The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
The Hoon
The Hoon around the week to Jan 26

The Hoon around the week to Jan 26

Featuring the podcast of our weekly Hoon live webinar, plus five things that mattered this week, including the latest big climate, transport, housing and political news in Aotearoa, and in geopolitics

No transcript...

Despite these WCC hoardings (Civic Square in November), Wellington’s water woes are worsening, while the government is under intense pressure from councils and the infrastructure industry to come up with alternatives to Three Waters. File photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The Kākā

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 Reserve Bank’s proposal this week to loosen Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) restrictions at the same time as introducing Debt To Income (DTI) restrictions is expected to add demand pressure to house prices, just as the central bank is expected to start cutting interest rates. See Thursday’s email.

  • Cabinet met on Tuesday under intense pressure from councils and the infrastructure industry to come up with alternatives to Three Waters, including demands for more funding and revenue raising tools for councils, more council borrowing and a generalised push for more water metreing and charging. See Tuesday’s email.

  • The business of Government began again in earnest for 2024 this week, with the National-ACT-NZ First coalition vowing to ‘hustle’ through the rest of its 100-day plan. In my view, the rhetoric of ‘hustle’ and simply pushing to have more people working harder for longer hours is redolent of what is wrong with New Zealand Inc and the approaches of both flavours of Governments in recent decades. See Monday’s email.

  • Documents leaked to Guyon Espiner at RNZ showed NZ First’s Associate Minister of Health Casey Costello, a former head of the Taxpayers Union, which has received donations from tobacco firms, wants to freeze excise on cigarettes, against the advice of public health officials. Former NZ First staffers now work for tobacco firms in New Zealand. We talked about the unregulated influence of lobbyists in the podcast above.

  • The Government chose to send troops to the Red Sea to back US and UK airstrikes on Houthi bases in Yemen. We talked about this in the podcast above with


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 Donald Trump and great cartoons.

  • 5.10 pm - 5.20 pm - Bernard, Peter and

    talked about the researh showing how climate sceptics used social media to lift a paper about thicker ice cover in Antarctica to be the most-read on climate in 2023, and a paper showing who are climate sceptics in Aotearoa-NZ and how their views shift over time.

  • 5.20 pm - 5.30 pm - Peter, Bernard, and

    talked about the the Government’s position supporting US and UK airstrikes on Houthi positions in Yemen.

  • 5.30 pm -5.45 pm - Peter, and Bernard spoke with Holly Bennett, the founder and owner of government relations and communications firm Awhi Group, on her calls over the last year for lobbyists to form a public lobbying register, a code of conduct and an oversight body, based on the New Zealand Media CouncilRNZ

  • 5.45 pm to 6:00 pm - Peter and Bernard spoke with Core Logic Head of Research Nick Goodall on the RBNZ’s DTI proposal and the outlook for the OCR after this week’s inflation figures.

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.

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Other places I appeared this week

I talked to Valocity Global Real Estate CEO Helen O’Sullivan for When The Facts Change via The Spinoff about the RBNZ’s DTI proposal.

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.

Chart of the week

We already work too much, too often and too hard

Cartoon of the week

Protecting supply chains

Rod Emmerson via NZ Herald-$$$ and X.

Ka kite ano


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The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
The Hoon
Bernard Hickey's discussions with Peter Bale and guests about the political economy in Aotearoa-NZ and in geo-politics, including issues around housing affordability, climate change inaction and child poverty reduction.