Economic Freedom in New Zealand


New Zealand has ranked well in the Index of economic Freedom since it was introduced in 1995. The index was created by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. New Zealand’s lowest ranking is sixth and its highest ranking is third. In 2019 New Zealand ranked third.

From the 2019 results The Heritage Foundation stated: “A global leader in economic freedom, New Zealand has generally followed a long-term market-oriented policy framework that fosters economic resilience and growth. The new government shook business confidence in 2018 with plans for a higher minimum wage, union-friendly labor code reforms, fewer immigrant visas, a ban on housing purchases by foreigners, and higher taxes. A series of settlements after public-sector union strikes will likely push wage demands higher in the private sector. The rule of law is well maintained, and the judiciary is generally independent.

Policies that support a high degree of regulatory efficiency are in place. The entrepreneurial environ-ment is one of the most competitive, with start-up companies benefiting from great flexibility in licensing and other regulatory frameworks. The labor regulations facilitate a dynamic labor market. New Zealand has a vibrant agriculture sector with the lowest subsidies of any OECD country.”

In 2019, The Heritage Foundation’s top 10 countries for citizens’ economic freedom were:
1. Hong Kong
2. Singapore
3. New Zealand
4. Switzerland
5. Australia
6. Ireland
7. United Kingdom
8. Canada
9. United Arab Emirates
10. Taiwan

In 2018, The Heritage Foundation’s top 10 countries for citizens’ economic freedom were:
1. Hong Kong
2. Singapore
3. New Zealand
4. Switzerland
5. Australia
6. Ireland
7. Estonia
8. United Kingdom
9. Canada
10. United Arab Emirates

In 2017, The Heritage Foundation’s top 10 countries for citizens’ economic freedom were:
1. Hong Kong
2. Singapore
3. New Zealand
4. Switzerland
5. Australia
6. Estonia
7. Canada, Chile
8. United Arab Emirates
9. Ireland
10. Chile

In 2016, the top 10 countries were:
1. Hong Kong
2. Singapore
3. New Zealand
4. Switzerland
5. Australia
6 Canada
7. Chile
8. Ireland
9. Estonia
10. United Kingdom

In 2014, the top 10 countries were:
1. Hong Kong
2. Singapore
3. Australia
4. Switzerland
5. New Zealand
6 Canada
7. Chile
8. Mauritius
9. Ireland
10. Denmark

In 2012, the top 10 countries were:
1. Hong Kong
2. Singapore
3. Australia
4. New Zealand
5. Switzerland
6 Canada
7. Chile
8. Mauritius
9. Ireland
10. United States

In 2010, the top 10 countries were:
1. Hong Kong
2. Singapore
3. Australia
4. New Zealand
5. Ireland
6. Switzerland
7. Canada
8. United States
9. Denmark
10. Chile

In 2007, the top 10 countries were:
1. Hong Kong
2. Singapore
3. Australia
4. United States
5. New Zealand
6. United Kingdom
7. Ireland
8. Luxembourg
9. Switzerland
10. Canada

In 2005, the top 10 countries were:
1. Hong Kong
2. Singapore
3. Luxembourg
4. Estonia
5. New Zealand
5.Ireland
7. United Kingdom
8. Denmark
8. Iceland
10. Australia

In 2003 the top 10 countries were:
1. Hong Kong
2. Singapore
3. New Zealand
3. Luxembourg
5. Ireland
6. Denmark
6. Estonia
6. United States
9. Australia
9. United Kingdom



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