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You may distrust Parliament
With Bill English now in the hot seat as PM...
You need to know what's happening...
Analysis & Forecasts - Accurate, reliable, timely.
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Ringside On Politics - At the end of 2016 John Key threw a massive curve ball into the NZ political world by stepping down as PM. This brought Bill English to the top job. He has been a steady pair of hands in the Finance portfolio, but filling John Key’s shoes will be a huge task, and it is now much less likely National will be able to cruise to a fourth term in power.
In 2014 the electorate whole-heartedly endorsed National’s handling of the economy and the governing of the country as a whole. But a fourth term will be a tough ask, even though the opposition is still struggling. Housing will be a crucial test for the Government, but it may be lucky, and there are signs the heat is going out of the market. particularly in Auckland, which will be a godsend for the new leader.
Right For The Job - Growth is expected to be strong over the next 12 months, but slipping slightly by the end of the year, although the Trump effect could be a game-changer. A rising dollar will be a handicap as the country’s commodities continue to face the effects of fluctuating global demand.
Polls show National is the largest party but even with the support of its existing coalition partners it does not have an outright majority. The sudden resignation of Andrew Little at the beginning of August and the ascension of Jacinda Ardern have loosened the Govt’s grip on power.
Where Are The Others? - Winston Peters is still the big threat for both parties, with polls showing he could be in a kingmaker position later in 2017. As for the others, ACT, and The Maori Party are quickly losing relevance along with United Future. The Greens’ campaign has become defined by co-leader Metiria Turei’s confession she lied to the Department of Social Welfare in the 1990s. That lifted its support in the polls, but Labour has distanced itself and the Greens may strain to get traction on its key environmental issues. This year’s election certainly appears to be more of a contest than many expected it would have been had John Key not decided to take himself out of the game.
The Economy – Much of the country’s short to medium term economic future will still be decided beyond our borders as evidenced by global market volatility to which NZ is still particularly vulnerable. Dairy farm debt is shaping as a major problem. Auckland's housing crisis is finally beginning to recede as restrictions on investors in particular start to bite.
Business & Economic Trends – Growth is spectacular but predicted to slip slightly by year’s end although the Trump factor could cause more dramatic changes. Inflation appears to have been tamed for now - in fact it is being seen as too low. The dollar however is on an upward trend again as markets digest the Trump presidency and Brexit. The big problem for NZ outside global market volatility and a potential crash in China.
Is there an alternative for NZ if the China trade goes bad? The TPP agreement is now effectively dead. PM English is negotiating for a quick UK trade deal post Brexit and talks on other deals with India and the EU are ongoing, but a Trump presidency is likely to bring in a new era of protectionism and the era of globalisation could in fact be dead - a big task ahead for the Government and Trade Minister McClay.
Sector Reports - How are specific sectors of the economy performing? Where are the best opportunities for investment – and what areas are best left alone?
New Legislation & Tax Laws – Market Regulation • Commercial & Corporate Law • Taxation • Health and Safety • Paid Parental Leave • Treaty Settlements.
Our special weekly “In the Lobby” column goes right to the heart of what’s happening in the Select Committees and looks at the driving forces in them, the work they’re doing, and their impact on Govt.
Trade – Businesses are benefiting from new Free Trade deals, especially the one signed with China. Asian markets are growing while European economies are still finding the going tough. But the Trans Pacific Partnership is dead. Climate change, and the environment, are moving to be high not just on the political, but also the business, agenda. Water management has become one of the battle grounds for political advantage.
The Sharemarket & Companies in the News - How will you fare as global markets go through a period of volatility? The swings – and roundabouts. What are the forces at work? Running the rule over the blue chips. Keeping an eye on the “sleepers” who may be tomorrow’s high-fliers. Spotting the movers and the shakers.
Select Committees - See what the Committees are doing and what they are thinking in our Select Committees column.
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Trans Tasman Political Alert has a team of 6 highly-qualified specialist contributors, analysing discussions & decisions, looking at potential repercussions, identifying trends, listening to Select Committee debate & reporting on opinions, submissions & personalities. We draw upon a wide range of sources close to the Beehive inner circle who wish to remain anonymous, for obvious reasons.
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IN THIS WEEK'S ISSUE
17 August 2017
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