The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
The Hoon
The Hoon: Luxon vs density; Budget 2023’s political fallout; the RBNZ’s dovish hike; and Five Eyes’ ‘Volt Typhoon’ warning

The Hoon: Luxon vs density; Budget 2023’s political fallout; the RBNZ’s dovish hike; and Five Eyes’ ‘Volt Typhoon’ warning

Bernard Hickey hoon around the week's news with Robert Patman on geopolitics, Nick Goodall on the OCR & house prices; India Logan-Riley on Auckland's budget cuts, and Malcolm McCracken on MDRS
Luxon went after the NIMBY vote, declaring National’s 2021 bipartisan deal with Labour to make it much easier to put three townhouses on a regular section ‘wrong’. File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The Kākā

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

  • The Labour Government’s announcement it would pay NZ Steel $130 million to install an electric arc furnace to cut 800,000 tonnes of emissions a year. Lynn and I travelled to the Glenbrook steel mill south of Auckland for the announcement event. Here’s the analysis and podcast I sent in Monday’s email;

  • Very strong net migration in recent months has meant the per-capita stimulus in Budget 2023 was much weaker than the headline figures suggest. Here’s my analysis and podcast in Tuesday’s email;

  • The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) is looking at a ‘carbon dividend’ scheme that would recycle cash from the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) back into the pockets of consumers, but I argued in Wednesday’s email a better alternative would be to recycle up-front an equal emissions rebate to residents as emissions-reducing vouchers or spending that effectively ‘buys’ even more emissions reductions through, for example, bigger discounts on public transport, electric bike discounts, solar panel installation vouchers and discounted energy-efficient appliances and lights;

  • National Leader Christopher Luxon said this week National’s 2021 bipartisan deal with Labour to make it much easier to put three townhouses on a regular section was ‘wrong’, which I wrote in Thursday’s email that Luxon risked killing the hopes of young renters, just to win a few extra NIMBY votes.

  • National and ACT pulled ahead of Labour and the Greens in a fresh poll out this week that would see the Opposition elected to Government without the need for another coalition partner, if the poll results were replicated on October 14. I wrote about that in Friday’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 night1, I talked with special guests:

  • 5.10 pm - 5.20 pm - University of Otago Professor

    on the Belgorod incursion, the Five Eyes warning about China’s Volt Typhoon hackers and Chris Hipkins’ PNG visit;

  • 5.20 pm-5.30 pm - CoreLogic head of research Nick Goodall on the RBNZ’s hike and then pause, mortgage rates and house prices;

  • 5.30 pm to 5.40 pm - India Logan Riley on Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown’s partial U-turn in budget cuts and struggles getting support for selling the Airport shares; and,

  • MRCagney urban planner and SubstackerMalcolm McCracken on National’s MDRS U-turn.

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

How to be less foolish with our pounds - Aotearoa has been penny wise and pound foolish with its investments in maintaining and building public infrastructure and services. This week talked with Well-being economist Katherine Trebeck about how the machinery of government, politicians and voters can think and plan differently to avoid that same pound foolishness again.

Chat thread of the week

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

Here’s one of the most commented ones this week, which was open to free subscribers too. Almost all are only open to paying subscribers and I’m thrilled at high level, depth and collegiality of the conversations we have there as a group.

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Ka kite ano



couldn’t make it this week due to it being an insane hour in New York. He’s on his way home after visiting Perugia in Italy, Andalucia in Spain, Oslo in Norway and London. The Hoon usually starts with a look at geopolitics and Peter has put the geo in our geopolitics in the last month. He should be back this coming week from Auckland. Sans foxes.

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.