Now we know (roughly) the cost of a day off for Matariki – and for good measure the Govt will be changing the Holidays Act

Our Beehive Bulletin … 

When our kindly PM announced 24 June 2022 will be the date for New Zealand’s first official celebration of Matariki, she didn’t mention the cost – at least, not that we recall.   But this week we learned from ACT leader David Seymour that estimates included in official advice to the Government are somewhat eye-watering for the businesses that must pick up the tab.

Mind you, the Government hasn’t finished burdening employers with holiday obligations, although it says it is doing them a big favour by accepting all of 22 recommended changes to the Holidays Act made by the Holidays Act Taskforce.  Just to make things clear, you understand.

News of this was among the latest announcements from the Beehive which – for the record – includes a big tick of approval for the government from the Standard & Poors credit ratings agency.

New data on child poverty are the subject of a post, too (although these don’t show the impact of Covid, which can only have exacerbated inequities). Continue reading “Now we know (roughly) the cost of a day off for Matariki – and for good measure the Govt will be changing the Holidays Act”

Let’s further tighten the border and – oh, wait, don’t make it too tough for overseas students to come here

Hurrah.  The PM is back to posting her announcements on the government’s official website, her deputy is back in the business of self-congratulation, Rio Tinto is back in the business of sucking up cheap electricity to produce aluminium at Tiwai Point, near Bluff.  And overseas students (some, anyway) can come back to New Zealand to continue their studies.

The fourth of those announcements is of note because it came from COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins just a day or so after he was banging on about the extra measures being taken to tighten border security against the corona virus in its various guises.   

The PM’s announcement was a simple one:  she has appointed Anna Curzon, Chief Product Officer for Xero and a former member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council, to the APEC Business Advisory Council.

We are delighted to see we don’t have to turn to Twitter to learn what’s going on.  

News of a deal being struck between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years prompted a statement from Grant Robertson (Finance Minister) and Megan Woods (Energy and Resources Minister).  They said the Government was committed to working on a managed transition with the local community.    Continue reading “Let’s further tighten the border and – oh, wait, don’t make it too tough for overseas students to come here”

Market slump underscores the fiscal wisdom of building a Budget surplus

Finance Minister Grant Robertson will be strutting his stuff among colleagues from around the world this week at the IMF/World Bank annual meeting in Bali. After all, he is one of the few who can report his country’s books are substantially in the black.

Earlier in the week, he said New Zealand had recorded a headline $5.5bn surplus operating balance before gains and losses in the June year, $2.4bn above the Treasury’s Budget 2018 forecast.

It’s the kind of result most Finance Ministers dream of. Who knows? It might even be strong enough for international agency Standard and Poors at last to restore NZ to a AAA credit rating, up from the AA rating to which S&P has stubbornly clung for so many years.

Continue reading “Market slump underscores the fiscal wisdom of building a Budget surplus”