The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
The Hoon
The Hoon around the week to Sept 16

The Hoon around the week to Sept 16

Including 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 geopolitics
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:

  • Treasury published the Pre Election Fiscal Update (PREFU) on Tuesday, including a one-year delay in Labour returning the Budget to surplus to 2026/27 and an extra $9 billion in borrowing over the next four years. But it also showed Aotearoa avoiding a recession, largely due to record high net migration this year. I wrote and podcasted about it in Wednesday’s email and did an episode of Gone By Lunchtime for The Spinoff with Toby Manhire on the PREFU on Tuesday. The video version of that is below.

  • National Leader Christopher Luxon and National Finance Spokesperson Nicola Willis refused repeatedly to release the modelling for their foreign buyers tax, despite independent economists publishing a paper1 showing the tax was likely to raise just a fifth of the $2.4 billion projected by National over four years. I challenged Nicola Willis on the plan, as well as National’s views on population, infrastructure funding and fiscal settings in a news conference I wrote about in Thursday’s email and podcast.

  • REINZ data published on Wednesday showed the housing market warming up in anticipation of a National-ACT win on October 14, which I argued in Thursday’s email was likely to unleash an effective 20% rise in residential land prices the day after the election.

  • A UN stocktake2 of progress achieving the 2015 Paris agreement was published last weekend showing commitments and progress made by the countries that signed up to the Paris Agreement estimated the gap to emissions consistent with limiting warming to 1.5 °C in 2030 was estimated to be 20.3–23.9 Gt CO2 equivalent and the planet was on track to warm by 2.7 °C by 2100. I wrote about that in Monday’s email.

  • Polls from Newshub/Reid Research on Monday and 1News/Verian3 on Wednesday showed support for Labour slumping under 30% and National-ACT able to govern alone from October 15. I wrote and podcasted about that in Tuesday’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 Te Reo week and Elon Musk.

  • 5.05 pm - 5.20 pm - Bernard, Peter and

    talked about Labour’s deep retrofit trial policy and decision not to ban new gas connections, along with the latest UN stocktake on climate emissions, and a paper showing the world breaching its planetary boundaries.

  • 5.20 pm - 5.40 pm - Bernard and Peter and

    talked about Ukraine’s latest strikes on Russia, Vladimir Putin’s meeting with Kim Jong Un and what the surprise disappearance of China’s Defence Minister Li Shangfu says about unity around China’s President Xi Jinping.

  • 5.40 - 6.00 pm - Bernard and Peter spoke with’s Rebecca Stevenson about her scoop this week that banks are paying hush money to not talk about widespread scams and fraud being perpetuated on their customers, sometimes by fraudsters with bank accounts here.

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.


Charts of the week

NZ doesn’t have a debt problem

House prices set to jump 20% if National-ACT win

National-ACT set to govern alone, two TV polls show

Christopher catches up to Chris as preferred PM

Berkeley Earth’s estimates of the causes of temperature change

Berkeley Earth August temperature report
Berkeley Earth August temperature report

Climate video of the week

Medicane Daniel destroys Derna in Libya

See full video here via BNO News Live on X

Other places we appeared this week

I interviewed Kiwibank Chief Economist Jarrod Kerr on Wednesday for When The Facts Change via The Spinoff. We took a lap around the macro-economy in the immediate aftermath of the PREFU. He sees signs of green shoots emerging in many regions.

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.

Some fun things

Cartoons of the week

Cartoons by Sharon Murdoch, Rod Emmerson and DeAdder

Ka kite



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Here is a full copy of the independent analysis of National’s foreign buyer’s tax plan.

Review Of National's Foreign Buyer Tax Revenue Estimates
321KB ∙ PDF file


The UN stocktake on Paris Agreement progress.

Sb2023 09 Adv
1.4MB ∙ PDF file


Full 1News/Verian poll result published on Wednesday.

670948160 1news Verian Poll September 13
367KB ∙ PDF file

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.