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School quality is not linked to school decile - NZ Initiative

Following the release of our Research Note, Tomorrow's School: Data and Evidence, our Chief Economist Dr Eric Crampton chats to Newstalk ZB's Heather du Plessis-Allan about our comprehensive and year-long econometric analysis of data for 400,000 students that reveals there are no significant differences in school performance between schools of different deciles, and how this data could be used by the Ministry of Education to help improve education outcomes for New Zealand students. Read more

8 April, 2019
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A beautiful broadcasting anachronism

For those of us of a certain age, part of the thrill of staying up late as a kid was getting to see and hear things on television that did not air during afternoon cartoons. Before 9pm, one set of rules applied. After 9pm was the so-called ‘watershed’, well, things were different – especially on the French version of Canada’s public broadcaster. None of the words you’d hear on late-night television were new, but there was still a thrill to... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
5 April, 2019

In praise of perpetuating role confusion

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says NZ Bus is up to 40 drivers short, with up to 30 cancelled services a day. He now wants the Transport Minister to help improve local bus services. Local National List MP Nicola Willis also wants central government to step in. A sceptic might ask what that means for local government accountability to the local community. The answer is of course that it perpetuates the status quo – inglorious role confusion. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
29 March, 2019

They say time is relative... Distance is too

Last week feels like it was a year ago. And the past week has made the world feel a little smaller. Last night, the Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada from 2006 through 2015, addressed members and guests of the Initiative at our annual retreat. We found that Laureen, Prime Minister Harper’s wife, had lived in Christchurch as a young woman. Streets and buildings that stood as backdrop in news scenes playing in international media, for the second... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
22 March, 2019

When superstition beats science

“A regional outbreak of an infectious disease requires emergency mass vaccinations of about 125,000 people.” What sounds like a report from the distant past or a developing country happened only this week, in New Zealand. Measles is back. Over the past few days, the Canterbury District Health Board confirmed 27 cases of measles. Considering that measles takes about two weeks to incubate, the disease is likely to further spread. It could take several weeks until the outbreak is under control. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
15 March, 2019
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Should we give Fair Pay Agreements a fair go?

There is a lot to like about New Zealand’s labour laws. At 80.9%, our labour market participation rate is among the highest in the world. This rate compares extremely well with Australia at 77.4% and the OECD average of only 72.1%. Our unemployment rate is also commendably low. At 4.3%, unemployment in New Zealand undercuts Australia’s 5.2% and the European Union’s laggardly 6.8%. Regardless, the coalition government is eager to re-write our industrial relations rule-book by introducing so-called “Fair Pay Agreements”. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
15 March, 2019

Faking a wellbeing focus?

The government is hyping Budget 2019 as a world-leading “Wellbeing Budget”. The December 2018 Budget Policy Statement proclaims the government’s key focus on improving the wellbeing and living standards of New Zealanders. Do the public have any real evidence of any substance behind such froth? It appears not. Government policies can be expected to improve overall community wellbeing if an authoritative analysis demonstrates that the benefits will exceed the costs to those affected, in some overall sense. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
8 March, 2019

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