Latest posts

2018

Time to un-Grinch

From a policy perspective, New Zealand’s 2018 was not quite as eventful as most observers predicted. The (now no longer) new Government established so many inquiries and working groups that we saw less policymaking and more policy preparation. [...]

A continent on the brink

No matter where you look, Europe is facing serious challenges. The past two or three years after the end of the Greek crisis were a welcome respite for the troubled continent. But the next storm is not far away and it is likely to be worse than the ones before. [...]

Centralism attacks Tomorrow’s Schools

In one area of public policy, New Zealand is much devolved: education. Since the rollout of Tomorrow’s Schools in 1989, our schools have enjoyed relative autonomy and self-governance. That may end if the Government implements recommendations from the Tomorrow's Schools Review taskforce. [...]

Having and eating your housing cake

If house prices go up, it is a scandal. If house prices go down, it is a disaster. That must be the logic by which the media reports on the ups and downs of the property market. [...]

Financial innovation beats Kiwibuild

Besides, the construction of 9,000 homes is more than 26 times the number of buyers who have qualified for Kiwibuild so far. It’s a pity that complex finance initiatives do not make for great photo opportunities with the Prime Minister. [...]

Towards Trump 2020

Few outcomes of the US midterm elections could have been predicted with certainty. Except that President Trump would call the result a “tremendous success” no matter what. And he did just that. [...]

The race to succeed Merkel

The way it is going, Germany’s chancellor in early 2019 would no longer be called Merkel but Merz. That may sound similar. They even belong to the same party. But it would be a markedly different government. [...]