The New Zealand Initiative holds events throughout the year to promote, debate, disseminate ideas, and connect with our supporters. Our events include public forums, conferences, and debates. We also organise outreach activities with secondary schools, universities, and young professionals.

To sign up to our events list, please click here. If you would like further information about our events, please contact our Events Organiser at or +64 4 499 0790.

Upcoming events

Previous events

Wgtn final debate thumbnail border-792Next Generation Debates Grand-final Wellington  (Video coming soon)
24 August 2016 | City Gallery Wellington
Moot: This house believes New Zealand should accommodate 60,000 refugees per year.
Panellists: Hon Paul Goldsmith, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (National)
Denise Roche MP,
Spokesperson for Immigration, Pacific Peoples, and Ethnic Affairs (Green Party)

Members' lunch with Henry Olsen
16 May 2016 | Auckland

The New Zealand Initiative is delighted to host America’s top election analyst Henry Olsen. Described as “the smartest commentator on American politics and elections out there” (Robert P. George), Henry Olsen will cut through the noise of the US Presidential election campaign. He will share his insights into America’s future – and what New Zealand can expect from the next US President.

Debates banner akld square-65Next Generation Debates Semi-final Auckland (Video coming soon)
15 August 2016 | University of Auckland School of Business
Moot: This house would ban religious symbols in public.
Panellists: Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy and former TV journalist Lindsay Perigo.


Debates banner wgtn square-64Next Generation Debates Semi-final Wellington (Video coming soon)
10 August 2016 | Macs Function Centre, Wellington
Moot: This house would reduce household inequality by banning those with university degrees from marrying each other.
Panellists: Head of Research at The New Zealand Initiative Dr Eric Crampton and Senior Economist at Infometrics Matt Nolan.

14July2016 SJennings crop-337Stephen Jennings Dinner Lecture
15 July 2016 | SkyCity Convention Centre | Auckland | watch speech
The dinner lecture will be a rare opportunity to hear one of New Zealand’s most successful businesspeople on the power of markets and entrepreneurship in emerging economies – and why they are more transformative than either philanthropy or government aid.

Alan Bollard 4May2016 crop-557Members' lunch with Hon Phil Goff and Victoria Crone
20 May 2016


11 May ProfSomin TNZI crop-515Urban Development Authorities and Public Takings for Private Use with Professor Ilya Somin
George Mason University, US

11 May 2016


Alan Bollard 4May2016 crop-203Members' dinner with Dr Alan Bollard
APEC Secretariat

4 May 2016

HealthofState panel 20Apr 100pxThe Health of the State

Wednesday, 20 April 2016 | 5:30 - 8:00 pm | Mac's Function Centre, 4 Taranaki Street, Wellington

The New Zealand Initiative welcomes you to a panel discussion on the rise of ‘lifestyle regulations’. While we may be used to policies that address the negative outcomes of smoking, we now see policies aimed at what you eat and drink too. But will current and proposed policies actually achieve their intended outcomes? And even if they did, at what expense?


RefugeePolicy 5Apr 600px-195Communities of care: How Canada welcomes so many refugees

Tuesday, 5 April 2016 | 5:45 - 8:00 pm | The New Zealand Initiative, L12, 36 Brandon St, Bayleys Building, Wellington | Video coming soon
Dean Barry has worked with the Government of Canada for 14 years, with positions at Industry Canada, Public Safety, the Canada Border Services Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada. He is currently posted to Canberra, Australia as Counsellor – Immigration at the High Commission of Canada. In this assignment, he is responsible for a wide range of reporting and liaison activities that cover a broad range of policy and operational areas, from managed migration to systems modernization to passport policy. He is accredited to the Commonwealth of Australia, New Zealand, Republic of the Fiji Islands, the Kingdom of Tonga, the Republic of Vanuatu and Samoa.

Immigration event 17Feb-589The End of EU-rope?
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 | 5:45 - 8:00 pm | The New Zealand Initiative, L12, 36 Brandon St, Bayleys Building, Wellington | Watch video

The European Union has been in crisis for many years. Simultaneous sovereign debt, banking and monetary crises have tested the European institutions to the limit. But if you thought it could not get worse for Europe, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The continent is grappling with an uncontrolled influx of migrants, Eastern European countries are moving towards authoritarian structures, while the United Kingdom will hold a referendum on exiting the EU. 2016 will change the nature of the European Union – and it might well signify the end of Europe’s process of political and economic integration.

Regulations RDeane 10 Nov 2015 100pxLost in the Regulatory Maze with Sir Roderick Deane
Tuesday, 10 November 2015 | 5:30 - 8:00 pm | The New Zealand Initiative, L12, 36 Brandon St,
Bayleys Building,
Watch video

In today’s economy, regulations are ubiquitous. Successive governments have bequeathed us a legacy of thousands of pages of legislation and regulations which, in theory, every company manager and director should know. Most of these rules were probably even introduced with good intentions. The result, however, is an absolute mess. 

SEZ panel discussion 19oct2015 100pxLSpecial Economic Zones Panel Discussion
Monday, 19 October 2015 | 5:30 - 8:00 pm | Mac's Function Centre, 4 Taranaki Street, Wellington 
Panellists: Chris Bishop MP, Rob Cameron (Cameron Partners), Clare Curran MP, Ron Mark MP
Watch video
Changing national laws can be cumbersome. Finding central government solutions to local problems can be impossible. What if we allowed regions to develop their own answers to their needs? We believe special economic zones are just what we need to promote growth in our cities and regions. But is New Zealand ready for this radical idea?

Debates WGTN 19Aug2015Next Generation Debates Grand-final in Wellington (Victoria vs Auckland)
Wednesday, 19 August 2015 | 5:30 pm | Te Wharewaka Function Centre, 15 Jervois Quay, Wellington Waterfront
Watch video

Moot: "This house believes that high house prices make us poorer as a nation"
Panellists: Phil Twyford, MP, Labour Party Housing Spokesperson and Andrew King, Executive Officer, New Zealand Property Investors Federation

Debates AKLD 12Aug2015 100pxNext Generation Debates Semi-final in Auckland
Wednesday, 12 August 2015 | 5:45 pm  | The University of Auckland Business School, 12 Grafton Road, Owen G Glenn Building, Level 0 Foyer 071
Watch video
Moot: "This house believes that economic growth always comes at the expense of people and the environment."
Panellists: Sir Roger Douglas and Sue Bradford


Debates WGTN 11Aug2015 100pxNext Generation Debates Semi-final in Wellington
Tuesday, 11 August 2015 | 5:30 pm  | Mac's Function Centre, Te Aro room, 4 Taranaki Street
Moot: "This house would legalise euthanasia"
Panellists: Maryan Street (former Labour MP) and Dr Stephen Child of NZMA


Chris Berg 29 30 Jun 2015 FinalChris Berg speaks on Liberty, Equality & Democracy
Monday, 29 June 2015 | 5:30 pm | Wellington
Tuesday, 30 June 2015 | 5:30 pm | Auckland
Watch video
Chris Berg, one of Australia’s most outspoken thinkers and columnists, shares our frustration with the state of democracy.


Numeracy 4 Jun 2015 Final 100pxMinister of Education launches Initiative Report
Thursday, 4 June 2015 | 5:45 pm | Te Wharewaka Function Centre, 15 Jervois Quay, Wellington Waterfront
Initiative Research Fellow Rose Patterson asks: Do New Zealand schools have the balance right between traditional and modern maths teaching methods? Are children in the top-performing East Asian countries topping the charts because they simply rote-learn for tests? And are our primary school teachers confident enough in maths themselves to teach the new methods?


GaryBorn 8May2015 wtgn final 100pxGary Born: Bilateral Arbitration Treaty Regime
Friday, 8 May 2015 | 12:15pm | Victoria University Law Faculty, Salmond Room, GB219, Level Two | Old Government Buildings | 55 Lambton Quay, Wellington 
Gary Born is widely regarded as the world’s pre-eminent authority on international commercial arbitration and international litigation. This is aimed at addressing the adverse consequences that businesses might be facing when they have not agreed on a way to resolve disputes or, when they do, the agreed dispute resolution clause is invalid or wide open to interpretation.


The Case for Growth 500px-884-62The Case for Economic Growth
Thursday, 16 April 2015 | From 5.30 pm | Mac's Function Centre, Wellington
Watch video
Three Members of Parliament will be discussing The New Zealand Initiative’s latest publication on economic growth. Join Chris Bishop, National MP; David Clark, Labour MP; and James Shaw, Green MP.



Resources event 23Mar2015 200px-785Publication release: From Red Tape to Green Gold
Monday, 23 March 2015 | 5.45 pm | The New Zealand Initiative , Wellington
Watch video
Jason Krupp, Research Fellow of The New Zealand Initiative launches his second report From Red Tape to Green Gold which outlines the policy changes needed to boost mining output and bolster environmental protections.


Alan Bollard event 19mar2015 200pxAlan Bollard: NZ Economy In A Changing Asia-Pacific
Thursday, 19 March 2015 | 5.45 pm | EY, Majestic Centre, 100 Willis St, Wellington
Watch video
The papers are full of quantitative easing and exchange rate volatility. But there are much bigger changes underway in the Asia-Pacific economies. Will New Zealand’s role as milkmaid to the region see us through? What does East Asia have in mind for us? There are some serious challenges ahead.

Dr Alan Bollard is the Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat headquartered in Singapore, and has spent the last two years getting on and off planes all around the region. He will give his perspectives of the region and what it might mean.


Initiative at Home BW KA 2014 200px-757Publication release: Guarding the public purse: Faster growth, greater fiscal discipline24 November 2014 | 5.45 pm | The New Zealand Initiative
Guarding the public purse analyses ways in which New Zealand can make its public finances more sustainable. This includes putting more emphasis on productivity growth, promoting competition and strengthening New Zealand’s fiscal rules and institutions.


Fall of the Wall 2014 final 150pxFall of the Wall: The 25th Anniversary
10 November 2014 | Wellington | Deloitte
Watch video
On 9 November 1989, world history was made. The fall of the Berlin Wall ended decades of German division, it brought the Cold War to an end, and it even triggered US political scientist Francis Fukuyama to proclaim "the end of history". A quarter century on, history has long restarted. The Berlin Wall may be long gone but we are living in an era of geopolitics that looks no less fragile and dangerous than those Cold War days.


Initiative at Home EC 2014 150pxInitiative at Home with Dr Eric Crampton: "Non-ductile regulations and embedded fragility"
14 October 2014 | Wellington | The New Zealand Initiative
Watch video

Dr Eric Crampton recently joined the New Zealand Initiative as Head of Research after more than a decade with the Economics Department at the University of Canterbury. He will describe the regulatory and policy failures that exacerbated the costs of the Canterbury earthquakes and outline a research plan to help ensure that, when Wellington is on the receiving end of a natural disaster, our policy settings do not make things even worse.


Grand Final Debates 150pxNext Generation Debates - Grand Final
20 August 2014 |  Wellington | City Gallery
Watch video
The Next Generation Debates is a national university debating tournament designed to encourage young people to think and talk about some of the important public policy issues facing New Zealand. The series is sponsored by the Friedlander Foundation. The grand-final topic in Wellington was War commemorations of past wars are nationalistic exercises in war glorification. University of Auckland vs University of Canterbury.


Semi Final debate13 Aug 150pxNext Generation Debates - Semi-final
13 August 2014 | Wellington | Mac's Function Centre
Watch video
The Next Generation Debates is a national university debating tournament designed to encourage young people to think and talk about some of the important public policy issues facing New Zealand. The series is sponsored by the Friedlander Foundation. The semi-final topic in Wellington was Should New tie MPs and Ministers’ salaries to a multiple of the national income. Victoria University of Wellington vs University of Canterbury


Semi Final Debates12 Aug 150pxNext Generation Debates - Semi-final
12 August 2014 | Auckland | EY
Watch video
The Next Generation Debates is a national university debating tournament designed to encourage young people to think and talk about some of the important public policy issues facing New Zealand. The series is sponsored by the Friedlander Foundation. The semi-final topic in Auckland was Progressive tax rates are unfair. University of Auckland vs University of Otago


Alain Bertaud 150pxAlain Bertaud, former World Bank Principal Urban Planner: "Mobility and Affordability: cities seen as labor markets"
28-31 July 2014 | Auckland | Christchurch | Wellington
Watch video

New York University senior scholar Alain Bertaud, himself a former principal urban planner at the World Bank, argues that it is time for planners to think again. They need to abandon abstract objectives and focus their efforts on just two measurable outcomes: citizens’ mobility and housing affordability.


Tim Wilson 150pxTim Wilson, Australia's Human Rights Commissioner: "Freedom, the fundamental human right"
30 June - 1 July | Auckland | Wellington
Watch video
The New Zealand Initiative will be hosted Australia’s new Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson. He has triggered a debate across the Tasman on what human rights should be, and he strongly advocates a return to a much narrower definition with the focus on freedom of association, religion, expression and property.


Other events








  The new merged organisation is the New Zealand Initiative, an independent public policy think tank supported by chief executives of major New Zealand businesses.  Our mission is to help build a better, stronger New Zealand. We are taking the initiative to promote a prosperous, free and fair society with a competitive, open and dynamic economy.     Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, cons ectetuer adipiscing elit, diam nonummy nibh lorem dolor magna amet.