Blog

House Prices Still Rising Fast - TOP

According to media this morning house prices are coming “off the boil”. You could be fooled into thinking they are falling, but they are not, they are just increasing at a slower rate. The bottom line is that house prices are still increasing at 11% per year. This is faster than incomes are rising, so housing is still becoming more unaffordable. Despite the sanguine media reports, the housing affordability crisis continues to get worse. 

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The Rise Of Uber in New Zealand - TOP

In essence, there is no comparison, UBER is superior to any taxi company in New Zealand. Reasons include the convenience of the app-based service which provides information on price, timing, route and the driver; time saved thanks to the online payment process; the ability for driver and passenger to rate each other; and finally price.

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The State of New Zealand's Rivers - TOP

In recent weeks we have seen a spate of reports about the state of our fresh water. First, we had a report from the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser and yesterday another from Statistics NZ and the Ministry for the Environment. On the back of yesterday’s report was the startling (though belated) realisation from the Government that growth has to come from adding value, not more volume. We have distilled three key lessons from these reports, but they all point to the same fact: that the Government isn’t dealing with the actual problems faced by our fresh water.

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Population Growth, and Immigration In NZ - TOP

Firstly an admission - personally I don’t want 10 million people living in New Zealand which is how many the current rate of immigration will deliver in 40 years. One of the things I love about coming back here from overseas is the fact that we have so much space. But that is just my selfish opinion, and this is a democracy. I’m interested to hear what other people think and why. 

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New Zealand's involvement in North Korea - TOP

One thing about North Korea (DPRK) – and for that matter South Korea (ROK) – is that hyperbole is stock-in-trade in political speak. The rhetoric more often than not gets in the way of the reality of what is being asserted or claimed. For us in the West, the Koreans use of the English language can often be quite funny because of its puffed up hyperbole.

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Responsible Immigration in New Zealand - TOP

On the back of National’s tinkering and the kneejerk reaction from Labour and New Zealand First, immigration looks set to be an election issue. It certainly is important, but we need to have a conversation based on the facts, rather than hysteria and xenophobia. Let’s review a few of the facts in light of the announcements in recent days.

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Pollution and Dairy Farming in NZ: A way Forward - TOP

In the late eighties and early nineties, New Zealand was virtually devoid of any type of overarching agricultural regulation. Conversely, regulation in agriculture was commonplace in most first world countries at this time.

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National’s Immigration Policy. Is it good for New Zealand? - TOP

It’s great news the Minister of Immigration Michael Woodhouse has indicated some tightening of immigration laws. That he has acknowledged that people on the median wage or lower are perhaps not as skilled a category of immigrant as New Zealand needs, is a long overdue admission that National’s immigration policy is about as far from a skill-based strategy as one could get. So that’s progress.

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New Zealand's Public Service Sector: Really That Public? - TOP

It is becoming increasingly clear that our public sector is shackled to their Ministerial masters. The Opportunities Party had our own, very innocent, taste of this last week. 

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From Trickle Down to being Trickled On

One of the often heard regrets from employers is how they can’t get labour from the local market. They resort as much as possible to getting the Immigration Department to approve the importation of labour from abroad. We’re not talking highly skilled labour here; we’re talking about those with middle-of-the-road or lower skill sets primarily.

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