The Bulletin: Damien O’Connor’s Great Trade Mission
Hello and welcome to the Bulletin. In today’s edition: Damien O’Connor’s major trade mission, a tentative deal to give RBNZ debt service tools and a big vaccine rollout announcement coming today .
Trade Minister Damien O’Connor is currently in the UK, seeking to shake things up on free trade agreements with the UK and the European Union. And there are “delicate questions” to settle, according to the minister. Rural News Group reports that agriculture – a permanent sticking point for New Zealand trade – is likely to be one of them. The negotiations dragged on, with the UK now in the 5th round of talks and the EU in the 11th round.
O’Connor’s trip is a minister’s first major overseas mission since the onset of Covid, and he told Rural News “I hope that taking this trip through a difficult time of Covid will show them the importance we place on these two agreements.” Beyond FTAs, however, it seems his priority as trade minister will be to develop more sector-specific agreements. Right before he left, O’Connor told Newsroom’s Sam Sachdeva that it made more sense to rely on areas of agreement rather than getting bogged down in what countries disagree on. Incidentally, this whole interview is a really insightful look at New Zealand’s place in the trading world right now.
When it comes to exporting to Britain, Australia seemed to have a big win this week. Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson have announced that a deal has been reached, and the Guardian reports that it involves victories for Australian meat producers, with tariffs to be eliminated over a decade. Dairy tariffs will go up in five years. This is potentially similar to what New Zealand negotiators are hoping for – we’ll have to wait and see if Australia’s success in this area means anything to the New Zealand government’s chances.
An agreement in principle was reached to give the Reserve Bank “debt servicing” tools, which could potentially restrict some home loans. Interest reports it’s not a done deal yet, with various feasibility and consultation rounds to go. Finance Minister Grant Robertson is also keen to ensure first-time home buyers are not affected. But the move highlights the rumors Governor Adrian Orr has made recently about highly leveraged homeowners and their ability to maintain their mortgage payments. Basically, the RBNZ currently sees a risk to the stability of the financial system due to the high levels of mortgage debt.
It’s a very uncomfortable question to ask, but will New Zealand ever have to let Covid-19 in? Writing for The Spinoff, Laura Walters presented various perspectives on this subject. New Zealand is in a completely different position from the rest of the world, which is starting to open up again, but only after 18 months of hammering. What we do know is that the border will not just be open at the end of the vaccination process, but beyond that it becomes more difficult to predict what will happen.
On this point, a big announcement will be made today on the next stage of vaccine deployment. Analyzing all of this, Derek Cheng of the NZ Herald (paid) writes that this is a time when Prime Minister Ardern’s message will once again become very important, both in encouraging confidence in the deployment and in keeping speed expectations in check. . Due to the choice to go with Pfizer, the government is now in a position to have to hope that vaccine deliveries actually pass.
A paid message from our NZ Post partners: In Part 2 of our partnership with NZ Post, Russell Brown addresses some of the organization’s decision makers about 2020 and the future.
The Greater Wellington Regional Council is likely to lobby for public transport to be put back into some form of public ownership, Radio NZ reports. It comes at a time when the government is consulting on the operating model of public transport, which governs this type of infrastructure. This is a particularly lively problem in Wellington at the moment, with the recent strikes by bus drivers. In this regard, Stuff reports that a new offer has been submitted to the union, which will be voted on next week.
Meanwhile, in Wellington’s transport news (it’s a busy pace), the plan to make the Golden Mile car-free has been approved, reports Damian George of Stuff. There will still be bus lanes, but overall Lambton Quay, Willis St, Manners and Courteney Place will be pedestrian and cyclist-only. Mayor Andy Foster said local authorities will work closely on implementation with the business community, some of whom are unhappy with the changes.
The government has confirmed that an offer of $ 100 million in financial support to Emirates Team NZ was rejected by the union. The NZ Herald reports that Prime Minister Ardern said the government entered into negotiations in good faith and made “every effort to organize and host the race here”, but also needed to determine when such support would end. to offer “good value for money”. She also suggested that the audience make their voices heard on the issue. The decision does not necessarily mean that the Cup will go overseas – rather it means that the exclusive window for negotiations between the government and ETNZ has been closed, so now the union can shop it openly, as opposed to the quiet purchases that were held during the actual regatta.
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Currently on The Spinoff: Michael Appleton writes on the big issues ahead of the WTC cricket final which kicks off tomorrow night. Hal Crawford examines the global mega-merger trend and how New Zealand can be the world leader in video streaming. Joe Canham examines what it will cost to get an electric vehicle eligible for a new rebate. Troy Kingi opens up about his contact with death while diving for crays, in a new episode of First. Don Rowe reviews Paddy Gower’s new documentary on New Zealand’s methamphetamine problem. Canadian Justin Giovannetti assesses if anyone here is making a good poutine.
And some other gossip week articles: Elle Hunt writes about realizing a passion for gossip while locked up in London. I ask seasoned journalists what they think of the “no secret” rules – and if you can trust journalists to keep quiet with secrets. And our Cub Reporter returns with the first edition of the Jamboree gossip column in years.
I became more curious about the growth of Canterbury Town of Rolleston after reading a story in yesterday’s Bulletin, so I decided to read more about it all. So for an article today, one of the pieces I stumbled upon: The conservative think tank Maxim Institute publishes a post called Flint and Steel, and a 2018 edition had a wonderful story about the city. building one of the real building blocks of a community – a high school. Here is an exerpt :
For communities to flourish, we need common places of connection. After a decade of observing the city’s rapid expansion, Jackie began to wonder how her city could maintain a sense of connection and common identity, especially as her three children started growing up in schools. local primaries. As Rolleston attracted new business amenities like supermarkets and fast food outlets, she knew that unless someone started pushing for a high school in town, her kids would have to spend most of the week away from home. their community and she would lose touch with other parents as their teenagers dispersed.
“Rolleston has been a bit soulless,” Sam says. “It’s a place where people live, but move away for work. The kids grew up here, but couldn’t stay in high school. Schools provide a place where all families can connect and grow together. When it stops at the middle level, there is no longevity of relationships.
In sport, a magnificent play featuring a factory of sports talents that I never knew existed. LockerRoom’s Suzanne McFadden portrayed breakout hockey star Katie Doar, a 19-year-old with silky ball control who will play for the Black Sticks at the Olympics. One notable aspect of it all – Doar will be the 15th Black Stick to come out of Kamo Intermediate, a small school in Northland, featuring Katie’s older sister Madi and current skipper Stacey Nicholsen.
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