The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
A glimmer of bi-partisan hope for climate adaptation investment

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A glimmer of bi-partisan hope for climate adaptation investment

Luxon, Muller and Shaw start talking in bi-partisan way about climate adaptation and infrastructure investment in wake of Gabrielle devastation, but the devilish detail on who pays remains untouched
Still a bit magical: Despite a remarkable change in tone, Luxon continues, for now, to insist that a National government could deliver tax cuts while also increasing vitally-needed investment in climate infrastructure. File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The Kākā

TLDR: The tectonic plates of our political economy are now shifting towards a longer-term and more bi-partisan approach to investing in climate infrastructure and adaptation after the collective shock of Cyclone Gabrielle.

National began talking this week about the need for more urgent action on climate adaptation legislation and investment, but the devil will be in the funding detail and commitments from both parties. So far, National has appeared unwilling to drop its preference for tax cuts funded by lower Government spending growth and continued downward pressure on public debt. Neither low taxes or low debt are possible in a fiscal outlook of higher investment in climate resilience infrastructure.

Opposition Leader Christopher Luxon has continued, for now, to insist public investment in climate infrastructure is possible without higher public debt or new taxes, but also without explaining how a Government he would lead would do that.

Elsewhere in the news overnight:

  • Fears are growing of a higher death toll from Cyclone Gabrielle after helicopter pilots reported seeing bodies floating in still-flooded areas in Hawkes Bay;

  • Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon resigned surprisingly in a move described overseas as a ‘Jacinda Ardern’ moment;

  • US retail sales data out overnight showed a 3% rise in January from December, which was almost double economists’ expectations, and reinforced growing market expectations in the last fortnight that the US Federal Reserve will have to keep interest rates higher for longer this year than previously expected to get inflation down;

  • Wales confirmed it would stop building most new roads to avoid encouraging more car use.

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At least the climate investment rhetoric has shifted

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The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
Bernard Hickey and friends explore the political economy together.