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:
#localismNZ: Bringing power to the people (2019)
Submission: Future of Tax
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

People crowd

As Kiwi as pavlova

“Few ways are guaranteed to make yourself unpopular in New Zealand: try claiming that pavlova was an Australian invention; hating the All Blacks; or maybe expressing sympathy for local government.” This is the opening paragraph in our new publication #localismNZ: Bringing power to the people. We launched it yesterday at a joint symposium with Local Government New Zealand. However, we may have been too quick to assume that New Zealanders are passionately opposed to local government. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
1 March, 2019

No time is money

As if to squeeze the most out of the short parliamentary term, the Government has been busy with a flurry of initiatives. Such a hurry can be costly. Of all the Government’s decisions, the oil and gas exploration ban was the most surprising. With no prior consultation, it announced the decision in April 2018 to show resolve on climate change. Almost a year later, an NZIER study reveals the staggering costs of this ad hoc decision. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
22 February, 2019
Beehive with flag

Being kind to the Fourth Labour Government

During her tour of Europe last month, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wrote a piece in the Financial Times. As it was published behind the London newspaper’s paywall, most New Zealanders probably missed it (though a copy is available on the Beehive’s website). That is a shame because the opinion piece offers a concise insight into her Government’s philosophy. Commentators such as Michael Reddell and Rodney Hide criticised the Prime Minister’s piece. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
1 February, 2019

"Business groups ignored in fair pay taskforce"

A panel - chaired by the former National Prime Minister Jim Bolger - has made recommendations to the government on how best to set up Fair Pay Agreements that would set minimum terms and conditions for all workers in the same sector or occupation in a bid to stop a slide in pay.The report has yet to be made public, but the National Party has been told some of the recommendations - chiefly that a fair pay negotiation could be... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Radio NZ
25 January, 2019

Ardern and May's post-Brexit trade agreement talks

With Jacinda Ardern meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May to discuss trade agreements, Dr Oliver Hartwich speaks to Newstalk ZB and says this is an important chance to discuss our post-Brexit trading relationship and a good opportunity to remind the Brits that there are other countries who would like to trade with Britain. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Newstalk ZB
21 January, 2019

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

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