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

Immigration arrivals

New Zealand First’s values

It does not happen too often that politicians do what I want them to do. It is even stranger when this almost makes me change my mind. New Zealand First’s Respecting New Zealand Values Bill has achieved this remarkable feat. When I received my permanent resident visa three years ago, I wrote an NBR column about the experience. What irritated me at the time were two things. First, that I received it with no sort of welcome letter. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
5 October, 2018
Retirement young

The Frugalist Revolution

It is a sure sign I am getting old. At age 43, I am still working and I do not think it is a problem. If I shared the attitude held by a growing number of much younger people, I would have retired three years ago. Yes, you read that right: Retired. At 40. Like so many other movements, the frugalist movement started in America. Also known as FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early), it has since gained followers worldwide. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
28 September, 2018
Brexit 1

Brexit: an experiment in game theory

The hills were not alive with the sound of music last Thursday. That is when British Prime Minister Theresa May met with the European Union’s 27 other national leaders in the Austrian city of Salzburg.Promoted as an informal summit to allow the two Brexit sides to overcome their schisms, the summit only reinforced them. But maybe that was the whole point.The longer the Brexit negotiations drama goes on, the more observers might wonder what kind of game is being played here. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
25 September, 2018

Dissecting the 21st century’s Great Untruths

It had to take an evolutionary psychologist and a lawyer to dissect (some of) the craziness of modern society and polity. Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff’s new book The Coddling of the American Mind is required reading for anyone wishing to understand 21st century politics, not just in the US but globally. At first sight, the book is about good intentions, bad parenting, and the education system. It shows how young people are being damaged by an emotional ‘safety first’ culture. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
14 September, 2018
EU Parliament

The EU’s reverse Annie Hall problem

In his latest 'Spotlight on Europe' column for Newsroom, Dr Oliver Hartwich explains just how undemocratic the European Union is, while at the same time it keeps trying to tell its members to be democratic.“I’d never join a club that would accept me as a member,” says Woody Allen’s character in Annie Hall. With the European Union, it is the other way around: The EU would reject new members as anti-democratic as itself.Nowhere is the EU’s democratic deficit more visible... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
11 September, 2018
Australia brick

Still the lucky country

“Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second rate people who share its luck.” This is how the late Donald Horne once described the West Island in The Lucky Country (1964). Half a century later, Horne’s double characterisation of the country and its political leadership applies more than ever. If proof was needed, it was provided by the overthrow of a sitting Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull by his own party last week. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
31 August, 2018
Political drama

Why the Old Continent still matters

The New Zealand Initiative's CEO Dr Oliver Hartwich introduces his fortnightly 'Spotlight on Europe' column for Newsroom Pro this week. He describes himself as both a Europhile and an EU sceptic, and explains why New Zealanders should care about the continent where the modern world is crumbling.I was delighted when Newsroom offered me this new fortnightly column. From 2010 to 2016, I contributed a weekly Europe column to an Australian business magazine. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
29 August, 2018

Bridges’ right to travel

At the risk of making myself unpopular, I have absolutely no problem with Simon Bridges’ expenses bill. Except that it was leaked and that some other politicians are trying to turn it into a scandal. The opposition leader spent too much money on travel, mainly on Crown cars. But that is just another way of saying he was doing his job. Over the past months, Bridges did what we would expect new opposition leaders to do. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
17 August, 2018

Is it 2008 again?

Many of us will remember those gloomy days in late 2008 when the Global Financial Crisis peaked. Stock markets around the world crashed, Lehman Brothers collapsed, and the world’s financial system was on its knees. This was the last time that New Zealand business confidence was as low as it is again today. This week, ANZ released its latest Business Outlook Survey. It revealed that “a net 45 percent of respondents reporting they expect general business conditions to deteriorate in... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
3 August, 2018
Project Localism launch

Project Localism

For six years, the Initiative has been arguing the case for localism. Pointing out that New Zealand is one of the most centralised countries in the world, we have called for a radical shift of political and fiscal power from the centre to communities. When we started our campaign for localism, it was a fringe idea. At best, people thought it was unrealistic. At worst, they thought we were crazy to propose giving more power and money to councils. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
20 July, 2018

On the path to localism

This week saw the beginning of not one but two separate studies into local government.Speaking at Local Government New Zealand’s annual conference in Christchurch, Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced a Productivity Commission inquiry into local government funding and finance. At the same conference, LGNZ and my own organisation, The New Zealand Initiative, launched ‘Project Localism’ which proposes a radical recalibration of power between central and local government.Perhaps it was just coincidental that both these studies were announced within minutes of... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
The National Business Review
20 July, 2018
USA flag

Oliver Hartwich about how Trump shocks European allies

Donald Trump's performance at the NATO summit has raised more questions than answers.Oliver Hartwich tells Andrew West on ABC Radio there's increasing uncertainty about the future of the trans-Atlantic alliance and other international agreements after the American president chastised Germany and other members countries. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Saturday Extra - ABC Radio National (Australia)
14 July, 2018

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