2018 Annual Report cover image

Annual Report 2018

The New Zealand Initiative aims to create a country that brings opportunity, prosperity and happiness to all its people. It is an overarching goal that is not left, right or centre. It is a vision all New Zealanders can unite behind. Read more

26 March, 2019
Classroom student4

Freedom, hubs and the curriculum

New Zealand schools enjoy relative freedom. Some teach 21st century skills, others a knowledge-rich curriculum. In some classrooms devices are integral, in others they are banned. Some treated last week’s Climate Change March as part of the curriculum, others labelled it truancy. Generally, freedom works. But the Tomorrow’s Schools independent taskforce wants to change the balance between freedom and control. It wants to create new regional education hubs responsible for everything from employing teachers to advising on curriculum and pedagogy. Read more

Briar Lipson
Insights Newsletter
22 March, 2019
World2

They say time is relative... Distance is too

Last week feels like it was a year ago. And the past week has made the world feel a little smaller. Last night, the Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada from 2006 through 2015, addressed members and guests of the Initiative at our annual retreat. We found that Laureen, Prime Minister Harper’s wife, had lived in Christchurch as a young woman. Streets and buildings that stood as backdrop in news scenes playing in international media, for the second... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
22 March, 2019
New Zealand flag

They are us

Even three days after the Christchurch massacre, we are still looking for words to describe how we feel. Shock, disbelief and anger are on our minds. In our hearts, there is only bottomless sadness. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Extra Newsletter
18 March, 2019
Vaccination

When superstition beats science

“A regional outbreak of an infectious disease requires emergency mass vaccinations of about 125,000 people.” What sounds like a report from the distant past or a developing country happened only this week, in New Zealand. Measles is back. Over the past few days, the Canterbury District Health Board confirmed 27 cases of measles. Considering that measles takes about two weeks to incubate, the disease is likely to further spread. It could take several weeks until the outbreak is under control. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
15 March, 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
Hipster

Hipsters need nametags

Wellington is a small place. Everybody complains they’re always running into people they know, that it’s hard for young people to date people who haven’t been dated by their friends already, and that it’s impossible to have an impromptu coffee at Astoria without being recognised by some journalist. Maybe that’s what’s behind the hipster drive for anonymity through identical non-conformity. Two weeks ago, MIT Technology Review wrote a piece explaining an older research article claiming to show why non-conformists, hipsters... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
15 March, 2019
Brexit 2

Is it the real deal?

After a meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said new documents to be added to the Brexit deal provided "legally binding changes" to the part relating to the Irish border. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Larry Williams Drive - Newstalk ZB
12 March, 2019
Canada flag + parliament

Oh Canada

Partisanship is a powerful and deadly drug. Canada is the latest in a too-lengthy list of places badly in need of rehab. In response to harsh criticism of his involvement in and handling of a corruption scandal, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told his Party’s supporters this week his policy agenda is too important to risk. Canadian political parties have been too quick to identify the good of the party with the good of the country. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
8 March, 2019
Family

Faking a wellbeing focus?

The government is hyping Budget 2019 as a world-leading “Wellbeing Budget”. The December 2018 Budget Policy Statement proclaims the government’s key focus on improving the wellbeing and living standards of New Zealanders. Do the public have any real evidence of any substance behind such froth? It appears not. Government policies can be expected to improve overall community wellbeing if an authoritative analysis demonstrates that the benefits will exceed the costs to those affected, in some overall sense. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
8 March, 2019

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