A big idea 1: Crowdsource our laws

Max Rashbrooke is a research associate at Victoria University of Wellington’s Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, and has just published the report Bridges Both Ways: Transforming the openness of New Zealand government. This article sets out the first of five ‘big ideas’ drawn from the report, with the rest to follow in subsequent weeks….

Donations to political parties 2011-16

I’ve been looking at donations to New Zealand political parties in recent years, for a variety of reasons. Party funding is one of the perennial topics of politics, mostly because of one pretty fundamental concern, which is that donations can buy influence and access. Modern political parties cost a lot of money to run, and…

Why a referendum on smacking is a terrible idea

New Zealand First has just announced that it wants a referendum – another one, but binding this time – on our anti-smacking laws. I’m not opposed to binding referenda in principle, although I do think they are the bluntest tool in the direct democracy toolbox, so you might think that I’d support this call. I…