Westpac is forecasting 200,000 jobs will be lost in NZ as a result of the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Chief economist Dominick Stephens estimates economic activity during the four week lock-down would decline by a third, despite the government and the Reserve Bank having “done a lot to calm financial markets”.
Stephens said his feeling was that GDP in the three months to June would fall by more than 10%— “which is completely unprecedented in our lifetimes”.
The Westpac diagnosis reinforces the argument advanced by Point of Order in one of its most intently read posts: “After the lock-down the economy’s recovery will be dependent on dairy farmers and their milk”.
This post stressed that when the time comes for the government to start planning how the economy can recover, it should be working hard to ensure the dairy industry, along with other key pillars of the primary sector, gets every encouragement to increase production.
Many of those who read the post agreed that the volume of criticism dairy farmers had to absorb because of the methane emissions of their herds and the dirtying of rivers and streams reached absurd levels and affected industry morale. Continue reading “Resuscitating a virus-ravaged economy – the answer lies in the soil and the exports it generates”
Prince Charles has called for a new economic model in order to save the planet. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, he pleaded with world leaders and businesses to revolutionise the interaction between nature and global financial markets,saving the planet from “approaching catastrophe”.
In an unprecedented royal intrusion on government policy, he argues market-based solutions and tax reform are the best options to halt the damaging impacts of climate change.Outlining 10 ways to transform financial markets and reduce global emissions, Prince Charles said nothing short of a revolution was required.
“I’ve come to realise it is not a lack of capital holding us back but rather the way in which we deploy it. Therefore, to move forward we need nothing short of a paradigm shift – one that inspires action at revolutionary levels and pace.”
He called for companies and countries to outline how they will move to net zero emissions – a signal he is not satisfied with the commitments made under the Paris climate accord. The United Kingdom has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050 but Australia and other countries have been reluctant to make similar promises. Continue reading “Climate change challenge for the Nats is to take scientists’ advice on GE and gazump the Greens”
History was being made (we were told by mainstream media) when 170,000 New Zealanders took to the streets to demand decisive action against climate change. It capped a week in which the 16-year-old Swedish girl Greta Thunberg dressed down a summit in New York of world leaders:
“We are at the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth”.
That apocalyptic vision was clearly shared by many young New Zealanders: one Wellington student called on the government immediately to cull the country’s entire dairy herd.
So what has happened in the fortnight since?
Nothing very much. Continue reading “Extinction Rebellion should unglue their hands and reach out for the potential of gene editing technologies”
You’ve got to hand it to Shane Jones. Even when he is not playing the fairy godfather role in the provinces he can make the headlines.
There he was on the front page of the NZ Herald last week with the message that NZ needs to review its genetic modification-free “gospel”.
Of course this raises alarm bells among the Green lobbies, because it is an article of faith among Green politicians that they “saved” NZ when a ban was applied to the application of GM in this country.
But Jones reckons if NZ is going to find a solution to meet the climate change transition, then it must apply weapons from the arsenal of science and technology. His intervention followed the concerns raised by the government’s Interim Climate Change Committee that laws surrounding GM could be a barrier to lowering farm emissions.
Continue reading “The Green Gospel on GM is under challenge – from Shane Jones as well as Sir Peter Gluckman”
Stripped of his housing portfolio, Phil Twyford has to rebuild his political reputation.
Given his spectacular failure with KiwiBuild, PM Jacinda Ardern might have been pardoned for leaving Twyford to work out his redemption in his other portfolio of Transport, which has enough problems of its own to demand the full-time attention of a struggling minister.
But Ardern has entrusted the Economic Development portfolio to Twyford. This has surprised some business leaders, and dismayed others.
NZ’s economic development is suffering from sustained and deep-seated malaise. Labour productivity, or output per hours worked, is around 40% lower than the output per hours worked of international peers. In a recent report the Productivity Commission noted the only members of the 36 countries within the OECD with both a lower productivity level and weaker productivity growth than NZ are Mexico and Greece. Continue reading “Our productivity growth has been flagging – so fixing this should be high on Phil’s new agenda”