The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
The Hoon
The hoon for the week that was to March 12
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The hoon for the week that was to March 12

Peter Bale & Bernard Hickey hoon around the week's news with special guests Robert Patman and Helen O'Sullivan on Russia vs Ukraine, China vs US, National vs Labour & Build-to-rent vs affordability
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Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The Kākā

TLDR: This week’s news in geo-politics and the political economy covered on The Kākā included:

  • National proposed a select committee inquiry into bank profits, which prompted the Government to say it was considering a full market study of the banking sector by the Commerce Commission (Thursday’s email);

  • National proposed allowing easier foreign investment in build-to-rent projects and allowing owners to claim depreciation, as student accommodation, retirement villages and others can now;

  • Transport Minister Michael Wood was forced to downplay the role of emissions reduction in his transport strategy after the Opposition criticised the prospect of fuel tax money being used for buses, cycleways and walkways instead of road repairs (Tuesday’s email);

  • A survey commissioned by the Ministry of Transport found most young people in cities would prefer revenues from new wealth, congestion or pollution taxes be used to improve public transport, walking and cycling, while most older voters don’t want any of those taxes, and instead want their existing fuel taxes used to repair roads, rather than subsidise emissions reduction. (Wednesday’s email)


What we talked about on the ‘hoon’

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

and special guests and Crockers CEO Helen O’Sullivan about:

  • Michael Wood’s about-face on a new transport policy prioritising emissions reductions;

  • the Labour Government finally deciding to look at doing a market study of bank profits after the Reserve Bank suggested it would like one and the Opposition called for a short and sharp Parliamentary Select Committee inquiry into bank competition;

  • National proposed allowing easier foreign investment in build-to-rent projects and allowing owners to claim depreciation, as student accommodation, retirement villages and others can;

  • China’s warnings of war if the United States keeps trying to contain China;

  • Australia agreeing to buy five US nuclear submarines, which China doesn’t like;

  • China accusing New Zealand of jumping at shadows over accusations an analyst in Wellington passed on information to China’s security services, which the analyst has denied; and,

  • More intrigue around the Nordstream explosions.

Other places I appeared this week

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.

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I produced my weekly When the Facts Change podcast for The Spinoff on turning grass into ngahere.

Our emissions trading scheme incentivises sheep and beef farmers on marginal land to sell or lease it to pine foresters for carbon credits. It’s a classically bad unintended consequence of a policy that is supposed to improve the environment.

Instead, the slash and silt unleashed from those plantations wrecked rich horticultural land down in the valleys in Gabrielle. I talked to farmers John Burke and Alison Dewes about other ways to change land use that is much healthier and more profitable in the long run, including retiring that land into ngahere and wetlands that will thrive in a changing climate and protect other farms down stream how rising corporate profit margins are fuelling a profit-price spiral here and overseas.

Longer reads and listens for the weekend

Here’s a few useful longer reads, scoops and podcasts for paying subscribers for the weekend.

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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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Bernard Hickey
Robert Patman