Media and opinion pieces
Clint Smith's media appearances and published opinion pieces on New Zealand political issues
24 May 2023
National’s plan to give free prescriptions to only the neediest groups might sound good on paper, but the truth is that universal policies are simpler and cheaper to administer, prevent stigmatisation and enable wider uptake
20 July 2022
The stark truth of the inflation debate is that there’s very little New Zealand can do about an international price spike driven by oil, war, and shipping shortages. The political debate on inflation is about whether we increase unemployment and cut public services so that those impacts land on vulnerable families the most, or we protect families from its impacts by increasing wages and incomes.
12 May 2022
The cost of living crisis caught Labour off-guard as it focused on COVID. The Budget is an opportunity for them to take back control of the political agenda by delivering cost of living help. Will they take it?
16 March 2022
National Leader Christopher Luxon has come out early with his election trump card. His tax cut package would cost around $3.5b a year, the largest single tax change in New Zealand history.
Labour will know that if it cedes the tax cut ground to National, it'll let Luxon spend the election portraying himself as the guy who's going to give middle New Zealand a break.
If Labour turns the tables on him with a more targeted tax policy, Luxon will risk looking out of touch, having to explain why he is planning to cut taxes for the well-heeled and landlords.
Can Luxon get the upper hand in the question time bear pit?
8 February 2022
Parliament’s back for another year and with it, the only public forum outside an election debate where opposition leaders get to face off against prime ministers. Former Labour adviser Clint Smith explains the ins and outs of question time.
11 August 2021
The Bradford electricity reforms have encouraged electricity generators to keep expensive gas plants in the market and minimise the amount of new renewable generation they build.
17 March 2021
Clint Smith, a former communications strategist for Ardern, and a former ministerial adviser, suggests Ardern’s comments likely followed the advice she had at the time. The price hikes we’ve seen “have caught everyone by surprise”, he says. He points to a pre-election September Treasury report that suggested house prices could fall 5.1 per cent from their March 2020 levels.
4 February 2021
With an extra $4 billion a year in revenue and backed by plenty of support from voters, the government has the opportunity to tackle some of the country’s most urgent problems. But first, Labour must abandon its cautious approach
The Guardian: Jacinda Ardern is at her best in a crisis. Now she must tackle housing affordability
28 December 2020
Booming prices – fuelled in part by Covid – are a threat to the Kiwi dream of home ownership. The government must show leadership
The government was caught out by the sudden surge in house prices. But it has also given them an opportunity to adopt new, bold policies....
RNZ Interview: How to fix the country's housing crisis
1 December 2020
A former adviser to the minister of housing and development believes there is an easy way to fix the current housing crisis without penalising landlords in the extreme.
Clint Smith talks to Jesse about the fix he believes would work to enable more home ownership around the country.
The Spinoff: One simple idea to fix New Zealand’s dysfunctional housing market
30 November 2020
Currently, investors are essentially subsidised to outbid homebuyers. Instead, why not give homebuyers a tax cut and make the speculators pay?
The Spinoff: What Judith Collins can learn from the Jacinda Ardern miracle – from someone who was there
15 July 2020
The new National leader has only a few weeks to turn the party’s fortunes around. But that’s what Labour’s new leader did in 2017. While there are obvious differences, there’s plenty Collins can draw from, writes Clint Smith, who was senior communications strategist under Andrew Little and Jacinda Ardern.
Stuff News: Budget sugar-hit vital but fix underlying ills too
15 May 2020
This is a Budget for extraordinary times. In a few short weeks, the Government has had to tear up its plans and focus on a massive recovery plan to fight the Covid crisis.
Stuff News: Political donations law must be tightened to prevent abuses
20 February 2020
Our political donations rules are wide open for abuse and corruption, and they need to be changed.