NZers are only just now waking up to the economic significance of the Rugby World Cup tournament, due to open in just 15 days’ time. It’s because the mainstream news media have run an almost relentlessly negative campaign against what some see as the greatest sporting event ever to be staged in NZ. The campaign […]
Archive for August, 2011
Three months out from the election, what do we see? National has sort of driven a juggernaut to the top of a hill and John Key is now sitting back, taking the thing out of gear and sort of letting natural gravity let it roll downhill, at speed, to the election. Key could form a […]
Welfare policy, energy asset sales and sharpening the economy are high on the agenda. But what is clear is the theme will be incremental change rather than radical reform.
Ultra-fast broadband inititive finally kicks off in Auckland and has been hailed as the most “transformative infrastructure project NZ has seen since reticulated electricity”. We’ll see.
The Navy’s five Kaman Seasprite helicopters are suffering from corrosion and vibration damage – while facing increasing demands for their time.
Key determined to be inclusive and has gone out of his way to emphasise National will still seek the support of the Maori Party, United Future and ACT in a second-term coalition.
National backbencher Peseta Sam Lotu-iiga had the job of tossing Finance Minister Bill English a patsy question about financial markets and the signals they are sending about NZ’s economic position. English told him the markets are signalling a growing aversion to continued lending to borrowers with too much debt. Indebted countries increasingly are being sorted […]
Speaking in Beijing this week, Trade Minister Tim Groser outlined how a trading bloc in the Asia-Pacific region could rival and even overshadow the European Community. He noted there is an ever deepening integration of national economies, from which NZ does not stand apart. Increasingly, NZ companies are embracing the regional supply chain. In China, […]
John Key now bestrides the centre ground of NZ politics, broadening National’s appeal. The trick has been to kill off the myth there’s little difference between Labour and National.
As existing welfare programmes have demonstrated, job-search requirements are useless for young people who lack the basic skills, such as literacy and numeracy, to secure employment. It’s time to make the welfare state work.
Labour strategists have sought to soften party leader Phil Goff’s image with sympathetic interviews in the NZ Herald, but in essence it’s an admission of defeat in territory where Goff has lived all his life.
Turmoil in global financial markets has moderated, but the consensus among analysts is volatility will persist, with NZ remaining susceptible to adverse swings.
The European Commission this week advised it is premature to say the 27-country EU is entering a recession. The Commission’s economic forecasts (a spokesman said) are more positive than those “by actors in the financial markets.” Data published a day later, however, showed German exports declined in June, adding to evidence the EU economy is […]
National heads into its election year party conference this year looking like it is enjoying a kind of Charge of the Light Brigade in reverse. It is not really a matter of “cannon to the right of them, cannon to the left of them.” It is more a case of the odd grumpy peashooter to […]
This is not the time to batten down the hatches, destroy business confidence, enforce harsher fiscal disciplines, and in the process inflict NZ with a doubledip recession, even if it’s where the US and Europe are heading.
Given the current slide in the international economy, the mood in the electorate could change almost overnight. This is the main risk for National.
In what could be a dry run for National’s major programme of welfare reform, John Key this week was hailing the success of the Govt’s move to introduce a new rule for dole recipients to re-apply annually for the benefit.
As host country, NZ is seeking to inject special significance into the Forum’s agenda. If NZ’s initiatives are accepted, big strides could be achieved in improving the economic performance of the Forum’s island states.
The criticism MMP means ‘the tail wagging the dog’ has never seemed quite right. In practice, smaller parties have not been able to wield much clout to push their policies through. They have instead acted more as restraints. The criticism also misses the point. In most of the MMP elections – 1999, 2002, and 2008 […]
Hone Harawira’s fledgling political party Mana is to hold its AGM on Sunday and amongst other things it will discuss whether to run for electorate seats against Harawira’s former colleagues in the Maori Party. It will be a remarkable change in political behaviour for this hui to be anything more than a political stunt to […]
There are several things Key could do. The fact is he won’t, preferring to let the market sort it out. The problem is, the market is not sorting it out.
Labour simply can’t gain the momentum it needs under Goff, and it’s too late for a leadership change. A second term in opposition and a leadership change beckon. Will David Parker take the helm?
Peters is zeroing in on policies he knows voters don’t like and issues he knows they’re worried about and, as usual, he has plans to fix them, but he’ll have to deliver something very special to get a rise in the polls.