New Zealand

The wrong kind of economic stimulus

The Canterbury earthquakes certainly demonstrated how resilient New Zealanders are in the face of adversity, but there is no doubt we would have been better off without them. Don't let bad economics suggest otherwise. [...]

NZ finance minister puts Swan to shame

Ultimately, fiscal management is about choices: choices made according to principle and responding to circumstance. Swan made easy but poor choices, while English made difficult but sensible choices. As a result, New Zealand's public finances are in good shape, and the Kiwi economy looks forward to continuing its healthy growth rates. [...]

Time to go local

Two things are an anathema to free-market economists: government intervention and monopolies. And one thing is even worse: When public services are provided by a central government monopolist. [...]

Cash no longer king?

Recent news about government agencies’ regular surveillance activities makes you appreciate the areas in which our lives cannot be monitored. Cash may no longer be king, but it is a little piece of freedom we carry in our wallets. [...]

Relevant statistics you can trust

If you have not noticed it yet, 2013 is the International Year of Statistics. To celebrate this momentous occasion, Statistics New Zealand invited me to speak at a breakfast event on the trustworthiness of statistics. [...]

Norway? No way!

The idea of copying the Norwegian example of an SWF in New Zealand is simple, tempting, attractive – and wrong. [...]

Why tourism offers best opportunities for future growth

At least in principle, there is widespread agreement that New Zealand should aim to increase its exports – whether you subscribe to the government’s target of 40% of GDP by 2025 or not. There is less agreement on how such an exports boost could be realistically achieved and which sectors are most likely to drive it. This holds especially true for New Zealand’s second largest exports industry (after dairy): tourism. [...]

The currency union that’d drag Australia south

If you really can’t help yourself and desperately yearn for a currency union between Australia and New Zealand against all odds, then at least you should also include Papua New Guinea. Simply because every failing monetary union deserves its Greece. [...]

Budget 2013 – slow and steady wins the race

Predictably, but regrettably, the Budget does little to defuse the fiscal time bomb that an ageing population poses for future spending on health care and retirement incomes. There is much still to be done after this still-laudable budget. [...]