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:
Population growth from immigration of temporary workers to replace and supplement emigrating resident workers rose to more than 2% in the last year, without nearly enough infrastructure built or planned for two decades at that level, and without any real debate just days before an election. Thursday’s email.
National’s tax switch plan would create a direct wealth transfer from beneficiaries to landlords totalling $2 billion over four years, a CTU analysis found, including mega-landlords with over 200 rentals each getting $1.3 million each, while 350,000 beneficiaries will lose $17,000 each because of an indexation change back to prices from wages. Wednesday’s email.
Election rules mean the death on Sunday of ACT’s candidate in the safe National electorate of Port Waikato, Neil Christensen, will force a by-election that effectively adds an MP to the 120 MP Parliament after this weekend’s general election. It is essentially and accidentally a ‘free’ MP for National, which could prove the difference in a hung result that means National-ACT doesn’t need NZ First’s support to govern. Tuesday’s email
National’s decision to rule in potential coalition negotiations with Winston Peters led campaign chair Chris Bishop to say failed talks could lead to a re-run of the election, which Labour said showed a National win would be chaotic. Monday’s email.
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:
5.00 pm - 5.05 pm -and Peter Bale opened the show with a discussion about the election, and about Bernard and Lynn Grieveson’s plans to move to an island in the Hauraki Gulf.
5.05 pm - 5.20 pm - Bernard, Peter andtalked about the non-debate had over climate in the election, despite a record spike in temperatures globally (and locally) in September and just seven months after New Zealand’s most expensive storm.1 record heat globally and in Aotearoa in September, and an emergency summit held by climate scientists about Antarctica’s shrinking ice coverage (see chart of the day below).
5.20 pm - 5.50 pm - Bernard and Peter andtalked about the Israel-Hamas war.
5.50 - 6.00 pm - Then inequality and wealth academic Max Rashbrooke joined us to talk about Wellington City Council’s deliberative democracy experiment.
The Hoon’s podcast version above was produced by Simon Josey.
It is being published at 7.01pm on Saturday October 14 to reduce any risks of not complying with election rules preventing publication of material that mentions candidates or policies in the election.
Articles, news and podcasts referred to during the podcast include:
Peter mentioned an article he wrote here on election debate on talkback and an article by Robert on the election and foreign affairs.
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
Pic of the week
Other places we appeared this week
I interviewed Octopus Energy’s Head of Systems Change, Marcia Poletti, for When The Facts Change via The Spinoff about how Aotearoa could use our ripple control systems for turning hot water heaters on and off to manage electricity demand, along with sending text messages to customers to ask them to turn things off.
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.
Cartoon of the week
Cyclone Gabrielle in February and a flood in Auckland the previous week cost up to $18.5 billion in damages to Government, council, business and household assets, including up to $14.5 billion in damage to public assets and $4 billion in private insurance claims.