently read an article that distressed me so deeply I feel it needed a trigger warning. The article reported that millennials are more likely to support socialism. In fact, the piece was written by our executive director for this very newsletter. Of course I was offended by such a smear, I am after all part of the snowflake generation. As Oliver has already written, Lukianoff and Haidt are right in arguing that this snowflake culture is likely to set... Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Insights Newsletter
14 September, 2018
Plastic bag

Teach the children cost-benefit analysis

Whoever added Whitney Houston to this government’s Spotify playlist has a lot to answer for. “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way.” These are perfectly fine song lyrics. They are not meant to guide government policy. Yet it seems to be the overriding logic behind the government’s recent announcement of a plastic bag ban. When announcing the policy, Prime Minister Ardern spoke of the multitude of letters she has received from... Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Insights Newsletter
24 August, 2018
Sanitary items

If it bleeds, it leads but it may not be poverty

There is a saying about the news media: "If it bleeds, it leads". Not to be crude, but the recent rise in coverage of period poverty is a classic example of such thinking.The period poverty movement appears torn in its objectives: is the problem periods or is it poverty? Because for all the concern behind the movement, the focus on poverty seems to have been lost.For those who have not heard of the concept, "period poverty" refers to the costs... Read more

Jenesa Jeram
The New Zealand Herald
22 August, 2018
Straw

Say no to saving turtles

Whenever a bartender enthusiastically asks me whether I want to save the turtles, I like to look them dead in the eyes and without hesitation say “no”. Don’t get me wrong, turtles have never done anything to offend me personally. But I know ‘saving turtles’ is code for saying no to plastic straws. And I cannot jump on this bandwagon. There are practical reasons to celebrate plastic straws. Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Insights Newsletter
3 August, 2018
Shoes

How do we measure child poverty?

Wallace Chapman talks to Jenesa Jeram about how we measure child poverty. She says the Child Poverty Reduction Bill is underwhelming and the way we measure poverty isn't consistent. Jenesa will be speaking on this topic at Presbyterian Support Northern’s free public lecture series on child poverty in Auckland (28 June) and Wellington (17 July). Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Sunday Morning - Radio NZ
24 June, 2018
Teddy bear

A poverty problem by any other name

As a researcher, I sometimes feel a bit awkward or apologetic talking about poverty, and particularly how to measure it. It is easy to get stuck in the abstract, talking about definitions and statistical accuracy, and forget that there are families struggling and children whose basic needs are not being met. Meanwhile, there are people working in social services who are making real changes to peoples’ lives regardless of how the government defines poverty. Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Insights Newsletter
15 June, 2018
Smoke

A message of hope for smokers

A few weeks ago, I wrote in Insights that public health policy works in mysterious ways.I stand by that statement.As a teaser for The New Zealand Initiative’s latest report Smoke and Vapour: the changing world of tobacco harm reduction, I wrote that there was some frustration that the Labour-led government had not yet expressed a position on e-cigarettes.I also noted that there are a range of other nicotine delivery products available overseas (snus and heat-not-burn) that should be made available... Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Insights Newsletter
18 May, 2018
Smoke Vapour cover3

Smoke and Vapour: the changing world of tobacco harm reduction

Tobacco policy in New Zealand has traditionally neglected the needs of smokers. The good news is that youth uptake of smoking has significantly declined. The bad news is that the current approach is not as effective in helping smokers become ex-smokers. If the government wants to achieve its ‘Smokefree by 2025’ aspiration (reduce smoker prevalence to 5% of the population), more support will be needed to help smokers quit.Nicotine without smokeVaping – the action of inhaling and exhaling e-cigarette vapour... Read more

Jenesa Jeram
11 May, 2018
e cigarette

A Nicotine League to combat smoking

In the late 70s, an American public health council teamed up with DC Comics to create the villain Nick O’Teen. Nick O’Teen was an enemy of Superman. He had bad breath, was a ‘hijacker of health’ and a ‘foe of the fit.’ If you were a kid growing up at the time, the message was clear: smoking is not cool. Nicotine is evil. Fast-forward to today, and the message that smoking is dangerous has certainly sunk in with most young... Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Insights Newsletter
27 April, 2018

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