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 failure of yet another pre-fabricated house builder and a legal threat against our biggest council to force more greenfields development showed how our economy and society are now just a residential land market with bits tacked on. Thursday’s email.
A CTU analysis of National’s tax cuts finds less than 3,000 households will get the top tax cut of $252/fortnight, surprising those who believed National’s (usually) carefully worded pledges of ‘up to’ $250/fortnight of tax cuts. Friday’s email. Friday’s email.
Goldman Sachs warned National’s tax cuts could be inflationary and force the Reserve Bank to either hike again or keep interest rates high for longer than under Labour, while Auckland Council Mayor Wayne Brown warned National’s plan to remove Auckland’s regional fuel tax would trigger even bigger council rates hikes. Wednesday’s email.
Auckland Council decided to borrow $11 million to buy a single large residential section (with house and pool) for $12 million in Manurewa to stop houses being built on it, arguing borrowing to buy land for future generations was a good idea, having argued earlier this year it needed to sell shares in Auckland Airport to repay debt. Tuesday’s email.
Richie Poulton, the director of the world-leading Dunedin longitudinal study showing how devastating poverty in early life is, died last weekend, lamenting with his final words the lack of focus on solving child poverty in this year’s election debates. 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 spring, Auckland’s sewerage disaster, Winston Peters’ revival, and the micro-politics of an island in the Hauraki Gulf.
5.05 pm - 5.20 pm - Bernard, Peter andtalked about the 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 - 5.40 pm - Bernard and Peter andtalked about the supports wobbling under Ukraine in the politics of the US Congress and Germany, along with a growing debate over whether AUKUS is a good idea.
5.40 - 6.00 pm - Then CTU Economistjoined the panel to talk about his analysis of National’s tax package showing less than 3,000 households would get the top tax cut of $252/fortnight.
The Hoon’s podcast version above was produced by Simon Josey.
Articles, news and podcasts referred to during the podcast include:
Bernard mentioned a paper in the NZ Medical Journal on Friday that New Zealand’s covid response saved up to 20,000 lives;
Peter mentioned a Chris Hipkins appearance on The Rest is Politics podcast with Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart; and,
Peter mentioned an article in the The New Yorker about behavioural scientists into lying being accused of lying.
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
Other places we 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.
Cartoon of the week