A year of new beginnings

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
15 December, 2023

As 2023 draws to a close, we reflect on a transformative year for New Zealand’s political scene.  

The election ended Labour’s six-year reign and ushered in a new three-party coalition government under Prime Minister Christopher Luxon. 

The time since the election has been marked by a sense of change as the new government has taken shape. The New Zealand Initiative has engaged with this opportunity for change, providing thoughtful analysis and promoting policies that benefit all New Zealanders. 

A key aspect of the new government’s approach, aligning closely with our principles, is its commitment to enhancing the policymaking process. The coalition agreement emphasises using rigorous cost-benefit analysis and grounding decisions in empirical evidence.  

This is a welcome development. It promises more effective and efficient policy to address long-standing issues such as economic growth and regulatory reform. 

In the healthcare sector, the government’s adoption of the ‘Rule of Two’ for faster access to safe medicines represents a significant breakthrough.  

This policy, long advocated by the Initiative, will ensure timely approval of new pharmaceuticals, streamlining Medsafe’s process, aligning it with international standards. It is an example of a responsive, evidence-based policy that will directly benefit the well-being of New Zealanders. 

The government’s plans for regulatory reform, particularly in housing and foreign investment, also reflect our research and recommendations. Financial incentives for councils to encourage housing development and easing restrictions on foreign direct investment will stimulate growth and innovation.  

These policy changes are not just administrative tweaks but steps towards a more dynamic and prosperous New Zealand. 

Perhaps most importantly, the government’s education focus resonates with our research and advocacy. Initiatives like strengthening core skills such as numeracy and literacy and revising the curriculum are crucial for improving education outcomes and preparing future generations for success. 

Looking towards 2024, there is reason for optimism about the potential these new policy directions hold. We believe that the new Government’s commitment to sound policymaking will lead to more robust and beneficial outcomes for New Zealand. 

The Initiative has played a role in promoting these policy changes. We remain committed to informed, effective advocacy.  

Our work would not be possible without our members and the wider community. We are grateful for your engagement and support this year. Your interest and feedback have been invaluable in our mission. 

All of us at The New Zealand Initiative wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. 

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