Rec fishing

Recreational fishers should have a proportional share of the catch

To say the new Minister of Fisheries, Stuart Nash, inherited some fisheries management problems is an understatement. The Ministry for Primary Industries and its predecessors have failed to grapple with the misreporting of commercial catch, discarding of unwanted bycatch and the high grading of targeted catch.They have also failed to mitigate the tensions and conflicts arising from the way a fishery's total allowable catch is allocated between competing fishing sectors.These problems can be considered "wicked", or difficult, if not near... Read more

Dr Randall Bess
New Zealand Herald
18 January, 2018
ParliamentBeehive

A blueprint for opposition politics

Watching the first weeks of the new Parliament, it is difficult not to get confused. On the one hand, we see a government that stumbles its way through the parliamentary machinery. On the other hand, there is an opposition whose combined executive experience makes the government’s job a nightmare. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
The National Business Review
22 December, 2017
data electronics

Leave streaming content out of censorship regime

The season for gathering the family around the television for uplifting Christmas movies is rapidly approaching. But be a little careful out there. The government’s proposed digital convergence legislation remains on hold, and so things are a little messy.Suppose that you, like me, wanted to re-watch the greatest Christmas movie ever made, Die Hard. In that late ‘80s action thriller, Bruce Willis’s John McClane faces down what appears to be a Christmastime terrorist threat from German anarchists, but is really... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
The National Business Review
17 December, 2017
PohutukawaXmas

Thank you and Happy Holidays

As the days are becoming longer, the sun is getting stronger and this summer’s first water restrictions are kicking in, Christmas cannot be far away. And since this is the final edition of Insights for the year, I want to thank you, our readers, for coming along this year’s journey with us. At the Initiative, we worked hard for a better New Zealand for all New Zealanders. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
15 December, 2017
Stuart Nash

National's pretty kettle of fish

Some opposition MPs take to their new roles swimmingly. It is hard to imagine that these politicians ever did anything else but criticise others for not solving problems. Which would be fine if those very problems had not been presided over by their own party for nine years. The prime example is Gerry Brownlee. The former foreign minister is now spokesperson for, among other things, fisheries. Read more

Dr Randall Bess
Insights Newsletter
8 December, 2017
Child reading

What lessons from our dismal and dropping reading results?

The 2016 PIRLS results announced this week are bad.PIRLS (the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) compares the reading ability of Year 5 students.  Ours ranked 33rd among the 50 participating countries. More worrying still, their scores were significantly worse than the last time the test was administered, in 2011.  So far the decline has been blamed on smartphones, and the previous government’s fixation with National Standards. Read more

Briar Lipson
Insights Newsletter
8 December, 2017
Pensioner drinking

The death of NZ’s drinking culture

New Zealand’s drinking culture might be dying. Many signs are pointing that way. Youth hazardous drinking rates are down. National health spokesman Jonathan Coleman condemns binge-drinking events like Crate Day as a “throwback” to a past New Zealand should leave behind. And despite perfect beer drinking conditions across the country, New Zealanders seem to have confirmed this sentiment. The notorious annual binge drinking event, Crate Day, came and went without much drama. Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Insights Newsletter
8 December, 2017
begger

Breaking the cycle of disadvantage

Government welfare must do a better job of breaking the cycle of disadvantage. That message was common cause amongst the audience at the launch this week of the New Zealand Initiative’s latest report Welfare, Work and Wellbeing: From Benefits to Better Lives. The report can be downloaded freely from the Initiative’s website. Myself, as author, and Sue Bradford, who wrote the foreword, spoke to it in front of a diverse and knowledgeable audience of about 100 people. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
1 December, 2017
constitution

This is fairly important

Voltaire wrote that one great use of words is to hide our thoughts. I remembered this when Grant Robertson said the tax working group would improve “fairness” in the tax system. I don’t mean to suggest the Minister was dissembling or concealing some ulterior purpose. While fairness is part of the New Zealand kaupapa, literal “fairness” is however an unhelpful word. What does it mean? Let me illustrate with reference to three traditional models of fairness; equality of outcome, equality... Read more

Richard Baker
Insights Newsletter
1 December, 2017
Rec fishing

Future of recreational fisheries

Increasingly, we are hearing recreational fishers are frustrated about the depletion of some fisheries compared with what they experienced in the past. Also, tensions and conflicts between recreational, commercial and customary fishers are intensifying as they compete for limited fisheries resources. Each fishing sector shares an interest in taking more from a fishery, and they value their share quite differently. The aim of the New Zealand Initiative’s fisheries project is to find ways to preserve fishing for food and fun... Read more

Dr Randall Bess
Insights Newsletter
1 December, 2017
school books

What's the difference between a lawyer and a teacher?

If this sounds like the beginning of a joke, that is because it is. Only it is not a very good one.Almost everyone would agree we have too many lawyers. Even some lawyers. Yet as the headlines have been telling us for a fortnight, teachers are in short supply.Indeed, according to some school principals, we have a crisis. And it seems the problem is worst in Auckland. Read more

Roger Partridge
The National Business Review
24 November, 2017
Regulation

Lofty overall rankings for regulation masks weakness

Voltaire's satirical 1759 novella, Candide, contrasted ‘head-in-the-clouds’ complacency about this being the best of all possible worlds, despite its blemishes, with ‘feet-on-the-ground’ realism. Viewed loftily, New Zealand’s regulations look blissfully benign. New Zealand ranked 2nd best in the world for the quality of its laws and regulations in the Fraser Institute’s recently-released 2017 Economic Freedom of the World Index. Hong Kong was top, Singapore 3rd. No policy problems there apparently, move on. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
24 November, 2017
constitution

Finding level

Careful economics and careful carpentry have one thing in common. Building things level is not easy when the floor is a bit crooked. We need to be a bit careful about retailer demands for level playing fields around tax on imports. As more of us buy from overseas, New Zealand retailers are quick to point to uneven playing fields favouring foreign suppliers. Under the de minimis threshold, imported goods are not taxed unless the amount collected would exceed $60. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
24 November, 2017

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