Final Roger Partridge2

Roger Partridge

Senior Fellow & Chairman

Roger Partridge is chairman and a co-founder of The New Zealand Initiative and is a senior member of its research team. He led law firm Bell Gully as executive chairman from 2007 to 2014, after 16 years as a commercial litigation partner. Roger was executive director of the Legal Research Foundation, a charitable foundation associated with the University of Auckland, from 2001 to 2009, and was a member of the Council of the New Zealand Law Society, the governing body of the legal profession in New Zealand, from 2011 to 2015. He is a chartered member of the Institute of Directors, a member of the University of Auckland Business School advisory board, a member of the editorial board of the New Zealand Law Review and a member of the Mont Pelerin Society.

Latest reports:
Submission: The Review of the Capital Adequacy Framework for locally incorporated banks: How much capital is enough? (2019)
Submission: Phase 2 of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act Review (2019)
Who Guards the Guards? Regulatory Governance in New Zealand (2018)
Submission: Education Amendment Bill (2018)
Submission: Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Bill
Submission: Employment Relations (Allowing Higher Earners to Contract Out of Personal Grievance Provisions) Amendment Bill  (2017)

Phone: +64 4 499 0790


Recent Work

America Flag

The end game of identity politics

The American mid-term elections were brutal. Indeed, no liberal democracy may have ever witnessed an electoral campaign so characterised by lies, racism and hate. Just how did America become so divided? When it comes to the blame game, globalisation is a fashionable culprit. The deindustrialisation of middle America, as US jobs were exported to Asia, caused unemployment and poverty among America’s working classes. The resulting economic stagnation provided the perfect incubator for Trump’s jingoism and patriotic nationalism. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
16 November, 2018

KiwiBuild lottery will not restore the great Kiwi dream

Auckland’s first KiwiBuild winners could hardly keep the smiles off their faces. And who could blame them? Yet there is a flaw at the heart of Housing Minister Phil Twyford’s KiwiBuild policy. At around seven times Auckland’s median household incomes, no one can seriously argue that a house costing $650,000 is affordable. On internationally recognised measures, KiwiBuild houses would need to be sold at a 50% discount to meet the affordability tag. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
2 November, 2018
Greenhouse emissions

On virtue signalling and virtue

It would take a humbug not to feel proud seeing our Prime Minister on the world stage last week. Coinciding with the 125th anniversary of New Zealand becoming the first country in the world to grant women the vote, her appearance was a profound affirmation of New Zealand’s openness, diversity and inclusiveness. And in contrast to the political bombast that dominates world news, hearing Jacinda Ardern espouse humanist values like fairness and kindness – along with strength – to describe... Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
5 October, 2018
Classroom Chairs2

NCEA Review – Big Opportunities or Big Mistake?

As every law student learns, a rescuer owes a duty of care to a victim not to worsen the victim’s plight. The same principle applies in medical ethics. A doctor’s first duty is to do no harm. Based on the submissions on the government’s NCEA review, this duty is something Education Minister Chris Hipkins would do well to heed. The review aims to rescue our failing NCEA assessment framework. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
21 September, 2018
Reserve Bank of NZ

Our one-eyed Reserve Bank

In Greek mythology, the Cyclops were a race of giants, each with great power yet with only a single eye. According to legend, the Cyclops traded their second eye for the gift of prophecy. As we know from Homer’s Odyssey, the Cyclops’ bargain was both a strength and a weakness: powers of foresight are of no use if you cannot see the present out of your one, good eye. Read more

Roger Partridge
31 August, 2018

The other French revolution

Last month France celebrated the storming of the Bastille, an assault that became a flashpoint for the French Revolution. As a fortress and prison, the Bastille was emblematic of the French monarchy. Its fall triggered the events that would lead to the formation of the First French Republic. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
10 August, 2018
France postcard

A postcard from France

While New Zealand is in political Neverland, I am taking refuge in rural France. Just an hour north of the vineyards of Bordeaux, it is no great hardship. Yet it provides a perfect opportunity to compare Kiwi and Gallic approaches to some common challenges. And I am not talking about on the vineyard or the rugby field but in public policy. With our government’s proposals for European-style fair pay agreements, there is no better place to start than labour law. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
6 July, 2018
Snake oil

21st century snake oil

After 11 years as a cowboy in America’s wild west, Clark Stanley claimed to have created a medical cure-all from secrets learned from a Hopi medicine man.He began marketing his Snake Oil Liniment in the early 1900s. Then, following the passage of the Food and Drug Act in 1916, Stanley’s concoction was examined and found to be of no medicinal value.Stanley was fined and banned from selling it. Read more

Roger Partridge
The National Business Review
9 June, 2018

The magic of markets (and why fair pay awards aren't needed)

Is it possible to have too both too much and too little of something at the same time? This may sound like a problem posed by quantum physics but the question arises with something much more prosaic: bus drivers.Driver shortages have been a trending topic in the national media in recent weeks. There have even been stories about the bosses getting behind the wheel to help out. Read more

Roger Partridge
The National Business Review
25 May, 2018
Baked beans

Baked bean market 'broken' (or at least half-baked)

“Local competition” is among factors cited by dairy owners for wildly varying prices for every-day grocery items like baked beans.The issue came to light in a leaked email from a dairy-owner in the lower North Island to her partner. Instead of reducing prices in response to dwindling sales of baked beans, the email proposed to increase prices across the dairy’s entire range to recoup lost sales margin. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
11 May, 2018
school books

Freedom to teach and freedom of speech

Tracey Martin wants to regulate the meaning of a commonly used word. It is a breath-taking ambition, even for a politician. The Associate Education Minister’s target is the word ‘teacher’. She thinks it would improve the status of the profession if Parliament restricts use of the term to registered teachers. And her private members’ Bill (technically now sponsored by her NZ First colleague, Jenny Marcroft) aims to do just that. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
27 April, 2018

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