Analytic Frameworks

Analytical frameworks help to guide analysis of general concepts towards more detail-oriented analysis. This in turn allows for thoroughness and provides structure to the assessment of new ideas regarding policy issues. The frameworks utilised in this report are that of government failure and comparative institutional framework. The use of multiple frameworks allows for a comprehensive investigation of the results of current government and local council initiatives regarding recycling, and the policy programmes available in other cities within and outside of New Zealand.

Analysis of government failure is an appropriate analytical framework to start with. Based on Michael Mintrom’s steps in analysing government failure, government failure analysis considers problem definition, agenda setting, implementation and the evaluation phases of the policy-making process[1]. In particular it will supplement the research by allowing for the examination of the objectives of local councils and the government in establishing recycling initiatives and view it against the scrutiny of their perverse incentives and unintended consequences.

Comparative institutional analysis is a complementary framework to the analysis of government failure. Again drawing from Mintrom, comparative institutional analysis considers differences in institutional arrangements and evaluates the outcomes of these differences[2]. In regards to the project, this analytical framework will direct analysis to comparatives, as well as alternative solutions to the problems raised by co-mingling of residential recyclable materials. Particular reference will be paid to Christchurch and Australia. Christchurch, like Auckland, is a robust city in New Zealand. However unlike Auckland, Christchurch residential recycling and waste management operates on a three-bin system, where bins are individually allocated for rubbish, organic materials and recycling[3] [4] [5]. This provides a great alternative to compare and evaluate for the super city because an initiative operating successfully in a New Zealand city will be the most applicable for implementation in Auckland. [NN1] In addition, Australia is chosen as a comparative to the New Zealand examples of recycling because of its relative geographic proximity, and cultural and political similarities. Yet while these similarities exist, the Australia national government demonstrates a ‘long history of collaboration on waste policy and action’, something which is amiss from New Zealand approaches[6] [7].

In addition to the utilisation of these analytical frameworks, a website dedicated to this policy project has been created – located at The main purpose of this website is to gain constructive feedback from potential stakeholders. As at finalisation of this project, no comments have been received.

[1] Michael Mintrom, Contemporary Policy Analysis (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 198-201.

[2] Ibid., 215-216.

[3] Sustainable Business Council

[4] Eloise Gibson, “Three bins for every household,” The New Zealand Herald (2010), (accessed May 15, 2012).

[5] Christchurch City Council, “Kerbside wheelie bin collection,” (accessed May 12, 2012).

[6] Australian Government: Department of the Environment, “ National Waste Policy: Fact Sheet,” (accessed May 15, 2012).

[7] Auckland Council, “Rubbish and recycling,” (accessed May 12, 2012).