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:
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

Auckland highway

Challenges stack up for super minister

In the new cabinet, Phil Twyford stands out as the minister with the most challenging mandate. Combining housing and transport in one person has created a superminister in charge of all aspects of urban development.If Mr Twyford succeeds, he will not only bolster Labour’s chances of re-election. He will also shape the face of the country for decades to come.At the risk of oversimplification, New Zealand’s urban growth model at best has been a model to accommodate growth, not facilitate it. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
The National Business Review
17 November, 2017
ParliamentBeehive

Our very own House of Cards

As House of Cards is ending in sad circumstances, the TV series has a real-life successor. It is the New Zealand House of Representatives. The theatre on our 52nd Parliament’s opening day was highly entertaining. And it made for better TV than any fictional stories about US Presidents ever could. The plot was genius: An opposition pretending it had a majority in the House due to absences on the government benches. To be clear, it was a legitimate try. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
10 November, 2017
Switzerland night

Swiss lessons in subsidiarity

To put it mildly, the three parties forming the new government are diverse. Their philosophies do not always overlap. Their electorates have little in common. Their histories are not without tension.Yet there is one area on which Labour, NZ First and the Greens are not only in alignment. It is also an issue which differentiates them from National.I am talking about subsidiarity.Subsidiarity means that problems should be solved at the lowest possible level. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
3 November, 2017
Reserve Bank of NZ

Monetary window-dressing

Judging by its coalition agreements, the new Government’s unofficial motto is not to do everything differently but to do a lot of things better.But not every change is for the better. Sometimes, even well-intentioned changes are just window-dressing. The review of the Reserve Bank’s policy targets is the best example.Under its mandate, the Reserve Bank has one primary role: to keep prices stable. This so-called ‘inflation targeting’ was introduced in 1989. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
27 October, 2017
Globe1

Congratulations, New Zealand

Almost a month after the election, New Zealand is about to have a new government. Yes, other countries take longer to negotiate coalitions. But it was the uncertainty arising from parallel negotiations which made our post-election haggling an agony. It is good it is over. Congratulations to Prime Minister-designate Jacinda Ardern. Coming out of relative obscurity, she had promised the campaign of her life. She delivered it. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
20 October, 2017
Wellington city

Changing New Zealand's government

It is Friday, 13 October and I am not writing about the coalition talks.We would have hoped to have a new government by now. But good things take time. And deciding on the new government is a serious task for the board of a minor party.So let’s stop criticising New Zealand First for the time they take to tell us who our next Prime Minister is. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
13 October, 2017
German flag

MMP for beginners

When I am commenting on the New Zealand election, I have an unfair advantage. Having grown up in a country that has been practising MMP for almost seven decades, I am well versed in it.For me, MMP is like riding a bike. You never forget how it works, even though I spent some time in the relative sanity of first-past-the-post democracies. Or, to use an even more appropriate image, MMP is like one’s mother tongue.You see, even though I left... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
The National Business Review
29 September, 2017
Vote

To end the short-termism of politics, we need to end short terms

We probably all lost count how many times we have now heard the phrase “that extraordinary election this year.” And indeed, by all accounts, it was unusual in many ways.Since Bill English announced the election date on 1 February, we have had nearly eight months of campaigning. This included an election budget, three new party leaders, wild swings in the polls and now even a fuel crisis to deal with. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
The National Business Review
22 September, 2017
apple on book1

Let’s get apolitical

Every now and then, you come across an idea that makes you wonder why you had never thought of it before. I experienced such a moment on Tuesday when I met American author, speaker and entrepreneur Lisa Witter. A friend had introduced us by email and suggested we should meet while Lisa is in New Zealand. I am glad we did because she told me about her start-up business, Apolitical. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
22 September, 2017

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