The NZ Initiative was born out of a merger of the NZ Institute and the Business Roundtable. When it was formed, there was interest about whether it would just be the NZ Business Roundtable under a different name.
The NZBR made a great contribution to New Zealand, but in its latter years was seen as too ideological and had a fractious relationship with many political parties.
I think the NZ Initiative has done really well to be a consistent and intelligent policy and ideas shop, while being able to work constructively with politicians across the political spectrum. As they approach many issues from a broadly classical liberal perspective, they of course do not have everyone agree with them. But their contributions are seen as thoughtful and constructive.
Their annual report showcases what they have achieved in the last year, and is a good read. But it is two of the quotes I wish to copy:
“I often disagree with the New Zealand Initiative’s proposals – but that’s the point. We need more challenging ideas, quality research and thought leadership in New Zealand, not less. The New Zealand Initiative makes a valuable contribution to robust debate in this country. I wish there were more institutions like them, across the spectrum, committed to finding solutions to the great challenges of our time.” James Shaw, Green Party Co-Leader
“I appreciate the Initiative’s prolific and much needed contribution to policy debate. We don’t always agree but the debate is always worth having.” Phil Twyford MP, Labour Spokesperson for Housing, Building and Construction, and Auckland Issues
I couldn’t imagine the former NZBR having a Labour and Green MP talk about their valuable contribution and useful debates. It’s a sign of their success.