Oliver Hartwich

Oliver Hartwich is executive director of the New Zealand Initiative, a Wellington-based think tank.

Why is Jacinda Ardern still so popular?

Every time I read another excitable media article about New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern, I am reminded of an old quip: ‘Viewed from a distance, everything is beautiful.’ That was Publius Cornelius Tacitus (AD 58-120). Were this Roman intellectual and historian alive today, he would make a great New York Times columnist. His tactic

Unjustified smugness

The Chancellor may have claimed that Britain was better prepared than any other nation to deal with a cooling world economy, but looking behind the headline-grabbing initiatives on ‘sin taxes’ it is clear that his figures do not justify such smugness. Britain now faces a 2.9 per cent budget deficit while even Germany is recording

Budget Backgrounder: No room for manoeuvre? 

Thinking about Parliament, it is easy to miss the wood for the trees. While it is often associated with party political exchanges and topical debates on issues of the day, its core function could be reduced to just one thing: the determination of how government is funded and how the money it raises should be