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:
Vacuums formed in Government where there would usually be decisions by ministers and the Cabinet about ongoing issues. Public servants are now having to second-guess what they think potential ministers might want, going from their manifestos; Friday’s Chorus
A record-high net 44,730 New Zealand citizens left the country permanently in the year to the end of September, Stats NZ reported this week. They were more than replaced by an also-record-high net 163,570 non-citizens arriving permamently, but mostly on temporary work visas; Thursday’s Chorus
Auckland Council agreed to push for the new (unformed) National-led Government to legislate congestion charging on Auckland’s motorways from 2026 to replace the fuel tax National has promised to remove; Wednesday’s Chorus
Restlessness about the lack of a new Government grew this week as PM-elect Christopher Luxon was forced to miss APEC, while delays to decisions about transport and infrastructure are increasingly frustrating for businesses, councils and other decision-makers; and, Tuesday’s Chorus;
Labour quietly changed the rules for welfare and tax debt owed by beneficiaries to make forgiveness and interest-free loans easier in July, but National may not keep the changes. The changes reinforce the need for this $3.5 billion of debt to be wiped, given over 70% of beneficiary households with children owe an average of over $4,000 each to MSD, IRD and the courts, while also suffering housing, energy and food poverty. Monday’s Chorus.
What we talked about on ‘The Hoon’ on Friday night
In this week’s podcast above of the weekly ‘Hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers at 5pm on Friday night (changing to 5pm Thursday night from November 23):
5.00 pm - 5.10 pm -and Peter Bale opened the show with a discussion about The Hoon’s shift to Thursday at 5pm from November 23 (next week) and the lack of a new Government.
5.10 pm - 5.20 pm - Bernard, Peter andtalked about Pacific countries’ calls on the yet-to-be-sworn-in National-led Government not to restart oil and gas exploration, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report from NIWA on the 2,240 million tonnes of organic carbon stored in marine sediments within New Zealand’s Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ), and the restart of climate talks between China and the United States.
5.20 pm - 5.58 pm - Peter, Bernard,and talked about the Pacific Islands Forum, the idea of a Schengen-style common trading and employment zone for the Pacific with Australia and New Zealand, the Israel-Hamas war and the meeting of Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden just before the APEC leaders’ meeting in San Francisco this week.
5.58 - 6 pm - Bernard and Peter talk painfully about the return of David Cameron to British politics as an unelected Foreign Secretary for an unelected PM (see more on that in Pic of the day below).
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.
Chart of the week
Our churn and burn economy
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.
Pic of the week
David Cameron returns, to keep Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell busy
Cartoon of the week
‘Move along now, nothing to see here…’