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Economy ‘over the hill’ with aches and pains setting in – Westpac

New Zealand’s economy is past its prime and is now “over the hill” according to Westpac’s chief economist. But far from knocking on death’s door Dominick Stephens says the economy is ageing gracefully. “At seven years old, New Zealand’s economic expansion is now entering its “mature” phase. “Two years ago the economy was really in its prime, but now the ... Read More »

It’s time to be more open about what NZ troops are doing in Iraq

The Government and state agencies need to be more open about New Zealand’s military role in Iraq, Harmeet Singh Sooden argues. OPINION: On the eve of New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating told the New Zealand public that the NZDF was determined, as was the Government, to be transparent about New Zealand’s ... Read More »

EU Green-lights Talks On Australia, NZ Trade Deals

Brussels,:The EU officially launched free trade talks with Australia and New Zealand on Tuesday, part of Europe’s desire to promote free trade deals against the increasingly protectionist stance of the United States. “Today’s decision to open trade talks with Australia and New Zealand is … a reminder to the world of the EU’s commitment to openness, free trade and global ... Read More »

‘Unrealistic’ to expect EU to ditch all agricultural tariffs, business body warns

A free-trade deal between the European Union and New Zealand could boost exports by $2 billion a year and save Kiwis “hundreds of millions of dollars a year” in cheaper imports, a business body says. Business groups have welcomed the prospect of a free trade agreement between the European Union and New Zealand, with agriculture bodies seeing a big upside. ... Read More »

Air NZ domestic fares to increase by 5pc due to ‘operational cost pressures’

An Air New Zealand spokeswoman said it was raising domestic airfares by 5 per cent because it was unable to continue absorbing “operational cost pressures” such as labour, fuel, goods and services. Jetstar spokesman Phil Boeyen said it had “nothing to report” in regards to raising airfares. Operational costs, in particular fuel, were regularly reviewed by Jetstar, he said. “It’s ... Read More »

Dairy prices reach highest level in months at auction

Dairy prices have risen to their highest level in eight months in the latest global auction overnight. The average price was up 1.9 percent to $US3637 ($NZ5301) a tonne, compared with a 1 percent fall in the previous auction two weeks ago. The price of whole milk powder, a key factor in setting returns to local farmers, was marginally higher ... Read More »

New Zealand ‘people’s’ budget sees Ardern put billions more into health and education

Prime minister says she wants her child to look back and judge efforts favourably rather than want to change their name The first Labour government in close to a decade has pledged to make New Zealand a kind and equitable nation where children thrive, and success is measured not only by the nation’s GDP but by better lives lived by ... Read More »

Third arrest in suspected gang related Mangere shooting case

A third man has been arrested in relation to a fatal shooting in Mangere last week. Epalahame Tu’uheava, 28, died in the shooting on Greenwood Road. Police said a 25-year-old man had been charged with his murder and the attempted murder of his wife. He shared the charge with two other men arrested yesterday. The man is set to appear ... Read More »

‘Pay up or get arrested’: Kiwis hit by IRD scam

Police have warned New Zealanders to be vigilant with scam callers telling people they are under investigation by the IRD (Inland Revenue). The scam, which has been targetting people around the country, alleges people owe money to the IRD and would be arrested if they don’t pay up. The automated message is recorded in a New Zealand accent and asks ... Read More »

ASB debt rating outlook cut ‘negative’ after parent CBA slammed in regulator’s report

The outlook on ASB Bank’s debt rating was lowered by Fitch Ratings following a damning report into the culture and governance of its parent Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA). The outlook on ASB’s AA- long-term foreign and local currency debt ratings was cut to ‘negative’ from ‘stable’ after the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (Apra) report released late last month criticised ... Read More »

Taxpayers’ Union to present submission to Tax Working Group

WILLING TON: Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says, “We look forward to hearing the Working Group acknowledge not just our own submission, but those of the 800 or so taxpayers who have submitted via our website.” “The basic message from our supporters is clear: the Tax Working Group should not be used as an opportunity to dig even deeper ... Read More »

New Zealand posts surprise trade deficit

WILLING TON: New Zealand’s merchandise trade balance slipped into deficit in March on the back of a big rise in imported fuel costs for the month. The deficit came to 86 million New Zealand dollars. Economists had expected a median surplus of NZ$275 million for the month. The biggest increase in monthly fuel imports for five years saw total imports ... Read More »

Emissions tax would result in higher dairy and fuel prices

WILLING TON: Making businesses pay for their cost to the environment would drive up the price of dairy and petrol, industry commentators say. The Productivity Commission’s Low-emissions economy draft report suggested introducing an emissions price, likely to be in the form of a tax or charge, for households and businesses to pay for each unit of greenhouse gas they produced. The price should be at least ... Read More »

Spanish tuna group proposes changes to EU standards for fish imports

MADRID: A segment of the Spanish tuna fleet, grouped in the organization of associated large tuna freezing vessels (OPAGAC), has proposed to the European Commission that its responsible fishing tuna standards (APR) serve as a basis of new EU fish import standards. The APR standard is the only one in the fishing sector that guarantees social and labor rights on ... Read More »

Budget real test of new government

WILLING TON: Labour and its governing partners have been laying the groundwork for a Budget that will signal new priorities for spending, after building the case for significant increases to public sector funding. Ministers have been dropping claims of ‘fiscal holes’ in health, education and defence and will have others lined up before Budget Day. Until now it has been ... Read More »

Electric cars skip petrol tax hike in New Zealand

WILLING TON: Controversy is arising in New Zealand regarding the potential tax benefits to be seen by electric cars after the introduction of fuel taxes in the country’s biggest city, Auckland. Currently, the government of New Zealand is investigating the feasibility of hiking petrol taxes in New Zealand by between NZD 0.09 per litre to NZD 0.12 per litre, with ... Read More »

Coal is used for much more than just electricity generation

WILLING TON: New Zealand coal is used for much more than just electricity generationStraterra, New Zealand’s minerals sector industry organization, has welcomed Energy Minister Megan Woods comment on TVNZ’s Q and A on Sunday that the government has no plans to end coal mining in New Zealand, particularly in light of government’s recent decision to ban all offshore exploration for ... Read More »

New Zealand proposes research and development tax incentive

WILLING TON: The New Zealand government on April 19 launched a public consultation on a proposal to adopt a research and development tax incentive. The proposed tax break would be designed to encourage businesses to invest more in New Zealand research and development. The discussion document seeks public feedback on which types of businesses, research and development activities, and expenditure should be ... Read More »

New Zealand makes good on R&D tax incentive promise

WILLING TON: New Zealand can factor in overseas research and development expenses when a new 12.5 percent tax credit takes effect, part of the country’s ambitious plan to attract and boost businesses. The new research and development incentive will apply to businesses incurring relevant expenditures starting on April 1, 2019. The creation of the incentive was foreshadowed by the Labor Party in ... Read More »

Govt plans tax credit for research and development

WILLING TON: Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Megan Woods made the announcement at the electronic manufacturing company Enatel in Christchurch this morning. Dr Woods said it was a key lever in diversifying the economy and creating new industries with highly skilled jobs. “This government is committed through our coalition agreement with New Zealand First to increasing business R&D expenditure ... Read More »