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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
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
Political drama

Political amateur dramatics - a UK perspective

So far in this Parliament, our fresh-faced new ministers have succumbed to a bit of over-exuberance on GST reform, some misguided Vietnamese-whispers, and some contorting parliamentary questions. But if political amateur dramatics is what you are after there has been little to see here, despite our government’s relative inexperience. Look instead to the UK Conservatives, now into their eighth year in government. First up from the UK this month came sex scandals. Read more

Briar Lipson
Insights Newsletter
24 November, 2017
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
economy newspaper1

Comprehensive and progressive FDI liberalisation

Signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the new government passed its first test on the international stage. If only all policy issues could be solved by just adding the words ‘comprehensive and progressive’ to their names.The TPP, or now the CPTPP (it just rolls off the tongue), is a major step for trade. It will help New Zealand exporters as it opens markets hitherto hard to reach. The CPTPP will create growth, jobs and opportunities.But as we are celebrating this milestone in... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
17 November, 2017
Shoes

Social Investment and wellbeing under Labour

New Zealanders do not have a welfare system we can be proud of.Wellbeing research shows that involuntary unemployment is the pits for wellbeing. Think how sapping it would be to your sense of self worth to search fruitlessly for employment for a year or more. You could easily decide your community thinks you are worthless.  Yet in June this year, over 67,000 New Zealanders had been on the Jobseekers Benefit for at least a year. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
17 November, 2017
caring heart

There be clowns here...

On 3 November I wrote about the Manukau DHB’s refusal to entertain the idea of a Ronald McDonald house at Middlemore Hospital. On further enquiry this decision becomes even more risible. It appears that the decision was an executive decision on the advice of health professionals, not a board decision. I cannot elicit any response or explanation from the DHB. This is disappointing from an institution that needs to be engaged with its community and stakeholders. Read more

Richard Baker
Insights Newsletter
17 November, 2017
data electronics

The tension between regulation and technology

What is New Zealand's track record with regulation keeping up with technology and are we getting it right?Radio New Zealand's Nine To Noon profiles Dr Eric Crampton's latest report, Analog Regulation, Digital World. Read more

Radio New Zealand
16 November, 2017

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