No one likes to spend their precious Saturday morning waiting for the train. But that is exactly what residents of northern Germany were forced to endure in early October, after cables needed to operate the trains were cut. Read more
Dr Matthew Birchall
Matthew is a Research Fellow at The New Zealand Initiative, focusing on infrastructure and the housing market.
A historian by training, Matthew's writing on the British Empire has been published in the Journal of Global History and Global Intellectual History. He was awarded the Royal Historical Society's prestigious Alexander Prize in 2021 for the best scholarly article based upon original historical research.
Matthew holds an MA (Hons) in International Relations & Modern History from the University of St Andrews, an M.Phil. in Political Thought & Intellectual History from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in history, also from the University of Cambridge.
Phone: 04 499 0790
Another week, another British Prime Minister. Just 44 days into the job, Liz Truss was forced into a humiliating resignation. Read more
It might not have been a vote of no-confidence in local government, but it was far from an enthusiastic endorsement of the status quo. In 2019, 42% of eligible local voters cast a ballot. Read more
Aucklanders have yet more rail disruption to look forward to this Christmas. Last week, in a bolt from the blue, KiwiRail and Auckland Transport announced a series of major shutdowns to train lines in the Super City. Read more
It’s hard to write satire when politicians do all the work for you. Take the UK’s embattled Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng. Read more
Political theatre is not usually associated with Julius Vogel (1835-99), the chief architect of the radical expansion of New Zealand’s rail network in the 1870s. A poor speaker, Vogel was also partially deaf in one ear – no small handicap in the heyday of parliamentary debate. Read more
We can learn a lot from Australia. Routinely ranked among the best places in the world to call home, the lucky country has a climate to die for, a robust economy, and a culture that celebrates winning. Read more
Historians can be a tedious bunch. As someone who frequently hijacks dinner parties with history lectures, I would know. Read more
Scott Wilson joins Eric Crampton and Matthew Birchall to discuss the petrol excise holiday, sustainability of the land transport funding system, and what better options might be for the funding and financing of New Zealand roads in the future. To listen to our latest podcasts, please subscribe to The New Zealand Initiative podcast on iTunes, Spotify or The Podcast App. Read more
Oliver Hartwich interviews historians James Kierstead and Matthew Birchall, two new colleagues at the Initiative. To listen to our latest podcasts, please subscribe to The New Zealand Initiative podcast on iTunes, Spotify or The Podcast App. Read more