Final Roger Partridge2

Roger Partridge

Senior Fellow & Chairman

Roger Partridge is chairman and a co-founder of The New Zealand Initiative, and is a senior member of its research team. He led law firm Bell Gully as executive chairman from 2007 to 2014, after 16 years as a commercial litigation partner. Roger was executive director of the Legal Research Foundation, a charitable foundation associated with the University of Auckland, from 2001 to 2009, and was a member of the Council of the New Zealand Law Society, the governing body of the legal profession in New Zealand, from 2011 to 2015. He is a chartered member of the Institute of Directors, a member of the editorial board of the New Zealand Law Review and a member of the Mont Pelerin Society.

Latest reports:
Who Guards the Guards? Regulatory Governance in New Zealand (2018)
Submission: Education Amendment Bill (2018)
Submission: Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Bill
(2018)
Submission: Employment Relations (Allowing Higher Earners to Contract Out of Personal Grievance Provisions) Amendment Bill  (2017)

Phone: +64 4 499 0790

Email: roger.partridge@nzinitiative.org.nz

Recent Work

Whistle

Blowing the whistle on the Commerce Commission

Does it matter if businesses do not respect their regulators? According to Finance Minister Grant Robertson, it does.Responding to the Initiative’s report, Who Guards the Guards? Regulatory Governance in New Zealand, Mr Robertson said, “It’s incredibly important that these institutions are respected. It’s like a rugby game. Players have to have respect for the referee – even though it’s highly unlikely they will agree with every decision.”The minister is right. Read more

Roger Partridge
The National Business Review
20 April, 2018
Who guards the guards cover3

Who Guards the Guards? Regulatory Governance in New Zealand

Confidence in the guardians of 21st century commerce really matters. If consumer confidence is misplaced, it can have disastrous consequences. We saw this only too clearly with the losses to retail investors from the collapse of the finance company sector during the GFC. Had the former Securities Commission been awake to the risks the finance companies posed, those losses would have been much less than the estimated $3 billion suffered by investors.Poor decision-making by regulators can also be harmful if... Read more

Roger Partridge
Amy Thomasson
13 April, 2018
Roman Guard

Guarding the guards

Next week Parliament will have its first chance to debate Commerce Minister Kris Faafoi’s new Commerce Amendment Bill. If passed, the Bill will grant the Commission’s wish - and allow it to use its powers of compulsion to undertake ‘market studies’ into the state of competition in any market. ‘Market studies’ powers sound innocuous enough, but they are far from it. The state should be cautious before authorising regulators to use powers of compulsion. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
13 April, 2018
Regulation

Kafka’s caution for the Commerce Commission

In Franz Kafka’s The Trial the chief cashier of a bank, Josef K, is unexpectedly arrested by two unidentified agents from an unspecified agency for an unspecified crime. At one level, The Trial is a satire of bureaucracy. At another, it is uncannily prescient of the oppressive regimes that would emerge in Europe in the first half of the 20th century. But The Trial also serves as a caution to those responsible for regulatory agencies in the 21st century. Read more

Roger Partridge
The National Business Review
8 April, 2018
Submission cover Cartel criminalisation

Submission: Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Bill

This submission on the Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Bill (the Bill) is made by The New Zealand Initiative, a think tank supported primarily by chief executives of major New Zealand businesses. In combination, our members’ revenues account for one third of New Zealand’s economy and provide employment to more than 150,000 people in New Zealand. The Initiative undertakes research that contributes to the development of sound public policies in New Zealand which help create a competitive, open and dynamic... Read more

Roger Partridge
5 April, 2018
Building house

Tax Working Group can't dress up tax as a fix to broken housing market

“I know an old lady who swallowed a fly” is a nonsensical story that has delighted children for decades. Its tale of an old woman, who swallowed increasingly large animals, each to catch the previous one, is as humorous as it is absurd.Yet like all good nursery rhymes, its meaning extends beyond entertaining the young. It serves as a warning about misdirected "solutions" to pressing problems. Sometimes the "cure" can be worse than the symptoms.It is a warning the Labour-led... Read more

Roger Partridge
The National Business Review
23 March, 2018
Reserve Bank of NZ

Reserve Bank’s governance deserves scrutiny

If monetary policy is the Reserve Bank’s smash hit, its prudential regulation of financial markets is its B-side track.Yet the bank’s role as prudential regulator deserves scrutiny. As we saw with last week’s lightning strike on CBL Insurance, the bank’s governor has enormous powers. These include the sole power to determine – and enforce – the prudential requirements for all registered banks by controlling the conditions of registration and applicable prudential standards.Indeed, while the Reserve Bank has a board, the... Read more

Roger Partridge
The National Business Review
2 March, 2018
Baby steps

New Zealand needs more than baby steps

I am delighted for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. There is surely no more enriching experience than parenthood. And the joy it can bring unites us, cutting across social and cultural divides. But following an election year that saw our politicians take a sabbatical from meaningful policy reform, the last thing the country needs now is a year dominated by the Prime Minister’s pregnancy.  We have much more serious issues to deal with. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
26 January, 2018
school books

What's the difference between a lawyer and a teacher?

If this sounds like the beginning of a joke, that is because it is. Only it is not a very good one.Almost everyone would agree we have too many lawyers. Even some lawyers. Yet as the headlines have been telling us for a fortnight, teachers are in short supply.Indeed, according to some school principals, we have a crisis. And it seems the problem is worst in Auckland. Read more

Roger Partridge
The National Business Review
24 November, 2017
savings

Magical thinking doesn't lift wages

During the election campaign, newly sworn-in Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern named climate change as the challenge of her generation. If it is, lifting labour productivity is a close second.Productivity growth has been low over the past decade and a half. Therefore, growth in real wages has also been modest. If future generations are to share New Zealand’s enviable prosperity, that must change.The first response to this challenge from Ms Ardern’s government has been a promise to lift the minimum wage... Read more

Roger Partridge
The National Business Review
3 November, 2017
Vote

Who likes MMP now?

For those of us who think elections should be about policies and not about politics, MMP presents a special kind of purgatory.It is one day short of a fortnight since the election but are we any closer to knowing the result? And this despite Bill English’s National Party winning a higher share of the votes in the preliminary results than John Key achieved in 2008.Indeed, National under Mr English gained a higher share of the preliminary vote than any party... Read more

Roger Partridge
The National Business Review
6 October, 2017
Parliament

Blue and Green should never be seen. Or should they?

Once it was a colour combination frowned upon in the world of fashion (or so I am told). But apparently haute couture has moved on. Should our politicians do so too? Watching Bill English and James Shaw respond to questions this week on the possibility of a National/Greens coalition, it is plain neither is comfortable with the concept.Yet if our political parties – of whatever colour – were true to the MMP game, they would put old loyalties aside. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
29 September, 2017

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