New Zealand’s lessons for Australia

New Zealand proves that reforms, even in mature democracies, are still possible. They should be possible in Australia as well where they are much needed. For any political leaders wishing to embark on a process of economic reform, whether in Australia or in Europe, a look at New Zealand may well be inspirational. [...]

Quiet Achievers: The New Zealand Path to Reform

Do today’s politicians have the courage to make hard choices? Or has the furious pace of modern politics put an end to the age of reform? While Australia has been avoiding difficult decisions, the New Zealanders have been silently forging ahead. [...]

PM should follow Kiwi path to reform

Ultimately, Australia’s future prosperity depends on Abbott’s succeeding in just that. The adoption of the New Zealand method of quiet, incremental radicalism may be Australia’s best hope of rediscovering the art of reform. [...]

Don’t mention the War?

“Don’t mention the War” was not just a Fawlty Towers quote – it was my experience growing up in Germany. Against this background, the colourful ways in which the wars a remembered in the Commonwealth still strike me as odd. [...]

Clean, ethical and poor

When people meet under Chatham House rules, you cannot disclose afterwards who said what. That's the drawback. The advantage is that you find out what people really believe when they do not have to hold back. And that can be most telling. [...]


It is hard to follow the Cameron chameleon and make sense of his latest mimesis. Suddenly he believes in tax cuts, reducing benefits, cutting the budget and fighting the EU . He now actually sounds like a, well, Tory. [...]

Mind the trans-Tasman tax gap

Plans to increase the top rate of income tax may be good populist policy - they may even win elections. But they would be a sure disaster for the New Zealand economy by robbing us of one of our key competitive advantages over Australia. [...]

Tony Abbott’s German moment

If Australia wanted to draw any conclusions from the German turnaround of the past decade, there are a few. To trigger a wave of economic modernisation, it either takes a conviction politician such as Margaret Thatcher or it takes an economic crisis to force it onto the agenda, as happened to Gerhard Schröder. [...]

Beat as, bro! Now New Zealand is more competitive

Australia and New Zealand: They have been going in different directions for the past five or six years. It will be interesting to see in which direction Australia opts to go on Saturday, and where Australia will be in next year’s competitiveness index. [...]