Final Sam Warburton

Sam Warburton

Research Fellow

Sam joins The New Zealand Initiative after 13 years in the public service including the Ministries of Business, Innovation and Employment, Primary Industries, and Transport. He will initially be focusing on transport and infrastructure. Sam has a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration with first class Honours from Victoria University, majoring in Economics and Public Policy.



Recent Work

Auckland highway

Auckland fuel tax: what will improve?

Auckland's regional fuel tax has been in place since the beginning of the month. The extra funds raised are intended to help fund transport projects around the region over the coming decade. But what about the citywide discrepancies in who gets what? Bike Auckland's Barbara Cuthbert, Auckland's Manukau councillor Efeso Collins and the Initiative's Sam Warburton, discuss the issues. Read more

Radio New Zealand
22 July, 2018
Housing money

Housing howler

Journalists have a hard job. As well as being underpaid, they are constantly copping an earful from frustrated or confused readers, trolls, and even economists. By and large they do a superb job: often on years’-long stories such as the meth testing debacle and the failings of Housing New Zealand. Like all of us, they sometimes get things wrong. The good ones correct their errors. The bad ones move to talkback radio. Read more

Insights Newsletter
6 July, 2018

Government failure blamed for road toll

A seventh person died in Waikato Hospital after a head-on collision near Waverley in South Taranaki. Sam Warburton tells Mike Hosking the road toll has gone up by 60 percent over the past four years, but travel is only up 15 percent. He says the whole policy has been one of our biggest national tragedies. Read more

Newstalk ZB - Mike Hosking Breakfast
28 June, 2018

Gravy trains

If you are as lucky as me and found yourself watching Parliament at 9pm on Tuesday night, you would have seen the debate on the Government’s proposed regional fuel tax legislation.The legislation will allow Auckland initially, and other regions later, to tax petrol and diesel up to 10 cents per litre for transport projects. Auckland will use it to accelerate roads, trains, and walking and cycling infrastructure.I am moderately in favour of regional fuel taxes. Read more

Insights Newsletter
29 March, 2018

Hosting America's Cup 'barely worth it'

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) admitted errors in its report on the economic benefits of hosting the America's Cup in Auckland. Its initial cost-to-benefit ratio estimate was between 1.8 and 1.2, meaning benefits would outweigh cost by between 80 and 20 percent. However, it revised this to a high of 1.14 and a low of 0.997. Sam Warburton, who reviewed MBIE's numbers, tells Larry Williams why “hosting the Cup in Auckland would be barely worth it." Read more

Larry Williams Drive - Newstalk ZB
22 December, 2017

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