New Zealanders should not be too proud to learn from others.
In 2017, The New Zealand Initiative led 36 senior business leaders to visit Switzerland for this purpose. Critical points of difference that emerged were its direct and participatory democracy, devolved government, strong vocational training system and flexible labour market. Both its education system and its devolved government were instructive for New Zealand.
In June 2023, The New Zealand Initiative led another business delegation to Ireland for the same purpose. This time, key points of difference that stood out were the importance of foreign direct investment and, again, an education system that provides the skills technology firms need to employ.
As background for the Irish trip, the New Zealand Initiative documented, without commentary, some comparative economic statistics for New Zealand and Ireland.
This research note makes this material more widely available. It augments it with a brief commentary, more charts and some comparisons with Switzerland.