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Tobacco tax zealots are now changing their tune

WILLING TON: On the AM Show this morning, Hāpai Te Hauora CEO Lance Norman admitted that tobacco excise “is having a negative impact on other areas of the community so we need to work out how we address that issue.” Mr Norman pointed out that even with such punitive taxes, over a third of Māori continue to smoke, and went ... Read More »

Government again targets regional NZ

WILLING TON: National stands behind New Zealand’s international commitments to reducing emissions but has cautioned against drastic action which will unfairly impact New Zealand farmers and businesses, spokesperson for Climate Change Todd Muller says. “The Government has today established an Interim Climate Change Committee that will work on New Zealand’s efforts to meet our international climate change commitments – and ... Read More »

NZ dollar falls vs Aussie on stronger than expected china imports

WILLING TON: New Zealand dollar fell against its Australian counterpart as the Aussie benefitted from stronger-than-expected Chinese import data and ahead of domestic data this week which is expected to show inflation remains weak. The kiwi dollar fell to 94.57 Australian cents as at 8am in Wellington from 94.72 cents in New York on Friday. The kiwi traded at 73.53 ... Read More »

National updates tax ad to fight Labour’s fuel tax

WILLING TON: The National Party is highlighting Labour’s double whammy of national and regional fuel tax increases by launching an advertisement to illustrate the costs faced by consumers and a petition to encourage people to voice their opposition, National’s Transport Spokesman Jami-Lee Ross says. “These taxes will hurt consumers in the pocket. As well as the direct impact on what ... Read More »

March car sales affected by stink bug biosecurity scare

WILLING TON: Used car sales in March plunged 18% on a year ago, as stink bug-infested ships were turned away from New Zealand shores for biosecurity reasons. New and used car sales dropped 6.6% in February and 4.4% in MarchInfometrics economist Hilary Parker said stricter controls for dealing with car shipments from Japan was likely to continue to slow the ... Read More »

NZ dollars seen resilient despite trade war fears

WILLING TON: The Australian and New Zealand dollars are likely to stay resilient this year, a Reuters poll showed, even as fears of a global trade war spark wild gyrations in currency markets. The survey of 33-47 analysts plotted an uneventful future for the Australian dollar, which is seen at $0.7700 in one-month, $0.7800 in three months, $0.7720 in six ... Read More »

Pound to New Zealand Dollar exchange rate forecast

WILLING TON: The Pound to New Zealand Dollar exchange rate has seen a moderate decline on 4thApril, following the news that the UK construction sector has contracted in March. Looking ahead, the Pound to New Zealand Dollar exchange rate could see further losses on the release of PMI data on 5th April. The latest manufacturing PMI showed unexpected growth, but as mentioned above the latest ... Read More »

Business NZ slams proposed changes to employment law

WILLING TON: The Employment Relations Amendment Bill is currently before select committee and seeks to restore minimum standards and protections for employees. The bill wants to remove the 90-day trial period for companies who employ more than twenty people. Outside of the bill, the government is also mooting the idea of abolishing the youth wage. In Business New Zealand’s submission ... Read More »

Blueberry orchard a sweet opportunity

WILLING TON: One of the North Island’s most diverse boutique orchards  encompassing blueberry, raspberry and avocado production operations  has been placed on the market for sale. Tomo Orchard at Pukenui near Houhora in the Far North, is an intensive 6.2ha horticultural venture growing blueberries under 10,000sq m of fully-enclosed framed canopies and 8000sq m of covered netting. The horticultural operation ... Read More »

Businesswoman arraigned for forging New Zealand visa

WILLING TON: A 37-year-old businesswoman, Joyce Okafor, was arraigned yesterday before an Ogba Magistrate’s Court for allegedly defrauding a man of N550,000 by forging a New Zealand Visa. Okafor, who lives at Falalu Lawson area of Lagos State, is facing a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy, fraud and false pretences. The prosecutor, Inspector Vincent Atagamen, told the court that the ... Read More »

Pound to New Zealand dollar exchange rate tight as Brexit issues considered

WILLING TON: The Pound to New Zealand Dollar exchange rate (GBP/NZD) has showed continued minor losses on Monday’s afternoon session. Sterling has been left unsupported as traders look at the Brexit process so far, which is still dotted with unresolved issues. Among the many problems is that state of shipping after the UK exits the EU. In the worst-case scenario, analysts have ... Read More »

NZ trade surplus in february as car imports fall to 5 year low

WILLING TON: New Zealand posted a trade surplus in February as imports and exports both increased, with imports at a high for the month even as car imports fell, Statistics New Zealand said. Goods exports jumped 11 percent to $4.46 billion compared with February last year, while imports rose 4.6 percent to $4.24 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of ... Read More »

Bank boards a vital cog in NZ economy

WILLING TON: More importantly the NZ banking system operates under a light-handed regulatory regime. Under this regime, bank directors are required to attest that their banks are compliant with the Reserve Bank’s regulatory requirements. The central bank accepts these attestations without reviewing, examining or auditing the process. In other words, the health of the NZ economy is highly dependent on ... Read More »

New Zealand central bank leaves rates on hold

WELLINGTON:  New Zealand’s central bank left the official cash rate at a record low of 1.75 per cent on Thursday, saying modest interest rates would help spur economic growth. Gross domestic product (GDP) rose just 0.6 per cent in the last quarter of 2017 and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand said monetary policy would play a role in stimulating ... Read More »

NZ dollar pares gains in light trading ahead of fed review

WILLING TON: New Zealand dollar pared overnight gains against the greenback in thin trading as markets focus on the upcoming US Federal Reserve policy review with the Fed widely expected to lift interest rates. The kiwi fell to 72.23 US cents as at 5pm in Wellington from 72.53 US cents as at 8am in Wellington, though still up from 72.10 ... Read More »

NZ seeks exemption from US steel and aluminium tariffs

WILLING TON: The Prime Minister has written to the United States president seeking an exemption from his steel and aluminium tariffs. Donald Trump signed off earlier this month on tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminium imports, but exempted some countries, including Canada, Mexico and Australia. Jacinda Ardern said she outlined in the letter her ... Read More »

New Zealand’s current account deficit widens to 1.5 bln USD

WELLINGTON:  New Zealand’s current account deficit widened to 2 billion NZ dollars (1.5 billion U.S. dollars) in the December 2017 quarter, the country’s statistics department Stats NZ said on Wednesday. The 407 million-NZ dollar increase in the deficit was mainly driven by New Zealand importing aircraft and other transport equipment, and crude oil, Stats NZ said. The goods deficit was ... Read More »

NZ firm that breached UN sanctions waits for fine

WILLING TON: The company has admitted three breaches of the United Nations sanctions against North Korea when it sent three replacement parts to China, knowing the plane was in North Korea at the time.It now faces a maximum fine of $100,000 per charge.It’s the first time a company has been prosecuted for UN sanctions breaches in New Zealand. Customs prosecutor ... Read More »

New Zealand ports report solid financials

WILLING TON: NZ$120.6m and flat net after-tax profit of NZ$29.2m, with container throughput rising 3%, total general cargo volume lifting 4.7%, vehicle throughput increasing 2.1% and cruise ship calls rising 50%. PoAL chief executive Tony Gibson commented: “I am pleased with our result as it builds on the work we have done since 2011 to modernise the port and make ... Read More »

New Zealand and Vietnam continue strong trade

WILLING TON: New Zealand’s trade to Southeast Asia heads to Vietnam. In keeping relations strong, Vietnamese Prime Minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc recently visited New Zealand to discuss increasing cooperation. “Exports and imports between Viet Nam and New Zealand grew by more than a third in the last year alone,” said New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern. Vietnam News reported that two-way ... Read More »