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Insights

‘Insights’ is the weekly newsletter of The New Zealand Initiative. Every Friday it provides comment pieces on domestic and global policy issues and the state of the world as such. It is a newsletter serious enough for a think tank – and lighthearted enough for an enjoyable Friday afternoon read. Please subscribe to ‘Insights’ by visiting the website of The New Zealand Initiative: www.nzinitiative.org.nz

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. [...]

Tricks and treats

Halloween is a strange feast in our calendar. Nobody knows what is celebrated and why. But that, I would argue, makes it the perfect candidate for New Zealand’s next public holiday. We need more nonsensical feasts to guide us through the year. [...]

No case for waka jumping

When the waka jumping bill went through Parliament last month, National had objected to it based on high principles. By not invoking this monstrosity of a law even as it would benefit them, National showed it believes in those principles. [...]

New Zealand First’s values

It does not happen too often that politicians do what I want them to do. It is even stranger when this almost makes me change my mind. New Zealand First’s Respecting New Zealand Values Bill has achieved this remarkable feat. [...]

Dissecting the 21st century’s Great Untruths

It had to take an evolutionary psychologist and a lawyer to dissect (some of) the craziness of modern society and polity. Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff’s new book The Coddling of the American Mind is required reading for anyone wishing to understand 21st century politics, not just in the US but globally. [...]

Still the lucky country

Australia has demonstrated that reality can easily keep up with the fiction of House of Cards. Frank Underwood’s Washington seems almost civilised against the snake pit that is Canberra. [...]

Bridges’ right to travel

At the risk of making myself unpopular, I have absolutely no problem with Simon Bridges’ expenses bill. Except that it was leaked and that some other politicians are trying to turn it into a scandal. [...]