Archive for August, 2009

Why A Big Team Is Going To UN General Assembly

NZ will mount its heaviest political presence in years at the opening of the UN General Assembly next month. John Key will lead the delegation and give NZ’s address. Foreign Minister Murray McCully will be there for a meeting of Commonwealth Foreign Ministers as well as attending a CMAG meeting on Fiji, while Tim Groser […]

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Orion Upgrade Extends Defence Capability

The first of the RNZAF’s newly upgraded P-3K2 Orion aircraft has made its initial test flight at contractor L-3 Integrated Systems’ facility in Greenville, Texas. Defence Minister Wayne Mapp says the flight is an important milestone in a complex project. The refurbished Orion is now among NZ’s most advanced defence capabilities. Mapp confirms for the […]

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Economic Debate – Can We Ignore Innovation?

Financial markets and media organisations around the world, including here at home, were quick this week to seize on Fed chairman Ben Bernanke’s prognosis for a US-led recovery. At a Fed conference in Wyoming, Bernanke was bullish about the effect US Govt policy actions in recent months have had in helping stabilise a number of […]

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Who Won In Auckland Super City Maori Seat Row?

The row over Maori seats on Auckland’s super-city council, as some media saw it, signalled the imminent break-up of the National-led coalition. Opposition leader Phil Goff says Tau Henare’s dismissal of ACT leader Rodney Hide as a “buffoon” indicated tensions within National. But anyone who imagined Cabinet would depart from its April decision there would […]

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Economic Debate – Is Joining The Euro The Answer?

Rakon chairman Bryan Mogridge’s complaint last Friday about the volatility of the NZ dollar was not, on balance, particularly helpful to the wider currency debate. It was still a timely reminder to policy-makers countering the vagaries of currency fluctuation will not happen by developing back-of-the-envelope proposals. Mogridge accurately noted because the USD (in which many […]

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Can The Govt Get All Climate Change Objectives In Line?

The Govt is struggling to get all its climate change objectives into a row. The forestry sector could ease pressures on NZ’s greenhouse gas liabilities if it gets the right incentives but is in an uproar over proposals to put a cap on the value of carbon credits and to limit trading to the domestic […]

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Mapp Canvasses Future Defence Options

The Cabinet strategy Committee this week reviewed the first draft of the proposed defence white paper, in time for Defence Minister Wayne Mapp to give a broad outline of its thinking to a joint meeting of Cabinet Ministers to be held, appropriately, at the Naval Heritage Centre on Garden Island in Sydney on Friday. The […]

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Economic Debate – How To Encourage R&D

The Aust Govt is forging ahead with plans for a R&D tax credit while its NZ counterpart dithers over how to progress a similar agenda here. Aust is proposing the introduction of a 45% refundable tax credit for firms turning over less than $20m a year, effective from the 2010-2011 tax year. It is equivalent […]

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Worries For Govt Despite Better “Feel-Good Factor”

Economists say NZ is moving towards recovery and a better “feel-good factor” has developed. But the Govt is worried by unemployment rising faster than expected. It may continue rising well into next year. The Govt sees the economy as lopsided, with almost no net jobs created in the tradeables sector for the past 10 years. […]

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Economic Debate – How To Tackle Tax

The media made much of the package of Govt assistance for young unemployed people announced at the National’s annual conference. But when it came to Bill English, they tended to be more interested in what taxpayers were doing for him than in what he was doing for taxpayers. Pity. His speech fleshed out the gist […]

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Bid To Lift Economic Performance In Pacific

Aust and NZ are determined to achieve better co-ordination in the delivery of assistance to the Pacific. This is because, as Foreign Murray McCully contended in a speech ahead of this week’s Pacific Island Forum, regional organisations are making too little progress. He noted while the regional institutions rake in hundreds of millions of dollars […]

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Key Govt Playing A Long-Term Strategic Game

John Key has shown a dazzling talent as a political tactician. This, to some commentators, explains why he commands 51% support as preferred PM in the latest Colmar-Brunton poll, despite the country being in the longest and deepest recession since the 1930s. Key has been admired variously as a risk-taker, a perpetual optimist, and even […]

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