The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
The Hoon
The Hoon around the week to March 2

The Hoon around the week to March 2

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

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Premier House in 2018, when it was the home of then-PM Jacinda Ardern and her family. Luxon preferred living his own apartment and pocketing $1000 a week for doing so. Photo: Lynn Grieveson

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:

  • Newsroom’s Marc Daalder reported on Friday PM Christopher Luxon was claiming $52,000 a year in rental costs from the taxpayer for living in his own apartment in Wellington when he could have lived in Premier House , as previous PMs from outside Wellington have done. After saying he was fully entitled to claim the expense on Friday morning, he reversed his position on Friday afternoon, saying the issue had become a ‘distraction.’

  • The Reserve Bank held the OCR at 5.5% and signalled it would remain there for the rest of the year. Governor Adrian Orr told me in an interview on Thursday high net migration had reduced inflation last year, but may not this year. He also said the new Government’s decision to remove its employment mandate had not made any difference to how it ran monetary policy. See Friday’s email.

  • Banks holding off on passing through lower wholesale interest rates to lower fixed mortgage rates must now decide whether to retain their profit margin expansion. See Thursday’s email.

  • Housing Minister Chris Bishop gave a major speech promising to swamp the housing market with new supplies of buildable land and saying he wanted to halve house prices relative to incomes within 10-20 years. See Wednesday’s email.

  • Aotearoa’s infrastructure deficit and the magical thinking of voters and politicians came home to roost on Monday with news of endemic problems with commuter rail in Wellington and the suspension of new building work in schools. See Tuesday’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 the shocking announcement of the closure of Newshub.

  • 5:10 pm to 5:20 pm - Bernard, Peter and The Kākā’s climate correspondent

    talked about news of a year of heat records for sea temperatures and the problem of a lack of a full decoupling between GDP growth and emissions growth.

  • 5.20 pm - 5.45 pm - Peter, Bernard, and

    talked about the latest developments in Ukraine and the Middle East.

  • 5.45 pm -6 pm - Peter, and Bernard spoke with Newsroom co-founder Mark Jennings about the complete closure of Newshub, what a single television newsroom country was like, and how a cut-down version of Newshub could survive.

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 with Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr for When The Facts Change via The Spinoff about the bank’s decision to hold the OCR at 5.5% this week, how high net migration affects inflation, and whether losing its employment mandate makes any difference.

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


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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.