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Matt Burgess

Senior Economist

Matt Burgess is a Senior Economist at The New Zealand Initiative. He was Senior Economic Advisor to the Minister of Finance, Chief Executive of iPredict, and a Senior Associate at consultants Charles River Associates.

He has a Master of Commerce in economics with first class honours from the University of Canterbury and a Bachelor of Commerce in economics and mathematics.

Latest reports:
Real action, not empty words: How to make the Zero Carbon Bill about cutting emissions (2019)
Research Note: When the facts change - How the ICCC saved New Zealand from a policy disaster (2019)
Switched on! Achieving a green, affordable and reliable energy future (2019)


Phone: +64 4 499 0790


Recent Work

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Podcast #32: Matt Burgess on the RBNZ’s curious climate speech

In this week’s New Zealand initiative podcast, a speech by Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr touched on climate change and social transformation as part of his thinking in achieving future financial stability. But the content of the speech caught the attention of analyst Matt Burgess not necessarily for what was said, but what the governor left out. Read more

Matt Burgess
Nathan Smith
30 October, 2020

Greta is right

Two developments this week on the Government’s flagship Zero Carbon Bill. First, Parliament’s Environment Committee sent its report recommending changes back to the House, having waded through more than 10,000 public submissions. Read more

Matt Burgess
Insights Newsletter
25 October, 2019

Job application

Dear Minister of Finance, I am writing to apply for the position of Lead Economic Advisor to the Government, a position held by The Treasury since the 1940s. Please find enclosed my CV with references. Read more

Matt Burgess
Insights Newsletter
26 July, 2019
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Research Note - When the facts change: How the ICCC saved New Zealand from a policy disaster

The Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC) has delivered a landmark report, according to our new policy paper, When the facts change: How the ICCC saved New Zealand from a policy disaster. Analysis by the Interim Committee found the Government’s 100% renewable electricity policy would hike power prices and potentially deliver worse environmental outcomes. Read more

Matt Burgess
25 July, 2019

A good decision

Lost in the government’s response to the Interim Climate Change Committee this week was the decision to put on ice its 100% renewable electricity policy to focus on other more effective measures. It is hard to overstate the significance of this decision. Read more

Matt Burgess
Insights Newsletter
19 July, 2019
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Test before you leap

If politics makes it hard to change a policy after it is announced, then testing policies before they are announced has potentially huge benefits. Testing is particularly important in climate change policy as policies vary enormously in performance, and governments have a particularly hard time in backing away from environmental policies that do not work. Read more

Matt Burgess
Insights Newsletter
28 June, 2019

Matt Burgess discusses the findings of the ICCC

The Independent Climate Change Committee's (ICCC) report into how New Zealand can reach the 100% renewable energy target seems to suggest the policy will be very expensive and will undermine New Zealand's efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions overall. This is completely in line with findings from our report Switched On! Read more

Matt Burgess
Mike Hosking Breakfast - Newstalk ZB
25 June, 2019
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The power of quantifying emissions policies

It has been four weeks since the Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC) delivered to Minister James Shaw its analysis of the government’s 100% renewable electricity policy. If reports from a conference presentation given by the committee’s chair in April are correct, the results are not kind to the government’s commitment. Read more

Matt Burgess
Insights Newsletter
31 May, 2019

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