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

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>

ALSO:

Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>

ALSO:

Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>

ALSO:

Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>

ALSO:

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels