The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
Bernard’s dawn chorus for Saturday, May 4 and pick ‘n’ mix for the weekend

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Bernard’s dawn chorus for Saturday, May 4 and pick ‘n’ mix for the weekend

Six key things this week, plus a Dawn Chorus and a pick’n’mix of six juicy links to longer reads for the weekend. Plus a fun thing.
A new report warns an estimated third of the adult population have unmet need for health care. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The Kākā

Here’s the six key things I learned about Aotaroa’s political economy this week around housing, climate and poverty:

  1. Politics - Three opinion polls confirmed support for PM Christopher Luxon and his National/ACT/NZ First collapsed in March and April to the point where two of the polls showed an election this week would result in a change of Government.

  2. Housing & transport - Surveys of businesses, consumers, surveyors and contractors confirmed the Government’s freezes on spending, investing and decisions on housing, water infrastructure, railways and roading from December onwards has thumped confidence and disrupted investment and hiring plans throughout the economy.

  3. Politics, economy & climate - Business leaders beyond the mining and farming sectors are growing increasingly fearful and restive about the Government’s Fast-track Approvals bill and its wider approach to climate change and the environment, which prioritises development and extraction over emissions reduction.

  4. Politics & geo-politics - Winston Peters is becoming increasingly erratic, reactive and provocative in his third stint as Foreign Minister. He now faces defamation action from a former Australian Foreign Minister that taxpayers will have to pay to defend and that our largest trading partner, China, is both noticing and criticising.

  5. Geo-politics & economy - The United States imposed sanctions on almost 200 Chinese firms that have sold drones, explosive components and other products to Russia that could be used in its war in Ukraine. There are growing fears the United States is set to sanction large Chinese banks, which would disrupt all trade with China, including Aotearoa’s.

  6. Economy, geo-politics & climate - Inflation and interest rates are proving harder to push down because of structural supply and price shocks in the global economy that are reducing available labour supplies and productivity, and pumping up insurance and fuel costs. Those shocks include more extreme and frequent storms, fires, drought and wars because of climate change, and smaller and less productive workforces in developed economies that are ageing, getting sicker from covid and hours of smart phone use every day.

(Paying subscribers can see more detail, analysis and links to documents and articles below the paywall fold and in the podcast above. We’ll open it up for public reading, listening and sharing if we get over 100 likes.)

My pick ‘n’ mix of six longer reads for the weekend

One: 30 years of sinking lids has crushed our health system

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