Archive for April, 2012

Peters tries to embellish super gold benefits

Nice try, Winston. NZ First leader Winston Peters got himself a quick news bite with his call to the Govt to apply a 10% discount to the power bills of Super Gold cardholders over the winter months. Forget the fact the country has been running one of the largest deficits in its history. Peters doesn’t […]

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Outlaw shipping price-fixing, says productivity commission

The Productivity Commission is calling on the Govt to outlaw price-fixing by international shipping companies serving NZ ports. It sees scope for a significant lift in workplace productivity at ports.

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Land sales to foreigners – debate needed

The fallout from the Crafar farm deal may continue for some time yet, although the issue quickly faded from the headlines, after the two responsible Ministers Maurice Williamson and Jonathan Coleman, for the second time approved the Overseas Investment Office recommendation for the sale to Chinese giant Shanghai Pengxin.

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Politics: Ministers positive in National conference lead up

Buoyed by polls which underline National has lost little of its popularity, John Key and his team reckon they have a good story to tell when they present themselves to delegates at the first of the party’s conferences this year in Dunedin at the weekend.

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Play Of The Week: Omens

An extraordinary event happened this week: the Post Primary Teachers Association praised the actions of a National Party Minister of Education. Given the Labour Party is, as we’ve observed previously, the provisional wing of the teacher unions, this development is worth noting.

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NZ experience duplicated in the UK

Meanwhile, in Britain last week the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee has strongly criticised budget cuts to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In echoes of the current MFAT review, it said “despite the impressive performance of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in representing the UK’s interests across the globe with what is, in […]

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High dollar a headwind for exporters

The Greens’ co-leader Russel Norman, citing this week a study which showed nearly 50% of exporters found the high exchange rate and its volatility the biggest barrier to exporting called on the Govt to practise a “more active” exchange rate policy.

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Is Sky City deal still on track?

Is the Govt’s appetite for a deal with Sky City waning? When the proposal was first announced, John Key enthused about the jobs a national convention centre would bring.

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Politics: Nats grab hold of agenda

The National-led coalition is getting back on track after what has been a dodgy quarter of political misjudgements, mini-scandals and critical headlines. This week the Govt grabbed hold of the political agenda, pushed Labour deeper into the background, and left the Greens room for only a few rants on the sideline.

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Play of the week: recessing

The Trans Tasman Recess Rule struck again this week. Alert readers (which is all of you, pretty much, especially our mums) will recall the quirk of NZ political behaviour we have noted here many times before – when Parliament is in recess, our politicians go a little silly.

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Critical for NZ to seize Agri-Business opportunities

NZ is world class in a number of facets along the agri-business supply chain, and in the delivery of perishable products in distant markets. Other countries will need such services and expertise. The FTAs NZ has pursued with such vigour are the key which will unlock the door for NZ ahead of many competitors and […]

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Easter Treats

Time for a break. Parliament rises this Thursday, and doesn’t come down again until the beginning of May. And over Easter, some of our best politicians are taking a well-earned break.

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Economics: NZ softened up for tough budget

Both John Key and Finance Minister Bill English have been softening up NZers for a tough budget. Key talked of it being highly likely next month’s budget will be another “zero budget,” meaning no extra funding being available for new programmes or initiatives.

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Poll confirms voter confidence in coalition

The Colmar Brunton poll released on One Network News this week confirmed, as Trans-Tasman indicated last week, support for the Govt has held up well. The poll made nonsense of mainstream media headlines “Body blows have National reeling.”

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Minister rejects call for fracking moratorium

Oil prices ($US125 for a barrel of Brent crude) are likely to remain high with the long-term trend of meagre supply growth and soaring demand from China and other emerging economies. The high NZ dollar has to some degree mitigated the impact on the NZ transport industry.

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