Archive for July, 2009

Economic Debate – How To Attract Investment?

As the latest merchandise trade deficit reminds us, our balance of payments is in dire shape and we must desperately crank up our export production. Something much more effective than business grants to stimulate exports is needed – Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee, we hear, has been looking into the efficacy of these and finds […]

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Paula Bennett Takes No Prisoners

As a politician Social Development Minister Paula Bennett takes no prisoners, even when she is at risk of being stranded in no-man’s land. This week she brought her guns to bear on a couple of beneficiaries who dared to question the Govt over cutting training allowances. Did she go too far in releasing details of […]

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Recession In Death Throes, But For How Long?

A key share market index has topped the 3000-mark the first time since October 2008, agricultural and horticulture exports are “skating through” the recession, net migration is rising fast and could reach 30,000 over the next year, the country’s trade balance is improving. So is the recession in its death throes? It’s too soon to […]

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Common Border With Aust Closer

John Key is promising “a firm announcement” on the plan for a common border between Aust and NZ when he meets Aust’s PM Kevin Rudd in August. Such a development will be the most significant step in the trans-Tasman relationship for more than a decade, perhaps since CER was signed. Key who earlier ordered a […]

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Economic Debate – How To Cut Government Spending

State service bosses tend to shy from speaking publicly and forthrightly about their budgets and departmental workloads, observing the convention whereby Govts make policy and civil servants implement it. Rob Muldoon wanted them seen but not heard; under Helen Clark they feared what became known as the great clunking fist from the ninth floor. Bill […]

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Electricity Review Close To Cabinet Scrutiny

The electricity sector, a crucial element in NZ’s economy, faces a shake-up as Gerry Brownlee’s Ministerial review reaches Cabinet, probably on August 2. The Energy Minister initiated the review in April because of concerns about security of supply, the cost of power, and duplication of electricity sector governance. The Wolak report for the Commerce Commission […]

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Hide Scores A Goal With His Productivity Taskforce

Rodney Hide scored an important goal this week, naming Don Brash to head a taskforce advising the Govt on how it can close the income gap with Aust by 2025. Establishing this advisory group was an essential element of ACT’s coalition agreement with National. Critics say it’s a mistake to select Brash as its head, […]

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Peters On The Comeback Trail?

Winston Peters fired the first shot on what some commentators believe will be a political comeback campaign, in a letter this week emailed to NZ First members. He wrote “before we make a new beginning we want to use the hardest word in the English language – SORRY.” A copy of the letter, dated July […]

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Australia And NZ Stride Towards A Single Economic Market

Giant strides towards the goal of a single economic market may be taken by NZ and Aust in the next few weeks. In prospect are a pact on the portability of retirement savings, a joint investment protocol; and moves towards a common border. In his talks with Treasurer Wayne Swan in Brisbane this week Finance […]

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It’s Official: NZ Economic Recovery On The Way

The first signs of recovery have emerged. NZ’s economic (though not climatic) winter is ending. Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard believes we have avoided a repeat of the Great Depression. Importantly, he thinks NZ is likely to start recovering ahead of the pack. Westpac chief economist Brendon O’Donovan reinforces the Bollard message, saying if it […]

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