Insights newsletter

If you believe political pundits, New Zealand will go to the polls in late 2017. It could well be an election fought on personalities rather than on substance. It could...
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There is no poverty in New Zealand. Child poverty is a major problem. The government is not doing enough. The government’s approach is radical. All of these statements could be...
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“Education is the key, the key to what, which house, which doorway?” were the words neatly inscribed on a visibly stressed cue card as I trembled in front of my...
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From Sunday, my colleague Jason Krupp and I will be attending the annual Local Government New Zealand conference. It is LGNZ’s flagship event of the year, bringing together 600 delegates...
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This week we released a research report, A Matter of Balance: Regulating Safety. It looked into the costs and benefits of Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment's (MBIE) campaign to reduce workplace...
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Australia National University’s Dr George Barker suggested this week that New Zealand could do well by strengthening its copyright legislation. He warned against the fair dealing exceptions that have crept...
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No wonder Winston Churchill once won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He had a wonderful way of summing up political affairs, such as this famous quote: “You can always count...
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On 1 July, smoking in prisons was banned in the Australian state of Victoria, following New Zealand’s lead. But is stripping prisoners of their smokes a benefit to society? Before...
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The Kapiti News reported on 17 June 2015 that lower water consumption following the advent of water metering "now means a pricing increase to recover the costs" of piped water...
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Everybody knows that inequality has been rising in New Zealand since the reforms of the 1980s. We know this because the media and politicians tell us so. The last few...
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National’s latest social housing announcements have left a lot of low-hanging fruit for critics. There is enough ambiguity for the Opposition to set the expectations of what good evidence-based reform...
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Philosopher George Santayana’s quote about those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it is somewhat of cliché, but only because it is damned applicable. But if there is one...
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Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ has been both praised and criticised for its focus on the environment. That is indeed what a large chunk of this circular letter sent to...
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Chris Berg last week made a compelling case against the tyranny of experts. In large part, I sympathise with him. Far too many bureaucrats and academics like to imagine that...
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The postman used to ring at least five days a week. As of the first of July however, New Zealand Post will restrict deliveries to every second day. But the...
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We are living through what has been described as a “crisis” of democracy. In Australia, poll after poll reveals deep dissatisfaction with the way democratic politics operate. Cynicism about politics...
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This week the Productivity Commission released its draft report on land supply in New Zealand’s biggest cities, showing how various regulatory and planning constraints have choked it to a trickle....
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As anyone with a marketing background will tell you, humans are simple creatures. We have an appetite for the new. Old ideas must be repackaged in innovative and shiny ways,...
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This week, the OECD released its economic survey of New Zealand. Its 149 pages provide a comprehensive overview of the New Zealand economy, its strengths and weaknesses. The tone of...
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The death of Lecretia Seales and Justice David Collins’ ruling that it is Parliament’s job to decide on the right to death has again breathed life into the controversial topic...
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