Monday, 19 May 2014


I am very pleased to announce that I'm moving to Wellington to serve as Head of Research for the New Zealand Initiative. I'll begin there in August, with precise timing depending on our sorting out moving from Christchurch.

I'm really looking forward to working with the team there. In addition to the great set of projects they have lined up, I'll have scope to help shape future research. Loyal readers at Offsetting may see some minor interruptions in service while we move house, but blogging will continue - this time as part of the job description.

I'll miss my friends in Christchurch and the Department here terribly. But some opportunities are too good to miss.

The New Zealand Initiative is the successor organisation to the New Zealand Business Roundtable, Roger Kerr's think-tank, and the New Zealand Institute, David Skilling's. It's going to be a lot of fun. And, I hope I'll there be able to do just a bit more to help keep New Zealand the best place in the world to live.

Here's the NZI press release.

19 May 2014


The New Zealand Initiative names Dr Eric Crampton as new Head of Research

Dr Crampton’s international academic experience will grow the Initiative’s reputation as New Zealand’s leading business think tank

Wellington (May 19) –  The New Zealand Initiative today announced that Dr Eric Crampton has been appointed as its new Head of Research. Dr Crampton, a senior lecturer at the University of Canterbury and author of the popular economics blog Offsetting Behaviour, will take up his new position in August. Dr Crampton will lead the Initiative’s research team to develop recommendations for New Zealand’s most pressing public policy questions.

The Initiative’s Executive Director Dr Oliver Hartwich said: “We are delighted to have secured Dr Crampton for this new role. His economic expertise, his international experience and his ability to effectively communicate complex ideas will help to grow The New Zealand Initiative’s output and influence.”

Dr Crampton is a Canadian-born economist, who obtained his Ph.D. at George Mason University (Fairfax, VA) under Professor Tyler Cowen. He was a visiting fellow at ZEI at Bonn University (Germany), and has been a lecturer and senior lecturer at Canterbury University since 2003. Dr Crampton’s work and publications have covered a wide range of public policy topics, including public health, competition law, and the analysis of political systems. His blog Offsetting Behaviour is among New Zealand’s top-20 blogs and recommended by the American Economics Association in their ‘Resources for Economists’ list. He also edits The Dismal Science for The Royal Society’s SciBlogs initiative.

Dr Crampton’s appointment underlines The New Zealand Initiative’s goal to be the country’s leading evidence-based public policy think tank.

Dr Hartwich said: “The New Zealand Initiative is all about developing robust and fresh ideas to make New Zealand a better country. Dr Crampton shares this vision and we look forward to his contributions to public policy debates.”

About the New Zealand Initiative

The New Zealand Initiative is an evidence-based think tank and research institute, which is supported by a membership organisation that counts some of the country’s leading visionaries, business leaders and political thinkers among its ranks.

Our members are committed to developing policies to make New Zealand a better country for all its citizens. We believe all New Zealanders deserve a world-class education system, affordable housing, a healthy environment, sound public finances and a stable currency.

The New Zealand Initiative pursues this goal by producing well-researched reports and hosting high level conferences and events. For more information visit

For more information contact:
Ben England
Communications Officer
The New Zealand Initiative
Ph +64 4 494 9109


Update: Here's Nevil Gibson on the move.

And some of my favourite tweets:


  1. Congrats on the move - I'll buy you a beer sometime!

  2. Congrats, welcome to the hood.

  3. HMMM, will the earthquakes move with you?
    Look forward to some great critical analysis.

  4. Congrats! NZI looks to be shaping up rather nicely.

  5. Congrats, I will look forward to some interesting studies. Good to see an NZ think tank getting stronger

  6. Congratulations Eric - that's a great outcome from the uncertainty

  7. If you're far enough back from the beach, should be right. Or at least according to the WDC risk maps.

  8. I'll be at NZ Initiative on Lambton Quay. They run an 8:30 start time. The bus schedules suggest a half-hour trip into town from Island Bay for an 8:30 start. We've also been looking at Ngaio; taking the train in would be awfully convenient.

  9. I lived in Johnsonville a few years back. The commute for my 7:30-ish start was pretty easy, but the traffic down the gorge gets pretty heavy after that. Also, the elevation means that it can be fairly windy even by Wellington standards.

  10. re sunscore, you can search for an address at and get some useful sunrise/sunset data. But (like google earth?) it doesn't know about trees and buildings that may block you. Re suburbs, you might want to consider the Hataitai/Roseneath hills too (not all of Roseneath is multi-million dollar stuff)

  11. Akld Commercial lawyerTue May 20, 02:57:00 pm GMT+12

    Congrats - and I am pleased to see that you are staying in NZ. As the parent of a Canty uni student - I'm less pleased. And in answer to your RFP on suburbs, I would avoid those that are in valleys. My personal favourite for views and outlook is Brooklyn and its handy for both CBD and schools.

  12. Congrats, hope the blog continues!

  13. Eric, congratulations. Your huge value is to be understandable to lay people.. something the NZI excels in also. All things considered this is a great matchup, but its a big loss for academia.


  14. granularity really matters for Wellington. In Christchurch Burnside is Burnside and Hornby is Hornby or actually Burnside just put a bit more to the west. In Welly you could be 50 metres down the road in pretty much every suburb and the view/sun/wind is completely different

  15. I've forwarded your requests to the powers that be :-)

  16. Also,
    (even if walking per se isn't your bag, it does a reasonable job of scraping and aggregating features of interest in a given neighbourhood, including public transport)

  17. Take a look at - it does much of what you're after ;)