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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
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

Magical thinking doesn't lift wages

During the election campaign, newly sworn-in Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern named climate change as the challenge of her generation. If it is, lifting labour productivity is a close second.Productivity growth has been low over the past decade and a half. Therefore, growth in real wages has also been modest. If future generations are to share New Zealand’s enviable prosperity, that must change.The first response to this challenge from Ms Ardern’s government has been a promise to lift the minimum wage... Read more

Roger Partridge
The National Business Review
3 November, 2017

Our ambitious plan for education

Our newly sworn-in Government has about 1000 days to deliver on its campaign promises.Fixing the education system will take more time. Too many fundamental aspects are in need of reform.So it was encouraging to read in the coalition agreement about a planned 30-year strategic plan for education.The long term outlook should enable strategic prioritisation of incremental and transformational changes.And so working backwards we should outline the kind of system The New Zealand Initiative envisions 30 years from now.We want a... Read more

Martine Udahemuka
Insights Newsletter
27 October, 2017

Thinking critically about New Zealand's latest prize

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, New Zealand leads the world in ‘educating for the future’.Their latest index, compiled in London, evaluates the extent to which the inputs to education systems prioritise ‘future skills’. New Zealand came out top, followed closely by Canada and Finland.But is this a prize we should be proud of?The Economist’s intelligentsia tells us that ‘workers of the future will need to master a suite of adaptable interpersonal, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills’.The language of future-focused skills... Read more

Briar Lipson
Insights Newsletter
6 October, 2017
Graduation cap1

In the mood for policy change

Approval ratings of more than three quarters are almost unheard of in politics. Most politicians would be satisfied with far less. So you can imagine our excitement when we saw the results of the New Zealand Herald’s ‘Mood of the Boardroom’ survey. It polled leading business people on a range of issues – including two that are close to our hearts at the Initiative. And it revealed overwhelming support for the Initiative’s ideas. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
15 September, 2017

Media release: Support for Swiss-style dual education and GST for the regions

Wellington, 12 September 2017 - The New Zealand Initiative welcomes the results of the Mood of the Boardroom 2017 survey. New Zealand business leaders gave their view on policies to address critical issues like housing, immigration, the environment and taxation. Following the Initiative’s business delegation trip to Switzerland earlier this year, one survey-question revealed that 94 percent of the business leaders support the introduction of a Swiss-style dual education system for New Zealand. Read more

Media release
12 September, 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

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