Archive for September, 2011

Currency volatility: Which way will the dollar go?

The NZ dollar dipped sharply last week, falling from US82.2c on Wednesday to US78c on Friday, well down on its post-float high of US88.43c last month. The sell-off was particularly heavy overnight Thursday as global markets took fright at the prospect of Greece defaulting on its debt. The sharp dip provided some relief for exporters, […]

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Welcome mat laid out for Chinese investors

Visiting Chinese Deputy Premier Hui Liangyu got concrete proof Chinese investment in NZ will be officially welcomed, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding at the PM’s official residence in Wellington this week. The MOU is between the local arm of the global accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and one of mainland China’s largest financial institutions, […]

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Fresh challenges as global volatility continues

Europe and the US seem to be talking themselves into a second recession. Just back from the IMF and World Bank meetings, Finance Minister Bill English says “the mood is quite ugly, but we shouldn’t get psyched out”.

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Nats on top as Parliamentary term winds down

While Key’s popularity is a phenomenon which will have a crucial influence in the election, voters have decided National are better economic managers, and that it’s not sensible to change direction in the middle of a global financial crisis.

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New centre to nobble cyber spies

The new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), officially opened this week, has the job of detecting and responding to sophisticated cyber threats.

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Fonterra drives up profit

The cheers could be heard throughout the country’s cowsheds as Fonterra posted a series of records: 2.1m tonnes of products exported, revenue up 19%, profit up 13%, $10.6bn in milk payments and dividends, and payout of $8.25kg of milk solids before retentions.

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Sir Paul Callaghan bemoans NZ lowly position

Sir Paul Callaghan, who Trans Tasman believes rates up there among the greatest living NZers, drew 1400 people last week to Wellington’s Town Hall to hear him deliver the Victoria University Chancellor’s inaugural lecture and set out a plan on how NZ can close the income gap with Aust. Sir Paul says NZ must shift […]

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Play of the week: Politics, impure politics

Why might a Govt legitimately introduce retrospective legislation? The idea sends constitutional purists – who admittedly tend not to get much excitement in their lives – into spasms and screeches of unctuous rectitude. This is not just because our whole system of Govt is based on the rule of law, and the notion laws are […]

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Poll results slip under World Cup radar

Serious stuff wasn’t cutting through the sporting static, judging by the latest Roy Morgan poll, which showed support for National climbing to 57%, and Labour slumping to 26%.

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Govt ignores Len Brown rail loop plan

The clash on the rail loop underlines the strained relations between central Govt and Auckland supercity bosses arising from the RWC transport debacle.

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Norman fresh: Goff stale

While Phil Goff was telling a Wellington audience this week his party’s capital gains tax is a “game-changer,” the Green Party was offering its distinctive version of political nirvana, a policy to create 100,000 “green jobs.”

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Govt lands itself in Urewera pickle

The Govt’s decision to seek legislative authority to suspend the Supreme Court judgement on the Urewera case drew predictable criticism from civil libertarians, and from minor parties in Parliament.

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In the lobby: News from the frontline

The Govt’s Criminal Procedure (Reform and Modernisation) Bill is in trouble. ACT is opposed to some of its provisions and Justice Minister Simon Power hasn’t got the numbers to get it through its second reading. The legislation is one of Power’s masterpieces, a huge shakeup of the criminal justice system he had wanted to enact […]

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Play of the week: Covering the waterfront

It’s been a few days now since anyone last suggested the Rugby World Cup would create a kind of politics-free zone. Stop laughing, now. This was quite a popular idea until, ooh, about five days ago, and it was always a rather silly one. The idea was the country would be in thrall to the […]

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World Cup: Govt acts on fanzone fiasco

Auckland waterfront takeover came as a huge surprise to Auckland city. Whatever the case, there is no way the Govt could step away from its responsibility to protect the life and limb of NZers …. and its own reputation.

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Economy battles deteriorating global outlook

NZ is not immune to the latest wave of volatility in global financial markets. Debtor nations are increasingly under the microscope and ‘the seas are getting rougher’.

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Energy: English backs lignite project

Bill English demonstrated the Govt’s support for Solid Energy’s lignite plans when he turned the first sod of a $25m plant to be built at Mataura.

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Key does a clean sweep at Pacific Forum

Keep the pressure on Fiji. Tick. Focus global attention on Pacific problems. Tick. Not a bad day at the office.

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Economic debate: Are we better off under National?

If the opinion polls are our guide, most of us feel sufficiently well off under National – or confident we will be – to intend to give John Key and his team a second term. But the polls are a measure of sentiment. What do the economic statistics say has happened since GST was lifted […]

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Uphill struggle to secure post-Kyoto deal

Tim Groser is back on the road attending a Ministerial meeting in Pretoria laying the groundwork for the UN climate change conference in Durban in December. He will chair a session looking at the transition to a post-2012 climate change agreement. Before he left Groser said “countries are facing the reality of a gap in […]

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Politics closed for World Cup – will it leave a hangover?

National party strategists reckon the shut down of political debate in this period won’t harm its chances. Instead, it means opponents won’t have a platform to stir up discontent.

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Key’s skills put to test on Pacific stage

John Key will need to harness all his considerable political skills as chairman to bring the 40th Pacific Islands Forum to a satisfactory conclusion.

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Frustration mounts in Christchurch at slow pace of rebuild

How will Canterbury voters mark National’s report card, and more specifically, Gerry Brownlee’s, when election day comes?

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Exporters hit, despite good terms of trade

Stronger terms of trade boost the economy, but also push up the currency – making life tough for sectors outside commodity businesses.

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