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Analysis and Comment (52)

When contemplating our fee deregulation gamble, we should look no further than New Zealand, where it was tried and failed. The.Rohit/Flickr

Will Australia learn from NZ’s mistakes in higher education?

Since 1990 New Zealand has introduced many dramatic “reforms” into its higher education system, many of them well in advance of Australia. A number of these “reforms” have been unwound after nasty, unintended…
China’s market for milk is huge, but not without its challenges. Mark & Andrea Busse/Flickr

With a free trade deal Australia can win China’s dairy market

The clock is ticking down to the end of year deadline Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has given for sign off on a free trade agreement with China. In this China-Australia FTA series we explore what…
In 2012 and 2013 parts of New Zealand suffered the worst drought in 70 years. Dave Young/Flickr

New Zealand is drying out, and here’s why

Over 2012 and 2013, parts of New Zealand experienced their worst drought in nearly 70 years. Drought is the costliest climate extreme in New Zealand; the 2012-2013 event depressed the country’s GDP by…
Dealing with housing bubbles can get messy for central banks. Shutterstock

Home loan limits and buffers won’t stop a housing bubble

Australia’s central bank has formally flagged the use of macroprudential tools to address what it called “unbalanced” lending in its most recent Financial Stability Review. Loan-to-valuation ratio (LVR…
New Zealand Labour leader David Cunliffe (left) and NZ Prime Minister John Key during a televised political debate. AAP Image/Mediaworks

A beginner’s guide to New Zealand’s strangest election

We’re in the final few days of an election campaign that has had it all – comedy, conspiracy and claims of dirty politics – though none of it has dented New Zealand National Prime Minister John Key’s chances…
New Zealand prime minister John Key is accused of attack politics by proxy. AAP/Daniel Munoz

Dirty politics across the ditch may cost Key the election

Since its publication in August, Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics: How attack politics is poisoning New Zealand’s political environment has dominated the political agenda in the lead-up to the September 20…
Where New Zealand’s embrace of Anzac differs from Australia is the place of the legend in national mythology. Archives New Zealand/Flickr

New Zealand: the other half of the Anzac legend

As the centenary of the Gallipoli landings approaches Australians need to consider the other half of the ANZAC acronym. The rise of Anzac Day as Australia’s national day has been paralleled by the increasing…
Forestry is credited under New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme. World Resources Institute/Flickr

Carbon pricing is still the best way to cut emissions, if we get it right

The Coalition government has recently axed Australia’s carbon “tax”, leaving us with no carbon price. Alternatives include the government’s “Direct Action” plan, or Clive Palmer’s proposed emissions trading…
Tasman Lake, which is fed by melt water from the retreating Tasman Glacier, photographed in March this year. Trevor Chinn

New Zealand’s Southern Alps have lost a third of their ice

A third of the permanent snow and ice of New Zealand’s Southern Alps has now disappeared, according to our new research based on National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research aerial surveys. Since…
Sunrise over Queenstown in New Zealand in July 2012. This year’s ski season is just beginning in Australia and New Zealand. Trey Ratcliff/Flickr

Winter is here, but will there be snow in Australia and NZ?

Australia’s ski season is finally getting underway, with the first resort, Perisher, opening its ski lifts after some weekend snow fall. But snow lovers are still watching and waiting for good falls elsewhere…
New Zealand PM John Key canvassing on the campaign trail. nznationalparty

When PISA meets politics – a lesson from New Zealand

“PISA shock” is the term that has been coined for the sense of political crisis and knee-jerk policy reaction that typically occurs when a country drops in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and…
New Zealand’s opposition party has a long road to tread to support its case for compulsory super. Trey Ratcliffe/Flickr

New Zealand wants to copy our super: here’s why it’s a bad idea

Australians and New Zealanders have a healthy rivalry about who follows who. Both countries claim as their own Pavlova, Crowded House and Phar Lap. To this list might soon be added compulsory superannuation…
New Zealand has increased its GST several times since it was introduced, so why does Australia find it so hard? Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Easy as, bro - raising the GST, New Zealand style

When long-time Kiwi expat John Clarke was asked why he left New Zealand, he said: “Because it was there.” Clarke at least knew what being “there” meant, in contrast to most of his new compatriots, whose…
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters may hold the balance of power in NZ parliament after this September’s election. NZN/David Williams

Long live the kingmaker: Winston Peters and the NZ election

With New Zealand’s election date set for September 20, early polls suggest that the balance of parliamentary power may once again be held by controversial populist politician Winston Peters and his New…
Transitional architecture such as The Arcades Project is just one of many adaptive creative projects in Christchurch. Barnaby Bennett

Three years on: getting creative in post-quake Christchurch

February 22 is the third anniversary of the powerful earthquake that killed 185 people and radically altered the New Zealand city of Christchurch. The city centre is flattened and empty, with thousands…
Julia Gillard and Helen Clark supposedly suffered from a problem with their leadership style - and so, it seems, does every other woman in a position of power. AAP/David Foote

Sex and power in New Zealand: stalled at the crossroads?

Historically, geographically, culturally – there are many points of comparison between Australia and its neighbour to the east, New Zealand. But there are notable differences. This week, The Conversation…
No matter how well a country like New Zealand protects its borders, introduced species will sneak in. Queensland University of Technology

A hitchhiker’s ride to New Zealand: alien voyages by sea and air

Historically, geographically, culturally – there are many points of comparison between Australia and its neighbour to the east, New Zealand. But there are notable differences. This week, The Conversation…
New Zealand’s X Factor offered a lot. No, really. TV3 New Zealand

Why you should have watched The X Factor (New Zealand)

Historically, geographically, culturally – there are many points of comparison between Australia and its neighbour to the east, New Zealand. But there are notable differences. This week, The Conversation…
None of these Victorian-era New Zealand women became a Henry Handel Richardson. Thiophene Guy/Flickr

Why New Zealand has no great 19th-century novel

Historically, geographically, culturally – there are many points of comparison between Australia and its neighbour to the east, New Zealand. But there are notable differences. This week, The Conversation…
Stormy weather hits New Zealand’s capital, Wellington. Flickr.com/wiifm69 (Sean Hamlin)

An insider’s story of the global attack on climate science

A recent headline – Failed doubters trust leaves taxpayers six-figure loss – marked the end of a four-year epic saga of secretly-funded climate denial, harassment of scientists and tying-up of valuable…
Blogging is in favour in New Zealand, with the major players taking on the mainstream media. Sue Richards/Flickr

New Zealand’s blogosphere is thriving, but will the party last?

Blogs are thriving in New Zealand thanks to threats to media freedom, an increasingly commercialised media environment, and shifts in media ownership. The financial ownership of the major media companies…
Backpackers make up a hidden stream of labour in Australia. But what makes a ‘good’ migrant for policy-makers, and why is there a distinction? Siim Teller

‘Good’ migrants and ‘bad’ migrants: the Coalition’s policy paradox

In his short period in office so far, prime minister Tony Abbott has been taken to task on two issues with important neighbours: asylum seeker boats arriving from Indonesia, and the rights of New Zealanders…
The economic argument for an FTA with China isn’t as strong as some may assume. derekGavey/Flickr

Why an Australian FTA with China has never stacked up

Despite trade in goods and services between Australia and China exceeding A$125 billion in 2012, negotiations between the two countries for an FTA that began in 2005 have been so unproductive that both…
There are strong cultural and historical links between Australia and New Zealand - so why are Kiwis not treated equally in Australia? AAP/Paul Miller

Where’s the choice, bro: Kiwis in Australia get a raw deal

Back in 1901, it was said there were 1200 reasons for New Zealand not to join the Commonwealth of Australia, as that’s how many miles of ocean separate the two countries. And there’s no likelihood that…
New Zealand’s new Labour leader David Cunliffe has been elected in a process involving direct voting by the party membership. NZN/Laura McQuillan

Albo and Shorten should look to New Zealand for primary guidance

While Australia’s Labor Party is digesting a significant electoral defeat, the New Zealand Labour Party, in opposition since 2008, has gone through another leadership change and is positioning itself to…
Legalise love: New Zealand approved same-sex legislation in a midst of celebrations. NZN David Williams

Aye do! France and New Zealand respond to same-sex marriage

The issue of same-sex marriage in Australia is again part of the national debate, after Independent MP Tony Windsor announced he was in support of a referendum on the question to be held in parallel with…
Australian prime minister Julia Gillard and New Zealand prime minister John Key met for bilateral talks in February 2013 to mark 30 years of close economic relations between the two countries. Ross Setford/AAP

Tougher policy needed for New Zealanders wanting to work in Australia

There are more than 600,000 New Zealand citizens in Australia, around 500,000 of whom were born in New Zealand. Prior to 2001, the Australian and New Zealand governments allowed citizens to move freely…
The GST is off-limits for both political parties, but a restructure could result in an increase in national productivity and incomes. Image from www.shutterstock.com

Reforming GST is the key to productivity growth

With appropriate investment in design and explanation, a larger GST reform package could be one of the most effective and easiest options to help reverse Australia’s lagging productivity growth. Changes…
Our parks are an incredible asset, and if we ran them more like a business we would see that. AAP/Patrick Horton

Thinking corporately: getting national parks on national balance sheets

National parks are among Australia and New Zealand’s most precious assets. But we don’t account for them properly, so they’re struggling. It’s time for a rethink. The assets managed by the parks agencies…
To know how to ease the damage we do, we must first take stock of the natural world. New Zealand does; Australia does not. Flickr/borkazoid

Seeing the wood for the trees: Kiwi lead in biodiversity conservation

In 1992-93, 168 countries including Australia and New Zealand signed the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) acknowledging an urgent need to halt ongoing decline in the planet’s biodiversity. In its…
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Julia Gillard are at loggerheads over the investment chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. AAP

A dangerous investment: Australia, New Zealand and the Trans-Pacific Partnership

This week, San Diego is hosting the latest round of talks over the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Australia and New Zealand are at loggerheads over this secretive new trade treaty spanning the Pacific Rim…
Who would emerge better under a trans-Tasman currency regime: New Zealand or Australia? AAP

Is a trans-Tasman currency union on the money?

The idea of a shared currency between Australia and New Zealand is not new and has engendered discussion over the past two decades. It has recently come to the forefront as a result of our Prime Ministers…
The Treaty of Waitangi reminds us that indigenous people must be treated honourably before the law. Sids1

A matter of trust – what we can learn from the Treaty of Waitangi

Much is made of the Treaty of Waitangi as the vehicle for the recognition of Maori in New Zealand’s legal system. Australia lacks a treaty, the argument goes, and therefore is constitutionally disabled…
Maori academics in New Zealand should be wary of talking to the non-Maori media. Flickr/geoftheref

Academic bashing in the media – a first-hand account

Maybe it’s the lot of academics to be misrepresented, but when a single incident can nearly get you sacked it makes you reconsider whether to deal with the media at all. Last year, comments of mine about…
Current Prime Minister John Key is set to have an easy victory at today’s election. AAP/NZN Image/SNPA, David Rowland

John Key on brink of historic victory in New Zealand elections

New Zealand goes to the polls today to elect both a government and conduct a referendum on the nation’s electoral system. It will cap off fifteen tumultuous months in the country. Christchurch has endured…
winners.

The smartest coverage of the Rugby World Cup

New Zealand is celebrating the All Blacks' victory over France in the Rugby World Cup. Over the course of the tournament The Conversation has brought you stories about all aspects of the game. And with…
The All Blacks' haka is culturally important for everyone in New Zealand. AAP/AFP pool/Phil Water

All Blacks' proud tradition of the haka insulted in Rugby World Cup

RUGBY WORLD CUP – When New Zealand’s All Blacks take on France in the final tonight, they will be proud to perform a haka. They’ve taken some criticism for it in the past, but, as André Brett of the University…
Will rugby union remain one of the big four football codes in Australia? AAP/Paul Miller

Rugby World Cup: the Australian situation

RUGBY WORLD CUP – As New Zealand gets World Cup fever, James Cook University’s Chris Davies discusses where rugby union’s place in the Australian sporting landscape. It’s on again – we’re now four weeks…
All Black Richie McCaw has been accused of routinely cheating in his approach to the game. AAP

Rugby World Cup: are cheats prospering?

RUGBY WORLD CUP – The athleticism of the players has impressed in this tournament, but is there a whiff of unsportsmanlike behaviour in the air? Brian Stoddart of La Trobe University investigates. A few…
Big sporting events often make a loss, but the locals still enjoy the party. AFP/Franck Fife

What will the Rugby World Cup be worth to New Zealand?

RUGBY WORLD CUP – In the latest of The Conversation’s series on the Rugby World Cup, Massey University’s Sam Richardson looks at the costs and benefits to the host country New Zealand. New Zealand has…
Do hotter-than-average lake temperatures at Mt Ruaphehu suggest an imminent volcanic eruption? Jess Robertson

Mount Ruapehu eruption signs in hot water

A prolonged period of hotter-than-average temperatures in the crater lake of New Zealand’s Mt Ruapehu has seen the country’s media questioning whether another eruption is on the cards. Mt Ruapehu (Māori…

Research and News (1)

Research Briefs (5)

Looking for planets just like Earth

University of Auckland scientists have proposed a new way to find planets like Earth. The research strategy includes the…