Delivering independent and expert economic insight to the hard problems facing corporates, government and Māori.

Cognitus offers specialist and independent expertise and experience in the economics of regulation, competition, governance, environmental policy and Treaty settlements.

Whether you need expert evidence, advice, analysis, research, representation or training, Cognitus offers clear, original and independent thinking, tailored to your needs.

 

Cognitus' thinking reflects the latest international economic research and debates. It also contributes to them.

Principal Economist, Dr Richard Meade

cognitus • adj. 1 known (from experience), tried/proved. 2 noted, acknowledged/recognised. (Oxford Latin Dictionary)

  • Dr Meade's covid loans proposal suggested as possible pandemic support measure for the UK, as part of interview he gave to former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond on the economics of long covid, for RT UK's Alex Salmond Show. (Interview Link, Covid Loans Summary, Covid Loans Detail)

  • Waitangi Tribunal releases landmark report making binding recommendations against the Crown in favour of Māori claimants seeking return of Mangatū Crown forest land, awarding maximum possible statutory compensation in addition to ordering land return. Dr Meade provided independent expert evidence on historical losses, required economic base, and available statutory compensation for the largest successful claimant group, Te Aitanga a Māhaki and Mangatū Incorporation. (Tribunal Report)

  • Renewed call made for urgent introduction of covid economic support measure of the sort proposed by Dr Meade, to avoid collapse of people-facing Auckland CBD businesses due to repeated lockdowns. (RNZ National Audio)

  • Dr Meade interviewed by Kate Hawkesby of Newstalk ZB on his covid loans proposal. (Summary and Audio)

  • Dr Meade participates on panel discussion at the Electric Power Optimization Centre (EPOC) 2021 winter workshop, focusing on the pros and cons of separating New Zealand's vertically integrated electricity companies.

  • Dr Meade presents to the Department of Internal Affairs, and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, on the optimal regulation of non-profit, publicly-owned water infrastructure utilities, as proposed for New Zealand's 3 Waters reforms. (Slides)

  • Dr Meade presents to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on repositioning electricity sector regulation to maximise consumer benefits from disruptive new technologies, business models and players. (Slides)

  • Dr Meade publishes op-ed in National Business Review questioning whether the Commerce Commission is being required to use the right test in market studies: Supermarkets study highlights need for workable regulation. (Article Link)

  • Dr Meade presents his research on estimating the cultural value of kapa haka (the Māori performing arts) using travel cost models, to the Government Economics Network, Wellington. (Slides)

  • Dr Meade publishes article in The Conversation on why long Covid costs should be accounted for when easing pandemic restrictions. (Article Link)

  • Dr Meade presents his proposed pandemic economic support measures ("Covid loans") to UK all-party parliamentary group. (Slides)

  • Dr Meade appointed President of the Law & Economics Association of New Zealand (LEANZ).

  • Dr Meade presents his research on estimating the cultural value of kapa haka using non-market valuation techniques, at 2021 annual conference of the New Zealand Association of Economists. (Slides)

  • Dr Meade completes revisions to applied research that uses oligopoly theory to estimate the impacts of 19th century land tenure institutions on Māori tribes. (Download)

  • Cognitus completes discussion document for Ministry for the Environment on the role of Māori in the transition to a low-emissions economy.

  • Dr Meade publishes revised version of research paper analysing bank sector competition: Competition between Customer- and Investor-Owned Banks with Differentiated Deposit Supply and Loan Demand. (Download)

  • Dr Meade publishes We need to prepare our economy for Covid 2.0 in the NZ Herald, on the urgency to prepare economic support measures before they are next needed due to a pandemic. (Article)

  • Dr Meade co-authors discussion document with Peter Rice, for Te Taumata, on identifying Māori interests in the UK-NZ free-trade agreement - first presented at Māori trade hui in Kerikeri, and now released. (Full Report, Hui details)

  • Cognitus publishes report commissioned by Northern Energy Group on role of customer-owned electricity distribution businesses in accelerating uptake of distributed energy resources like solar panels (PV), batteries and electric vehicles (EVs). (Download)

  • Cognitus acting for peak Māori body on Resource Management Act reforms, and Māori rights and interests in freshwater.

  • Dr Meade in dialogue with European Commission officials on his proposed "covid loans" as a pandemic economic support measure that is more cost-effective and equitable than wage subsidies. (Summary of Proposal in The Conversation)

  • Dr Meade gives webinar, on behalf of Auckland University of Technology, to representatives of Indonesian government agency responsible for assessment and application of technology, on Factors and Policies Affecting Electric Vehicle Uptake.

  • Dr Meade publishes a research study on the cultural value of kapa haka: Exploring the Cultural Value of Kapa Haka – the Māori Performing Arts – using a Binomial Logit and Other Travel Cost Models. (Download)

  • Cognitus completes an expert report for the New Zealand Commerce Commission on Section 36 matters under the Commerce Act.

  • Cognitus commissioned by Te Taumata to co-author (with Peter Rice) a discussion document to help identify Māori interests in NZ-UK FTA negotiations.

  • Dr Meade attends Parliament for introduction of legislation to settle historical Treaty claims of Moriori. Cognitus assisted Hokotehi Moriori Trust with its settlement negotiations.

  • Dr Meade has op-ed published in The Conversation discussing his proposed "COVID loans": "Would 'COVID loans' be a more affordable and sustainable way to support national economies?" (Article Link)

  • Policy paper setting out Dr Meade's proposal for Covid-19 economic response measures that are cheaper, more comprehensive and more equitable than debt-funded wage subsidies published in peer-reviewed academic economics journal, New Zealand Economic Papers. (Version of Record, Accepted Manuscript)

  • Dr Meade completes a study for Auckland University's Māori Centre of Research Excellence (Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga) using travel cost model techniques to estimate the cultural value of kapa haka, the Māori performing arts.

  • Dedicated section added to Cognitus website's publications page listing Dr Meade's covid-related contributions and outputs. (Link)

  • Dr Meade publishes working paper entitled Vaccinating the Economy Against Covid-19: Ex Post Revenue Insurance for Firms and Households to Sustain Economic Confidence and Aggregate Demand. (Download)

  • Dr Meade delivers guest lecture on data-based disruption in electricity sectors to power system engineering students at Auckland University of Technology. (Slides)

  • Cognitus presents to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Repositioning Electricity Regulation in Anticipation of Data-Based Disruption. (Slides)

  • Dr Meade gives expert evidence before Environment Court, assessing economic, social and cultural costs and benefits of reallocating nitrogen discharge allowances in Lake Rotorua catchment under Bay of Plenty Regional Council's Rule PC10.

  • Nobel Laureate, Professor Jean Tirole of Toulouse School of Economics, gives public webinar on "Digital Dystopia" at University of Auckland Business School (event link, video). Dr Meade participated on invited panel of discussants.

  • Dr Meade presents at New Zealand Electricity Authority on data-based disruption in electricity sectors; rebalancing electricity sector regulatory architecture in response to new technologies, business models and players; and pros and cons of disruptive technologies being owned by different industry or non-industry parties. (Slides)

  • Dr Meade presents on the economics of reparations at University of Auckland webinar. (Slides)

  • Dr Meade provides commentary for Consumer NZ article on market power in New Zealand supermarket industry. (Article link)

  • Data-based disruption of electricity sectors - as predicted by Cognitus - may be about to emerge, following groundbreaking tie-up between Vector Limited and Amazon Web Services for development of New Energy Platform. (Vector announcement, Cognitus Slides, Cognitus Report).

  • Cognitus argues that effective financial support measures for both households and firms are urgently needed to limit the transmission of COVID19 and its economic impacts. (Download)

  • Dr Meade presents his proposal for limiting COVID's economic harm using "student loans" for businesses and households, to independent and non-partisan Australian public policy think tank, Grattan Institute. (Slides)

  • Cognitus advises R&D joint venture with complex cross-ownership arrangements on options for commercialising its intellectual property.

  • Dr Meade presents his proposal for limiting COVID's economic harm using "student loans" for businesses and households to Auckland Rotary, addressing implementation issues. (Slides)

  • Dr Meade has Research Fellowship renewed with Auckland University of Technology School of Economics. Now has fellowships in both economics, and social sciences and public policy.

  • Dr Meade co-presents with Andreas Heuser of Castalia and Dr Eric Crampton of the New Zealand Initiative in LEANZ Webinar: Limiting COVID's Economic Fallout. (Slides, Video, commentaries by Arthur Grimes, Michael Reddell)

  • Cognitus prepares Environment Court evidence for a coalition comprising Bay of Plenty iwi and Rotorua Lakes Council on the economic consequences of those iwi receiving a free allocation of nitrogen discharge allowances in the Lake Rotorua catchment.

  • Cognitus calls for urgent formation of independent and non-partisan panel of "wise economic heads" to assist government in charting a course through the COVID-19 economic crisis. (Download)

  • Dr Meade interviewed by Kathryn Ryan on RNZ National Nine to Noon programme to discuss his "student loans" scheme proposal to help both businesses and households through COVID19 economic disruptions. (Audio Link)

  • Cognitus critically appraises government's latest business support package. Continues to call for generalised low cost loans scheme for both businesses and households, repaid by higher tax rates for borrowers (like student loans scheme). (Download)

  • Cognitus contributes to urgent global policy debates about minimising the economic impacts of COVID19 lockdowns, publishing Keeping the Economy Going in COVID19 Lockdown – A Proposal for "Low Cost" Generalised Insurance of Business and Household Incomes. (Download)

 

  • Waitangi Tribunal releases landmark preliminary determinations for Maraetai power station and Ngāumu forest land assets and statutory compensation - worth up to $1.2 billion - to be transferred to Wairarapa iwi to settle historical claims under the Treaty of Waitangi (Tribunal Determinations, WMI Announcement, WMI Press Release):

  • Expert economic evidence and testimony on historical losses and required economic base provided to claimants - Wairarapa Moana Incorporation and Ngāi Tūmapūhia-ā-Rangi - by Dr Richard Meade of Cognitus Economic Insight. (Link to Cognitus' Māori/Treaty services page)

 

  • Cognitus trading as normal through COVID-19 level 4 lockdown, but suspending physical contact with clients, associates and suppliers in accordance with official requirements. Best wishes to all those clients, associates and suppliers and their families as we work together to keep each other well and weather the storm.

  • Working paper completed by Dr Meade, modelling competition between investor-owned ("stock") and customer-owned ("mutual") banks. (Download)

  • Dr Meade appointed as a Senior Research Fellow at Auckland University of Technology's Social Sciences and Public Policy department, in recognition of his application of economics to social policy questions, notably those relevant to Māori.

  • Research report co-authored by Cognitus and NZIER, on estimating demand for competition analyses, released by MBIE. (Download)

  • Research co-authored by Dr Meade, on New Zealand electricity lines company performance, published in A*-ranked academic journal Energy Economics. (Article link)

  • Dr Meade participates in Closing Panel Discussion: Investigating the Digital Outlook for New Zealand Business, at Advancing Digital & IT Law conference, Auckland.

  • Summary version released of Cognitus' major White Paper on preparing electricity regulation for disruptive technologies, business models and players, focusing on electricity distribution. (Summary Report)

  • Dr Meade presents at Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) on data-based disruption in electricity sectors; rebalancing electricity sector regulatory architecture in response to new technologies, business models and players; and pros and cons of disruptive technologies being owned by different industry or non-industry parties. (Slides)

  • Dr Meade interviewed by Kathryn Ryan on RNZ National's Nine to Noon programme, discussing policy approaches for influencing uptake of battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. (Audio link).

  • Dr Meade presents paper on modelling differentiated competition between mutual and investor-owned banks at New Zealand Microeconomics Study Group meeting, University of Auckland. (Slides)

  • Dr Meade presents on economic applications to School of Social Sciences, Auckland University of Technology.

  • Dr Meade presents paper on measuring prosumer welfare, and participates on panel discussion of issues facing the New Zealand electricity market, at the Electric Power Optimization Centre's 18th winter workshop, at University of Auckland. (Workshop website)

  • Dr Meade gives interview to newsroom.co.nz for comment ahead of Commerce Commission's release of its draft fuel market study. (Article link)

  • Dr Meade gives presentation to the Commerce Commission on data-based disruption in electricity sectors; rebalancing electricity sector regulatory architecture in response to new technologies, business models and players; and pros and cons of disruptive technologies being owned by different industry or non-industry parties. (Slides)

  • Deed of settlement for Moriori historical Treaty claims initialled at Parliament. Cognitus advised and represented Hokotehi Moriori Trust in relation to special factors affecting settlement redress amount. (RNZ National link)

  • Dr Meade interviewed by Kathryn Ryan on RNZ National's Nine to Noon programme, discussing digital disruption in the New Zealand electricity sector (Audio link).

  • Dr Meade gives evidence on historical losses and required economic bases, before the Waitangi Tribunal, jointly on behalf of Te Aitanga a Māhaki and Mangatū Incorporation, Ngāi Tūmapūhia-ā-Rangi, and Wairarapa Moana Incorporation.

  • Dr Meade presents paper on modelling electricity prosumer behaviour, at Toulouse School of Economics' Twelfth Conference on the Economics of Energy and Climate, Toulouse, June. (Slides)

  • Dr Meade spends week developing bank sector research with co-author, Dr Mattia Girotti, at Bank of France, Paris, June.

  • Dr Meade gives presentation to Treasury and MBIE on data-based disruption in electricity sectors, efficiently dynamic regulation, and rebalancing electricity sector regulatory architecture in response to new technologies, business models and players. (Slides)

  • Cognitus interviewed by Stuff in relation to changing retail fuel market competition in Wellington and the South Island.

  • Dr Meade presents expert evidence before the Waitangi Tribunal on behalf of Wairarapa Moana Incorporation, in relation to the Incorporation's application to resume the land and improvements comprising the Maraetai power station. (Link to Māori services)

  • Cognitus makes critical submission on Our Schooling Futures: Stronger Together (Whiria Ngā Kura Tūātinitini): Report by the Tomorrow’s Schools Independent Taskforce. (Download)

  • Dr Meade publishes working paper on  how Māori cultural preferences for land affect well-being and relative profitability from land use. (Download)

  • Dr Meade presents on political economy of water reform at New Zealand Initiative's annual Members' Retreat. (Slides)

  • Cognitus makes submission to the ACCC's Digitial Platforms Inquiry, on the economics of privacy in the digital age. (Covering Message, Report)

  • Cognitus publishes major independent White Paper entitled "Preparing Electricity Regulation for Disruptive Technologies, Business Models and Players - In the Long-Term Interests of Consumers". (Download)

  • Dr Meade publishes working paper using micro-economic foundations to show the impact of firm ownership by consumers on consumer preferences. (Download)

  • Cognitus completes brief of evidence for the Waitangi Tribunal on behalf of Wairarapa Moana Incorporation, estimating historical losses from Public Works Act takings in relation to the Maraetai hydro-electric power scheme on the Waikato River, and the Incorporation's required economic base. (Link to Māori services)

  • Dr Meade presents paper on measuring prosumer welfare and estimating residual electricity demand when households can invest in solar panels and related distributed energy resources - at 8th VUW Microeconomics Workshop (Wellington), and 2018 Asia-Pacific Industrial Organisation Society conference (University of Melbourne).

  • Dr Meade teaches invited lecture on economics of ownership at University of Auckland.

  • Dr Meade presents expert evidence before the Waitangi Tribunal on behalf of Ngāi Tūmapūhia-ā-Rangi, evaluating forest-land related statutory compensation and the hapū's required economic base.

  • Dr Meade gives two presentations to the Commerce Commission, on data-based disruption and the economics of privacy, and modelling the prosumer (specifically, households with distributed energy resources like solar panels). (Prosumer Slides, Prosumer Paper)

  • Dr Meade presents expert evidence before the Waitangi Tribunal on behalf of Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Mangatu Incorporation, estimating land-based and non-land historical losses dating as far back as the 19th century.

  • Dr Meade discusses Commerce Commission's impending market studies powers at 29th annual CLPINZ workshop, Chapman Tripp, Wellington.

  • Dr Meade interviewed by Radio Live about competition in New Zealand fuel industry, and discusses related 2017 study co-authored by Cognitus, NZIER and Grant Thornton for MBIE. (MBIE website information, Report download)

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