Brexit

Brexit means trade opportunities

Before she became British Prime Minister, Theresa May announced that “Brexit means Brexit.” Ever since, we have been wondering what she meant. It is now nine months after the Brexit referendum. In the meantime, Britain got a new Prime Minister. The UK Supreme Court had to decide on the correct procedure for leaving the European Union. Following that, Parliament needed to pass legislation to allow the UK government to formally start the process. It will probably happen sometime next week. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
24 March, 2017
fish bucket

Time to address a longstanding fisheries problem

Einstein once said that we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. The thinking behind the management of New Zealand’s recreational fisheries is a case in point. It began decades ago as a hands-off approach when recreational fishing was a marginal activity that did not pose much of a threat to fish stock sustainability.   The management thinking has largely remained hands-off, despite continual increases in demand for recreational fishing, along with competition... Read more

Dr Randall Bess
Insights Newsletter
24 March, 2017

Sideshow Bob and the Transport Committee

I’m a fan of classic episodes of The Simpsons. In Cape Feare, Sideshow Bob sneaks a ride under the Simpsons’ car, with murderous intent. After an unpleasant ride, he steps out from under the car, and onto a rake. And onto another. Every time a rake hit him in the face, it got just a little bit funnier. Watching the Transport Select Committee’s handling of Uber is funny too, but not ha-ha funny. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
24 March, 2017
Housing1

Time to slash housing's Gordian knot

This week business journalist Bernard Hickey took his pen to the subject of housing, listing the factors that have unintentionally conspired to create New Zealand’s housing affordability crisis. It is a piece worth reading because it offers a glimpse into the complex and intertwined regulations and constraints that prevent the housing market from functioning like every other market. Hickey calls it a Gordian knot. At the core of this entanglement lies an infrastructure problem. Read more

Jason Krupp
Insights Newsletter
17 March, 2017
beehive

In search of the perfect planning system

One decent policy rule is never to make the perfect the enemy of the good, but to always keep the perfect in mind anyway. But sometimes there really is the chance to aim for the perfect. The Productivity Commission’s Better Urban Planning report is due for release in two weeks. The Commission’s blue-skies remit was a thorough restructuring of the urban planning system. There is reasonable consensus now on the current system’s problems. While the RMA provides a flawed framework... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
17 March, 2017
Rooster

Bad and Annoying Animal Management Act

Any cat owner will tell you that cats are magnificent and regal creatures, descended from royalty and that they deserve to be treated like nothing less. Those cat owners are, of course, deluded. Behind the contented purring and affectionate head nudges lies the heart and mind of a killer. A bird killer, to be precise. Most of us already know that cats are evil. But other animals are just plain loud and smelly. Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Insights Newsletter
17 March, 2017
Parliament

English's Super reset

You have to feel sorry for Prime Minister Bill English. Though he inherited a largely positive legacy from his predecessor, his young premiership is also saddled with the two large failures of the Key era: our out-of-control housing market and Key’s refusal to deal with NZ Super.To English’s credit, he is showing a willingness to tackle both these issues.On housing, he has made it clear that he is committed to reforming the supply side of the market (let’s hope he... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
10 March, 2017
apple on book1

Black cats and education

According to Oscar Wilde, “religion is like a blind man looking in a black room for a black cat that isn’t there, and finding it”. Well, in a way that is almost the definition of teacher quality.Defining, let alone measuring and rewarding teacher quality is notoriously difficult. Anyone who claims the opposite is either naïve or blinded by ideology.But just because it is hard should not be an excuse for not trying. Read more

Martine Udahemuka
Insights Newsletter
10 March, 2017
Data

BIM = Baffling inquisitive mandarins

Official Briefings for Incoming Ministers should be worth reading.  For a start, they should brief the new Minister about current issues and priorities. And they should be brief.So if you want to quickly get yourself up to speed on a policy area, you could do worse than start with the latest published BIM.  Right?Err, not exactly. Don’t forget the power of redaction.Take the case of the Treasury’s December 2016 briefing for Paul Goldsmith, the Minister for Regulatory Reform.  Now regulatory... Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
10 March, 2017

Stay in the loop: Subscribe to updates