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
IDI

Data driving education change

New Zealand is world leading in many aspects, most notably for Sir Edmund Hillary’s triumph on Mt Everest, Ernest Rutherford’s breakthrough in nuclear physics, and women’s suffrage. We can also be proud of leading the world in integrated data, a process that combines data from different sources and displays results in a unified view to users. Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) in 2011 started integrating data from all government agencies in New Zealand in what is now called the Integrated Data... Read more

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
14 December, 2018
Bull

Expurgating our inner animal

We have to take the flower by the thorns and cut the animalism out of our everyday language. That is the message this week from PETA, or the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Good on them. More ethical treatment of millions of humans in totalitarian countries would be a good thing, too. So when you want to motivate your colleagues to real action, PETA does not want you to talk about taking the bull by the horns. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
14 December, 2018
Smoke2

Hard spirits

It was during the discussions of measuring spiritual capital that the ghost of Sir John James Cowperthwaite hovered near. The shade whispered in my ear, “When I was Financial Secretary of Hong Kong, I refused to collect economic statistics for London. Why? For fear that I might be forced to do something about them.” Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Newsroom
11 December, 2018
Help

Letting us help

Community sponsorship helps Canada accept far more refugees than the government’s quota could accommodate on its own. And it looks promising for New Zealand as well. But scaling the programme to its full potential may require sponsoring communities to pick up a greater share of the cost.During the 2015–16 Syrian refugee crisis, Kiwis wanting to help were stymied by restrictions on the number of refugees allowed into the country. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
7 December, 2018
Retirement

Super model needs a face-lift

Like many young people, I have long been told that New Zealand Superannuation (NZS) is unaffordable, and to prepare for a future without it. Yet both major political parties have avoided touching the issue.On Tuesday, The New Zealand Initiative released its latest report, Embracing a Super model: The superannuation sky is not falling, which explains why this is so.Embracing a Super model finds many things to celebrate about the superannuation model. Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Insights Newsletter
7 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
Agreement

The age of unreason

Reason has taken us a long way. For thousands of years subsistence was the human condition. Then in the late 18th century, prosperity suddenly erupted in Western Europe. And since then it has embraced the bulk of humanity. Read more

Roger Partridge
The National Business Review
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
Newsroom
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
e cigarette3

Vapers pushed out in the cold

In the old days, quitting smoking was apparently a miserable affair. So miserable, in fact, that even when faced with the prospect of ‘quit smoking or die’, too many smokers tragically fell into the latter category. For many now ex-smokers, vaping has been a game-changer. Vaping has helped tens of thousands of New Zealanders quit smoking. And for many, the process has been thoroughly enjoyable. But all that might change if the Government’s proposals for vaping regulation move ahead. Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Insights Newsletter
30 November, 2018
Lord of the Rings

The war of Gondorean aggression

Desperate to turn away from trivial controversies here in New Zealand about Santa’s true gender, I looked to the British press and found The Times and The Telegraph reporting on claims of racism in J.R.R. Tolkien’s depiction of orcs in The Lord of the Rings. The case is stronger than it might first appear. For that stronger case, we must turn to the truly excellent work of historical fictional reconstruction undertaken by Kirill Yeskov. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
30 November, 2018
Water tap

Surviving the conversation

Unless we are good friends, my picking the restaurant when you are paying the bill can be a recipe for trouble. Central and local government are not always the best of friends. And when central government sets the water quality standards, local government foots the bill. In places with high water-treatment costs, residents might reasonably prefer the occasional boil water notice to hefty rates hikes. Central standards then amount to an unfunded mandate on local councils. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
23 November, 2018

Stay in the loop: Subscribe to updates