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Nathan Smith

Chief Editor

Nathan is The New Zealand Initiative’s chief editor. He ensures the team’s research is delivered in a clear and timely fashion so it can receive maximum impact among New Zealand’s top decision-makers.

He brings deep experience writing about business and policy from his eight years as a reporter for The National Business Review and holds a Bachelor of Communication from Massey University. During his time at the NBR, he wrote weekly columns on foreign affairs and trade, coordinated the newspaper’s feature section and covered the country’s most exciting technology companies and startups.

Latest report:
Democracy in the Dark (2020)
Research Note: Reinforcing New Zealand’s trade relationships after Covid-19 (2020)

Phone: +64 4 499 9102

Email: nathan.smith@nzinitiative.org.nz

Recent Work

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Podcast #22: Eric Crampton on National’s border policy ideas

While the Government works to plug the gaps to help achieve its elimination strategy, opposition political party National has released its own high-level policy for border protection. It is light on the details so far, but chief economist Eric Crampton says it sets out a workable framework which is worth adding to the pool of ideas for what to do about the border. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Nathan Smith
Podcast
21 August, 2020
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Podcast #18: Oliver Hartwich on Judith Collins and conservatism in 2020

With the appointment of Judith Collins as leader of the National Party, folk across the political spectrum hope the party is beginning to re-emerge as a genuine counterpoint to the current Labour-led government. New Zealand Initiative director Oliver Hartwich explains why Collins may be what National needs and why the political position of conservatism is so difficult to get excited about in a globalised world. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Nathan Smith
Podcast
17 July, 2020
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Lack of privacy

I don’t know why people are getting so worked up about private details being leaked to MPs. If the Covid-19 crisis taught us anything, it’s that privacy has no place in the “new normal.” The mantra of the internet is that information “wants” to be free, as if data itself has agency. Read more

Nathan Smith
Insights newsletter
10 July, 2020
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Podcast #17: David Law on retirement policy after Covid-19

Pulling New Zealand out of the fiscal hole opened up by Covid-19 will require a lot of new spending, which the government has already announced. But the crisis also offers the country a chance to rethink its expensive retirement schemes like Kiwisaver, the New Zealand Superannuation and the Superannuation Fund. Read more

Dr David Law
Nathan Smith
Podcast
10 July, 2020
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Podcast #16: Bryce Wilkinson unpacks Modern Monetary Theory

The concept of modern monetary theory is back. This set of economic ideas has been around for a while but has risen to prominence recently through the work of American economist and adviser to Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign, Stephanie Kelton, whose book 'The Deficit Myth' was released in June. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Nathan Smith
Podcast
3 July, 2020
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Podcast #15: How to think about cannabis legalisation, with Dr Eric Crampton

On this week’s New Zealand Initiative podcast, Kiwis are set to vote in a referendum to legalise cannabis on September 19. It’s a controversial topic for some, but chief economist Dr Eric Crampton says thinking about cannabis from an economic perspective can help clear up many misconceptions and worries. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Nathan Smith
Podcast
26 June, 2020
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Podcast #14: Eric Crampton on how to build a real quarantine system

On this week’s podcast, reports this week show that New Zealand’s quarantine protocols are not as robust as people thought and the question of what to do about protecting the border from fresh Covid-19 cases is now front and centre. Our chief economist Dr Eric Crampton is outlining a gold standard quarantine system which may need to involve the private sector and require a deep rethink from the Government. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Nathan Smith
Podcast
18 June, 2020
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Podcast #13: Nathan Smith on the shifting sands of globalisation

In just a few months, Covid-19 travelled from China to more than 200 other countries, has now killed more than 330,000 people, forced organisations and individuals to embrace new practices such as remote working and plenty of tech shifts. The term “frequent flyer” will now be an anachronism and many think the pandemic spelled the death of market economies and globalisation. Read more

Nathan Smith
Podcast
12 June, 2020

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