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

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
Feet in bed

In bed with [redacted]

Every Friday, regular Insights readers undoubtedly look forward to the Initiative’s take on public policy and current events. This week, however, I want to share something a bit personal. You see, I’ve been in a relationship for about as long as I can remember. But lately I’ve been feeling uncomfortable. And I think it’s time I started talking about it. At first, the warning signs were small. I’d try phoning [redacted] but they weren’t returning my calls. Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Insights Newsletter
13 April, 2018
blue piggy on the grass 1

Governments should explore their own behavioural biases towards retirement savings

There is no shortage of opinion pieces or expert commentary making the case that Kiwis are financially illiterate. Apparently we’re not good with savings, we don’t plan for the future, and we do not take even simple actions (like switching out of our default KiwiSaver funds) to optimise our future financial security.But are individuals wholly to blame?The message that individuals will need to take greater personal responsibility for the retirement savings is not a breaking news story. Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Interest.co.nz
19 March, 2018
soda

Diary of a public health expert

Week 1- After years of campaigning, I knew it was only a matter of time before our government ramped up its efforts tackling child obesity. Like my counterparts in Chile, I will be offering the government my technical expertise to crack down on junk food advertising to children. My Chilean colleagues have already told me what to expect. Their weekly meetings grapple with very complex matters, deciding what counts as advertising to children. Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Insights Newsletter
16 February, 2018
soda

"Still no grounds for introducing sugar tax in New Zealand"

The call for a sugar tax has been strengthened by a new study of New Zealand's soft drinks which shows they contain more sugar than in other countries. Responding to renewed calls for a sugar tax, Jenesa Jeram discusses on Newstalk ZB there are still no grounds for introducing such a tax in New Zealand. Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Larry Williams Drive - Newstalk ZB
16 January, 2018
Pensioner drinking

The death of NZ’s drinking culture

New Zealand’s drinking culture might be dying. Many signs are pointing that way. Youth hazardous drinking rates are down. National health spokesman Jonathan Coleman condemns binge-drinking events like Crate Day as a “throwback” to a past New Zealand should leave behind. And despite perfect beer drinking conditions across the country, New Zealanders seem to have confirmed this sentiment. The notorious annual binge drinking event, Crate Day, came and went without much drama. Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Insights Newsletter
8 December, 2017
apple on book1

Libertarian experimentation

Why did the libertarian chicken cross the road?None of your business! Am I being detained?With jokes like these, it really is a mystery why libertarians do not have more friends.Indeed, a recent Washington Post article even included ‘befriend a libertarian’ in a compilation of ideas on how to fix American democracy.Sure, that piece was written by a libertarian. But in an age of deep political divisions in the United States, and creeping talk of anti-immigrant sentiment on home soil, maybe... Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Insights Newsletter
3 November, 2017
Vote tick

Twas the night before the election

‘Twas the night before the electionWhen all through the think tankNot a creature was stirringBecause frankly, all we can do now is sit and wait. While the outcome of the election remains anyone’s guess, one thing is certain. We need to know how to measure the new government’s success. If elections are the public’s opportunity to give the government a performance review, then new governments could do with a clear set of goals or KPI’s. Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Insights Newsletter
22 September, 2017

Stay in the loop: Subscribe to updates