The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
Thursday's Chorus: Less stressed than most

Thursday's Chorus: Less stressed than most

RBNZ warns of more mortgage stress, but only for a few; Poor renters much more stressed and numerous; Child homicides not being counted; Jobless rate up; Big Foreshore & Seabed ruling

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The most stress for households is among Aotearoa’s hundreds of thousands of mostly young poor renters, who are the most stressed in the world. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The Kākā

TL;DR: Our poorest young renters remain the most stressed in the world, despite high-profile reports that young home owners face rising mortgage stress. Defaults and forced sales are near record lows and overall mortgage stress is still well below levels from 2008.

Here’s the rest of my 6 things at 6 am with more analysis and detail in my Dawn Chorus podcast above with the best background native bird noises;

  • The Reserve Bank warned in its Financial Stability Report yesterday of more financial stress among younger borrowers who took out big mortgages from 2020 to 2022, but says bad debts and forced sales remain very low, reinforcing that the most stress for households is among Aotearoa’s hundreds of thousands of mostly young poor renters, who are the most stressed in the world;

  • Employment fell and unemployment jumped more than expected in the September quarter to 3.9% from 3.6% in the June quarter, Stats NZ reported yesterday, raising a few hopes the Reserve Bank may be able to avoid another rate hike in late February;

  • Child poverty reduction advocates are frustrated there is currently no official measure for child homicides, The Post-$$$’s Tom Hunt reports this morning, after an internal document was leaked from Oranga Tamariki and published in Stuff Jehan Casinader on Tuesday showing there had been 57 child murders since its creation in 2017;

  • An independent Commissioner has rejected plans to turn lifestyle blocks at Ohoka north of Christchurch into an 850-section housing development, saying it did not want to “change the character of the small rural village,” the Press-$$$ reports this morning;

  • The Hastings District Council has been warned in an official report that an extreme risk of blowouts in land buyout costs beyond the current $185 million from Cyclone Gabrielle, Marty Sharpe reports in Stuff this morning; and,

  • More controversy is looming over the Foreshore and Seabed Act with Audrey Young reporting for the NZ Herald last night that Government-in-waiting has been called on to amend the law following a landmark ruling in the Court of Appeal, which is expected to lower the test for iwi to be awarded customary title in coastal areas.

Paying subscribers can see more detail below the paywall fold and hear more of my analysis in the podcast above.

Chart of the day

Finally, some big projects with lower costs

Via Matt Eggers on X: “According to Goldman Sachs' decarbonization cost curve, it is getting cheaper to decarbonize the economy. That's really good news. And proof that #climatetech is working.” Via Ramez Naam on X: “The fraction of the curve that's below zero, where it's cheaper to decarbonize than not to, will grow rapidly over the coming decade.”

Cartoon of the day

The revelations from the UK’s covid inquiry are something else

Guy Venables via X

Dumb joke of the day

Ka kite ano


PS: I’m trying to keep these shorter to get them out earlier.

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The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
The latest daily snapshot of the news, detail, insight and analysis on geo-politics, the global economy, business, markets and the local political economy for citizens and decision-makers of Aotearoa-NZ.