NZIJ0158 PHARMAC report COVER white logo

Pharmac: The right prescription?

This report examines the strengths and weaknesses of New Zealand’s arrangements for prescription medicines. Central to them is the Pharmaceutical Management Agency, Pharmac, a Crown entity. Among OECD member countries, Pharmac is “unique” in combining “clinical, economic and commercial aspects, and decision-making within a fixed budget for subsidising pharmaceuticals.”1 Other member countries commonly separate these roles and may have more open-ended budgets.Perhaps the greatest strength in New Zealand’s arrangements compared to elsewhere is that, from its inception in 1993, Pharmac... Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
29 July, 2020
Safe Arrivals Cover2

Research Note: Safe Arrivals

Up to a million Kiwis live overseas with a right to return to New Zealand. While the country is now effectively free of Covid-19, with cases only in the country’s quarantine facilities, the pandemic rages abroad and is unlikely to abate anytime soon. Even if a vaccine is developed this year, scaling up its production will take time. In the meantime, the Government must scale up its own capabilities and capacity within its managed isolation and quarantine facilities.This report provides... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Research Note
24 July, 2020
Policy Point Borrowing to Save Retirement Income Policy After Covid 19 3

Policy Point: Borrowing to Save: Retirement Income Policy after Covid-19

The Government’s response to the economic challenges of Covid-19 has primarily focused on new spending which will balloon public debt from 19% of GDP in 2019 to 30% in 2020 and peak at nearly 54% of GDP by 2024. It is only expected to modestly fall to 42% of GDP by 2034.A clear choice has been made to defer paying the costs of the Government’s economic response to the Covid-19 crisis into the future, either by lower levels of public... Read more

Dr David Law
Policy Point
19 June, 2020
Doing whatever it takes with someone elses money 3

Research Note: Doing whatever it takes with someone else’s money

New Zealand is now on a dangerous path to higher public debt and unprecedented money printing with no credible plan for unwinding the situation before the next crisis, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. Covid-19 and the various types of lockdown responses have caused many governments to go even more heavily into debt and print money to sustain asset prices with borrowed money. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Research Note
12 June, 2020
Research Note Lessons from East Asias Covid 19 Containment 1

Research Note: Lessons from East Asia's Covid-19 Containment

Since the first cases of the Covid-19 virus emerged in the Chinese province of Wuhan, several East Asian countries including Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan have successfully 'flattened the curve' of infection rates. The three countries used common public policies in the first 50 days since each registered their 100th case. Read more

Joel Hernandez
Research Note
25 May, 2020
Research Note The rule of law or the law of rulers 1

Research Note: The rule of law or the law of rulers

Several legal scholars have raised concerns about the legality of the emergency powers during the Covid-19 crisis exercised by Government officials – specifically, the Director General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield’s orders under the Health Act 1956 sending the country into lockdown on 25 March. The courts will decide the lawfulness of Bloomfield’s actions now that they have been challenged by former Parliamentary Counsel (and legal textbook author) Andrew Borrowdale (the Borrowdale proceedings). Read more

Roger Partridge
Research Note
21 May, 2020
Research Note Lessons from Abroad Taiwans Covid 19 Containment Model 1

Research Note: Lessons from Abroad: Taiwan's Covid-19 Containment Model

Alongside South Korea, Taiwan is one of the few countries to “flatten the curve” of Covid-19 without a national lockdown due to its prior experience with the SARS epidemic of 2003. New Zealand’s pathway is similar to Taiwan’s and there are lessons to be learned as New Zealand moves into Alert Level 2. Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters suggested creating “international bubbles” for countries with Covid-19 success to introduce new trade connections and travel links. Read more

Joel Hernandez
Research Note
12 May, 2020
Policy Point For better or for worse How governments respond to crises 002 1

Policy Point: For better or for worse: How governments respond to crises

As New Zealand nears the end of the Covid-19 public health emergency, all eyes are on the economic recovery. The New Zealand Government has already indicated the post-recovery world will look quite different. It has also given itself great flexibility in designing policies for this crisis. For example, it has temporarily suspended the financial scrutiny forms called Regulatory Impact Statements, relaxed visa rules and is about to relax planning procedures. Read more

Dr David Law
Policy Point
8 May, 2020
Policy Point Reopening universities for foreign students 1

Policy Point: Open for minds: export education and recovery

New Zealand’s universities have, at least since the mid-2000s, relied on foreign students for substantial parts of their income. Though the extent of foreign students’ contributions is obvious to anyone working in academia, they are not well appreciated outside the tertiary sector. Worse, even though reliance on income from foreign students has been designed into the tertiary sector’s funding model since the Clark administration, the Government of today seems to have forgotten, or at best underappreciated its importance. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Policy Point
1 May, 2020
Reinforcing New Zealands trade relationships after Covid 19 1

Research Note: Reinforcing New Zealand’s trade relationships after Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic and economic lockdown means many countries are looking inwards. But global cooperation will be an important lever out of the economic and social consequences of the virus. The New Zealand government should embrace the opportunity to reinforce its image as a clean, open and lawful nation. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Nathan Smith
Research Note
30 April, 2020
Lessons from abroad South Koreas Covid 19 Containment Model 1

Research Note: Lessons from abroad: South Korea's Covid-19 Containment Model

As the world struggles to contain Covid-19, many countries are at different stages of containment and mitigation since registering their first 100 cases. Some, like South Korea, are more than a month further ahead compared with New Zealand and could offer a good example of what might be expected as New Zealand transitions out of Alert Level 4 lockdown. As of April 20, South Korea is 91 days into its Covid-19 response compared to New Zealand's 52 days. Read more

Joel Hernandez
Research Note
23 April, 2020
Research Note Deficit spending in a crisis why there is no such thing as a free lunch 1

Research Note: Deficit spending in a crisis: why there is no such thing as a free lunch

The New Zealand Initiative supports government deficit spending during the Covid-19 crisis on the basis that it is funded by conventional borrowing. This report explains why funding deficits by central bank credit creation with no credible timetable for reversing the situation is a route to financial disaster. The cost of the Covid-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown in lost jobs and national income is horrendous, and the government spending response is unprecedented in living memory. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Research Note
22 April, 2020

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