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Housing money2

Financial innovation beats Kiwibuild

The Government has copped much criticism lately for its Kiwibuild policy, including from our chair Roger Partridge writing in Insights two weeks ago. So it is only fair to praise Housing Minister Phil Twyford when he deserves it. This week’s announcement of a new government infrastructure partnership north of Auckland is indeed praiseworthy. Crown Infrastructure Partners, Fulton Hogan, and Auckland Council have teamed up to deliver $91 million worth of new residential infrastructure at Wainui. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
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

How to get politics close to the people?

The only two certainties in life are death and taxes. So goes the quote attributed to American politician Benjamin Franklin (or Christopher Bullock or Edward Ward, depending on which source you trust most). But whoever said it – it is still true. Taxes are a certainty. But how they are collected and spent is not. This is what this piece is about. I shall focus on the institutional aspect of this topic: What system ensures governments are spending on what... Read more

Natanael Rother
Insights Newsletter
7 September, 2018
Key in door housing

Change councils' incentives too

Housing Minister Phil Twyford’s address to Infrastructure New Zealand’s Building Nations Symposium last week made it very clear that the current governing coalition is very serious about fixing Auckland’s housing affordability crisis.But the conference also made a few other things clear. Solving the current mess will not be speedy. And maintaining housing affordability over the longer term requires changes to local governments’ incentives around facilitating growth.Twyford opened the conference with a strong moral case for restoring housing affordability. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
21 August, 2018

Suffering from the Dagg Effect?

Travelling to New Zealand will be a tremendous shock to the system, a couple of my peers tried to convince me before I left home in Zurich. It was - but not for the reasons everyone told me. The travelling was super smooth. Changing planes in one of the eastern hubs was a piece of cake and and for the first time in years, I read a book straight from beginning to end (The have and the have nots by... Read more

Natanael Rother
Insights Newsletter
17 August, 2018

Treasury and opportunity costs

Treasury is the heart of economic expertise in government. But it is more than that. Lots of Ministries have economists on staff – even Chief Economists. Treasury’s unique role is to run a straight economic ruler over policy initiatives proposed by other Ministries and to provide advice to its Minister about which government policies pass muster, and which do not. Government has limited resources and it is important that every dollar go where it can do the most good. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
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

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