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Fit for Purpose? Are Kiwis getting the government they pay for?

This report looks at how good a job government is doing with all the tasks entrusted to it. The issue is important because government has come to command much of our resources.Taxes in New Zealand have risen four times faster than incomes in the 20th century. Taxes now take more of our income than in almost any country outside Europe. We have become a high tax country.We, the public, need the government to spend our tax money well.Government is a... Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
18 September, 2018
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Smoke and Vapour: the changing world of tobacco harm reduction

Tobacco policy in New Zealand has traditionally neglected the needs of smokers. The good news is that youth uptake of smoking has significantly declined. The bad news is that the current approach is not as effective in helping smokers become ex-smokers. If the government wants to achieve its ‘Smokefree by 2025’ aspiration (reduce smoker prevalence to 5% of the population), more support will be needed to help smokers quit.Nicotine without smokeVaping – the action of inhaling and exhaling e-cigarette vapour... Read more

Jenesa Jeram
11 May, 2018
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Who Guards the Guards? Regulatory Governance in New Zealand

Confidence in the guardians of 21st century commerce really matters. If consumer confidence is misplaced, it can have disastrous consequences. We saw this only too clearly with the losses to retail investors from the collapse of the finance company sector during the GFC. Had the former Securities Commission been awake to the risks the finance companies posed, those losses would have been much less than the estimated $3 billion suffered by investors.Poor decision-making by regulators can also be harmful if... Read more

Roger Partridge
Amy Thomasson
13 April, 2018
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Annual Report 2017

2017 was an extra special year for The New Zealand Initiative. We celebrated our fifth anniversary by producing more high-quality research. We organised well-attended events and had a strong presence in the media. Most satisfyingly, we saw some of our recommendations implemented by the government. Read more

12 March, 2018
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Spoiled by Choice: How NCEA hampers education, and what it needs to succeed

Education is about learning. However, as assessment expert Alison Wolf explains:…formal education is also, and intrinsically, about selection and certification… ~ Wolf, A. (2008)This is why national assessments exist. New Zealand’s is NCEA – the National Certificate of Educational Achievement. It was introduced in 2002-04.Born out of discontent with the old university-dominated system, NCEA was not designed to enable selection. Rather it was designed to be inclusive, through affording vast flexibility. Read more

Briar Lipson
4 March, 2018
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Recipe for disaster: Building policy on shaky ground

Kiwis know a lot about earthquake preparedness. We know that we have to store enough water and supplies to last for an extended period. We know that our houses need to be fixed to their foundations, and roofing tiles need to be tied down. And we know that our disaster plans must be up-to-date, so family members can find each other if cell phone networks are down.But the government must attend to its own earthquake preparedness. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Jason Krupp
25 January, 2018
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Analog Regulation, Digital World

The Challenge. Which moves faster: technology, or the regulation that tries to keep up with it? It is common knowledge that the pace of technological change is always increasing. But our country’s ability to adapt to new technology depends on whether our regulations can keep pace. If they cannot, then we will get left behind.New Zealand has always faced the twin tyrannies of size and distance. We are small and remote. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
James Ting-Edwards
9 November, 2017

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