Closing his 2020 Budget speech, Finance Minister Grant Robertson looked back to the First and Fourth Labour governments for lessons on how to tackle New Zealand’s current economic challenges. His first history lesson was that the way forward today lay in the “great traditions of the First Labour Government” (1935–49) that “rebuilt New Zealand after the Great Depression” under Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage. Read more
New Zealand has a successful economy. International rankings regularly put us near the top for competitiveness, economic freedom and ease of doing business.
At the same time, New Zealand’s per capita incomes trail those of other developed countries. Our productivity growth is anaemic. Our ability to attract high-quality international investment is limited.
New Zealand cannot rest on the laurels of past reforms. We must continue to improve our economic policy settings.
The New Zealand Initiative’s research includes analysis of regulatory and fiscal policy. We explore how incentives can promote economic development, and we investigate the social effects of economic policy.
Our flagship publications include a series on New Zealand’s foreign direct investment regime (Open for Business, 2014), a proposal to establish a fiscal council (Guarding the Public Purse, 2014), a report assessing interest-free student loans (Decade of Debt, 2016), and a report assessing the efficiency of government spending (Fit for Purpose? 2018).