Ben Craven final

Ben Craven

External Relations Manager

Ben is the External Relations Manager for the New Zealand Initiative. He works closely with media and stakeholders to increase awareness of the Initiative’s research and thought leadership.

He has more than a decade of experience working in public relations, communications and campaign management. Before joining the team, Ben worked as a public relations consultant where he advised multinationals, cooperatives, charities and NGOs on how to attain their objectives.

Ben worked for the New Zealand Initiative between 2016 – 2018 as Project Coordinator. He is the co-author of #LocalismNZ: Bringing power to the people.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in politics and philosophy from Victoria University of Wellington, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Communication from Massey University. 

Phone: 022 079 2788


Recent Work

Oliver v12

Podcast: Austrian media funding scandal

Oliver Hartwich joins Ben Craven to discuss his latest Newsroom column on a media funding scandal that has led to the resignation of centre-right Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. The investigation has highlighted the dependency of Austrian media on government advertising, and the influence that funding can exert. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
21 October, 2021

Media release: Improved housing policy enthusiastically welcomed

Wellington (Tuesday, 19 October 2021) – Today, the Government took a significant step toward restoring housing affordability. The New Zealand Initiative enthusiastically welcomed the announcement, supported by Labour and National, of a broad upzoning across urban centres where housing is terribly unaffordable. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Dr Eric Crampton
Media release
19 October, 2021
Bryce round website FINAL

Podcast: The Illusions of History

Dr Bryce Wilkinson and Emeritus Professor Gary Hawke join Ben Craven to discuss Bryce’s latest report, The Illusions of History: How misunderstanding the past jeopardises our future. The trio look at some of the prevailing myths of New Zealand’s economic history, and explain the risks of basing contemporary public policy on inaccurate stories of our past. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Emeritus Professor Gary Hawke
14 October, 2021

Media release: Requisitioning a step too far - NZ Initiative

Wellington (Tuesday, 12 October 2021) – The New Zealand Initiative is urging the Government to substantially reconsider a provision in the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No. 2) that would allow it to commandeer private Covid testing facilities and equipment such as those of Rako Science. The egregious provision and its implications for New Zealand’s testing capability were the subject of the New Zealand Initiative’s submission on the Bill. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Media release
12 October, 2021

Media release: New Zealand Initiative welcomes immigration announcement

Wellington (Thursday, 30 September 2021) – The New Zealand Initiative has welcomed today’s announcement from Immigration Minister Hon Kris Faafoi that the government will provide a pathway to residency for migrants currently in New Zealand. In May, The New Zealand Initiative implored the government to rethink their hostile approach to skilled migrants and called for migrants to be given residence. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Dr Eric Crampton
Media release
30 September, 2021

Podcast: Oliver Hartwich discusses the German election results and possible government coalitions

Germans went to the polls on Sunday to elect the first post-Angela Merkel government. Ben Craven talks to Oliver Hartwich about the results, who the winners and losers are, and what the next government could look like. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
29 September, 2021

Media release: Illusions of History: How misunderstanding the past jeopardises our future

Wellington (Tuesday, 21 September 2021) – The 2.8 percent jump in GDP in the June quarter 2021 does not mean that the government’s economic strategy is sound. In fact, it is dangerous wishful thinking based on a false reading of history, according to a new research report from The New Zealand Initiative. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Media release
20 September, 2021
Fired v2

Podcast: David Law on the Government's unemployment insurance proposal

Dr David Law joins Ben Craven to discuss what we know about the Government’s plans for unemployment insurance, and what such a scheme could look like for New Zealanders. To listen to our latest podcasts, please subscribe to The New Zealand Initiative podcast on iTunes, Spotify or The Podcast App. Read more

Dr David Law
10 September, 2021

Media release: Personal budgets transforming lives of disabled Kiwis

Wellington (Friday, 27 August 2021): A new report by the New Zealand Initiative says personal budgets are a social services innovation that is creating new opportunities and changing how disabled Kiwis live. The report, titled The Power of Freedom: How personal budgets for social services are transforming lives, compares outcomes from traditional support services to the Individualised Funding (“IF”) model for disability support. Read more

Matt Burgess
Media release
27 August, 2021

Media release: Knee-jerk political reactions unhelpful

Wellington (Wednesday, 18 August 2021): A review of last week’s blackout by Carl Hansen, the former Chief Executive of the Electricity Authority (EA), argues for a sober and careful analysis of why 35,000 consumers lost power for up to two hours on 9 August. In a research paper published today by the New Zealand Initiative, Mr Hansen states “It is essential the Government allows the independent market regulator to identify and address any problems found.” “It is also important the Opposition take a mature approach and resist the temptation to jump to conclusions and call for Ministerial heads to roll.” At 6:48pm, Transpower asked lines companies to reduce demand by 1%, and followed up this request with a formal notice at 7:09pm. Read more

Media Release
18 August, 2021

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