Approval ratings of more than three quarters are almost unheard of in politics. Most politicians would be satisfied with far less. So you can imagine our excitement when we saw the results of the New Zealand Herald’s ‘Mood of the Boardroom’ survey. It polled leading business people on a range of issues – including two that are close to our hearts at the Initiative. And it revealed overwhelming support for the Initiative’s ideas. Read more
Dr Oliver Hartwich
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.
He is the author of Manifesto 2017: What the next New Zealand government should do. Manifesto 2017 spells out what the Initiative expects the next government to tackle after the September 2017 election.
Phone: +64 4 499 0790
The popularity of John Maynard Keynes is as cyclical as the business cycles he wanted to abolish. But beyond his macroeconomics, Keynes left us a fine observation on the power of ideas.In the closing chapter of his General Theory, Keynes wrote that “the ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Read more
“There’s a hole in your budget, dear Labour, dear Labour, there’s a hole in your budget, dear Labour, a hole.” It is a pity that Finance Minister Steven Joyce did not sing his Monday press conference. It would have been an appropriate start to a week of political theatre. Joyce’s claim that there was an $11.7 billion hole in Labour’s fiscal plan was a bold and provocative interpretation of Labour’s spending plans. Read more
A country is going to the polls. The economy is doing well. Fiscal forecasts show substantial budget surpluses. Government is led by an experienced politician. So, what election outcome would one expect?Well, in the case of Australia, this combination of circumstances did not stop John Howard from losing office in 2007. When New Zealand goes to the polls on September 23, we will see if Prime Minister Bill English meets the same fate.To international observers, the New Zealand election 2017... Read more
Quidquid agis prudenter agas et respice finem. Whatever you do, do it wisely and consider the end, a famous Latin proverb reminds us. If only National had more Latin lovers in their ranks (apart from Christopher Finlayson), it could have saved them from last weekend’s education blunder. At their official campaign launch, National promised every schoolchild a foreign language. It sounded too good to be true – and it was. Read more
Nearly a decade ago, I first encountered millennials’ strange fascination with avocados. A younger colleague in Sydney often prepared her office lunch with fresh avocado, spread thick across a slice of bread. Until then, it had never occurred to me that this was a good use of this odd fruit. And I felt somewhat sorry for it: my colleague mixed it with an equal amount of Vegemite. Read more
To start this column with a disclaimer, I greatly respect Labour’s candidate for Ōhāriu, Greg O’Connor. Read more
Neuseelands neue Labour-Chefin Jacinda Ardern hat beste Chancen, Premierministerin zu werden. Noch vor kurzem interessierte sie das Amt nicht, weil sie eine Familie gründen wollte. Die Neuseeländer sind aus dem Häuschen: Darf sie nun trotzdem schwanger werden? Read more
The Prime Minister had the “personality of a rock”. The Minister of Health was “Dr Death”. The Minister of Finance was “as authentic as a $4 Rolex”. And the Foreign Minister had “the energy of a small hill”. These are some of the insults hurled at the government by Labour’s new Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis on TV last weekend. As I watched Mr Davis’s blast on the Q+A programme, I wondered how long it must have taken him to rehearse... Read more
Every three years, this wonderful country with its friendly people goes nuts. It gets itself into a state of frenzy that it normally reserves for rugby world cups. But it is an excitement over freak and side shows, not about the issues that really matter. Read more
We probably all remember those school exams in which we desperately tried to copy the answers from our much better neighbours.Ahem, I meant of course we all remember those school exams in which our struggling neighbours desperately tried to copy from us.Well, as a strategy to pass an exam such cheating might have even worked. But the cheats never do themselves any favours in the long run. Read more
With the selection of Jacinda Ardern as Labour's new leader, New Zealand's election has become more exciting and much harder to predict. But beyond our own domestic politics, it is not clear how it fits into the global state of Centre-Left politics. Read more
If you are a regular Insights reader, you will know that housing has been a key issue for the Initiative since we started in 2012. In our reports, speeches and opinion pieces we have repeatedly made the case for reforms to planning, local government and infrastructure finance. In doing so, we convinced many commentators, officials and politicians. Last Sunday, we finally saw the first of our big ideas implemented by Government. Read more
Following the release of Superu's report on land use planning on Thursday 20 July, the Initiative's Executive Director Dr Oliver Hartwich spoke to Larry Williams on Newstalk ZB about our housing research and recommendations. Read more
Should you be familiar with German children’s literature, you would have encountered a curious character: the illusory giant (Scheinriese).In the works of Michael Ende, best known for his The Never-Ending Story, there is a fearsome giant called Herr Tur Tur. Just as all proper giants, Herr Tur Tur is so big and tall that he can be seen from far away.But there is something rather unusual about the giant Herr Tur Tur. Read more