‘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:

Final Insights for 2012

As you know, 2012 was an eventful year for The New Zealand Initiative, not in the least because it was our first. Following the merger of our two predecessors, The New Zealand Institute and the Business Roundtable, my team and I have worked hard to build a credible and exciting new think tank in New Zealand. [...]

Not quite Armageddon, but ugly enough

What Australia would need instead are the kinds of structural reforms that have been neglected for years. But unlike an interest rate cut, they cannot be delivered with the stroke of a pen. [...]

TPP welcome, but no panacea

An extended TPP may have a positive effect on FDI – and New Zealand certainly needs to improve its FDI performance. But we should not expect the TPP to be a game-changer. Instead, we need to focus more on welcoming international investors, whether from TPP member countries or not. [...]

Watching TV can change your life

Two recent studies on the subject caught my attention. Both deal with the impacts of TV; both are big, real-world experiments; and both reach some rather unexpected conclusions. [...]

America’s real choice

What the United States can least afford is four more years of election campaign-style politics. Both camps must work together to avert fiscal disaster. But are Democrats and Republicans willing to cooperate for positive change? [...]

Affordable housing is more than a motherhood statement

In considering housing and planning reforms, we need to understand why New Zealand’s housing market is failing to adjust to increases in demand. This is the core question. Once we have found the answer, we will be able to design policies that will restore housing affordability. [...]

End the Dotcom sideshow

No doubt Herr Dotcom has real entertainment value, and his case confounds the view that there’s nothing comical about us Germans. But New Zealand would be better off dedicating its attention to real policy issues and sending Dotcom back into cyberspace. [...]

Plain packaging not so plain

It is hard to foresee which effect will be stronger: a reduced demand from plain packaging or an increased demand from the policy’s unintended effects on price. [...]

Don’t join the currency wars

A curious coalition of exporters, newspaper commentators, Labour, the Green Party, and New Zealand First wants the RBNZ to relinquish its traditional focus on inflation. Instead, they want the central bank to intervene and curb the rising exchange rate of the kiwi dollar. [...]

Migration destination New Zealand

No doubt New Zealand is an attractive country – even those Europeans who knew little else about New Zealand knew that. But are we doing enough to attract the best migrants to our country? Or are we happy for them to migrate to Canada, the United States, Asia or Australia instead? [...]