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 University of Auckland Business School advisory board, a member of the editorial board of the New Zealand Law Review and a member of the Mont Pelerin Society.

Latest reports:
Work in Progress: Why Fair Pay Agreements would be bad for labour (2019)
Submission: The Review of the Capital Adequacy Framework for locally incorporated banks: How much capital is enough? (2019)
Submission: Phase 2 of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act Review (2019)
Who Guards the Guards? Regulatory Governance in New Zealand (2018)
Submission: Education Amendment Bill (2018)
Submission: Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Bill
Submission: Employment Relations (Allowing Higher Earners to Contract Out of Personal Grievance Provisions) Amendment Bill  (2017)

Phone: +64 4 499 0790


Recent Work


Fair Pay Working Group fit to be forgotten

Former Prime Minister Jim Bolger burst back into public life in mid-2018 to lead the government’s Fair Pay Agreement Working Group. The working group’s report was made public on 31 January. Since then, the government has said almost nothing about the report’s recommendations. It is almost as if both Bolger and the report have been shelved.If so, that would be a good thing. The report recommends reintroducing compulsory collective bargaining across entire industries and occupations. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
12 July, 2019
Fair pay2

Fair pay agreements will undermine the Government's goals

Former Prime Minister Jim Bolger came charging back into public sight when the Government released his Fair Pay Agreement Working Group's report in January. The Bolger-led working group recommended the Government introduce a new system for setting wages and other terms and conditions of employment. Bolger calls the new system "fair pay agreements" or "FPAs" for short. Read more

Roger Partridge
NZ Herald
9 July, 2019

More inspiration from barmy Britain

Readers of the NBR may have seen my column last week, “The great Brexit delusion”. For reasons that may not appear obvious, I comment in the column on proposals from the British government to curb the number of calories in restaurant meals and takeaway food. Apparently, Britain’s bureaucrats seized on the idea of regulating ready-to-go meals as a weapon in the battle against obesity. The proposals provoked such a backlash they have had to be scrapped. But it got me thinking. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
7 June, 2019
Reserve Bank of NZ2

Capital hike tip of RBNZ iceberg

New Zealand’s Reserve Bank is creating waves on both sides of the Tasman. Just before Christmas, it surprised the banking sector with proposals to almost double banks’ capital ratios.The RBNZ estimates the new capital requirements are equivalent to about 70 per cent of the banking sector’s profits over the proposed five-year transition period. With New Zealand’s four major trading banks all Australian-owned, this news will have been as much a shock on Collins Street as it was on Queen Street.The... Read more

Roger Partridge
Australian Financial Review
29 May, 2019

Pity the poor primary teachers

The primary teachers’ union, NZEI Te Riu Roa, has called a series of nationwide meetings to decide on industrial action to take place early next month. NZEI proposes primary teachers “work to rule” from 15 May, culminating in a national strike on 29 May. Despite the disruption this action would cause, teachers appear to have public sentiment on their side. It is easy to understand why. Primary teachers perform a critical role in educating our children. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
26 April, 2019

Israel Folau and the unintended perils of anti-discrimination laws

“Unintended consequences” are outcomes unforeseen by purposeful action, an idea popularised by American sociologist Robert Merton in the twentieth century. Since then, the so-called law of unintended consequences has morphed into a warning: intervening in a complex situation tends to create unanticipated and often undesirable outcomes. The application of the anti-discrimination provisions of Australia’s Fair Work Act to controversial Australian rugby star, Israel Folau, may be a perfect example of the law in action. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
18 April, 2019
Shake hands2

Should we give Fair Pay Agreements a fair go?

There is a lot to like about New Zealand’s labour laws. At 80.9%, our labour market participation rate is among the highest in the world. This rate compares extremely well with Australia at 77.4% and the OECD average of only 72.1%. Our unemployment rate is also commendably low. At 4.3%, unemployment in New Zealand undercuts Australia’s 5.2% and the European Union’s laggardly 6.8%. Regardless, the coalition government is eager to re-write our industrial relations rule-book by introducing so-called “Fair Pay Agreements”. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
15 March, 2019

Pot calling the kettle black?

Canadian psychologist Dr Jordan Peterson has a lot to answer for. At least he does according to Auckland Peace Action spokesman Iris Krzyzosiak. According to Krzyzosia, Peterson “threatens everything of value in our society.” Levelled against a professor at a mainstream university, that is quite some claim.Yet you would not have guessed this from the crowds attending his lectures around New Zealand this week. Those lining-up looked distinctly respectable. Men and women, young and old, with a diverse ethnic mix. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
22 February, 2019

Stay in the loop: Subscribe to updates