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Auckland highway

Challenges stack up for super minister

In the new cabinet, Phil Twyford stands out as the minister with the most challenging mandate. Combining housing and transport in one person has created a superminister in charge of all aspects of urban development.If Mr Twyford succeeds, he will not only bolster Labour’s chances of re-election. He will also shape the face of the country for decades to come.At the risk of oversimplification, New Zealand’s urban growth model at best has been a model to accommodate growth, not facilitate it. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
The National Business Review
17 November, 2017
superman

How not to save lives

In the DC comic story, a flying Superman spies Lois Lane tied across a railroad line. A fast-moving passenger train is but metres away. Superman swoops down. With a single out-stretched arm he stops the iron monster dead in its tracks. He has saved Lois. What else could matter? Well, the comic book did not do a cost-benefit assessment. But the plausible tally is one life saved and hundreds killed or injured in the concertinaed train. Enter WorkSafe NZ. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
The National Business Review
20 October, 2017
Housing3

A shoddy tale of irresponsible regulation

A NZIER report released this week discredits a WorkSafe NZ safety programme that started in November 2011.  The programme aims to reduce workplace falls from heights of below 3 metres.   We all agree that safety is important. So is cost. Anyone who cares about safety has to care about the cost of achieving it. Otherwise they fail to spend where the safety gains are greatest.   The cost increases are material. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
20 October, 2017

Media release: We don't know how lucky we are in this country

This year’s election campaign has been just a little bit crazy. But New Zealand remains the world’s last sane place, says The New Zealand Initiative. It is important to keep it that way.The Initiative today released Chief Economist Dr Eric Crampton’s essay, The Outside of the Asylum. Its lighthearted take makes a serious point. Regardless of election year shenanigans, New Zealand gets a lot of things right that other countries screw up. For example: Read more

Media release
2 September, 2017
Building house

The winding road to housing affordability

The announcement of a new way of funding urban infrastructure is a bit like announcing a way of clearing that first big slip on the road from Kaikoura to Blenheim. It’s an important and necessary start but it is only a start.After the slips are cleared, there will still be a lot of work ahead before traffic can start moving again. The road will need to be rebuilt in places, and slopes will need to be stabilised. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
The National Business Review
28 July, 2017
Parliament

A big step towards affordable housing

If you are a regular Insights reader, you will know that housing has been a key issue for the Initiative since we started in 2012. In our reports, speeches and opinion pieces we have repeatedly made the case for reforms to planning, local government and infrastructure finance. In doing so, we convinced many commentators, officials and politicians. Last Sunday, we finally saw the first of our big ideas implemented by Government. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
28 July, 2017

Media release: A breakthrough for housing affordability

Wellington (23 July 2017): The New Zealand Initiative congratulates the Government on its new mechanism for delivering local infrastructure – not least because it follows a recommendation the Initiative first made in 2013. The Government has just announced it will rename Crown Fibre Holdings into Crown Infrastructure Partners. The new entity will deliver new trunk infrastructure through special purpose vehicles. In this way, infrastructure costs will be recovered through special rates over the lifecycle of the infrastructure assets. Read more

Media Release
23 July, 2017
Parliament

Media Release: LGNZ Manifesto – an important step for empowering our local councils

Wellington (23 July 2017): The release of Local Government New Zealand’s (LGNZ) 2017 Local Government Manifesto calls for councils to have more of the responsibility to create stronger, vibrant and more prosperous communities.Since 2012, the role of local government has been a core research topic for The New Zealand Initiative. Across six research reports, the Initiative has published recommendations on strengthening local government, promoting local democracy and devolving government services. “Localism is more than just local government,” says Dr Oliver Hartwich, The New Zealand Initiative’s Executive Director. Read more

Media Release
23 July, 2017

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