Archive for October, 2008

Cabinet Blends Experience And Fresh Faces

John Key has concentrated his top Ministers into the economic portfolios (himself with Tourism, Bill English, Finance and Infrastructure, Gerry Brownlee, Economic Development, Energy & Resources, Simon Power, Commerce & State-Owned Enterprises) as part of the drive for growth. “This cluster of Ministers and related portfolios demonstrate that getting the economy going will be front […]

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NZ Sidelined In New Nuclear Disarmament Group

For more than 20 years NZ’s Labour Party has considered itself a leading authority on nuclear disarmament and its anti nuclear policies have earned the enmity of former ANZUS Treaty partners Aust and the US. But somehow NZ is missing from the ranks of Aust PM Kevin Rudd’s new international anti-nuclear weapons commission which met […]

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Economic Debate – Is NZ’s High Inflation Self Inflicted?

Helen Clark and John Key were in agreement, when September-quarter CPI figures showed annual inflation had risen 5.1%. It was the biggest rise in 18 years, lifting inflation significantly above the official 1-3% target range. It hadn’t been above 5% since reaching 7.6% in 1990 after GST was hoisted from 10% to 12.5%. But neither […]

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Economic Debate – Who Gets A Fair Guarantee?

Many Americans are dismayed by the rewriting of the rules of capitalism and the massive US govt bailout of the banks; others see state intervention as preferable to the collapse of the financial system. But NZ’s financial system – we’ve persistently been assured by Finance Minister Cullen and RBNZ bosses – is fundamentally sound. Each […]

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Delays To Maari Oil Production

First production from the Maari oilfield, 50km off the Taranaki coast, which was scheduled to begin this month, may be delayed until closer to the end of the year. Bad weather has delayed batch-drilling the first 3 production wells. Eventually there will be 5 oil-producing wells and 3 water injection wells. The wellhead platform and […]

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Economic Debate – What About Growth?

Bugger. As the prospective beneficiaries of buckets of election bribes, we’ve been done no favours by the opening of the Govt’s books. The Treasury’s economic and fiscal projections brace us for negligible growth in the year to March 2009 (before the economy picks up to around 3% GDP growth in 2010), unemployment rising above 5%, […]

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New Assessment System May Tax Incoming Building Minister

An effort by local authority building officials through their national body, the Building Officials Institute of NZ (BOINZ), to set up their own assessment service for products they will need to approve in the building consent and compliance process is raising eyebrows. Officials have the legal power to accept or reject building products intended for […]

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Govt Spending To Be Reviewed “Rigorously”

John Key says the severity of the international downturn has exposed the economy’s weaknesses more quickly than anyone expected. The choices facing NZ have become “more stark.” NZ’s economic recovery must be built on improved productivity and a better environment for investment in jobs and growth. Key argues the decade of deficits outlined in the […]

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Maori Party Ponders Its Future Under MMP

The Maori Party’s post-election position is becoming an issue of intense speculation, because it’s tipped to add two more seats to the four it holds. It could even take all seven Maori seats, making it potentially the third largest party in Parliament and possibly holding the balance of power. Exasperating uncertainty in the comments of […]

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Tough Message Handed To Fijian Leaders

Fiji has been handed its toughest message yet on the need to hurry-along elections and restore genuine democratic and constitutional Govt. Meanwhile, there are signs the military regime, having received a series of tough messages from international leaders, may be having second thoughts over its hard-line stance. Trade Minister Phil Goff, says the Commonwealth Ministerial […]

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Economic Debate – To Bail Or Not To Bail

President Bush – trying to woo legislators who scuttled a $US700bn Wall Street bailout – warned the threat to the US economy will worsen each day which passes without a rescue package. He summed up the crisis: “Our country is not facing a choice between Govt action and the smooth functioning of the free market. […]

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