Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Economist Wolfgang Rosenberg leaves huge legacy

Hon Jim Anderton

Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity, Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health,
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education,
Minister Responsible for Public Trust

Progressive Leader


19 February 2007 Press release
Economist Wolfgang Rosenberg leaves huge legacy

“I mark with considerable regret and a great sense of loss, news of the passing of the Christchurch economic thinker and academic Wolfgang Rosenberg,” said M P for Wigram and Progressive leader Jim Anderton said today.

“‘Woofy’, as he was affectionately known to family and close friends was one of our unsung heroes. He was probably best known to generations of Canterbury University students as an inspirational and stimulating teacher of economics, not a subject that often inspires that sort of enthusiasm. In that role he was not afraid to go against the orthodox or the powerful and publicly crossed swords with Prime Minister Robert Muldoon on more than one occasion.

"During the nineteen eighties and nineties in particular, when many of his professional colleagues were enthusiastic for, or muted their criticism of the prevailing belief in the market as the cure all of New Zealand's problems, he was not afraid to speak and publish against the prevailing current.

"Wolfgang Rosenberg maintained that economic policies with policy goals of full employment, an expansionary fiscal stance and a high level of government intervention were more in New Zealand's broader interests than the new right agenda pursued by Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson in their respective parties and governments. And he had the satisfaction in my view, of being proved right.



"It is an indication of his intellectual integrity and level of understanding that his major books have stood the test of time and continue to be relevant, when the writings of his then opponents have gone into oblivion.

"Wolfgang's books The Magic Square (1986) and New Zealand Can be Different and Better (1993) were crucial books when I formed the NewLabour Party with key commitments to a full employment economy, regional and industry development and a partnership approach between government and our key sectors.

"That Wolfgang Rosenberg's courage was exemplary almost goes without saying. Born in Berlin in 1915 he came to adulthood at a time when being a socialist and Jewish was a dangerous and life threatening combination. Eventually he was forced to leave his homeland and settle in New Zealand. He faced with optimism and determination the prospect of making a new life in what must have been, initially, a very strange land.

“But Wolf Rosenberg was not just satisfied to make a distinguished career in academic economics which earned him the CNZM in 2000 for services to both his profession and to tertiary education. All his life he was active in liberal and left wing causes. For example, he was founder secretary of the New Zealand Monthly Review and a lifelong member of the Canterbury Council for Civil Liberties. In all of these endeavours, he was supported by his wife Anne.

"Even in retirement he couldn’t stay still, but went on to qualify as a barrister and practised on behalf of the disadvantaged in his adopted city of Christchurch until he was obliged by failing health to take a second retirement in 1999 at the age of 84. The rest of us can only hope for such vigour.

“He was an early environmentalist, long before this became a fashionable cause, and was often to be seen riding his bicycle around Christchurch long after others of his age would have given it up for the relative comfort of a car. In his passing, Christchurch loses one of its most rounded citizens, whose sprightly approach and readiness to engage in intellectual debate added considerably to the life of the city. He will be greatly missed by his legions of friends and admirers," Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

National Terrorism Threat Level Moves To Medium
Medium is defined as a terrorist attack is assessed as feasible and could well occur. The new level remains higher than it was before the 15 March terrorist attack when the threat level was low. More>>

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


Environment Aotearoa 2019: Report Warns Environment In Serious Trouble

The report is jointly produced by the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand, and is a follow on from the last report in 2015.

The report says the way New Zealanders live and make a living is having a serious impact on the environment, and the benefits New Zealanders get from being in nature, though not measured or quantified, could be lost. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Scrapping The Capital Gains Tax

As PM Jacinda Arden said yesterday, there was no point in Labour bringing a proposal into the House that it didn’t have the votes to get passed. Looking back, maybe she always felt this outcome to be inevitable... More>>

ALSO:

City Rail Link: Billion Dollar Cost Rise (And Preferred Bidder)

The revised cost envelope for completing the entire Auckland City Rail Link project now totals $4.419 billion. The revised cost has yet to be endorsed by the project’s sponsors (the Crown and Auckland Council). More>>

ALSO:

Meth Scare: Debt Write-Off For HNZ Meth Testing Evictions

People living in Housing New Zealand (HNZ) properties who were wrongly evicted because of flawed methamphetamine contamination policies will have their related debts with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) written off. More>>

ALSO:

RNZ Report: Fears Grow For NZ Nurse Kidnapped In Syria

A New Zealand nurse working for the Red Cross was captured by Islamic State (IS) in Syria more than five years ago, and there are now public pleas for any information that could help bring her home. More>>

ALSO:

Streets Blocked In London: Climate 'Extinction Rebellion' Reaches Aotearoa

Across the world, thousands of people are taking part in a rebellion to avert climate, ecological and human catastrophe. This begins in Aotearoa New Zealand today. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels