Media merry-go-round

December 17, 2013

Has TVNZ has decided Seven Sharp isn’t sharp enough?

The changes can’t have anything to do with the Broadcasting Standards Authority ordering TVNZ to apologise for “personal abuse masquerading as satire” about Conservative Party leader Colin Craig.

Jesse Mulligan who delivered the diatribe is staying on the show.

The programme got bad reviews before it started.

I warmed to it after it gave the title of the country’s Sharpest Town to Oamaru.

But the programme never fired and TV3’s Campbell Live became the default for anything resembling harder news stories.

The changes have prompted a bit of  a media merry-go-round.

Ali Mau is going to RadioLIVE.

Seven Sharp presenter Ali Mau is leaving TVNZ’s light current affairs evening show to host a RadioLIVE programme with Willie Jackson.

The pair will host a new early afternoon show. . .

Jackson previously hosted an afternoon RadioLIVE show with John Tamihere, but both were taken off air after an interview with an alleged friend of a Roast Busters victim.

Tamihere will not be returning to RadioLIVE next year.


Where were the subs?

December 17, 2013

The ODT and NZ Herald often run the same columns.

Today they both published one by Bob Jones.

The ODT subs did what they were supposed to do and edited out a paragraph in which Jones delighted in a protester committing suicide after he’d told him to.

But where were the Herald subs? They left the offending paragraph in until readers reacted.

The ODT column isn’t on-line. The Herald’s edited version is now with an apology for causing offence to some readers.

Keeping Stock has the original version.

Jones enjoys a reputation for blunt speaking and writing but he crossed a line with this column. The Herald subs ought to have realised that and edited it, as the ODT ones did.


Need for Brown Law

December 17, 2013

If ministers misbehave they can be sacked.

There is no ability to do that for a mayor and Watching Brief has a proposal for legislation to change that:

. . .The Minister shall introduce legislation as a matter of urgency providing for the recall and subsequent new election for any elected local government position.

The legislation will be drafted to achieve the following objective;

To allow voters recall a politician if they get the support of at least 10 per cent of the people who voted in the last election. The politician would be removed from office and a by-election would be held. The recalled politician could still run as a candidate. . .

Len Brown’s behaviour and refusal to resign has highlighted council and public impotence in the face of serious transgression by a mayor.

Watching Brief’s proposal should be taken seriously.

It could be called the Brown Law after the man who has shown such legislation is necessary.

Pending that – there is a petition calling on the mayor to resign.


Rural round-up

December 17, 2013

Canterbury suffers another blow:

Farmers are reeling from yet another blow, after a severe localised hail storm tore its way through the Mayfield area of Mid-Canterbury.

“As the year draws to a close and we are fast approaching harvesting season, Mid-Canterbury farmers are facing a financial nightmare after the hail storm yesterday,” says David Clark, Mid-Canterbury Grain and Seed Chairperson.

“This has been a mongrel year for farmers in Mid-Canterbury; we have gone from snow to wind storms to a very dry spring to now this. It is a horrible way to finish off the year, with radish and carrot crops shredded and wheat and barley crops having the stuffing knocked out of them. . .

A timely reminder:

Fonterra dropped a bombshell last week when it announced its latest consideration on its farmgate milk price.

For farmer shareholders in New Zealand’s largest company, it had been shaping up to be a particularly merry Christmas, with economists suggesting the milk price could be lifted as much as 40c.

Elevated prices, which have defied predictions and remained at very high levels – the GlobalDairyTrade price index was just 7% below its April high and about 50% higher than a year ago – raised expectations for the forecast to rise. . .

UK butter eaters lose taste for Anchor after dairy giant cuts NZ ties – Nicholas Jones:

British shoppers have noticed that their favourite Anchor butter tastes different – with the explanation being it’s no longer from New Zealand.

In Britain, the famous Kiwi brand is used by European dairy company Arla. Until recently, Arla had shipped over New Zealand butter made by Fonterra, but has now switched production to its British facilities.

The Arla logo has been added to block butter packs, but the company has faced a number of complaints from disgruntled customers who were unaware of the change. . .

How much dairying is too much in terms of water quality? – Daniel Collins:

On 21 November the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright, released her second report on water quality. It warned that business-as-usual dairy expansion by 2020 would leave our lakes and rivers more degraded than they are now, even with improved mitigation. I’d now like to re-cap what the report concluded, how it got there, and how it was received.

The report

The purpose of the report was to illustrate how land use change could affect future nutrient runoff – nitrogen and phosphorus – based on a simple, business-as-usual scenario for 2020.

Motu used a combined economics-land use model called LURNZ to project what land use changes are likely by 2020, driven by commodity process and knowledge of land use practices and landscape characteristics. Sheep and beef farming were expected to give way to dairying, forestry, and even reversion to shrubland. . .

Director elections mean an exciting Red Meat Industry:

Federated Farmers looks forward to working with the Boards of the cooperatively owned Silver Fern Farms and Alliance Group following their recent Director elections.

“Federated Farmers congratulates the new directors elected to our two largest cooperatives, Don Morrison at Alliance Group as well as Richard Young and Dan Jex-Blake at Silver Fern Farms,” says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre chairperson.

“We also congratulate Alliance Group chairman Murray Taggart on his re-election.

“Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre wishes to formally thank Alliance Group’s Owen Poole and Jason Miller as well as Silver Fern Farms’ David Shaw for their service to shareholders. . .


Little change in final referendum results

December 17, 2013

The final results for the referendum on the partial float of a few state assets show little change from the preliminary ones:

Votes

Number of Votes Received

Percentage of Total Valid Votes

For the response

Yes

442,985

32.4%

For the response

No

920,188

67.3%

Informal votes*

4,167

0.30%

Total valid votes

1,367,340

100.0%

*An informal vote is where the voter has not clearly indicated the response they wish to vote for.

Voter turnout on the basis of the final result is 45.1%.  Turnout is calculated by taking the total votes cast of 1,368,925 (being total valid and invalid votes) as a percentage of the total number of voters enrolled as at 21 November 2013 (3,037,405).

The number of invalid votes cast was 1,585 or 0.12% of total votes cast.  Invalid votes are excluded from the count and include, for example, voting papers that cannot be processed because the voter has made the QR code unreadable, or voting papers cancelled as a result of replacement voting papers being issued.

Breakdown by electorate can be found here.

The Dominion Post says the referendum was a waste of money:

. . . If opponents of partial privatisation believe the Government is now honour bound to reverse its position on state asset sales, then previous governments were presumably honour bound to give effect to the popular will expressed in referendums on firefighter numbers, the size of Parliament, tougher prison sentences and smacking.

Except that on each previous occasion a citizens-initiated referendum was held, the government of the day also ignored its outcome. The 1995 National government did not entrench firefighter numbers at January 1995 levels. The 1999 Labour-led government did not cut the number of MPs from 120 to 99. Nor did it introduce hard labour for serious violent offenders. The current National-led Government has not reversed the anti-smacking legislation introduced by its predecessor.

There’s the rub. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Referendums are, as the 1986 Royal Commission on the Electoral System observed, “blunt and crude” instruments.

They have their place. There are a handful of constitutional issues that should not be decided without reference to the public.

But generally governments should be left to govern. Issues can seldom be reduced to simple “yes” or “no” questions and the country’s position on serious matters should not be determined by populism. . .

Few issues are black and white and therefore most are unsuited to the referendum option of yes or no.

This has been an expensive exercise in self-promotion for the opposition.

Labour’s former president Mike Williams said it was also a way to harvest contact details which discredits the process even more.

 


Critical Mass

December 17, 2013

Discussion with Jim Mora on Critical Mass today was sparked off by:

* A Peculiar Christmas Feast and the 4th Wise Man from Valerie Davies, one of my favourite bloggers.

* Pixar’s 22 Rules to Phenomenal Storytelling

* What 120 things you should do every day to improve your life

And:

* If you need some inspiration for your resolutions try the New Year’s resolution generator.


On track to surplus

December 17, 2013

The government’s plans to return to surplus are on track, but there is no room for complacency.

The Government’s programme to build a faster-growing economy with more jobs and rising incomes is delivering positive results, Finance Minister Bill English says.

The Half-Year Economic and Fiscal Update, issued today, forecasts a relatively strong upturn, with economic growth reaching 3.6 per cent in 2015 and the unemployment rate falling.

“While the recovery gathers momentum, the global environment still remains uncertain,” Mr English says. “In this environment, it is important to maintain clear and credible economic and fiscal settings, as this is the best way to create new jobs, raise incomes and help families to get ahead.”

The latest forecasts show the Government posting a modest operating surplus before gains and losses of $86 million in 2014/15 – similar to the $75 million surplus forecast in Budget 2013.

Surpluses are then forecast to increase to $1.7 billion and $3.1 billion respectively in the following two years. Debt is forecast to fall, with net core Crown debt expected to peak at 26.5 per cent of GDP in 2014/15, before falling to 16.9 per cent of GDP in 2019/20.

“The Government remains committed to responsible long-term fiscal management,” Mr English says. “Improving public sector performance will assist in ongoing spending restraint beyond 2014/15, so we can pay down debt in dollar terms from 2016/17 and build a buffer against future shocks.

“We have a lot of work ahead to make the forecasts and projections a reality. The Government is this year borrowing a net $78 million on average every week and, in dollar terms, net debt will peak at $64.5 billion in 2015/16.

“It is also important to avoid the mistakes of the mid-2000s, when large increases in government spending and a booming housing market drove up interest rates and the exchange rate and eroded productivity.”

At the same time as getting its own finances in order, the Government is continuing to address New Zealand’s significant economic challenges, including a sustained rebalancing towards those sectors of the economy that compete internationally.

“A broad range of targeted microeconomic reforms currently underway, through the Business Growth Agenda, will help lift New Zealand’s productivity and competitiveness.

“Since mid-2009, the tradeables sector has grown by 11.1 per cent, after going into recession in 2005. In the same period, the non-tradeables sector has grown by 6.6 per cent.

“This is a good start, but successful rebalancing will require consistent and positive change over several years,” Mr English says.

The New Zealand economy continued to expand through 2013, growing at 2.5 per cent in the year to June – despite the severe drought which significantly restricted growth in the first half of 2013. This was among the higher annual growth rates among developed countries.

“Signs are that the pace of growth has picked up appreciably in the second half of 2013, and the Half-Year Update shows the economy expanding at 3.6 per cent over the year to March 2015, and then at an average of 2.3 per cent over the following three years.”

Mr English says New Zealand is well placed compared to most countries.

“On average, wages are increasing faster than inflation, business confidence is at its highest level since 1999 and the terms of trade remain high. There are over 53,000 more people employed now than a year ago, and the unemployment rate is dropping as the economy gathers strength.”

Budget 2014 will continue the Government’s priorities for this term: responsibly managing its own finances and returning to surplus; pushing ahead with wide-ranging microeconomic reforms to create a more productive and competitive economy; driving better results and better value for money from public services; and supporting the rebuilding of Christchurch.

“The Half-Year Update confirms the Government’s economic programme is working by laying the foundations for a stronger economy, sustainable jobs and higher incomes,” Mr English says. “New Zealand is well-placed to take advantage of the many opportunities available over the next few years and to withstand global shocks when they come our way.”

Labour left office forecasting a decade of deficits.

National has been able to turn that round in spite of the financial and natural disasters which it’s faced.

It’s back on track to surplus but that surplus is wafer thin.

It’s also at risk from a change of government.

The opposition has fought every policy which has contributed to the economic turn around.

It continues to espouse policies which shows it would continue the higher tax, higher spending policies like those of the last labour-led government which put New Zealand into recession long before the global financial crisis.

The HYEFU is here  and the Budget policy statement is here.

SUMMARY OF ECONOMIC AND FISCAL FORECASTS

 

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Actual

Forecast

Forecast

Forecast

Forecast

Forecast

Economic (March years, %)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Economic growth

2.7

2.7

3.6

2.7

2.0

2.2

Unemployment rate

6.2

5.8

5.6

5.4

5.2

4.7

CPI inflation

0.9

1.4

2.4

2.4

2.3

2.2

Current account balance

-4.5

-4.2

-5.5

-6.3

-6.5

-6.4

Fiscal (June years)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Crown OBEGAL ($millions)

-4,414

-2,320

86

1,674

3,104

5,623

Net debt (% of GDP)

26.2

26.3

26.5

25.8

24.4

22.3

Media contacts:  Craig Howie 027 7555 809

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-NZ
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0cm;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;}


%d bloggers like this: