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


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

The age of unreason

Reason has taken us a long way. For thousands of years subsistence was the human condition. Then in the late 18th century, prosperity suddenly erupted in Western Europe. And since then it has embraced the bulk of humanity. Read more

Roger Partridge
The National Business Review
7 December, 2018
America Flag

The end game of identity politics

The American mid-term elections were brutal. Indeed, no liberal democracy may have ever witnessed an electoral campaign so characterised by lies, racism and hate. Just how did America become so divided? When it comes to the blame game, globalisation is a fashionable culprit. The deindustrialisation of middle America, as US jobs were exported to Asia, caused unemployment and poverty among America’s working classes. The resulting economic stagnation provided the perfect incubator for Trump’s jingoism and patriotic nationalism. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
16 November, 2018

KiwiBuild lottery will not restore the great Kiwi dream

Auckland’s first KiwiBuild winners could hardly keep the smiles off their faces. And who could blame them? Yet there is a flaw at the heart of Housing Minister Phil Twyford’s KiwiBuild policy. At around seven times Auckland’s median household incomes, no one can seriously argue that a house costing $650,000 is affordable. On internationally recognised measures, KiwiBuild houses would need to be sold at a 50% discount to meet the affordability tag. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
2 November, 2018
Greenhouse emissions

On virtue signalling and virtue

It would take a humbug not to feel proud seeing our Prime Minister on the world stage last week. Coinciding with the 125th anniversary of New Zealand becoming the first country in the world to grant women the vote, her appearance was a profound affirmation of New Zealand’s openness, diversity and inclusiveness. And in contrast to the political bombast that dominates world news, hearing Jacinda Ardern espouse humanist values like fairness and kindness – along with strength – to describe... Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
5 October, 2018

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