Archive for July, 2010

Party Politics: ACT Looking For A Profile Boost

The ACT party has been virtually invisible of late, with leader Rodney Hide slipping into the background. Hide’s Party has been overshadowed by John Key’s growing closeness with the Maori Party. ACT badly needs a profile boost and its backing for the controversial extension of the 90-day probation period to cover all workers should deliver […]

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Political Leadership: Political Management Still A Concern For National

John Key’s announcement of relatively minor, if right-leaning, changes to labour laws which provoked the most violent political demonstration seen for years in NZ, played straight into the hands of a Govt which fears its mining back down will be seen as another sign of weakness among its right-wing supporters, who can always still turn […]

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Employment Law: Government Buys A Fight With Unions

There isn’t going to be any backdown on this one – the Govt is prepared to take on the unions and John Key is backing himself on employment law changes. Key says it’s his responsibility to help people get jobs, and this goes to the core of his reasons for being in politics. Key feels […]

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Elections: Labour Running Early Candidate Selections

Labour aims to have a full slate of confirmed election candidates by the end of the year as it moves quickly to get them on the ground in electorates. With National riding high on mid-term poll ratings of 50% plus, and John Key a hugely popular leader, Labour doesn’t have a realistic chance of winning […]

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Trade: Can NZ Double Trade With China In Five Years?

While the talks in Seoul and Hanoi were important diplomatic impact points, Key’s prime destination was Beijing where his relatively easy access to China’s leaders was clearly evident. Key and Premier Wen Jiabao went into talks to discuss another FTA – the one in force between NZ and China. Key says he presented his goal […]

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NZ Trade: PM Talks Up Trade On Asia Jaunt

John Key has swept through Korea, China and Vietnam with a mix of buoyant optimism, ambition for NZ and some tough talking along the way. Key flew home this week after intense top-level meetings in all three countries focused on trade and building multi-lateral relationships. In Seoul Key met President Lee Myung-bak, talking for 90 […]

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Emissions: Could Methane Emissions Be “Parked” To Satisfy Farmers?

The introduction of the ETS last week appeared relatively painless in political terms, but Govt MPs are still receiving the message it’s highly unpopular in their constituencies. Agriculture Minister David Carter told a seminar at Lincoln NZ would not proceed (with the inclusion of agriculture in 2015) if NZ is the only country taking agricultural […]

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Economic Debate – How To Nurse The Recovery

Business confidence is unlikely to be lifted by news of a June-quarter shrinkage of business optimism and its likely consequence of stalling a recovery from weakness in manufacturing, construction, and investment intentions. The NZIER’s latest survey found firms are less optimistic as the economy failed again to deliver on expectations of a strong recovery: business […]

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NZ Politics: Key Govt Buoyant – Now Comes The Hard Part

John Key’s team will go into the mid-term party conference next weekend (July 17, 18) in a positive, even buoyant mood. Under Key the party has shifted towards the centre of the political spectrum, which it now bestrides, squeezing opponents into a relatively narrow segment. It has met its primary goal of regaining the trust […]

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Oil Exploration: Extent Of Oil Search Exposed

Protests against the Govt’s award of an exploration permit to Brazilian oil giant Petrobras in the Raukumara Basin, backed by Ngati Porou’s influential leader Dr Api Mahuika, had all the appearance of an audacious bid to stake out a claim for the fruits of any successful exploration. Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee was quick to stamp […]

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Economic Debate – How Damaging Is Global Rebalancing?

National MP Craig Foss’s patsy question on Tuesday provided Finance Minister Bill English with a pretext to rubbish the Clark Govt’s fiscal policy management. It invited him to tell what reports he had received of recent Budget measures taken internationally and to explain the implications for NZ. English replied Govts around the world are trying […]

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Economic Growth: English Tests Appetite For Next Economic Step

Julia Gillard’s swift despatch last week of Kevin Rudd added a new dimension to the often brutal brand of politics practised in Canberra. If there were tears shed by Rudd’s colleagues, they weren’t visible. In Wellington relief was palpable. Rudd’s interventions had frustrated NZ in different theatres. He unilaterally pushed taking Japan to the International […]

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NZ Defence: Army, Air Force Likely Winners In Defence Review

Officials have agreed on the initial outline of the Defence Review and this will go to Ministers shortly. With Finance Minister Bill English in firm control of the purse-strings, any prospects of major new projects have been ruled out and NZ will continue to spend only around 1% of GDP on defence. The army appears […]

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Trans Tasman Relations: “Astonishing” Progress Towards Single Economic Market

Trade Minister Tim Groser was claiming “astonishing” progress towards the single economic market between Aust and NZ out of the annual CER Ministerial Forum held in Canberra this week. Groser who doesn’t hold back with a bit of political hyperbole says a recommendation has been agreed for a new investment protocol, one of the most […]

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