TL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s political economy that we wrote and spoke about via The Kākā and elsewhere for paying subscribers in the last week included:
The new National-ACT-NZ First coalition Government itself plans to accidentally and deliberately accelerate inflation via hikes in central and local Government fees and charges in the coming 18 months, which endangers its hopes for lowering mortgage rates. See Monday’s email.
Jobs growth and wage inflation was slightly stronger than expected in the December quarter, which increased market expectations the Reserve Bank may actually start hiking the Official Cash Rate in three weeks time. See Friday’s email.
The Government pulled around $180 million/year of public transport funding out of Auckland Council’s budget by cancelling the Auckland Fuel Levy from the end of June, but isn’t replacing the funds and now expects cuts in spending on cycleways, busways and speed bumps. See Friday’s email.
Shock and outrage mounted over the rulings of the Independent Hearings Panel (IHP) on a new District Plan for Wellington City, which actually expand character protections on villas on the equivalent of an extra 120 rugby fields in the leafiest inner city suburbs such as Mt Victoria, Thorndon and Kelburn. See Thursday’s email and Wednesday’s email.
Local Government, Transport and Auckland Minister Simeon Brown said he wanted councils to create off-balance-sheet water authorities able to borrow tens of billions of dollars without Crown or council guarantees: a stance rejected repeatedly by ratings agencies and fund managers as too expensive and dangerous. See Wednesday’s email.
What we talked about on ‘The Hoon’ on Thursday night
In this week’s podcast above of the weekly ‘Hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers at 5pm on Thursday night:
5.00 pm - 5.10 pm -and Peter Bale opened the show with a discussion about Bernard’s teeth and the debate over Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
5.10 pm - 5.20 pm - Bernard, Peter andtalked about research on the sensitivity of the climate to a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and why it’s suggesting the climate may warm faster and more than the previous consensus.
5.25 pm - 5.45 pm - Peter, Bernard, andtalked about the latest developments in Gaza, the Red Sea and Ukraine.
5.45 pm -6 pm - Peter, and Bernard spoke with Green MP Julie-Anne Genter about the IHP report on the Wellington City Council District Plan and the new Government’s decision to dump the Auckland Regional Fuel Levy without replacement funding for public transport, walking and cycling.
Cathrine mentioned this video in her discussion.
The Hoon’s podcast version above was produced by Simon Josey.
This is a sampler for all free subscribers. Thanks to the support of paying subscribers here, I’m able to spread the work from my public interest journalism here about housing affordability, climate change and poverty reduction around in other public venues. I’d love you to join the community supporting and contributing to this work with your ideas, feedback and comments. We have a couple of special offers on at the moment.
Other places I appeared this week
We also produce this 5 in 5 with ANZ daily podcast and Substack for ANZ Institutional in Australia, which you can sign up to via Spotify and Apple and Youtube for free.
Ka kite ano