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

France

The other French revolution

Last month France celebrated the storming of the Bastille, an assault that became a flashpoint for the French Revolution. As a fortress and prison, the Bastille was emblematic of the French monarchy. Its fall triggered the events that would lead to the formation of the First French Republic. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
10 August, 2018
France postcard

A postcard from France

While New Zealand is in political Neverland, I am taking refuge in rural France. Just an hour north of the vineyards of Bordeaux, it is no great hardship. Yet it provides a perfect opportunity to compare Kiwi and Gallic approaches to some common challenges. And I am not talking about on the vineyard or the rugby field but in public policy. With our government’s proposals for European-style fair pay agreements, there is no better place to start than labour law. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
6 July, 2018
Snake oil

21st century snake oil

After 11 years as a cowboy in America’s wild west, Clark Stanley claimed to have created a medical cure-all from secrets learned from a Hopi medicine man.He began marketing his Snake Oil Liniment in the early 1900s. Then, following the passage of the Food and Drug Act in 1916, Stanley’s concoction was examined and found to be of no medicinal value.Stanley was fined and banned from selling it. Read more

Roger Partridge
The National Business Review
9 June, 2018
Award

The magic of markets (and why fair pay awards aren't needed)

Is it possible to have too both too much and too little of something at the same time? This may sound like a problem posed by quantum physics but the question arises with something much more prosaic: bus drivers.Driver shortages have been a trending topic in the national media in recent weeks. There have even been stories about the bosses getting behind the wheel to help out. Read more

Roger Partridge
The National Business Review
25 May, 2018
Baked beans

Baked bean market 'broken' (or at least half-baked)

“Local competition” is among factors cited by dairy owners for wildly varying prices for every-day grocery items like baked beans.The issue came to light in a leaked email from a dairy-owner in the lower North Island to her partner. Instead of reducing prices in response to dwindling sales of baked beans, the email proposed to increase prices across the dairy’s entire range to recoup lost sales margin. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
11 May, 2018
school books

Freedom to teach and freedom of speech

Tracey Martin wants to regulate the meaning of a commonly used word. It is a breath-taking ambition, even for a politician. The Associate Education Minister’s target is the word ‘teacher’. She thinks it would improve the status of the profession if Parliament restricts use of the term to registered teachers. And her private members’ Bill (technically now sponsored by her NZ First colleague, Jenny Marcroft) aims to do just that. Neither appear bothered that the word has a wider meaning in the... Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
27 April, 2018
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 Criminalisation of Cartels cover

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

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