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No Evidence, No Evaluation, No Exit - Lessons from the 'Modern Learning Environments' experiment

In 2011 the Ministry of Education embarked on a ten-year strategy to rejuvenate New Zealand’s aging classroom estate. Part of this strategy involved establishing large, open plan classrooms, populated by many more children than are found in cellular classrooms. The Ministry conducted no research on the effects of these ‘Modern learning Environments’ on students’ learning prior to compelling schools to adopt them. Read more

Dr Michael Johnston
20 September, 2022
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How central bank mistakes after 2019 led to inflation

A research note released today by The New Zealand Initiative mainly attributes the outbreak of inflation in many economies to central bank mistakes. Co-authored by Graeme Wheeler, former Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, and Bryce Wilkinson, Senior Research Fellow at The New Zealand Initiative, the paper argues that central banks overall: were too confident about their monetary policy framework; were too confident about their models; were too confident they could control output and employment; lost their focus on price stability and took on too many mandates; faced conflicts in some cases with conflicting ‘dual mandate’ objectives; and were distracted by extraneous political objectives, such as climate change. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Graeme Wheeler
Research Note
26 July, 2022
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Policy Point: Faster trend Labour productivity growth after the ECA 1991

The New Zealand Initiative rebuts the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety’s claim to a select committee that New Zealand’s labour productivity growth rate since 1991 was 46% below that of Australia. On figures recently supplied by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the correct figure was 30%. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Policy Point
18 July, 2022
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Policy Point: Minister hopelessly ill-informed on labour market statistics

Last month, the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety, Michael Wood, appeared before Parliament’s Education and Workforce Committee in support of the Government’s Fair Pay Agreement Bill. He was asked for his response to the New Zealand Initiative’s case that the wage rates were not showing a ‘race to the bottom,’ a decline in either employees’ share of income, or labour productivity growth since the Employment Contracts Act in 1991. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Policy Point
5 July, 2022
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2021 Annual Report

Like many businesses, Covid meant that The New Zealand Initiative had to continue to work differently. It also kept giving us extra policy challenges to address. Read more

5 April, 2022
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Research Note: The rising cost of living for Kiwis

Kiwis households are paying more than $3,000 extra on essentials than they were 12 months ago, and policies implemented by the Government and Reserve Bank are contributing to the problem. The rising cost of living for Kiwis, shows New Zealand has the second-highest inflation rate among our major trading partners, besides the USA, and this is plausibly the result of excessive government stimulus. Read more

Research Note
24 March, 2022
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Pretence of Necessity

At May’s Budget, the government will commit $4.5 billion to new spending on climate change, more than $2,000 per household. The government will also deliver its Emissions Reduction Plan, an array of levies, subsidies, regulations and hard bans. Read more

21 March, 2022
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Research Note: Unemployment Insurance - A recipe for more unemployment?

When presenting Budget 2021 in May, Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced that an unemployment insurance (UI) scheme was being developed for New Zealand. Prior to this, the Productivity Commission had considered UI as part of its inquiry into technological change and the future of work, as had the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE). Read more

Dr David Law
Research Note
11 November, 2021

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