Sam Warburton

Former Research Fellow

During his time at the Initiative, Sam focused on transport and infrastructure. Sam has a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration with first class Honours from Victoria University, majoring in Economics and Public Policy.


Recent Work

Auckland highway

Auckland fuel tax: what will improve?

Auckland's regional fuel tax has been in place since the beginning of the month. The extra funds raised are intended to help fund transport projects around the region over the coming decade. Read more

Sam Warburton
Radio New Zealand
22 July, 2018
Housing money

Housing howler

Journalists have a hard job. As well as being underpaid, they are constantly copping an earful from frustrated or confused readers, trolls, and even economists. Read more

Sam Warburton
Insights Newsletter
6 July, 2018

Government failure blamed for road toll

A seventh person died in Waikato Hospital after a head-on collision near Waverley in South Taranaki. Sam Warburton tells Mike Hosking the road toll has gone up by 60 percent over the past four years, but travel is only up 15 percent. Read more

Sam Warburton
Newstalk ZB - Mike Hosking Breakfast
28 June, 2018

Time to push back

The meth testing debacle is one of the biggest government failures in recent times. The Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor’s report and the surrounding discussion, much of it predating the report by two years, has shone light on the primary cause: a lack of evidence in policy making. Read more

Sam Warburton
8 June, 2018
stop sign

Fuel tax and road safety

Sam Warburton talks to The Panel about what he thinks of previous road safety campaigns and whether the change in transport policy will really save 160 lives. Read more

Sam Warburton
The Panel - Radio NZ
6 April, 2018

Sam Warburton discusses a fuel tax increase

The government's 10-year transport plan proposes a fuel tax increase of between nine and 12 cents per litre. Aucklanders face fuel tax hikes of about 20 cents a litre if the Government's increases and a regional fuel tax are brought in. Read more

Sam Warburton
Newstalk ZB - Larry Williams Drive
3 April, 2018

Gravy trains

If you are as lucky as me and found yourself watching Parliament at 9pm on Tuesday night, you would have seen the debate on the Government’s proposed regional fuel tax legislation. The legislation will allow Auckland initially, and other regions later, to tax petrol and diesel up to 10 cents per litre for transport projects. Read more

Sam Warburton
Insights Newsletter
29 March, 2018
Americas Cup

Parker's $1b claim on America's Cup returns disputed

The Auckland venue for New Zealand's America's Cup defence was agreed this week and will go to Auckland Council for sign off. Sam Warburton responds in Morning Report to Economic Development Minister David Parker’s claim the America's Cup could generate up to $1 billion in gains for New Zealand. Read more

Sam Warburton
Morning Report - Radio NZ
28 March, 2018

Hosting America's Cup 'barely worth it'

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) admitted errors in its report on the economic benefits of hosting the America's Cup in Auckland. Its initial cost-to-benefit ratio estimate was between 1.8 and 1.2, meaning benefits would outweigh cost by between 80 and 20 percent. Read more

Sam Warburton
Larry Williams Drive - Newstalk ZB
22 December, 2017

Surge in NZTA staff earning over $100k

Research Fellow Sam Warburton joins Guyon Espiner on Morning Report to discuss the dramatic increase in staff earning over $100,000 at the NZTA. In the 2015/16 financial year the number of people at NZTA earning more that figure increased from 418 to 555 people. Read more

Sam Warburton
Radio New Zealand
22 November, 2017

Six-figure salaries balloon at Transport Agency

Six-figure salaries at the New Zealand Transport Agency have increased by a third. Our Research Fellow, Sam Warburton, talks to John Campbell about why there needs to be greater transparency about these decisions. Read more

Sam Warburton
Radio New Zealand Checkpoint
21 November, 2017

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