Archive for September, 2012

NZ Economy Resilient In Face Of Adversity

Ministers showed relief GDP growth in the June quarter was ahead of market expectations, and at 0.6% for the quarter lifted the annual rate to 2.6%. Hardly stellar growth, but growth nevertheless, which blunted Opposition claims the country is falling back into recession, given the number of jobs being lost in several headline industries. Finance […]

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NZers Resist Any Move To Revise Anti-Nuclear Stance

NZers have a strong attachment to the anti-nuclear policies, and a poll for TVNZ by Colmar Brunton published this week showed 74% of those polled oppose any review of the ban on visits by nuclear-armed warships. The Key Govt is adamant it won’t change the policy.

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US Commits Again To Building Ties With NZ

NZ received a message at the weekend from the US Defence Secretary which it has been eagerly seeking for more than a decade. “My approach as Secretary of Defence is whatever we can do to try to help NZ develop its capabilities and build a stronger friendship I’m prepared to do.”

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Politics: Govt Lumbered With Keystone Kops’ Routine

Govt strategists, puzzling how to divert media attention from the John Banks’ saga, didn’t have to wait long for an answer. The Keystone Kops’ routine involving the Government Communications Security Bureau gathering intelligence unlawfully on internet mogul Kim Dotcom has left all elements of the media a bit breathless.

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Play Of The Week: Oh, The Humanity

Kim Dotcom didn’t visit Parliament this week. He didn’t need to. Having hovered in Parliament’s gallery last week like a bird of evil omen – okay, okay, like a dirigible of evil omen – this week he was present very much in spirit if not in his sizable corporeal form.

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Occupy Protest Not So bad For Auckland?

Following outrage expressed by ratepayers, Auckland Council earlier this year used a security firm to remove dozens of “Occupy” protestors linked to the global anti-austerity movement from the central city’s Aotea Square. Images of carefully manicured lawns trampled to mud and a tent village on the civic site over several weeks became unacceptable to many […]

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Devaluation “A Snake Oil Salesman Solution”

Citing the plight of many manufacturers, the Manufacturers & Exporters Association has called for the NZ dollar to be devalued to $US0.60. The Govt has dismissed the idea out of hand.

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Defence: NZ Won’t Shift On Anti-Nuclear Policy

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman is dismissive of reports US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta (the first US Defence Secretary to visit here in 30 years) is coming to NZ seeking a change in NZ’s anti-nuclear policy.

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Politics: Govt Deep In Trench Warfare

The Govt spent a punishing week in the trenches this week. It faced a united onslaught from Opposition parties seeking to dislodge John Banks, who is clinging limpet-like to a rock somewhere in deep political waters.

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Play Of The Week: Writ Small

Normally, when someone calls a high profile politician a liar, the accusation is followed by a low rumbling sound. This is as the stone is rolled back from the crypt in an eyrie in one of the more expensive legal towers in Shortland St or the Terrace.

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Defence: New Pay Deal For Defence Personnel

A new pay deal for NZ’s armed forces is due to be announced next week, ending the pay freeze which has applied since 2008. Many servicemen of course have received pay increases in that period because of promotion, but the new pay scale aligns it more closely to the median market rate for equivalent services […]

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Maritime Law: Limits For Liability On Oil Spills Lifted

Govt moves to improve harbour and navigation safety, and to increase substantially the amount of compensation payable in the wake of an oil spill to $24m won cross-party support when the Marine Legislation Bill got its first reading in Parliament this week.

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Parliament: Henare Throws Hat In Ring

National MP Tau Henare has thrown his hat into the ring to become Speaker, when Lockwood Smith departs to take up the post of High Commissioner in London. Henare believes he can do the job, and points to his five-term record in Parliament, a term as a Minister, and his experience as a Select Committee […]

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Politics: Govt Keeps A Tight Grip On Economic Agenda

The Govt is keeping a tight grip on the economic agenda, brushing aside Opposition attacks. Labour has tried to get traction on jobs (or rather the lack of them), the high exchange rate hurting exporters, and so-called child poverty.

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Play Of The Week: Speaker’s Corner

Member of Parliament Tau Henare stood at the election promising to support the Govt, but after the election, with a hung Parliament, word reached Wellington he was not so keen. An urgently cobbled together message was sent north to Henare asking which of the two main parties would he support? Back came the response. “I’ll […]

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Auckland Council HQ costs continue to balloon

Drip feeding of cost information about the move by Auckland Council to a new headquarters building in central Auckland continues. As first disclosed in Trans Tasman, fit out costs in the tens of millions of dollars, in addition to the $103m cost of the structure, were confirmed under questioning by NZ First MP Andrew Williams. […]

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Economics: are commodity prices turning for the better?

It’s not much more than a green shoot yet, but, after falling for seven months in a row commodity prices picked up last month, led by dairy products and beef. ANZ’s commodity price index rose 0.5% in world price terms, but a stronger exchange rate wiped out the gain.

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Race: national hui on water challenges Govt

In the wake of being forced to delay its flagship programme of asset sales in an effort to prove its “good faith” in dealing with Maori claims on water rights the Govt is now being tested with an even bigger challenge to its authority.

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Politics: Govt bruised on water rights, needs some wins

The Key Govt urgently needs a couple of wins to offset what is seen as a defeat on Maori water claims. On top of this defeat, the Govt is facing discontent in Christchurch over the pace of the rebuild, unrest on the West Coast over the prospect the biggest underground coal mine will close, and […]

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Play of the week: enemies of Dorothy

“Gaytime” used to be a brand of ice cream. There’s even a nostalgic website for the product, complete with a large nut-covered chocolate ice cream on a stick, and the slogan “its hard to have a gaytime on your own.”

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