#nzBudget16

Reflections on the Child Youth and Family Review: On evidence and prevention

Emily Keddell

  This Briefing Paper critiques two aspects of the recent CYFS Review process of child protection services. A wider analysis of the process is in my longer report, an extract from which has also been published as a Briefing Paper here. The prevention policies proposed by the CYF Review are
 

What is a good outcome? Social investment and child abuse prevention

Emily Keddell

Child protection services are in a process of ongoing reform, including the Vulnerable Child Reforms of 2011-2014 and, more recently, the creation of the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children | Oranga Tamariki in April 2017. The collective name for the review process is the CYF (Child, Youth & Family) Review.
 

Budget 2017: What tax cuts?

Terry Baucher

One of the interesting trends of the National Government’s budgets has been how it has been able to raise tax revenue practically unnoticed. Attention has largely focused on income tax rates and, to a lesser extent, the applicable thresholds. However, away from the spotlight various budgets since 2009 have made
 

Public Debt: How Low Should It Go?

Brian Easton

I asked him [Keynes] if he would borrow if he were in New Zealand in order to get through the crisis. Keynes replied, ‘Yes, certainly if I were you I would borrow if I could, but if you asked me as a lender I doubt whether I would lend to
 

New Zealand media futures after #StuffMe

Julienne Molineaux

On May 3, the New Zealand Commerce Commission declined the merger application by Fairfax New Zealand and NZME (colloquially called StuffMe). This merger would have seen New Zealand’s two largest media companies – owners of almost 90% of all daily newspaper readership and the countries’ two largest news websites, plus
 

Pike River Mine: Bring them home

Felicity Lamm

Most New Zealanders of a certain age will remember the Erebus Disaster. As now, there was also a great deal of discussion around whether or not the recovery of the victims of the 1979 Mt Erebus plane crash was either possible or safe for a recovery team. The National Government
 

Zero-fee tertiary?

Pii-Tuulia Nikula

A zero-fee scheme – suitable and realistic for the New Zealand higher education system? The Labour Party announced its plan for a zero-fee system in January 2016. The ‘Working Futures Plan’ promises a life-time entitlement of three years of post-school education. This plan is predominantly targeted for new school leavers
 

What have future generations ever done for me?

David Hall

His stake is in the ground. Prime Minister Bill English is progressively raising superannuation age of eligibility from 65 to 67. The change will be complete by 2040, but won’t start until 1st July 2037, twenty whole years away. No one born before 30th June 1972 will be affected. Many
 

School competiton vs cooperation

John Laurenson

I have been a principal of a secondary school for more than 20 years. In that time just about every principal I have come across will privately acknowledge that the way the country’s school network functions has to change. However until the central government recognises that legislation is required to
 

School governance overhaul

Bernardine Vester

Why removing decile and creating communities of schools is not enough to transform learning in South Auckland   Jane and Cory send their children to Stonefields School, a Decile 9 primary school within walking distance of their home. This fits perfectly with the family’s aspirations for free, compulsory, quality, public
 

How are the children doing?

Keryn O'Neill & Sue Younger

A literature review on young children in childcare Over a two-year period, the Brainwave Trust conducted a literature review to see what is known and what is not known about the impact of childcare on children – things such as their development, behaviour, stress levels, relationships and school outcomes. Are
 

New Zealand’s Refugee Report Card (Spoiler: History Won’t Be Kind)

Tracey Barnett

Prime Minister Bill English was roundly criticised last week for mumbling into his sleeve when asked if President Trump’s new Muslim ban was racist. But his response wasn’t far off from the hands-off, it’s-not-our-problem approach he inherited. Indeed, what was the most notable thing about New Zealand’s response to the greatest refugee
 

The digital classroom revolution

Pii-Tuulia Nikula

Many parents are faced with the new digital practices used in their children’s schooling. ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policies and increased use of technology in classroom are becoming daily realities in most schools. The New Zealand Ministry of Education supports this digitisation process and provides significant resources for related initiatives,
 

Media ownership matters

Merja Myllylahti

Media ownership matters, so 2016 has certainly been meaningful for New Zealand media companies and consumers. As I describe in my newly released media ownership report for AUT’s Journalism, Media and Democracy Research Centre (JMAD), three  events stand out as the most important. The first two received considerable attention: first,
 

And so this is Christmas…

Alicia Sudden

Christmas time comes with many certainties in New Zealand. There won’t be any snow. Every mall becomes home to a Santa Claus. There will be a variety of fake and real Christmas trees in workplaces and homes, decorated with lights that take too long to untangle and tinsel that has
 

Providing security for our reputation in an insecure time?

Kaden Wilson

With the close of 2016 comes the end of New Zealand’s tenure on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Considering the campaign to be elected to this position by other countries began in 2004, our two-year term on the most powerful body within the United Nations has seemed relatively brief.
 

Failing to make a difference? New Zealand on the UN Security Council

Grant Duncan

In October 2014 New Zealand was preparing for its two-year term on the UN Security Council. Meanwhile, Prime Minister John Key was making an unconvincing case for sending soldiers to Iraq in a training capacity to assist with the fight against the Islamic State. And unarmed civilians were being killed
 

The Waste Levy, a waste of time?

Sustainable Business Network & Andy Kenworthy

The $10-per-tonne Waste Levy was created eight years ago to fund waste management innovation and cut landfill. Some say it must increase to be effective. Others claim good progress in the sector amid economic turbulence.   So who’s right? The Waste Minimisation Act was a Green Party Private Members’ Bill led by MP
 

Minimising waste

Jeff Seadon

Whenever a waste issue arises a common response is, “The government should legislate…”. While legislation is useful to either start a process or fill gaps, it is not the panacea for all problems. Think of how many people always drive below the speed limit on the road. New Zealand has
 

A Run on the Bank

Dave Hansford

In September 2008, the sprawling global bank, Lehman Brothers, collapsed. As it toppled, it struck dominoes all about, triggering a fission that rippled along Wall St then mushroomed over the world’s financial system. Around the globe, Governments announced rescue spending in the tens of billions. Here in New Zealand, the
 

Pale, male and middle-aged: Auckland Council’s lack of diversity

Karen Webster

We’ve all heard the adage describing the traditional local councillor as “pale, male and middle-aged”. So, just how true is this for the Auckland Council? Research undertaken at AUT following the 2013 and the recent 2016 local government election compared the gender, ethnicity and age (2013 only) of local candidates
 

Subjective Assessments of the Super City

Charles Crothers

Auckland continues to be New Zealand’s bold experiment in local government reform. Is the Super City a success, a disappointment or something in between? In 2013 researchers in the School of Social Sciences and Public Policy at AUT set up and ‘populated’ a monitoring framework based on one developed by
 

Young People, Civics, and Political Literacy

Andrew Chen

There is an intergenerational democratic deficit, most obvious in voting statistics. The Electoral Commission reports that only 62.7% of enrolled voters aged 18-24 voted in 2014, in comparison to 86.3% of enrolled voters aged 60 or older. This situation looks even worse when we include the fact that only 66.4%
 

‘Mental disorder’, autism and human rights

Hilary Stace

  There is a well-known saying that a society can be judged by how it looks after its most vulnerable citizens. People with impairments are not inherently vulnerable but are at particular risk of negative interactions with the State for a range of reasons, such as a lack of strong
 

No silver bullet: Online voting and local elections

Julienne Molineaux

Local body election time is over for another three years, and even before polls closed, there were laments over low turnout. A low turnout undermines the legitimacy of the winners and can point to wider problems: disillusionment with democratic processes, institutions and actors. It is also problematic because some groups
 

The future for precarious and vulnerable workers

Chloe King

Why are vulnerable workers, vulnerable? This is a complex and heart wrenching question. Every day, I speak with people who are young and not so young, who have no economic stability and feel their futures have been stolen from them. So much of their grief and hopelessness for their futures
 

The plight of the beneficiary

Alicia Sudden

To be a beneficiary in New Zealand is to be innately separate from the rest of the population. It comes with connotations about who you are as a person, your motivations, your worth. This is the result of decades of homogenising and dehumanising discourses. And these have very real impacts
 

New Zealand’s tax system: Internal coherence is not enough

Deborah Russell

The New Zealand tax system is largely robust.  It taxes most forms of income and consumption at rates that are by and large perceived as fair. The overall tax take sits at about 30% of GDP, a rate that compares well with other OECD nations. Most people pay their taxes,
 

Cost is not Price: The impact of Productivity and Design in Housing Affordability

John Tookey

Circa 2005-2006 the Auckland housing market was dubbed ‘unsustainable’ and a ‘dangerous bubble’. Six years post-Global Financial Crisis (GFC) we are in a very different place – in many ways a worse place. The government response to GFC was pressure on interest rates downwards, making expensive mortgages significantly cheaper, thus
 

The South Auckland Experience under the Super City

Ben Ross

With the Super City approaching its sixth year and Aucklanders about to go through their third elections for the unitary Auckland Council, how is South Auckland faring? The new Auckland Council earmarked two areas for regeneration: the central city; and Manukau, in a project called the Southern Initiative (TSI). The
 

Too big, too often? Mergers and competition in New Zealand

Donal Curtin

The proposed merger between NZME (formerly Wilson & Horton) and Fairfax’s New Zealand media operations has brought us squarely into the middle of a growing international issue: are industries getting too concentrated, with too few competitors? Are consumers being offered too little choice?  Have competition authorities been too lax in
 

Over-investing in housing

Brian Easton

While housing obviously fills a need – people need somewhere to live – it also has an investment aspect. How this investment is treated by the tax system influences the housing market, and the investment available for other purposes, such as business ventures.   There is an implicit tax-subsidy to
 

Social versus state housing

Alan Johnson

‘It’s why we talk about “social housing” rather than “state housing”, because you no longer have to live in a state house to get a high level of government housing support. It’s an important change.’ – John Key, State of the nation speech to Auckland Rotary Club, January 2015.  
 

Social housing?

Philippa Howden-Chapman

There has been a steady fall in the number of state houses since the change of government at the end of 2008, both in absolute numbers and in relation to our rapidly growing population. Like state schools, the state housing stock is a critical part of our social infrastructure. State
 

Think Big: Auckland, immigration, and the absence of income growth

Michael Reddell

Of the biggest cities in each advanced economy, Auckland has been one of the fastest growing. Just in the last 15 years, Auckland’s population has grown by 30 per cent, while the population in the rest of the country has risen by 13 per cent. Many argue that big cities
 

House-busters

Arthur Grimes

This article first appeared in The Spinoff on 4 July 2016.   In March 2016, the REINZ Auckland median house price reached $820,000. Four years previously, it was $495,000 – that’s a 66% increase in 4 years. What’s more alarming is that in 2012, many people considered that house prices
 

Filling the land tax void

Ranjana Gupta

The tax system plays multiple roles. In addition to being a fundamental instrument to raise revenues that finances government expenditure, it also acts as an instrument to achieve the economic and social aims of government, and redistributes income on a socially acceptable basis.   Classical economist Adam Smith developed the
 

COP21 and the race to stay below 1.5°C

Julie Anne Genter

The outcome of the COP21 climate talks in Paris last December was important and encouraging. It was the 21st annual United Nations meeting to discuss climate change and agree on what countries will do to avert the worst. A great deal of work went into preparing this meeting, as did
 

Trade unions and the climate change fight

Julie Douglas & Peter McGhee

We [unions] have to stop running away from the climate crisis, stop leaving it to the environmentalist, and look at it. Let ourselves absorb the fact that the industrial revolution that led to our society’s prosperity is now destabilizing the natural systems on which all of life depends – Naomi
 

Squandering New Zealand’s water

Dame Anne Salmond

Across New Zealand, people from many different backgrounds have a deep and passionate connection with their waterways. From children who grow up swimming and playing in and beside streams, rivers and lakes, to those who fish for whitebait, eels or trout; from iwi with powerful connections with ancestral waterways, to
 

Hooked: Race for South Pacific tuna

Michael Field

Amidst the romance of creating one of the world’s largest marine protected area – New Zealand’s 620,000 square kilometre Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary – there is an overlooked unpleasant fact. Te Ohu Kaimoana chairman Jamie Tuuta pointed to it on a chart showing the sanctuary surrounded on three sides by heavy
 

Expanding ACC to cover sickness

Grant Duncan

In December 2017, we will mark the 50th anniversary of the Royal Commission report Compensation for Personal Injury in New Zealand, commonly known as the Woodhouse Report after its chair, the late Sir Owen. This pioneering report led to New Zealand’s unique universal 24-hour accident compensation and rehabilitation scheme, the
 

Love, honour and provoke

Sally Simmonds

 As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything. St. Paul in Ephesians 5:22   My mother has long maintained that women provoke men to violence against them in the home by not honouring the ‘obey’ portion of their vows. Most people,
 

Recent Trends in Public Spending

Brian Easton

Despite the public’s desire for more government spending there has been little increase in the aggregate level of government spending relative to GDP over the last 20 years. There was a slight rise immediately after the GFC, because GDP stagnated. Government spending as a percent of GDP is now lower
 

Timing is Everything

Cameron Preston

I was asked give a Canterbury perspective on whether I expected government services to be cut to fund tax cuts in 2017. The answer is not as straight forward as the question. In May 2011, only three months after the Christchurch Earthquake – our biggest natural disaster – the government announced
 

Spend and Tax

Brian Easton

As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in that descending order) as well as favouring reduced income inequality.
 

Stuff-Me: The newspaper gobble-up

Julienne Molineaux

The proposed merger between NZME and Fairfax New Zealand is the latest instalment in the increasing concentration of ownership in New Zealand’s newspaper industry. There is much commentary about the merger; the purpose of this paper is to provide some history.   In New Zealand, concentration of newspaper ownership via
 

Valuable information? Decision-making tools for students

Hannah August

The decision about which course of study to follow is an increasingly important one for tertiary students. Their choice will affect both their future and the future shape of tertiary institutions whose course offerings are enabled by student demand. Yet the information being provided to students to aid their decision-making
 

It’s Not Just The Economy, Stupid

Richard Shaw

What’s the problem? The humanities and social sciences – collectively described here as the Arts – have been under sustained assault in Aotearoa New Zealand for years, too often derided by policy-makers, parents and pundits as irrelevant, frivolous and indulgent. The primary purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the
 

Whanau as first teachers

Dr Kathie Irwin

The hundred year journey from Nuhaka to Harvard   The Story In May, 2014, a Harvard University graduation booklet included the tribal names of Ngati Porou, Rakaipaaka, and Ngati Kahungunu. It was a Harvard Law Graduation and a young Māori woman was graduating Master of Laws, one of only a
 

Schooling in an era of economic inequality

Liz Gordon

In mid-2015 I published an article revealing the effects of 25 years of ‘Tomorrow’s Schools’ on the schooling system in New Zealand. It showed that, as a result of families choosing ‘up’, socially and economically, the schools serving New Zealand’s poorest communities were now, on average, 2.5 times smaller than
 

Working conditions in the early childhood education sector

Andrew Gibbons, Sandy Farquhar & Marek Tesar

Introduction In April 2015 New Zealand Herald reporter Kirsty Johnston ran a week-long series of reports on the status of early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand. The key matter for public concern was the quality of education and care provided for children up to the age of five. A
 

The Precariat and the Future of Work

Guy Standing

For many foreign observers, New Zealand seems like an oasis, while the rest of the world economy plunges from crisis to crisis. But no country can escape the forces of globalisation, the ongoing technological revolution and the slow fuse impact of several decades of neo-liberal policies that have transformed the
 

Universal Basic Income and Income Tax Reform

Keith Rankin

Meanings and Process The New Zealand Labour Party is investigating, among other things, the adoption of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a means of ensuring reduced economic insecurity in the face of an increasingly precarious labour market. It is an essential and long-overdue step, appreciating that increases in productivity
 

Poverty in teacher education?

Vicki Carpenter

High educational outcomes are unevenly spread amongst New Zealand’s school population. Most measures show correlations: the higher or lower the decile of a New Zealand school, the higher or lower are any student’s likely levels of academic achievement. This is evident at all levels of the system where achievement is
 

What’s Wrong With ‘Special’ Education?

Hilary Stace

Parliament’s Education and Science Select Committee is currently holding an Inquiry into the identification and support for students with the significant challenges of dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism spectrum disorders in primary and secondary schools. The public took the opportunity to make over 500 submissions dealing with concerns relating to what
 

How Do We Determine Programme Effectiveness?

Pat Bullen, Kane Meissel & Kelsey Deane

Over the last decade, there has been increasing discussion at the government, policy and funder level in favour of requiring educational, social and community programmes and interventions to provide evidence of their effectiveness. This evidence is then used to determine whether the programme is deemed worthy of future or continued
 

Outputs Or Outcomes; The Difference Matters

Brian Easton

The 1989 Public Finance Act distinguished ‘outputs’ from ‘outcomes’. Outputs are what a department (or, more generally, an agent) can deliver while outcomes are what the minister (or, more generally, the principal) actually wants. Thus a minister may want, on behalf of the country, a high level of education in
 

How Can We Measure Our Schooling System?

Bali Haque

How do we make judgments about how well our schooling system is performing? Domestically, the most common methods use NCEA and National Standards results. In addition, the Education Review Office(ERO) reports on school performance. For international benchmarking the current favourite method is the Programme for International Testing (PISA). All of these
 

AgResearch: The Poisoned Chalice

Dick Wilkins

It is tempting to assume that the current funding problems in agricultural research only date back to the creation of AgResearch 20 years ago. They actually have their origins in the 1930s when Ernest Marsden set up the Department of Scientific Research (DSIR) and attempted to take over all agricultural
 

Intellectual Property And The TPPA. Does It Affect Us?

Pheh Hoon Lim

When New Zealand joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) it had to align its intellectual property protection with the minimum standards stipulated under the provisions of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). This was achieved under the Copyright Act 1994 together with amendments under the
 

The Open Economy And Free Trade Deals

Brian Easton

It is difficult to see any option other than an open economy for New Zealand. But there are many possible open economies although we may not be able to choose some of them. The open economy is an extension of Adam Smith’s principle that specialisation generates higher productivity. That is
 

Public Views on Privatising Social Policy

Louise Humpage

There has been increasing privatisation of New Zealand’s social policy sector since the National government was elected in 2008. Social bonds will see private investors fund not-for-profit organisations to deliver services, with bonuses paid to investors if agreed outcome results are achieved. Social housing reforms encourage community housing providers to
 

Uniforms, Uniformity and Meaning

Elaine Webster

Most secondary schools in New Zealand have uniforms, however, the style, approach and attitude to school dress within each school is far from uniform. School uniforms have that curious quality of being everywhere and seeming all same, yet what most people know is confined to their direct experience. Uniforms, like
 

Our El Niño Summer

James Renwick

We hear a lot in the news about El Niño (and its counterpart La Niña), but what is it? How and why does it affect New Zealand? The El Niño/La Niña cycle is a natural part of how the climate works. After the regular changing of the seasons, it is
 

‘Critic & Conscience’ of Society

Ian Shirley

In 2010 I participated in an OECD Forum in Paris. The Forum was ostensibly focused on the ‘Road to Recovery’ following the onset of what was called the global financial crisis of 2007-2008. In contrast to previous OECD events the forum was dominated by pessimism. The chief economist of the
 

Ageing Populations And Regional Decline

Natalie Jackson

Population By comparison with most of its structurally older OECD counterparts, New Zealand’s population has grown strongly over the past two decades with annual growth rates averaging above 1.0 per cent. Auckland accounted for over half of this growth, while the remaining growth was unevenly distributed across the rest of
 

The Impact Of The Auckland Model On Local Government Reform

Mike Reid

The suggestion that Auckland has an impact beyond its borders is hardly radical. Yet it is not just the city’s economic clout that is having impact, it is also serving as a laboratory for local governance. Despite the widely held view that the Auckland model was designed to address the
 

Living On The Edge: Rural Views Of The SuperCity

Christine Rose

In 2010 Auckland’s eight regional, city and district councils were amalgamated into one, more or less along the old regional council boundary lines. This was seen as a victory by those seeking a regional view, and a travesty by those who feared a loss of local identity and service. Five
 

What Is ‘Auckland’ Anyway?

Grant Duncan

What is Auckland anyway? The kernel of what we now call Auckland was a 3,000-acre triangle of land, with Maungawhau (Mt Eden) forming one corner. This was acquired by Governor Hobson in 1840 by a purchase from Ngati Whatua chiefs. Since then, as a place with physical boundaries, ‘Auckland’ has
 

Encouraging Regional Diversity In Food Production

Dave Kennedy

The sudden drop in the milk price earlier this year has exposed our economic vulnerability after focussing the majority of our agricultural investment into a single commodity market. When profits reached astronomical proportions it distorted how farmers engaged with the environment. Land that was once deemed unsuitable for dairy farming
 

The Market For Health-Enhancing Foods

Meike Guenther & Caroline Saunders

There is evidence that health-conscious consumer groups are becoming more and more important. This group has increasing expectations that food products carry health enhancing attributes such as additional minerals, vitamins, peptides, fatty acids, dietary fibres etc. Products carrying these attributes are often called functional or fortified foods, and worldwide the
 

Junk Food Marketing

Amanda Wood

The Health Minister is currently deciding how to best address children’s poor health due to diet-related diseases. It is a good time not only to consider the content of the proposed approaches, but also to reflect on the regulatory frameworks that can be used to support those approaches. To aid
 

Translation Of Evidence Into Action For The Public Good

Elaine Rush

The relationship between food and health might seem straight forward: with a variety of wholesome foods in sensible quantities, people can grow and function optimally. There is no argument that the food that we eat is intimately associated with health. After all, the molecules that make up our bodies come
 

Why I Don’t Ask People To Lose Weight

Robyn Toomath

Last week the government launched their childhood obesity plan and it fills me with dismay. Apart from some wishful thinking in regard to industry self-regulation the initiatives are almost all education-based. There are plans to identify overweight children at an early age in the expectation that education and motivation of
 

Unequal Health In New Zealand: Always Like This?

Alistair Woodward & Tony Blakely

There are large inequalities in health in New Zealand. This much is well-known, as is the fact that health care interventions and public health efforts often fail to make things better, and indeed may entrench disadvantage. Was it always like this? In fact, no. We are not suggesting there was
 

Age And Inequality

Philip Morrison

Introduction In a recent issue of Policy Quarterly I expressed some surprise over where New Zealanders positioned themselves on a scale between 1, ‘Incomes should be made more equal’ and 10, ‘We need large income differences as incentives for individual effort’. Not only were we less inclined to favour greater
 

Perceptions Of Inequality

Peter Skilling

In the last decade or so, the issue of economic inequality has achieved a high level of academic, media and public awareness. One notable theme in this recent attention has been the repeated representation of current high levels of inequality as bad for everyone. (There are notable exceptions of course:
 

Wealth Inequality: Who Owns How Much?

Max Rashbrooke

When it comes to economic inequality, most of the discussion focuses on income: how much money people get every year (usually after tax), and how the difference between incomes for rich and poor people has widened in the last 30 years. But there is another related inequality that is also
 

An Egalitarian Society?

Brian Easton

Once upon a time New Zealand identified itself as egalitarian. Phrases like ‘a classless society’, ‘jack’s as good as his master; ‘a working man’s democracy’ were bandied around, often without much critical thought. A distinction was made between ‘egalitarian’ and ‘equalitarian’. Certainly the aim was that New Zealanders were equal
 

Advancing Refugee Protection In The Asia-Pacific Region – A Role For New Zealand?

Carsten Bockemuehl

In May 2015, the world witnessed appalling scenes of fishing boats crammed with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh being pushed back to sea by Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Desperate men, women and children were left without food and medical care for a week, before the Philippines
 

Refugee Policy Holds A Mirror Up To Ourselves

Tracey Barnett

What happens when New Zealand holds a mirror up to its refugee policies and a blotchy reflection stares back? On the world stage, New Zealand has always seen itself as fair brokers when it comes to its treatment of refugees. For the most part, we have deserved that respect. Worldwide,
 

The Global Refugee Crisis

Love Chile

The world is witnessing the most dramatic and distressing refugee crisis in many generations. The current crisis of Syrian refugees is part of the global refugee crisis that cuts across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. The causes are complex and must be understood within the context
 

Laudato Si’: On Care Of Our Common Home

Neil Darragh

A recent international voice that feeds into current debate in New Zealand about the environment, energy sources, climate change and water quality as well as economic inequality is the June 2015 encyclical of Pope Francis, entitled Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home. This document addresses the current ecological
 

Challenges In Auckland’s Residential Construction Sector

Chris Parker

There are a number of challenges facing the building industry in Auckland, around scale, quality, efficiency and price. Scaling up the building sector raises questions: What are the crowd-out risks for other sectors in Auckland, as the building sector tries to outbid them for labour and materials? How can public
 

The Housing We’d Choose

Alison Reid

Auckland is at a turning point in how it must think about and deliver housing solutions. According to Statistics New Zealand’s medium projections, Auckland’s population is anticipated to grow by a further 517,000 people in the next 20 years. This growth will be driven by natural increase (births minus deaths)
 

Housing And Transport: Proximity Matters

Peter Nunns

The decisions that individuals and societies make about housing are deeply linked to decisions about transport. The ways in which people get around are affected by where they live and how their neighbourhoods are designed. And transport, in turn, has a host of broader effects. It affects our happiness and
 

Real Estate Debt And The Balance Of Trade

John Walley

Auckland has a housing problem but this is not just a problem for Aucklanders, or new home buyers. Out of control asset inflation – as seen in the Auckland housing market – is toxic to the real economy, destroying our ability to deliver a long-run neutral balance of trade. High
 

High House Prices: A Blunder Of Our Governments

Michael Reddell

There has been a strong sense this year that “something must be done” about high house prices, especially those in Auckland. To date, however, the policy responses display little awareness of how previous policy choices have made New Zealand housing increasingly unaffordable over the last couple of decades. Blaming investors
 

The Problem With Migration

Bernard Hickey

We’re now having a fractious debate about foreign buying of houses, but the more important and tougher debate we should be having is about migration. Does it actually generate the right type of long term economic growth, or does it just pump up house prices and interest rates, suppress wages
 

Rental Standards

Philippa Howden-Chapman

Every year people die prematurely in winter in New Zealand, a phenomenon unheard of in the coldest parts of Europe and North America, where houses are built and heated to protect people from winter cold. People are more likely to die in winter in New Zealand if they live in
 

Where’s The Plan?

Alison Cadman

I remember the event but can’t quite remember where it took place. I remember the atmosphere – a sense of relief and excitement that at last there was a plan to address New Zealand’s increasing housing problems. And I remember that the then Minister of Housing was at the event,
 

Bubble Trouble

Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy

As of May 2015, the average house price in the greater Auckland region was $828,502. In May 2012, it was only $562,454. That is nearly a 50% increase over only three years. Can anything justify this incredible growth in prices, or is it all a bubble? Peter C.B. Phillips and
 

Understanding Housing Affordability

Arthur Grimes

Housing affordability is a multi-faceted, complex issue. Concentration on just one aspect of the issue – be it housing supply, land supply, interest rates, construction costs or migration – will miss important aspects of why house prices vary in different locations at different times. In this briefing paper, we illustrate
 
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