Archive for June, 2011

Loan sharks: Election 2011’s moral panic?

NZ has a habitual moral panic every three years, coinciding fairly closely with the electoral cycle. Usually this is in the area of crime, especially crime and young people, and almost always with an implicit but largely understated racial element. Readers with long memories might trace this back to the Mazengarb Report on what was […]

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Capital talk: Buzz in the Beehive

Might too many cooks spoil the broth of Christchurch recovery? Suspicions are on the rise in the capital that well meaning public sector chiefs are wedded to a five year public service type administrative structure to handle the reconstruction. By comparison a private sector approach would entail a flatter purpose oriented team with outside expertise […]

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Govt takes caning as gloom sets in in Christchurch

Insurance industry and EQC add to rebuild pressure on ministers – but the news is not all bad with economists saying prospects are looking up.

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Key wants to ‘take it to the next level’

PM issues challenge to Julia Gillard on how to make trans-Tasman relationship even cosier.

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Fonterra under attack on milk price

Firm subject to mindless attacks in the media (and from people who hate the thought of farmers actually earning a living by working) because milk is being sold on the local market at levels many NZers allegedly can’t afford.

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Supercity’s water woes

$40m in unpaid bills forcing Watercare Services to restrict water only to households that have paid up, which Auckland deputy mayor has slammed as ‘draconian’.

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Economic debate: Growth coming or bubble bursting?

Finance Minister Bill English was among the bearers of good news this week, welcome stuff at the best of times, but especially so when quake-dazed Christchurch had suffered a setback. He released a statement to say the real after-tax average wage increased 2.5% in the year to March, after accounting for all consumer price increases […]

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India mission vital for NZ Inc

John Key has three overseas missions pencilled into his schedule: to Australia , India from June 26 to July 1, and the US (if the long-awaited visit to the White House is confirmed). Of the three, the Delhi mission could be the most significant. NZ Inc has to do with India what it has done […]

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Key pushes National to be ‘natural party of govt’

Key has moved National back to dominate the centre ground of the country’s political landscape and is shaping a manifesto which will seek a clear mandate from electors on November 26.

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Cabinet’s new efficiency helps credibility

Portfolios which were a constant source of trouble in previous Ministries – health, social welfare, immigration, for example – have lifted their performance.

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Domestic incomes rise in real terms

High terms of trade expected to feed increasingly through to expenditure and support broader expansion in the economy.

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Play of the week: Christchurch put to the test … again

Will the EQC and private insurers be able to secure the reinsurance they need. Will private capital shun Christchurch? It’s a tough test, not just for the city and its leaders, but for the rest of NZ.

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Play of the week: Green nuances

The Greens seem to have tried a bit of political finesse this week. In a week when central bankers, both here and overseas, have been in the news pronouncing on the economy, the Green Party seems to have tried to borrow a bit of nuance and subtlety as it is practised by financial luminaries. It […]

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Capital talk: Buzz in the Beehive

Foreign Minister Murray McCully says NZ will back the bid of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon for a second term…….Sonny Bill Williams’ “contest” with a sickness beneficiary might not have done much for his standing as a boxer, but it put new life into the Govt’s programme for welfare reform. In an editorial The Dominion-Post said […]

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Key wants to get cosier with Australia

As close trading partners, can we take relationship to the next step?

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Greens may steal Labour votes

The Greens are a viable alternative for voters who think Labour is under-performing, and don’t like the reforms John Key is proposing if National gets a second term.

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Debt crisis: Is NZ over-borrowing?

Govt has increased borrowing in the past three months to take advantage of good market conditions. The extra cash borrowed now will mean less debt taken on later.

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McCully goes Pacific Island hopping

With the Pacific Forum looming, initiating dialogue with the tiny nations will help region capitalise on opportunities.

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Economic debate: How to control the dollar?

The Govt won’t be doing anything to bring down the exchange rate, we can be sure, even though it rose this week to its highest level against the $US since the lifting of exchange controls in 1985. The PM does recognise the kiwi is trading at “unsustainable levels” for non-commodity exporters. But he also sees […]

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Play of the week: Gravity shift

Ministers went on the offensive this week. It would be too easy to link the run of announcements on welfare, the public sector, and accident compensation to the extraordinary set of polls produced on the weekend. The Govt would have led with its front foot on those issues anyway: it is a fair bet National’s […]

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Election: Polls confirm Key on right track

Even left-wing commentators are conceding John Key’s stratospheric poll ratings are the reward of strategy, and it’s just dawning on some that Key has his eyes on the election scheduled for 2014.

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Trade: Can the export boom be sustained?

Most NZers are aware there’s an international boom for dairy products, but the startling feature of April’s export figures is how the commodity boom is affecting other sectors.

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High dollar a ‘good news, bad news’ story

Currency experts don’t expect the currency to fall off a cliff any time soon. They say the NZ dollar has gained its own momentum and could go higher.

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Business and household confidence on rebound

Given the tough ‘sweetener-free’ budget, it seems the public agrees that ‘tough love’ is what the economy needs.

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