Archive for November, 2012

Social Policy: New Unit To Evaluate Performance

Ministers have long complained large sums allocated to social policy areas disappear into a black hole without ever getting any idea how useful the spending has been. Now the Govt is re-prioritising a minimum of $14.2m of the $32.48m funding the Families Commission receives over 4 years to set up a social policy evaluation and […]

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New Directorate To Advise On Water Policy

In a positive sign for progress on freshwater policy reform, the Govt has set up a new 40-strong Water Directorate in the Ministry for the Environment. It’s headed by MfE’s Kay Harrison, reporting to Paul Reynolds (CEO of MfE and Chair of the Natural Resource Sector agencies) and Primary Industries Ministry CEO Wayne McNee as […]

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Economy: NZ’s Biggest Listed Company’s Upbeat Message

The upbeat economic message from NZ’s biggest listed company Fletcher Building ran counter to the gloomy bleats from economic commentators (and some politicians who have been talking of a crisis in manufacturing). Fletcher is bullish about the Canterbury rebuild, underlining the strong pick-up in residential house building work there and the start of the CBD […]

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International Diplomacy: NZ Stamps Out Role In Asia

NZ this week formally joined the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at the East Asia Summit, confirming as John Key said, “we are part of the Asian region and part of the Asian century.” He acknowledged the significance of getting into the RCEP on the ground floor.

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Play Of The Week: Shearer Fleeced

“You people see it as you call…ah, call it as you see it,” Labour leader David Shearer told media this week when asked about the coverage of his party’s conference and, in particular, the leadership pressures from New Lynn MP David Cunliffe. Was it a Freudian slip?

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Crown Accounts For Quarter Put Surplus At Risk

The Crown accounts for the first quarter of 2012-13 showed the deficit standing at $2.1bn, or $449m higher than forecast. Core Crown tax and interest revenue was lower than expected, partially offset by lower core Crown expenses. Tax revenue of $13.5bn was $295m, or 2.1% lower than expected. Most major types of tax revenue were […]

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Bigger Ships Will Need New Terminal

KiwiRail’s Interislander operation serves three separate markets: rail freight, commercial vehicle transport and private passenger transport. It carries more than 750,000 passengers a year, 212,000 passenger vehicles, and 1.2m commercial vehicle lane metres a year.

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Resources: Two More Canadian Companies Join Oil Hunt

Two more Canadian companies are joining oil and gas exploration in NZ. Marauder Resources East Coast has won the exploration licence for PEP53806 in a joint venture with Canadian Overseas Petroleum to explore “unconventional” shales in central Hawke’s Bay.

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Politics: Pressures On Coalition Unrelenting

Pressures on John Key’s coalition have been unrelenting, and it’s beginning to show, in personal performance, if not in the polls. Key’s own misjudgements, notably when he reportedly labelled English soccer hero David Beckham “thick as bat shit,” have opened the Govt to attack from unexpected quarters.

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Play Of The Week: Online Overkill And A Lack Of Gravitas

If – as some long range forecasters allege – the country is in for a long hot summer and if this means, as it usually does, low lake levels and power shortages, we may have found a solution. Someone, somewhere, must be able to come up with a way of connecting the Internet’s frothing and […]

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Labour Law To Be Amended

Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson copped predictable flak from union bosses, after Cabinet approved her paper to amend Part 6A of the Employment Relations Act. Under the amendment, small and medium-sized businesses with fewer than 20 employees will no longer be required to continue the employment of groups of employees such as cleaners when a business […]

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Christchurch City’s Finances In The Spotlight

Finance Minister Bill English stirred up in controversy in Christchurch when he said Christchurch City Council is not being open about its finances, does not understand its budget predicament, may not be able to reach its 40% share of the infrastructure repair Bill, and risks insolvency.

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Politics: Greens Will Join Labour & NZ First In Coalition

Greens co-leader Russel Norman has stepped up this year to become one of the most effective politicians on the Opposition benches. This week he signalled he wants to fulfil his ambition to become a Minister in a governing coalition. Though the Greens have been a political force for more than 20 years, they have yet […]

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Politics: PM Keeps His Equanimity In Face Of Adversity

John Key hasn’t lost his sense of humour, despite an ugly month for the Govt. He quipped to a Queenstown audience “that bloke (Kim Dotcom) might have Megaupload.com but I’ve got Megaballsup.com. Anyway it’s great to be here…after the week I’ve had it’s great to be anywhere rather than in Wellington.”

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Play Of The Week: House Rules

OK, so the Govt wants us to smoke more, which is why it has hiked the tax on tobacco, right? And the whole Kyoto, putting a price on emissions thing: it’s to encourage people to put out more greenhouse gases, isn’t it?

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