Final Oliver Hartwich

Dr Oliver Hartwich

Executive Director

Oliver is the Executive Director of The New Zealand Initiative. Before joining the Initiative, he was a Research Fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney, the Chief Economist at Policy Exchange in London, and an advisor in the UK House of Lords. Oliver holds a Master’s degree in Economics and Business administration and a PhD in Law from Bochum University in Germany.

Oliver is available to comment on all of the Initiative’s research areas.

Latest reports:
Submission: Future of Tax (2018)
Submission: Overseas Investment Amendment Bill (2018)
Go Swiss: Learnings from The New Zealand Initiative's visit to Switzerland (2017)
Manifesto 2017: What the next New Zealand Government should do (2017)
Why Europe Failed (2015)

Phone: +64 4 499 0790


Recent Work


Time to un-Grinch

Wellington is starting to empty, the morning commute is getting shorter, and the capital is finally feeling like summer – all signs that Christmas is not far away. And so it is the time of the year to thank you, our readers, for your interest in the Initiative’s work. From a policy perspective, New Zealand’s 2018 was not quite as eventful as most observers predicted. The (now no longer) new Government established so many inquiries and working groups that we... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
21 December, 2018
Classroom student3

Centralism attacks Tomorrow’s Schools

Few countries centralise government power as much as New Zealand. In most areas of public life, Wellington calls the shots, makes the rules, and holds the purse strings. Yet, at least in one area of public policy, New Zealand is much devolved: education. Since the rollout of Tomorrow’s Schools in 1989, our schools have enjoyed relative autonomy and self-governance. That may end if the Government implements recommendations from the Tomorrow's Schools Review taskforce. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
14 December, 2018
Time age

The final frontier of self-determination

Life is unfair, especially as you get older. That is what Dutchman Emile Ratelband must have thought when the court of Arnhem rejected his request to lower his age by 20 years.Arguing that being 69 was a disadvantage on online dating site Tinder, he wanted to reduce his official age to his ‘felt’ age.To no avail. The judge ruled that the grey-haired TV personality, motivational coach and former politician could feel as old as he likes. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
7 December, 2018
EU Parliament2

Europe’s defence shambles

When the leaders of the G20 met in Buenos Aires on Friday, one of them arrived unfashionably late. German Chancellor Angela Merkel missed the first day of the conference and only just made it to the opening dinner. That was because her Luftwaffe (air force) jet encountered severe technical problems shortly after take-off from Berlin. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
4 December, 2018
House sale3

Having and eating your housing cake

If house prices go up, it is a scandal. If house prices go down, it is a disaster. That must be the logic by which the media reports on the ups and downs of the property market. After years of covering the housing crisis, in which rising prices locked a generation of young Kiwis out of the market, the media have just discovered an equal and opposite crisis. This time it is caused by the threat of falling house prices. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
30 November, 2018
Housing money2

Financial innovation beats Kiwibuild

The Government has copped much criticism lately for its Kiwibuild policy, including from our chair Roger Partridge writing in Insights two weeks ago. So it is only fair to praise Housing Minister Phil Twyford when he deserves it. This week’s announcement of a new government infrastructure partnership north of Auckland is indeed praiseworthy. Crown Infrastructure Partners, Fulton Hogan, and Auckland Council have teamed up to deliver $91 million worth of new residential infrastructure at Wainui. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
16 November, 2018
Trump 1

Towards Trump 2020

Few outcomes of the US midterm elections could have been predicted with certainty. Except that President Trump would call the result a “tremendous success” no matter what. And he did just that. If losing control of the House of Representatives is such a tremendous success, one might wonder what keeping it would have been. Semantics aside, the President has a point. From his perspective, it could have been a lot worse. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
9 November, 2018

Tricks and treats

Today is 2 November, and for conservative Christians among us that means All Souls. For the rest, it is just day two after Halloween. Halloween is a strange feast in our calendar. Nobody knows what is celebrated and why. But that, I would argue, makes it the perfect candidate for New Zealand’s next public holiday. We need more nonsensical feasts to guide us through the year. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
2 November, 2018

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