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The elephants still in Chris Bishop’s infrastructure room

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The elephants still in Chris Bishop’s infrastructure room

Bishop lays out new infrastructure planning & funding framework, but omits population, bipartisanship, budget & climate parameters; NZ accuses Beijing of hacking into Parliament; Simmonds sidelined

TL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa’s political economy on Wednesday, March 27 include:

  1. Chris Bishop laid out his vision for filling Aotearoa-NZ’s $100 billion infrastructure deficit in a speech yesterday, emphasising user pays and private funding, but failed to say how to achieve bipartisanship on population, public borrowing and climate change.

  2. The Government accused China of breaking into Parliament’s IT systems and dragged in its ambassador for a dressing down by officials, but held back from applying the sanctions or high profile protests delivered yesterday by Five Eyes partners Britain and the United States.

  3. The political pain of last week’s disastrous funding freeze for disabled people and their carers was evident last night as minister Penny Simmonds was stripped of funding decisions and an independent review was launched.

  4. Kāinga Ora has already begun cancelling house building projects, days before the release of a review by Bill English.

  5. Another supporter of the Government, NZ Initiative Executive Director Oliver Hartwich, has called on it to delay tax cuts and avoid inflating the economy with debt-funded cash returns to taxpayers.

  6. In contrast with the Government’s self-professed focus on reducing living costs, Airbnb and Uber are increasing prices by as much as 15% to pass on costs from the Government’s decision to proceed with applying GST to such services on.

Tiptoeing around the elephants in the pipeline

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