Denmark bridge

Danish lessons

In late June, the Initiative took a delegation of our members to Copenhagen.For a week, more than three dozen New Zealand business leaders traveled Denmark and South Sweden. We talked to business leaders, academics, journalists and politicians, and visited companies, education facilities, and government and non-government organisations.This was not a mission to find new trading partners but a search for policy inspiration. There were plenty of opportunities on our travels for inspiration, especially in infrastructure.In New Zealand, we know how... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
19 July, 2019
Economist 3

Cat posters and wellbeing budgets

There was a line of ’80s and ’90s motivational posters, often involving pictures of cats, with quips that might help improve spirits around the workplace. One of those, from memory, read something like, “You don’t have to be crazy to work here, but it helps!” Other variants read, “You don’t have to be crazy to work here; we will train you.”None of them would pass modern sensitivity standards, and they were never really motivational or funny in the first place. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
19 July, 2019
Denmark bike

The northern light

New Zealand performs strongly in a number of international rankings, and not so well in others, as well covered by this publication. Read more

Fraser Whineray
The National Business Review
19 July, 2019

Media release: New Zealand Initiative welcomes Government’s response to Interim Committee

Wellington (16 July 2019): The New Zealand Initiative has welcomed the decision by Minister of Energy and Resources Hon Megan Woods to accept the Interim Climate Change Committee’s recommendation to shift focus away from 100% renewable electricity to other more effective and less expensive emissions policies. The Interim Committee found the Government’s 100% renewables policy would increase power prices by up to 39% and could effectively raise New Zealand’s emissions by preventing a transition off fossil fuels to electricity in... Read more

Media release
16 July, 2019
Traffic5

The importance of pricing

Maybe things would be different if somebody had 'invented' prices. We tend not to understand and appreciate institutions, like prices, that emerge spontaneously through human interaction rather than are the product of human design. Because we do not appreciate how they work, it is too easy to miss how they can improve things in areas where they haven’t traditionally been used. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Newsroom
16 July, 2019
Fire

Antonio Hall fire puts heritage buildings back in the spotlight

Heritage buildings are in the spotlight after a devastating fire at Christchurch's 110-year-old Antonio Hall. The owners had not done any maintenance to it for more than 20 years and this led to calls for tougher rules for owners of heritage properties to take more care of their buildings. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Heather-du-Plessis-Allan Drive - Newstalk ZB
15 July, 2019
contract2

Fair Pay Working Group fit to be forgotten

Former Prime Minister Jim Bolger burst back into public life in mid-2018 to lead the government’s Fair Pay Agreement Working Group. The working group’s report was made public on 31 January. Since then, the government has said almost nothing about the report’s recommendations. It is almost as if both Bolger and the report have been shelved.If so, that would be a good thing. The report recommends reintroducing compulsory collective bargaining across entire industries and occupations. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
12 July, 2019
wish flower

The curse of getting what you wish for

Parables, biblical or otherwise, are excellent instruction. They warn of the dangers of getting what you wish for. Local Government New Zealand might wish to take heed.Midas had regrets.The 1001 Arabian Nights tells of the blind beggar of Baghdad. In that story, a dervish had a magic cream that, if anointed on one eye, would reveal hidden treasures – but would give only blindness if applied to both eyes. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
12 July, 2019

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