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Insights Into Politics:

Trans Tasman Political Alert

New Zealand's #1 Political Letter

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Politics, economic shifts, legislation, regulations and competition are the four major forces influencing your business opportunities. Each week, TRANS TASMAN brings you the real story behind the news and events shaping the political scene – and the insights and analysis you need to make your organisation even more successful. And its crisply-written, time-saving style allows you to stay up-to-date in the midst of your hectic day.

For more than four decades TRANS TASMAN has been putting its finger on the pulse of the Australian/NZ relationship and the events shaping it, the crucial political and economic trends affecting our lives and businesses heading into the future.


Ringside On Politics - In his second term, John Key negotiated some tough hurdles, the fallout from the Canterbury earthquakes, the Fonterra botulism scare, and the row over the GCSB spying and Kim Dotcom among other things.

The electorate whole heartedly endorsed his handling not only of these issues, but the economy and the governing of the country as a whole. He now has to deliver a legacy building third term. There is still no real threat from the opposition as it goes through a rebuilding phase, but there is not much sign of John Key's legacy being enshrined either, unless we get a new flag.

Perhaps a new flag will be his lasting achievement for the country. One issue he must tackle is housing - so far his Govt has been unable to make inroads into this pressing social and now political problem.

Right For The Job - The economy is facing stronger headwinds, and growth is expected to be subdued over the next 12 months. The global fall in commodity prices and Fonterra’s severe lowering of the dairy payout for next season will have a major impact on Govt finances, and the economy as a whole. The dollar is falling which has mitigated some of the impact from lower dairy and oil prices.

However the cautious stewardship of Key and Finance Minister Bill English should see the country through, and voters have confidence they are right for the job. While Labour is still in disarray, Andrew Little is now starting to gain some momentum and the party’s determination to reinvent itself could yet cause the Government problems, especially if it slips into the trap of third term arrogance.

Where Are The Others? - The Greens are just treading water and while NZ First increased its share of the vote. and the old stager Winston Peters has had a new lease on life after his Northland by-election win, it is nowhere near being in a position to cause trouble for Key and his now very minor party allies – ACT, United Future and the Maori Party. One plus for National has been the ending of any sort of political threat from the unholy alliance of Kim Dotcom, Hone Harawira and Laila Harre and their Internet/Mana alliance. Colin Craig’s Conservatives have imploded, and cease to be a threat or a potential ally.


The Economy – The global slump in commodity prices and slowing Chinese demand are taking their toll. The Kiwi dollar is playing its part by falling as commodity prices have, taking some of the edge off dairy's plunge. 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, as is Auckland's housing crisis - successive OCR cuts have not helped there.

Business & Economic Trends – Growth is still solid, if not as spectacular as some had predicted, with the Govt forecasting a revenue shortfall. Inflation appears to have been tamed for now - in fact it is being seen as too low. The dollar is falling of its own volition as commodity prices stay low, and OCR cuts will help the process. 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 which is seen by many as a backdoor to the Holy Grail of a US free trade agreement has been signed - but there's still a lot of water to go under the bridge before it is fully ratified. The US presidential election won't help.

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. The Trans Pacific Partnership is still a key objective. but looking harder to achieve. 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.

Government Department Updates - Many large organisations rely on their Public Relations Consultants, Lobbyists and Trade Associations to supply them with information on the workings of Government Departments. By subscribing to Trans Tasman you will read first hand each Department’s policy, personnel and how they interprete and implement legislation. Trans Tasman is subscribed to by many journalists and commentators from competing media.

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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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OFFER VALID UNTIL JULY 31st 2016

IN THIS WEEK'S ISSUE

23 June 2016

  • This Week... In one of its characteristic U-turns, the Govt changed the direction of political discourse this week, with its “mission creep” decision to extend the Army’s deployment for training Iraqi troops in Camp Taji. It was immediately labeled a “broken promise” by the Govt’s opponents.
  • ANZ Bank says the strength of the currency is a clear sign the economy is structurally in better shape than it has been in previous periods of global fragility with the current account deficit below average, and lower external debt. Their economists say they are not dismissive of global risks but the base case remains the NZ economy has enough in the tank to absorb these risks.
  • Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf warns historically high debt to income ratios in Auckland, where it now takes nine times the average household income to buy an average house, mean households are increasingly vulnerable."A drop in income or a rise in interest rates might see some struggling to meet their mortgage payments.”
  • And another Govt U-turn - a joint Govt-Auckland Council report is proposing direct charges for road use in Auckland within a decade, but Auckland Mayor Len Brown wants a decision on them in two years. The Govt has reversed its opposition to road charges on evidence road tolls are needed to ease traffic woes in the fast-growing city.

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