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New Zealand

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. [...]

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. [...]

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. [...]

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. [...]

Freely speaking

Since New Zealand just had to discuss the meaning of free speech, perhaps it is worth defining what free speech is. And what it is not. [...]

Is it 2008 again?

If the business community believes that our policy direction is so bad it makes them feel like it is 2008 again, New Zealand has a problem. The Government must act quickly to address legitimate concerns and dispel misplaced ones. [...]

Economic literacy and the housing debate

At my next housing discussion, I will not mention I am an economist. Instead, I will demand that houses grow on trees, that infrastructure funding falls from heaven, and that people stop charging each other for products and services. Kumbaya, kumbaya. [...]