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NZ Institute and Business Roundtable start new think tank

A Name to Start New Conversations

A new independent, non-partisan public policy think tank was launched today by Business Roundtable chair Roger Partridge and New Zealand Institute chair Tony Carter, following the merger of the two organisations on 1 April.

The new think tank has been named The New Zealand Initiative. It will build on the legacies of its two founding organisations and will focus on raising debate on public policy and contributing bold, rigorously-researched ideas to achieve a more prosperous future for New Zealand.

Roger Partridge and Tony Carter, who will co-chair the new organisation, also today announced the appointment of Dr Oliver Hartwich as executive director.

Dr Hartwich is a German-born economist and former chief economist of the highly-regarded British think tank Policy Exchange. His work and publications have covered a wide range of public policy topics, including housing affordability, transport, local government, infrastructure, welfare reform and global economic issues.

Dr Hartwich is currently Research Fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney, and writes, among other things, a weekly column for the Australian Business Spectator. He has been a frequent guest commentator on television and radio programmes in Australia and the UK, and his articles have been published by all the major newspapers in Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand.

Tony Carter said the joint member steering group that managed the international search process was delighted with the appointment.

“Oliver will bring a fresh face and style to the role, and an international reputation as a very sound and intellectually rigorous thinker and a strong communicator. We are very fortunate to have secured someone of such calibre.”

Dr Hartwich will take up his position on 1 May.

The New Zealand Initiative is supported by a foundation membership of major company chief executives.

Roger Partridge said the process of bringing the two organisations together had been very cordial and straightforward. Both had recognised that the New Zealand market was not big enough for two independent CEO think tanks and could see that by joining forces they could be much more effective.

“We found we had a strong sense of common purpose. We want to help shape the landscape and start a national conversation on ideas that have intellectual integrity and rigour and the potential for profound, positive long-term impact on the well-being of New Zealand”, said Mr Partridge.

A web page about the New Zealand Initiative will go live on Wednesday evening at www.nzinitiative.org.nz.

ENDS

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