Explore reports, public information sheets and briefings produced by the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor. The publications are divided into three types: reports, public information sheets, and briefings. Publications are listed from newest to oldest within each section.
Publications produced by interns, fellows and seconded scholars affiliated with the Office can be found on our internships page
Publications from the former PMCSA can be found on our archives page
The future of commercial fishing in Aotearoa New Zealand
22 March 2021
This report aims to identify ways we can fill knowledge gaps, increase our understanding of the marine environment, and ultimately take a more holistic approach to fisheries management.
Download the references and appendices (PDF, 3MB)
Download the ‘Key messages’ short report (PDF, 5MB)
The literacy landscape in Aotearoa New Zealand
7 August 2020
Authored by Professor Stuart McNaughton, Chief Education Scientific Advisor, this report outlines possible actions across primary and secondary schooling to improve literacy.
Read the ‘At a glance’ summary (PDF, 266KB)
Mahi Tahi 2 – Annual report 2020
From our first detailed report on plastics to rapid advice during the COVID-19 pandemic, see what Juliet and the team have been busy working on for the last year.
Download Mahi Tahi 2 (PDF, 22MB)
Prepared under urgency
Can SARS-CoV-2 survive in refrigerated environments – and for how long? – 20 October 2020
A short document on the highly uncertain evidence base for the possibility of SASR-CoV-2 transmission via the cold supply chain. This document was updated on 20 October 2020 with new information.
Rapid review: The role of genomics – 21 September 2020
A commissioned rapid review on the role of COVID-19 genomics in contact tracing, cluster analysis and viral evolution. Produced under urgency by lead author Professor Michael Bunce, Chief Scientist at the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) – Te Mana Rauhī Taiao.
COVID-19 vaccines – 7 September 2020
A summary of COVID-19 vaccine development efforts including the different approaches, potential challenges, and the current frontrunners.
Masks prevent the spread of COVID-19 – 13 August 2020
A short document on the evidence base for mask wearing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 plus explanation of the different types of masks.
Download ‘Masks prevent the spread of COVID-19’ (PDF, 202KB)
COVID-19 and vitamin D – 2 June 2020
Produced by Cherie Tollmache, one of our MacDiarmid interns, this report summarises the evidence for a link between vitamin D status and COVID-19 severity.
Download the ‘COVID-19 and vitamin D’ report (PDF, 867KB)
Is SARS-CoV-2 airborne? – 14 May 2020
This short summary describes research investigating whether an airborne transmission route is possible for SARS-CoV-2 and what role this might play in the progression of the pandemic.
Download the report ‘Is SARS-CoV-2 airborne?’ (PDF, 191KB)
Serology testing for COVID-19 antibodies – 29 April 2020
Focusing specifically on antibody testing, this review builds on the paper below led by Professor Michael Bunce, Chief Scientist at the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) – Te Mana Rauhī Taiao.
Testing for COVID-19 – 30 March 2020
A commissioned review on COVID-19 testing methods, produced under urgency by lead author Professor Michael Bunce, Chief Scientist at the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) – Te Mana Rauhī Taiao.
Download the report ‘Testing for COVID-19’ (PDF, 880KB)
Download the appendices for the report (PDF, 2.41MB)
Brain, behaviour and justice
29 January 2020
What were they thinking? A discussion paper on brain and behaviour in relation to the justice system in New Zealand is the fourth in a series of reports.
8 December 2019
Our first major report outlines a vision for rethinking plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Download the full ‘Rethinking plastics’ report (PDF, 27MB)
Download the key messages (PDF, 8MB)
Download the ‘At a glance’ summary (PDF, 2MB)
Mahi Tahi 1 – Annual report 2019
See what Juliet and the team got up to in the first year.
Download Mahi Tahi 1 (PDF, 2MB)
Family violence in New Zealand
‘Every 4 Minutes: A discussion paper on preventing family violence in New Zealand’ is the third in a series of reports related to the criminal justice system.
Download the ‘Every 4 Minutes’ report (PDF, 2MB)
Legalising cannabis: What does the evidence say?
To help people decide how they will vote in the upcoming referendum, we have summarised what we know about the possible impacts of legalising cannabis.
Download the ‘at a glance’ summary (PDF, 172KB)
Myrtle Rust arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2017 and is a threat to a number of native plant species. We’ve pulled together some accessible summary information on myrtle rust in the New Zealand context.
Download the myrtle rust explainer (PDF, 2MB)
5G in Aotearoa New Zealand
29 November 2019
As 5G begins its roll out in Aotearoa New Zealand, lots of people are asking what exactly 5G is and what it will mean for our country, our health, and our way of living. There are many legitimate questions to ask around the safety of any new technology, and there is also a lot of misinformation around 5G. To address this, we have launched a webpage providing information on 5G.
Download the 5G information sheet (PDF, 968KB)
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an imminent threat to Aotearoa New Zealand.
Advisory information provided to the Prime Minister as part of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Download the June/July/August advice bundle (PDF, 4MB)
Download the May advice bundle (PDF, 693KB)
Download the April advice bundle (PDF, 6MB)
Read the March advice bundle (PDF, 611KB)
At the frontline: Thoughts from Professor Ian Lambie
22 April 2020
A summary of Professor Ian Lambie’s conversations with the frontline in South Auckland during the COVID-19 pandemic. This snapshot document was put together under urgency and is not a formal evidence synthesis. Professor Ian Lambie is the Chief Science Advisor for the justice sector.
Download the brief ‘At the frontline’ (PDF, 1MB)
31 May 2019
This briefing was provided to the PM by way of a summary of the Rapid Response Issue (RRI) of the New Zealand Psychology Journal dedicated to reflections on the immediate aftermath of the Christchurch shooting. The briefing was prepared at pace by Juliet Gerrard (PMCSA), Marc Wilson (Journal Editor), Ian Lambie (Chief Science Advisor for Justice) and Stuart McNaughton (Chief Science Advisor for Education).
Download the briefing (PDF, 376KB)
Science and the development of NZ standards
8 May 2019
The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs asked the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor to work jointly with the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) on how science is currently treated in the New Zealand standards setting process, and how this can be improved.