Final Oliver Hartwich

Dr Oliver Hartwich

Executive Director

Oliver is the Executive Director of The New Zealand Initiative. Before joining the Initiative, he was a Research Fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney, the Chief Economist at Policy Exchange in London, and an advisor in the UK House of Lords. Oliver holds a Master’s degree in Economics and Business administration and a PhD in Law from Bochum University in Germany.

Oliver is available to comment on all of the Initiative’s research areas.

Latest reports:
#localismNZ: Bringing power to the people (2019)
Submission: Future of Tax
Submission: Overseas Investment Amendment Bill (2018)
Go Swiss: Learnings from The New Zealand Initiative's visit to Switzerland (2017)
Manifesto 2017: What the next New Zealand Government should do (2017)
Why Europe Failed (2015)

Phone: +64 4 499 0790


Recent Work

Denmark canal

Learning by comparison

Next week, The New Zealand Initiative will be taking a delegation of more than three dozen senior business leaders to Copenhagen. Our members want to study and experience first-hand what makes Denmark one of the world’s most successful small countries.Denmark’s success may appear surprising given it is one of the most highly taxed countries in the world. It is often regarded as the social-democratic country par excellence, with a cradle-to-grave welfare state.There is a grain of truth in these clichés. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
21 June, 2019
Monty Python

Always look on the bright side of Brexit

English is not my native language – not that you can tell by my German name or accent. I did learn the language, but the journey was most unusual.My teachers were the strict-but-brilliant Frau Voß and Monty Python. The latter turned out to be particularly instructive since they also prepared me for the absurdities of British life. Without Monty Python, I would be even more hard-pressed to make sense of Brexit.Just think of the Conservative Party’s circus to find a... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
14 June, 2019
Oliver Hartwich ABC Media

Calls for New Zealand's Treasury and Central Bank to lift their game

New Zealand attracted global attention after unveiling a "world-first" well-being budget. It's based on priorities such as mental health and child poverty instead of the usual growth and jobs. However, both the NZ Treasury and Reserve Bank have been under fire, raising questions as to whether such a budget could be implemented. Oliver Hartwich discusses the issues with both institutions on Australia's ABC Business News. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
ABC Business (Australia)
11 June, 2019
China flag

Kudos to Winston Peters

Winston Peters’ comments on the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre were candid. Where Western politicians have turned not upsetting China over its human rights record into an art form, the Foreign Minister left diplomatic niceties behind. In an interview with Magic Talk radio on Tuesday, the Foreign Minister was blunt. “Thirty years ago, about 10,000 people – we don’t know how many – lost their lives when Chinese army’s guns were turned on them, which is very, very... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
7 June, 2019

Why Huawei?

Earlier this year, I got myself a new smartphone. Its 7-nanometre processor is lightning fast, the triple camera takes stunning pictures, and the huge battery is still half full at the end of a working day. It is by far the best phone I have ever had.No wonder Donald Trump is worried about the technological and commercial threat Huawei’s poses to US companies.Okay, that is not how the US President justified his blacklisting of the Chinese technology firm this week. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
24 May, 2019

Financial stability and due scrutiny

During the Global Financial Crisis, many banks around the world failed spectacularly (though fortunately none in Australia or New Zealand). Some financial institutions were bailed out at enormous costs to taxpayers. Others went under, causing severe disruption to their economies.To prevent such a scenario ever playing out again must be a constant worry for any financial markets regulator and central bank.This is why the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) published proposals last December to increase the amount of capital... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
17 May, 2019
Brexit 3

A predictable Brexit disaster

The problem with being an expert is that people regularly ask you for predictions. As if your knowledge of something would automatically let you know the future. That sure would be nice, but expertise is different from prescience.Thus, when I am asked for predictions, I usually brush it off politely. My standard line is that questions about the future should be directed to astrologers, not mortal economists.However, there are exceptions. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
15 May, 2019

Le cultural clash

It took the Australian Government years to decide whom to task with building its next generation submarine fleet. It was still not enough time to prepare them for the cultural clash that followed. Back in 2016, the Australian Prime Minister – Malcolm Turnbull, most probably – awarded the AU$50 billion contract to French company Naval Group over rival offers from German and Japanese firms. As the ABC recently reported, building submarines involves far more than high-tech engineering, quality materials and... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
10 May, 2019
Jonathan Haidt

Disagree more constructively

When US psychologist Jonathan Haidt published The Righteous Mind in 2012, he himself may not have known how prescient it would be. The book’s subtitle is Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. Though such divisions were clearly visible even then, they were just a foretaste of what was to come. Trump, Brexit and the global surge of populism have created more politically divided societies than at any time during the past half century. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
3 May, 2019

Trump on everything

Flames and smoke on the roof of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris: When I saw the pictures, still half-asleep, early Tuesday morning, my first thought was the fire was so high up that perhaps some aerial firefighting support was called for. Upon further consideration, and with the benefit of having woken up by then, I realised that was a daft idea. If it had been sensible, then French firefighters would have thought of it already. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
18 April, 2019

Stay in the loop: Subscribe to updates