The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
The Hoon
The Hoon: Budget 2023, the $5 prescription fee, market studies, Luxon’s (un)popularity and two curious foxes

The Hoon: Budget 2023, the $5 prescription fee, market studies, Luxon’s (un)popularity and two curious foxes

Peter Bale & Bernard Hickey hoon around the week's news with Craig Renney on Budget 2023 & the RBNZ OCR hikes; Tex Edwards on Monopoly Watch; Lanny Wong on the $5 fee & Josie Pagani on Luxon’s issues
This week was dominated by the release of Grant Robertson’s sixth Budget. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The Kākā

TLDR: The week’s news in Aotearoa’s political economy I covered via The Kākā for paying subscribers included:

  • All the key details from Budget 2023 on Thursday, where I travelled to Wellington for the Budget lockup and asked Finance Minister Grant Robertson about just how inflationary the Budget was. I also asked Housing Minister Megan Woods about why Labour is only planning one more year of state house building by Kainga Ora. Here’s more in Thursday’s Budget special email;

  • My analysis of how the Budget’s net stimulus was worth around one percentage point of GDP, which is expected to add around 25 basis points to the Official Cash Rate to offset the official cash rate. Here’s more in Friday’s email;

  • My analysis of how the Loafers Lodge fire exposed the extent of Aotearoa’s housing and poverty crises, how they’re not being fully addressed, and why. Here’s more in Thursday’s email;

  • My look at how the fastest surge in net migration in our history is now putting extra upward pressure on interest rates, rents, house prices and still-underinvested infrastructure in the short run, and will put downward pressure on wages in our long-run ‘churn and burn’ political economy. Here’s more in Tuesday’s email;

  • Analysis and charts on Christopher Luxon’s decision to rule out National governing with Te Pāti Māori and to sound a Don Brash-like ‘one person, one vote’ alarm appears to be painting his party’s and his own support into a more extremist and less popular corner with fewer pathways to governing after the October 14 election. Here’s more in Monday’s email.

What we talked about on the ‘hoon’ (with two foxes watching)

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In this week’s podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers at 5pm on Friday night, I talked with co-host

in London and special guests (plus two foxes loitering curiously in Peter’s garden!):

  • CTU Economist Craig Renney about Budget 2023 and what the Reserve Bank should do when it decides on the Official Cash Rate again next Wednesday, where I’ll be travelling to Wellington again to ask Governor Adrian Orr questions in the news conference following the release of the Monetary Policy Statement.

  • Founder of 2 Degrees and anti-monopoly activist (Monopoly Watch) Tex Edwards about the Government’s response this week to the Commerce Commission’s market study into building materials, and what any market study into banking should focus on;

  • Mangawhai Pharmacist Lanny Wong (pictured below in a TVNZ Breakfast interview on May 1) from the Independent Community Pharmacy Group on the decision in Budget 2023 to remove the $5 prescription fee for all. I also campaigned against to remove the fee in this February email;

  • Columnist for The Post-$$$ and Stuff, Josie Pagani, on National’s tone-deaf reaction to the removal of the $5 fee and Christopher Luxon’s problem with his (un)popularity.

Mangawhai Pharmacist Lanny Wong in a TVNZ Breakfast interview on May 1

The Hoon’s podcast version above was produced by Simon Josey.

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.

Other places I’ve appeared this week

My podcast for The Spinoff this week

Gone by When the Lunchtime Facts Change - In this week’s When the facts change podcast for The Spinoff, I talked about Budget 2023 with Toby Manhire here.

And here’s my preview of the Budget on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme on Thursday morning. The interview was done outside and a Kaka swooped and squawked over my head just as the interview was starting.

My preview of the Budget on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme

Chat thread of the week

I also host regular discussions on the Chat section of The Kākā for paying subscribers.

Here’s the most commented one this week:

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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.
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