Archive for September, 2009

What Is Motivating Bill English?

Bill English celebrated a week of the best economic news for a year by telling public servants there will be no belt loosening.This looks like taking the standard downbeat Finance Minister approach a little too far, (30 years of impact?) but there is more to it. English is genuinely concerned about the long-term prospects for […]

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NZ Economic Forecasts: Does The Good News On The Economy Outweigh The Bad?

First, the good news: GDP inched up against expectations it would shrink in the June quarter, the external deficit shrank faster than expected, and Fonterra has raised its payout more than expected. Other positive numbers include net migration reaching 15,600, up from 4,900 the year before, and unemployment rising more slowly than forecast. Where the […]

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NZ-United Nations Ambitions: Afghanistan, Nuclear Proliferation High On The PM’s Agenda

Before he left for New York this week, the PM disclosed the 71-strong SAS detachment the Govt said would be deployed to Afghanistan had arrived there. This commitment has become even more controversial because of the rapidly deteriorating situation in Afghanistan particularly as US General Stanley McChrystal is warning the campaign will fail unless he […]

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NZ-US Relations: Key Wins Air-Time In A Crowded New York Calendar

As world leaders jostled for a headline in New York, John Key played a shrewd hand to win a bit of air-time in a crowded calendar, focusing on the globally sensitive issues of Afghanistan, climate change and nuclear proliferation. While by the time she left office Helen Clark had gained an impressive reputation for her […]

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Mapp Damps Down Defence Expectations

Those diehard National Party supporters who were looking for the Govt’s Defence white paper, due for drafting early next year, to re-assert and expand the war-fighting capabilities of the Defence Force, may be due for disappointment, if the first assessments are carried through. Defence Minister Wayne Mapp says the basic test for a Defence Force […]

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Broadband Could Be The “Silver Bullet” For NZ’s Economy

Communications Minister Steven Joyce has knocked back Telecom on its alternative plan for national broadband coverage, and says he is committed to partnering with the private sector to accelerate the roll-out of ultra-fast broadband with its $1.5bn investment initiative. Telecom’s proposal covered fewer homes and businesses, only provided ducts and not the fibre itself. Joyce […]

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Labour Left Hanging As Govt Goes With Maori Party On ETS

The Key Govt made significant progress this week on two of the most politically controversial programmes it is implementing: the emissions trading scheme, and the Auckland super-city project. In delivering a credible scheme for reducing NZ’s carbon emissions, the PM and his Climate Change Minister Nick Smith sealed a deal with the Maori Party, much […]

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Key Deflates Media Excitement About Treasury Notebook

Excitement in the media about the Govt undertaking a review of NZ’s intelligence services scaled considerable heights this week. A Treasury official dropped a notebook in the street near Parliament, which contained some details about the review being carried out by former MFAT chief Simon Murdoch. The notebook was retrieved by a Radio NZ political […]

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Economic Debate – Where Now For Fonterra?

None of the players in the unedifying debate over whether Fonterra should pursue a partial NZX listing have emerged with their reputations enhanced. The farmer-shareholder repudiation of the proposal, which was the cornerstone of the Fonterra board’s plan to expand the company’s capital-raising capability, is also a classic example of how flawed the co-operative model […]

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Govt Still Tops In Popularity, Labour Still Delusional

The Govt is still riding high in the popularity stakes, with the Roy Morgan poll recording National up 3 points to 56.5%, and Labour down 3 to 29%. It underlines public confidence in John Key isn’t affected by the extremism in the debate surrounding the anti-smacking referendum. Frustratingly for the Opposition parties, the visceral anger […]

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Brownlee Whacked For Suggesting Conservation Land Mines

In setting itself the goal of lifting NZ’s living standards up to the level of Aust’s, the Key Govt has to come up with big ideas on how to do it. Ministers are reported to be beavering away in the Beehive on these “big ideas.” It’s clear the Key Govt will also have to break […]

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Oil Exports Now NZ’s Fourth Economic Pillar

Oil production is becoming a fourth pillar of the NZ economy, behind dairy, meat and tourism. Latest figures show in 2008 oil export earnings ranked third behind dairy and meat exports in merchandise trade. Crude oil and condensate production rose 57% to 2.5m tonnes in the year to December 2008 from 1.6m tonnes in 2007. […]

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Brownlee Whacked For Suggesting Conservation Land Mines

In setting itself the goal of lifting NZ’s living standards up to the level of Aust’s, the Key Govt has to come up with big ideas on how to do it. Ministers are reported to be beavering away in the Beehive on these “big ideas.” It’s clear the Key Govt will also have to break […]

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NZ Economy Starts Growing Again, But Will It Last?

Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard believes the recovery is beginning. NZ has come through the global financial crisis “reasonably well.” The crisis exposed vulnerabilities, which could have had “harsher consequences.” The National Bank Business Outlook has business confidence levels reaching up to the best in a decade, and its chief economist Cameron Bagrie says there […]

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Key, Rudd Take Single Economic Market To New Level…

John Key’s almost insouciant style of political leadership masks an iron determination to “get things done.” In Aust last week, he achieved more in creating an efficient trans-Tasman trade and economic relationship than any of his predecessors did in the last 25 years. After major initiatives to free up the movement of people and capital […]

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