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Leonard Hong

Research Assistant

Leonard Hong is a Research Assistant with The New Zealand Initiative and has written research notes on East Asian nations’ Covid-19 containment responses. In 2019, he completed his BA/BCom conjoint degree at The University of Auckland majoring in Politics & International Relations, History, Economics, and International Business. Before joining the Initiative, he was a research intern at The Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney working on economic, cultural and global affairs.

Leonard is a member of the National Unification Advisory Council, a constitutional agency advocating Korean Reunification. He is also a 2020 Prime Minister’s Scholar for Latin America, and a Youth Councillor with the US Embassy.

Latest reports:

Walking the path to the next global financial crisis (2021)
The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand
Research Note: Lessons from East Asia's Covid-19 Containment (2020)
Research Note: Lessons from Abroad: Taiwan's Covid-19 Containment Model (2020)
Research Note: Lessons from abroad: South Korea's Covid-19 containment model (2020)
Research Note: Lessons from abroad: Singapore’s Covid-19 containment model (2020)

Scroll down to read the rest of Leonard's work.


Phone: 04 499 0790

Email: leonard.hong@nzinitiative.org.nz

Recent Work

The Need to Build COVER

The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand

The political ‘buck passing’ of the responsibility for unaffordable housing by successive governments in New Zealand has created extremely expensive housing markets in cities such as Auckland and Wellington – and a national housing crisis. Auckland is the sixth least affordable city among 92 major global housing markets, according to the 2020 Demographia housing survey. Read more

23 February, 2021
House4 v2

Leonard Hong on why we need to build far more than we expect

Leonard Hong discusses the findings of his new report "The Need to build - the demographic drivers of housing demand" with Kate Hawkesby on Newstalk ZB. He explains that with New Zealand's population changes, we need to be build close to 20,000 dwellings annually for the next 20 years (even with zero net migration). Read more

Kate Hawkesby - Newstalk ZB
23 February, 2021
Key in door housing

New report says the current housing crisis is the tip of the iceberg

We are not building enough to meet the looming demographic changes and demands. In his interview on The AM Show, Leonard Hong highlighted findings from his report, The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand, which says policymakers should stop blaming the housing crisis on migration and speculation and instead find policy solutions to free up urban development and housing supply. Read more

The AM Show
23 February, 2021
Building house

Leonard Hong explains the need to build if we want to fix the housing crisis

In his new report, The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand, Leonard Hong highlights New Zealand's housing crisis and explains why it is imperative to build now and to build fast. He spoke on Radio New Zealand's Morning Report about how demographic changes (such as population growth, ageing, and birth rates) mean that New Zealand will need far more dwellings than are currently being built. Read more

Radio New Zealand - Morning Report
23 February, 2021
Leonard round web FINAL

Podcast: Leonard Hong discusses demographic changes in NZ and what this means for our housing crisis

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns the Initiative's latest report, The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand. In this podcast, Oliver Hartwich speaks with report author, Research Assistant Leonard Hong, who explains the implications of these demographic changes (e.g. Read more

23 February, 2021
housing puzzle

Build for the Future

Everyone knows that the status quo with respect to housing is “unsustainable”. The Prime Minister now seems to recognise the need for fundamental change and the opposition has recently offered to work with the government to find non-partisan solutions. Read more

Insights Newsletter
29 January, 2021
Trump cards

Card games in a post-truth World

When in the US earlier this year, I came across many souvenirs mocking the country’s leader, including a card game called, Trump Cards: The Wackiest Game of Fake News. It looked like a fun party card game in which players tried to pick out 'Fake News' from real quotes by President Donald Trump. Read more

Insights Newsletter
26 June, 2020

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