Final Oliver Hartwich

Dr Oliver Hartwich

Executive Director

Oliver is the Executive Director of The New Zealand Initiative. Before joining the Initiative, he was a Research Fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney, the Chief Economist at Policy Exchange in London, and an advisor in the UK House of Lords. Oliver holds a Master’s degree in Economics and Business administration and a PhD in Law from Bochum University in Germany.

Oliver is available to comment on all of the Initiative’s research areas.

Latest reports:
Submission: Future of Tax (2018)
Submission: Overseas Investment Amendment Bill (2018)
Go Swiss: Learnings from The New Zealand Initiative's visit to Switzerland (2017)
Manifesto 2017: What the next New Zealand Government should do (2017)
Why Europe Failed (2015)

Phone: +64 4 499 0790

Email: oliver.hartwich@nzinitiative.org.nz

Recent Work

Travel

Bridges’ right to travel

At the risk of making myself unpopular, I have absolutely no problem with Simon Bridges’ expenses bill. Except that it was leaked and that some other politicians are trying to turn it into a scandal. The opposition leader spent too much money on travel, mainly on Crown cars. But that is just another way of saying he was doing his job. Over the past months, Bridges did what we would expect new opposition leaders to do. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
17 August, 2018
Cash2

Is it 2008 again?

Many of us will remember those gloomy days in late 2008 when the Global Financial Crisis peaked. Stock markets around the world crashed, Lehman Brothers collapsed, and the world’s financial system was on its knees. This was the last time that New Zealand business confidence was as low as it is again today. This week, ANZ released its latest Business Outlook Survey. It revealed that “a net 45 percent of respondents reporting they expect general business conditions to deteriorate in... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
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
Pathway

On the path to localism

This week saw the beginning of not one but two separate studies into local government.Speaking at Local Government New Zealand’s annual conference in Christchurch, Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced a Productivity Commission inquiry into local government funding and finance. At the same conference, LGNZ and my own organisation, The New Zealand Initiative, launched ‘Project Localism’ which proposes a radical recalibration of power between central and local government.Perhaps it was just coincidental that both these studies were announced within minutes of... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
The National Business Review
20 July, 2018
USA flag

Oliver Hartwich about how Trump shocks European allies

Donald Trump's performance at the NATO summit has raised more questions than answers.Oliver Hartwich tells Andrew West on ABC Radio there's increasing uncertainty about the future of the trans-Atlantic alliance and other international agreements after the American president chastised Germany and other members countries. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Saturday Extra - ABC Radio National (Australia)
14 July, 2018
Brexit signpost

Brexit shootout

This year’s football World Cup held a big surprise: England can win a penalty shootout (oh, and please don't mention the German performance - I know). If you are not into football, you might wonder what is so hard about kicking a ball into the goal from short distance. But ask previous English internationals, and they can tell you how to miss the goal altogether from the spot. What we are watching in British politics is not that different. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
13 July, 2018
Germany3

Our islands of stability

New Zealanders love to grumble about the state of politics.We hold our politicians in roughly the same regard as real estate agents and used car salespeople. And even for stating it this way, I probably need to apologise to the latter two groups.Yet when it comes to the ballot box, there is no sign of any severe dissatisfaction with our political system.On the contrary, New Zealand appears to be one of the few Western-style democracies still showing any signs of... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
The National Business Review
13 July, 2018
Socialism fist

Millennial ignorance

"One of the uses of history is to free us of a falsely imagined past”, the late American legal scholar Robert Bork once wrote. One might add that another use is the prevention of repeat mistakes. But a new paper from our colleagues at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney suggests the younger generation is bound to make wrong choices because they know little history anymore. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
29 June, 2018
Houses3

Housing reform vs populist gimmickry

It is hard to introduce populist policies without hurting the economy. That is the takeout from the Government’s decision to water down its planned restrictions on foreign property buyers. Because the new rules would have been detrimental to new residential development, we will now have a law that is tough and permissive at the same time. Unfortunately, it will also be a highly complicated piece of legislation. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
22 June, 2018
Euro

Nothing is forever (except for the euro crisis)

In a different country, a long time ago, I once set out to be a weekly columnist. And it was no ordinary column. No, at the time I thought I had just landed a job for life.It was in early 2010, right at the start of the Greek debt crisis, when I submitted a one-off opinion piece to the Australian online magazine Business Spectator.To be frank, I did not even write it with any employment-seeking intentions. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
The National Business Review
22 June, 2018
Compass and map

How the West was lost

Almost a decade ago, I published an opinion piece that called for the abolition of what was then the G8, the group of the seven largest industrial nations and Russia. After the dramatic conclusion of last weekend’s G7 summit in Canada, we may be a step closer towards this goal. Except I am not happy about it. Back in 2009, I was dismayed with the G8’s zealous ineffectiveness. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
15 June, 2018
Full wallet

Labour newspeak

George Orwell would have had fun with the terms of reference of the Government’s Fair Pay Agreement Working Group. Practically none of these terms can be taken at their literal value, starting with the stated purpose. According to the document, the working group is meant to “make independent recommendations to the Government on the scope and design of a system of bargaining to set minimum terms and conditions of employment across industries or occupations.” So this is not an exercise... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
8 June, 2018

Stay in the loop: Subscribe to updates