House4

From Kiwibuild to Kiwis Building

At its heart, Kiwibuild was a promise to end the housing crisis. The set of reforms Minister Twyford is overseeing can fulfil that promise, if he has the chance to see them through.The housing crisis has nothing to do with government failing to build enough homes. It stems instead from a nasty mess of perverse incentives facing growing councils, debt limits, infrastructure financing problems, and difficulty in revising district plans under RMA processes – as a starting point.If the prior... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
14 June, 2019
Drinks

Let them have fun

“Nothing good happens after 3 am,” Auckland’s top-ranking police officer once said.“Facts tend to be overanalysed,” his Wellingtonian counterpart claimed.Unfortunately, personal opinions and anecdotal evidence like this about opening hours and alcohol licences of bars and party venues often decide the direction of policy proposals for regulating the night-time economy. Yet, such arbitrary behaviour is typical – abroad and in New Zealand.For example, in 2014 the government of New South Wales introduced new controls for the nightlife across large parts... Read more

Natanael Rother
Insights Newsletter
14 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
Frustration

The rot at treasury started years ago

If the Canterbury earthquakes taught us anything, it’s that the immediate response to a disaster is a very different thing from the rebuilding that has to follow.Disaster response is about triage, the good-enough, and avoiding substantial further harm. The rebuild is different. It takes a fair bit of thought about what the place should look like, and a long-term strategy to get there. In the best case, the long-term vision has always been in place and all that needs to... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
The Spinoff
7 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
Speed limit

Buckle up for the speed-limit debate

New Zealand has to slow down. At least, that was the overall message from the NZ Transport Agency’s Mega Maps data released this week. According to the online interactive tool assessing road trip risks, 95 percent of the country's 100 km/h roads should have a lower speed limit – with two-thirds of them slowing down to 60 km/h. “We need to hit speed hard”, said Niclas Johansson, NZTA's acting director of safety and environment. Read more

Dr Patrick Carvalho
Insights Newsletter
7 June, 2019
Britain

More inspiration from barmy Britain

Readers of the NBR may have seen my column last week, “The great Brexit delusion”. For reasons that may not appear obvious, I comment in the column on proposals from the British government to curb the number of calories in restaurant meals and takeaway food. Apparently, Britain’s bureaucrats seized on the idea of regulating ready-to-go meals as a weapon in the battle against obesity. The proposals provoked such a backlash they have had to be scrapped. But it got me thinking. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
7 June, 2019
Traffic4

The time is ripe for road pricing in New Zealand

“With a little ingenuity, it is possible to devise methods of charging for the use of the city streets that are capable of adjusting the charge in close conformity with variations in costs and traffic conditions,” wrote William Vickrey, Nobel Laureate and the father of road pricing theory, in 1963. Little did he know that it would take more than 50 years for the technology to catch up to his vision. Read more

Dr Patrick Carvalho
Logistics and Transport NZ, The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport
5 June, 2019

Stay in the loop: Subscribe to updates