Want to translate this web page?
Choose your language »
Home consents near 2004 numbers
31 July 2017
More than 30,000 new home builds were consented to across
the country in the 12 months to July, up 4.7 per cent on the
previous year, according to official figures.
Annual new home numbers are nearing those last seen in 2004.
Consent figures for houses, apartments, townhouses, and flats
reached 30,453, for the year, with more than 10,000 of those
in Auckland, the department said on Monday.
While fewer stand-alone homes were being built in Auckland,
smaller dwellings were on the up. Auckland accounted for three-quarters
of national new apartment units and nearly half of all townhouses,
flats, and units.
Meanwhile, consents were booming in smaller centres as well.
Consent numbers were up 28 per cent in Otago and 20 per cent
ASB economist Jane Turner called the growth trend "particularly
encouraging" in Auckland and Wellington.
"Looking beyond the volatility, we are seeing encouraging
signs that residential building demand is lifting in Auckland
and Wellington," she said in a note.
Auckland getting new electric trains
27 July 2017
Auckland Council has tagged on to buy $207 million worth
of electric and battery-powered trains.
The council's finance and performance on Wednesday agreed
in principle to buy the 17 trains but it will have to find
$25m for an initial payment by September.
The council will also now have to find $50m from its capital
budget and get a commitment from the New Zealand Transport
Agency for 50 per cent of the capital and operational expenditure.
The decision came with a rebuke from committee deputy chairwoman
Desley Simpson, who said it was disappointing the funding
was not incorporated into the annual budgeting process.
"I appreciate the apology and commitment from Auckland
Transport that we will be fully appraised of similar scenarios
in the future ahead of time," she said.
It means electric trains will be running between the city
and Pukekohe five years earlier than planned, says Mayor Phil
Mr Goff has said the new units will have major benefits for
commuters living south of Papakura in the high growth areas
of Drury, Paerata, Pukekohe and potentially Pokeno.
They can operate on lines not yet electrified and would allow
the council to eliminate ageing and less reliable diesel trains.
Demand has increased by 17 per cent over the past year and
Auckland is on course to achieve a record 20 million passenger
trips a year within months.
Kiwi soars above 75 USc, highest in more than 2 years, as
Fed flags balance sheet trim
27 July 2017
The New Zealand dollar rose above 75 US cents, to the highest
level in more than two years, after the US Federal Reserve
said it would begin reducing its bloated balance sheet "relatively
The greenback fell against a basket of major currencies after
the Fed's announcement.
The kiwi dollar reached 75.28 US cents, the highest since
May 2015, and was trading at 75.12 cents as at 8am in Wellington
from 74.38 cents late yesterday.
The trade-weighted index climbed to 79.10, well above the
75.8 average level the Reserve Bank forecast for the third
quarter, from 78.53 yesterday.
The Federal Open Market Committee kept its target interest
rate unchanged as expected at the end of its two-day meeting,
saying "near-term risks to the economic outlook appear
roughly balanced" though it "is monitoring inflation
David Croy said along with US dollar "disenfranchisement"
the kiwi dollar has benefited from "fairly respectable
domestic credentials in their own right".
The kiwi traded at 93.94 Australian cents from 93.95 cents
yesterday. The kiwi gained to 64.06 euro cents from 63.74
euro cents and rose to 83.54 yen from 83.03 yen. It rose to
57.31 British pence from 57.01 pence and gained to 5.0722
yuan from 5.0124 yuan.
New wellness hotel for Auckland
26 July 2017
InterContinental Hotels Group's (IHG) wellness lifestyle
brand Even is to be launched in Auckland in 2020, with a 200-room,
37-level hotel on part of the old site in the CBD.
This follows the signing of a partnership with financial
specialist Pro-Invest Group that will mean the brand's debut
for the first time outside the US.
The Auckland project will also include a Holiday Inn.
The partnership is aiming at a 10-15 hotel portfolio of Even
Hotels, providing a holistic wellness experience, across New
Zealand and is actively looking for sites.
IHG says health and wellness is one of the fastest-growing
industries in New Zealand, making it the perfect place to
grow the brand. The hotels are designed to help travelers
"eat well, rest easy, keep active and accomplish more,
making it ideal to better serve wellness-minded travelers."
IHG has 32 hotels in New Zealand and Australia under the
InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn
The launch of the Even Hotels brand in New Zealand comes
at a great time and is a strong fit to local consumer tastes
and trends, IHG says.
The group is continuing its expansion in bringing new brands
to this market and has established a strong hotel franchising
model to provide owners and investors in New Zealand.
The Pro-invest Group's chief executive, Ronald Barrott says
there is considerable growth in lifestyle services in both
health and wellness and exercise. He says the growth reflects
the importance New Zealand's place on personal health and
wellbeing, making it the best time to launch Even Hotels.
June trade surplus $242 million, boosted by dairy exports
26 July 2017
New Zealand reported a higher-than-expected monthly trade
surplus of $242 million in June as exports were boosted by
dairy sales, especially to China.
The annual deficit in the year to June was $3.7 billion versus
$3.8 billion in the 12 months to May. Economists had expected
a monthly surplus of $100 million and an annual deficit of
$3.7 billion, according to the median in a Bloomberg poll.
The June surplus was the fourth monthly surplus in a row.
Overall exports to China were up 25.6 percent for the month
of June against June last year to $1.0 billion while exports
to Australia rose 0.9 percent to $672 million.
Imports from all sources rose 7.7 percent to $4.5 billion
in June versus the same month a year ago. Car imports led
the rise, jumping 31 percent to $505 million. New motor cars
led this increase, up $86 million in value. This was 2,566
more new cars than in June 2016, Stats NZ said.
NZ near front of trade deal queue: Britain's Johnson
25 July 2017
British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said that New Zealand
could expect to be one of the first nations to ink a trade
deal with London once Brexit was finalised.
Johnson, making his first visit to New Zealand, met Prime
Minister Bill English for talks that covered trade, international
security and Britain's ties with its former colony.
"These are two countries that really do think on the
same lines on so many of the issues that matter to our people
and to our electorates," Johnson told reporters after
Johnson said Britain was keen to pursue free trade deals
with New Zealand and other nations once its withdrawal from
the EU -- scheduled for March 2019 -- was complete.
He said New Zealand would be "at or near the front of
the queue" when Britain was negotiating the post-Brexit
"If I can make one thing absolutely clear, I'll say
this until I'm blue in the face, Brexit is not, was not, will
not be about Britain turning away from the world," he
"On the contrary, it is about wanting to keep great
relations with our European friends and partners... (while)
rediscovering and intensifying friendships and partnerships
around the world."
New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English meets the Jewish
13 July 2017
We had an amazing event last week hosting the Prime
Minister Bill English at Auckland's Shule.
The good news as we heard as the Prime Minister talked
of a 're-set' in the relations between New Zealand and
200 congregants listened to a very supportive Israel
address by the Prime Minster and then answered some
very searching questions primarily about NZ / Israel
It was clear that the historical good relations had
returned to normal with no mention of NZ's ex past Foreign
Minister but much praise for new replacing Foreign Minister
Photo at top - Prime Minister Bill English on the
Kiwis win off the field as Lions rugby tour brings in the
10 July 2017
There may not have been a winner on the field, but Kiwi councils
and hospitality providers are toasting to success at the end
of the British and Irish Lions tour.
The Lions visited seven cities during their 36-day trip,
taking their merry band of 20,000 vocal supporters with them.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed)
chief executive Brett O'Riley said the Lions tour has been
a "huge success".
"The region has been awash with a sea of red and the
20,000 plus visiting fans have been the best guests making
the most of the tourism experiences and food and beverage
options throughout Auckland."
Auckland hosted two of the three tests between the Lions
and the All Blacks, as well as the Blues' upset win against
O'Riley said the series brought in 14,000 domestic visitors.
"While we don't have the full economic impact data in
yet, the series is estimated to generate $26.7 million for
the Auckland economy, and 165,000 visitor nights."
Hospitality NZ Auckland president Russell Gray said the series'
deciding test being held days after the victory parade for
Team New Zealand was a "windfall" for the city.
"I think Auckland experienced a bit of a one-off last
week with the amazing America's Cup parade on the Thursday
leading straight into a test weekend, and so that was probably
bigger than anyone had anticipated.
"Everyone was in party mode and that flowed into the
Fans turn out to welcome America's Cup trophy to Team NZ
6 July 2017
Tens of thousands of joyful New Zealanders have braved a
thunderstorm in Auckland to welcome home the America's Cup
winners, who held the Auld Mug aloft on these shores for the
first time in 17 years.
The Emirates Team New Zealand members waved at the crowd
from the backs of vans for a slow, noisy procession down Queen
Street to Waitemata Harbour, where they boarded a boat for
a victory tour on the sea - dozens of yachts, sea kayaks and
dingies floating by to catch a glimpse.
Many people skipped work and school on Thursday to watch
the parade live, not wanting to miss out on the historic moment.
The parade started in sunshine and ended amid claps of thunder
and torrential rain. Office workers pressed themselves against
windows to watch and builders paused on their scaffolding
high above the city to whoop and yell.
Seagulls swooped above the cheering crowd dancing to a brass
band version of James Brown's I Feel Good. Some people had
travelled from around the North Island to shout "Kiwi,
Kiwi" and "Peter, Peter!" for helmsman Peter
Burling, who, at 26, is the youngest person to ever win the
America's Cup, and an instant hero for locals with his uncanny
resemblance to Sir Edmund Hillary.
wanted to support the team, I felt so happy and excited when
they won," said 14-year-old Ace Mead who missed school
with her three sisters to attend the parade.
"I think the team won because they had courage and faith,
and they had the whole country behind them. I got up to watch
every game with my Dad."
Many of the team - dressed in black and blue tracksuits -
looked worn out from their feat in Bermuda, but their faces
cracked into huge grins as the crowd embraced them, throwing
colourful streamers over their heads and waving handmade signs.
This week the government announced NZ $5m in funding for
the team to try and keep their sailing talent in New Zealand,
but today Australian skipper Glenn Ashby told TVNZ he had
already received phone calls from rival teams trying to poach
"I think all the guys are highly sought after because
we have been able to pull of something absolutely fantastic"
A number of the sailors bowed their heads at the start of
the parade to hide puffy eyes, blinking back tears they were
unable to control. Having only arrived back in the country
yesterday, they have yet to see some friends and family, and
many said they were keen for a few quiet days to recoup and
process before journeying south for parades in Wellington,
Christchurch and Dunedin.
"Thank you for your display of what is best in our country,"
said the prime minister, Bill English, from a podium by Waitemata
harbour, his grey suit drooping in the rain.
"You are a group of ordinary Kiwis who have done something
extraordinary," he said, before giving cause for laughter
with one of his characteristic stumbles: "You'll also
be helping Kiwis get off the shelf … ah, off the couch."
Ex-Team NZ boat builders joining Rocket Lab in Hawke's Bay
4 July 2017
Former America's Cup boat builders are to join rocket scientists
in their work on launching more rockets soon from Northern
In May Rocket Lab completed its first test launch from its
site on Mahia Peninsula - becoming the first orbital-class
rocket to lift off from a private launch site in the world.
Now the rocket maker - on track for a second test launch
in the coming months - is employing workers involved in the
Team New Zealand campaign for its advanced composites work.
"We're employing so many people at the moment it's hard
to keep up," said Rocket Lab founder and chief executive
"I know last week in the Monday meeting I welcomed five
Rocket Lab's 17m-tall Electron Rocket is made of carbon fibre
similar to that used in Team New Zealand's boat. Last week
it was revealed that 40 workers involved in building the America's
Cup-winning catamaran last year had lost their jobs at Southern
The composites team at the Auckland-based rocket maker is
led by Ben Malcolm, who worked with Team New Zealand on the
last boat for their Cup campaign, in San Francisco in 2013.
Including contractors and part-timers, there are about 25
in Rocket Lab's composites team, a third of whom had worked
with Team NZ.
Mr Beck said top boat builders could transfer their skills
to the space industry.
"It's really about craftsmanship. The America's Cup
is very high end and has beautiful craftsmanship [but] not
all boat builders would assimilate perfectly into building
into space components," he said.
White House releases staff salaries - including Kiwi Chris
3 July 2017
The Trump administration has disclosed the salaries of 377
White House staff, including Kiwi expatriate Chris Liddell.
The filing confirms the former Carter Holt Harvey, GM and
Microsoft CFO is not in it for the money: Mr Liddell's salary
is $US30,000 a year.
An earlier White House disclosure revealed his net worth
was around the $NZ100 million mark.
Nevertheless, the New Zealander has big responsibilities:.
Mr Liddell is listed as assistant to President Donald Trump
for strategic initiatives.
And in May, he was put in charge of the Council for American
Technology, a group given the mission to drag the technology
used by US government departments into the 21st century and
make it secure.
The council, chaired by Mr Liddell, includes President Trump,
Vice-President Mike Pence and the secretaries of defence,
commerce and homeland security among its members, along with
the directors of national intelligence and the Office of Budget
Auckland's Waterview tunnel opens
2 July 2017
The first cars are rolling through the country's newest and
longest road tunnel in Auckland.
The $1.4 billion Waterview Connection, where twin 2.4km-long
three-lane tunnels connect State Highways 20 and 16 opened
to traffic early on Sunday morning after five years of construction.
It is hoped the tunnel will help improve traffic flows in
the city blighted by congestion.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges says the tunnel is the biggest
transport transformation in Auckland since the Harbour Bridge
was opened in 1959.
"Wider economic benefits are estimated to be worth $430
million, through improved productivity and reduced travel
time, and also include the creation of more than 18,000 jobs
during the construction of the tunnel," he said.
The tunnel largely completes the Western Ring Route, a new
48km route linking the west of Auckland, Manukau, the city
and the North Shore.
It aims to ease pressure on State Highway 1 and the Auckland
Harbour Bridge, Mr Bridges said.
In mid-July, a shared cycling and walking network will also
open alongside the motorway.
Prime Minister Bill English earlier said the tunnel project
was 60 years in the making with a gigantic boring machine
dubbed Alice used to dig it out.
The 1.97km Lyttelton Tunnel, near Christchurch, was previously
the longest tunnel in the country.
House consents at 13-year record in May, trend improving,
Statistics NZ says
30 June 2017
Local councils across New Zealand approved 7 percent more
residential building consents in May, with house consents
at a 13-year high as the trend for new dwellings continues
The seasonally-adjusted gain in May followed falls in March
and April, Statistics New Zealand said.
A total 2,794 new dwellings were consented, including 2,039
houses, the highest monthly number since June 2004. On an
annual basis, dwelling consents rose 8 percent, with 30,645
residential buildings consented in the year.
"The trend for new homes is recovering after dipping
in late 2016," prices, accommodation, and construction
senior manager Jason Attewell said.
"It's more than double the level of the 2011 low point,
and nearly back to the mid-2016 peak." The trend for
new stand-alone houses is also rising, Stats NZ said.
In Auckland, the country's largest city, the lack of housing
supply has been most acute as record migration drives demand.
Today's figures show 10,379 homes were consented in the year
through May, up 10 percent from the previous year.
On an annual basis, the value of consents rose 12 percent
to $19.3 billion. Residential consents increased 12 percent
to $12.8 billion while non-residential consents advanced 11
percent to $6.5 billion.
NZ could reap $1bn from hosting Cup
27 June 2017
Boat-building, tourism, accommodation, hospitality and major
events for New Zealand are just some of the windfalls the
country could capitalise on in the wake of the stunning America's
The head of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development
(ATEED), Brett O'Riley, says the gains could be massive.
"You have an enormous opportunity for the New Zealand
marine industry and in the same way The Lord of The Rings
and The Hobbit showcased the best scenery, so can the America's
Cup," he told the NZ Herald.
"The only people who can really answer the question
of where the bases will be are Team New Zealand, because it
all depends on the type of boats raced.
"And are we talking a single regatta or preliminary
The economic benefits could in the billion-dollar territory,
he said, a sentiment echoed by businessman Sir Ralph Norris.
Sir Ralph told Newstalk ZB the economic benefit would be
"It might even be a little higher than [$1b]."
Sir Ralph said he understood planning for a defence was already
"I get the impression from what I've heard over the
last couple of hours that a lot of forethought has already
gone into where the race will be held in Auckland, what sort
of arrangements will be needed to be put in place.
"I don't think they're going into that cold."
NZ construction sector upbeat on infrastructure work, buoyed
by Government injection
23 June 2017
New Zealand's construction sector is increasingly upbeat
about the growing infrastructure market, which will get a
boost from the government's planned $32.5 billion investment
over the next four years.
An annual survey of sentiment in the infrastructure and buildings
construction sector shows a split between the two sub-sectors,
with those on the infrastructure side expecting increased
spending over the coming three years, with 68 percent of respondents
seeing a positive investment outlook and nearly 70 percent
expecting more work.
Finance Minister Steven Joyce, who launched the report in
Auckland this morning, said the sector is "positive"
but is figuring out "how to handle that growth.
Joyce said lending curbs by the Reserve Bank and trading
banks' tighter credit criteria were "having a bit of
an impact" on the buildings side, but were "probably
assuring that the boom we're experiencing is going to be a
bit more sustainable than in the past," when the building
cycle was propped up by more of a boom/bust thing".
Construction has been a major plank to the country's economic
growth in recent years as the Canterbury rebuild and Auckland
house-building stir activity, accounting for 6.25 percent
of the economy from 5 percent five years ago and employing
250,000 people compared to 180,000 in 2012.
Joyce said the pipeline of work and government investment
means the sector will continue to be a core part of economic
growth in coming years and that a lot of effort was going
in to make sure the industry can build capacity to meet that
It's ours! Team New Zealand claims America's Cup after 14
27 June 2017
Team New Zealand claimed the America's Cup for a third time
on Tuesday after securing a 7-1 series victory over holders
Oracle Team USA.
It was a remarkable turnaround for the Auckland-based syndicate
after suffering a defeat at the last regatta in 2013, giving
up an 8-1 lead over Oracle in the process.
With a young crew led by Olympic gold medallist Peter Burling,
Team New Zealand sailed, and cycled, their way through the
qualifying series to reach the America's Cup final.
The finals went as follows:
Team New Zealand had a dominating day one with a 30-second
in race one before thrashing Oracle by 1 minute and 27 seconds
in race two.
Two more big race wins on day two put the challengers in
a commanding position - a 3-0 lead heading into the five day
Spithill promised Oracle would be working every hour to get
faster but that didn't seem to make a difference with Team
NZ moving to a 4-0 lead with a two-minute victory in race
five and finally finished 4-1.
Spithill finally had something to crow about as the much-faster
Oracle boat claimed victory in race six to make it 4-1 at
the end of day three of racing. Was another comeback on?
Not so fast. Burling yet again dominated the Australian in
both starts in races seven and eight and held off a fighting
Spithill to move Team New Zealand to match point at 6-1.
Team New Zealand then crushed Oracle in race nine to complete
New Zealand world's second most peaceful country
22 June 2017
With terror attacks and political uncertainty rocking the
world, New Zealand appears to be emerging as a beacon of peace.
The nation has moved up two places in the Global Peace Index,
now sitting in second place behind Iceland.
As a whole, the global level of world peace has improved
- 93 countries improved with 68 deteriorating.
New Zealand was given a rating of 1.241 which is based on
societal safety and security, ongoing domestic and international
conflict and degree of militarisation.
Former prime minister and United Nations Development Programme
Administrator Helen Clark shared the good news about New Zealand
but added a warning.
"[Important] not to be complacent. NZ has its problems
First placed Iceland was given a rating of 1.111 by the review
committee while Australia rose three places to 12th with a
rating of 1.425.
The UK also rose six places and is now equal 41st most peaceful
But the United States suffered a big fall, down 11 places
to 114th out of 193 countries.
The bottom of the list remains largely unchanged. Syria was
named least peaceful country again this year, preceded by
Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen.
Chinese, UK and Australian immigrants drive NZ net migration
to new record in May
22 June 2017
New Zealand annual net migration hit another record in May
driven by foreign immigrants, with most coming from China,
the UK and Australia.
Annual net migration reached 72,000 in the year to May 31
versus 68,400 in the same period a year earlier, Statistics
New Zealand said. Three-quarters of the 130,400 migrant arrivals
were non-New Zealand citizens, with New Zealanders leaving
and returning to the country almost balancing each other out
in the last year. There has been a net migration gain of 73,000
non-New Zealand citizens in the past year.
New Zealand has been experiencing record levels of net migration
in recent years as economic growth outpaced Australia's, meaning
fewer locals moved across the Tasman. Rising immigration is
shaping up to be a key election issue as it strains the country's
infrastructure and has been blamed for inflating property
Chinese citizens accounted for 12 percent of migrant arrivals
in the year, while 10 percent each came from the UK and Australia.
Annual migrant arrivals from India dropped 31 percent to
9,200 in the year, with a 40 percent drop in annual student
visas granted to Indian citizens, which was offset by gains
from the UK and South Africa.
Short-term visitor arrivals, which include tourists, people
visiting family and friends and people travelling for work,
reached 3.6 million in the year ended May 31, up 10 percent
from a year earlier and a new annual record, Stats NZ said.
Most came on holiday or to visit family and friends, and 40
percent were from Australia while 11 percent were from China.
David Jones tipped to be coming to Newmarket
21 June 2017
Staff at giant upmarket Australian department store chain
David Jones have told a New Zealand retailer of plans to open
in Auckland, according to a local source.
David Jones has made no official announcement about Auckland
and today only trades from Wellington.
But the insider told the Herald that the well-established
Australian chain was planning to open its second New Zealand
store on the former Levene Extreme site on Newmarket's Broadway,
after last year's Lambton Quay unveiling.
"David Jones has signed for Auckland. They are going
into the new 277 development in Newmarket. This will be where
Farmers are at the moment. The interesting point will be filling
the retail spaces around David Jones with other tenants. It's
signed and sealed but not been released to the media yet,"
the local retailer said, asking his name not be used because
he has a close working relationship with the chain.
Kiwi Property plans $161m capital raising as Auckland expansion
19 June 2017
Kiwi Property Group, the largest property company listed on
the NZX, plans to raise $161 million to fund expansion in
Auckland as it sees strong growth continuing.
Kiwi Property is considering expansion and improvement projects
at its Sylvia Park shopping mall in Auckland.
It is currently undergoing a $126 million development at
Sylvia Park, adding parking and expanding the food court,
and is looking at a further $200 million expansion involving
new international retailers and a department store "as
we move to realize our world-class town centre vision for
NZ consumer confidence ticks up in June quarter on optimistic
19 June 2017
Westpac chief economist Michael Gordon said "households
have become increasingly confident about the economic outlook.
New Zealand consumer confidence gained in the June quarter
and reached its highest level since early 2015 as consumers
were more upbeat about the economic outlook although they
were slightly more jittery about the current economic situation.
The Westpac McDermott Miller consumer confidence index rose
1.5 points to 113.4 in the June quarter, above the long-run
average of 111.4. A reading above 100 indicates optimists
outnumber pessimists, and the survey has been above that level
since March 2011.
A net 18.2 percent of the 1,555 people surveyed between June
1 and June 11 expected the economy to improve over the coming
year, up from 11.8 percent in the March period.
"Households have become increasingly confident about
the economic outlook," said Westpac Banking Corp acting
chief economist Michael Gordon.
Waterview tunnel to open to cars in early July
18 June 2017
The $1.4 billion Waterview tunnel will open to cars around
the first weekend of July - but an exact date is not being
given for safety reasons and to avoid queues of motorists.
The "soft" opening was announced at today's formal
opening by Prime Minister Bill English and Transport Minister
Simon Bridges, who cut a ribbon to mark the completion of
the longest road tunnel in New Zealand.
It completes the 48km western motorway ring route - a second
motorway route through Auckland - and includes a giant motorway
interchange at Great North Road to connect the Southwestern
and Northwestern motorways.
This latest connection in Auckland's state highway network
will provide a more resilient and reliable motorway network
by reducing the current dependence on State Highway 1 and
the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
Each of Waterview's tunnels was bored by a giant tunnelling
machine, named Alice. At 2.4km long, Waterview takes the record
off the 1.97km Lyttelton tunnel as the longest road tunnel
in New Zealand.
"The Waterview Tunnel is one of the most important infrastructure
developments to take place in New Zealand and will help unlock
Auckland's potential as a world class city and secure its
future economic prosperity," Bridges said.
The western ring route - linking the west of Auckland, Manukau,
the city and the North Shore - is one of the Government's
Roads of National Significance and was prioritised because
of the contribution it will make to our fastest growing city,
the transport minister said.
"It will provide more options to Aucklanders travelling
around the city, more efficient links to and from Auckland
Airport, Ports of Auckland and inland freight hubs, reducing
costs for people and businesses, not only in Auckland, but
throughout the country," he said.
Wider economic benefits are estimated to be worth $430 million,
through improved productivity and reduced travel time, and
also include the creation of more than 18,000 jobs.
"This latest connection in Auckland's state highway
network will provide a more resilient and reliable motorway
network by reducing the current dependence on State Highway
1 and the Auckland Harbour Bridge," Bridges said.
The $1.4bn Waterview Connection is New Zealand's largest
ever roading project. It includes construction of twin 3-lane
tunnels - they are the longest road tunnels in the country
- and a giant motorway-to-motorway interchange at Great North
Road to connect the Northwestern and Southwestern Motorways,
improve network resilience and travel time reliability.
The Waterview Connection will provide a second route through
Auckland, bypassing the city centre, creating greater reliability
and resilience. While it's not designed to remove congestion
altogether, the western ring route will provide a better balance
of traffic flows across the entire road network, including
helping to remove cars from local roads.
As well as helping to cater for future traffic demands, it
will also provide more transport options including bus lanes
and walking and cycling connections.
WATERVIEW TUNNEL FACTS
Each of Waterview's two tunnels is 2.4km long - twice the
length of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
They will each carry 3 lanes of traffic.
The tunnels are the longest road tunnels in New Zealand -
the Lyttelton road tunnel at 1.97m previously held the record.
Tunnelling first began at Waterview in 2013. The first tunnel
was completed in 2014. Alice the Tunnel Boring Machine broke
through on the second tunnel on 19 October 2015.
The Tunnel Boring Machine was specifically designed for the
Waterview geology by the German company, Herrenkencht, and
manufactured in China.
The Tunnel Boring Machine was 87m long.
At construction peak up to 1000 people worked on the project.
The fit-out programme included:
- Compacting 74,500m3 of aggregate for backfill
- Laying almost 5kms of drainage pipes
- Installing 104 flame traps.
- 140,000m2 of paint is being applied - black for the roof,
white for the walls
- 4,000 lights
- 62 ventilation fans
- 50kms of cable trays to support wiring and other equipment
- 400kms of cabling and wiring
- CCTV cameras and signage is also being installed
- 5 deluge storage tanks each containing 250m3 of water
for fire control. Each deluge set will supply 10mm of water
per minute inside each of the 173 zones of the tunnel. Each
zone is located every 30m in the tunnels.
Free Trade Agreement with United States 'when time is right':
Trade Minister Todd McClay
18 June 2017
The United States has indicated it's open to a free trade
agreement with New Zealand "when the time is right",
Trade Minister Todd McClay says.
McClay has been in the US to meet the new US Trade Representative,
Robert Lighthizer, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and
Congressman David Reichert.
Ross had indicated he is open to a trade deal and didn't
see any major issues in the way, McClay said.
"It's clear the US will take time considering its trade
strategy. They're likely to have a considerable workload over
next couple of years with NAFTA renegotiations and some big
bilateral deals to do. However, I've welcomed their interest
in an FTA as a demonstration of the good shape our trading
relationship is in."
US President Donald Trump has withdrawn the US from the TPP,
a 12-country pact that had been the top trade priority of
the Obama Administration. Trump has promised an "America
first" approach to foreign policy and trade.
During his visit, McClay briefed US officials on the progress
of the TPP minus the US. Japan has assumed leadership to get
the other 11 countries to keep the deal going, with a final
decision on its future likely to be made at the Apec leaders'
summit in Vietnam in November.
McClay said Lighthizer told him he wanted to work with New
Zealand on international trade policy issues.
Last year New Zealand exports to the US were valued at $5.6
billion and imports from the US were valued at $5.7 billion.
NZ regrets fallout with Israel: Brownlee
14 June 2017
Israel's ambassador to New Zealand is returning to his post.
This ends a six-month rift in relations over a United Nations
resolution against Israeli settlements in occupied territory.
Israel recalled its ambassador Itzhak Gerberg in December
after New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal sponsored
a UN Security Council resolution which said Israel's continuing
establishment of settlements in Palestinian territory constituted
a violation under international law.
New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English sent a letter to
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the two leaders
spoke on the phone earlier this week, Israeli Foreign Ministry
spokeswoman Michal Maayan says.
"I regret the damage done to Israel-New Zealand relations
as a result of New Zealand proposing Resolution 2344 at the
Security Council," English wrote, according to the Foreign
The Israeli ambassador will return to Wellington in the next
Foreign Affairs Minster Gerry Brownlee says Mr English's
letter is a "clarification" and wouldn't go into
the original decision on the UN resolution.
"The letter indicated that New Zealand wanted to resume
diplomatic with Israel, and regretted the fallout.
"It was a clarification of the fact that we remain good
friends of Israel... All I'm going to say is that we regret
The UN resolution passed in the 15-member Security Council
because the United States, under the administration of former
President Barack Obama, did not wield its veto power and instead
abstained, breaking with its long-standing tradition of diplomatically
shielding Israel at the international body.
Mr Brownlee maintained the US had not used New Zealand as
a pawn in proposing the resolution.
NZ terms of trade rises to 44 year high
1 June 2017
New Zealand's terms of trade rose to the highest level in
about 44 years in the first quarter as export prices rose
more than three times faster than imports, led by dairy and
The terms of trade rose 5.1 per cent in the first quarter,
Statistics New Zealand said, beating the 3.9 per cent increase
forecast by economists in a Reuters survey. Export prices
rose 9 per cent in the first three months of the year and
import prices gained 2.7 per cent. Terms of trade is a measure
of the purchasing power of New Zealand's exports abroad. The
latest rise means 5.1 per cent more goods imports could be
funded by a fixed quantity of goods exports than in the December
"The terms of trade sit just 0.3 per cent below the
record high set back in June 1973. And with export prices
still very healthy over recent months, we expect it is only
a matter time before a new record is set," economists
at ASB Bank said in a note.
Dairy led the gain in export prices, jumping 18 per cent
in the first quarter as milk powder rose 20 per cent, butter
gained 23 per cent, and cheese rose 8.8 per cent. Dairy prices
are 34 per cent higher than the recent low of September 2016,
but are still 21 per cent lower than the March 2014 high,
Stats NZ said. Dairy values rose 1.2 per cent in the March
2017 quarter to $3b, while the seasonally adjusted dairy export
volumes fell 11 per cent, to the lowest level since the September
Forest product export prices rose 11 per cent in the March
quarter, led by a 15 per cent gain from wood, to reach their
highest level since the series began, and topping the previous
record set in September 2000 by 1.5 per cent, Stats NZ said.
Seasonally adjusted forestry product volumes fell 6.1 per
cent, to their lowest level since the March 2012 quarter.
Seasonally adjusted forestry product values fell 0.4 per cent
Petroleum and petroleum product prices, which aren't seasonally
adjusted, led the gain in overall import prices. They rose
11 per cent in the March 2017 quarter, and 46 per cent for
the year to March 2017. Import volumes fell 1.2 per cent in
the March 2017 quarter, and values rose by 9.7 per cent. Stats
NZ said a three-week shutdown at the Marsden Point refinery
influenced the data.
The terms of trade with China rose 5.3 per cent, and for
Australia it rose 0.6 per cent, and for the US recorded a
0.5 per cent gain.
Airport trust launched to upskill and find jobs for thousands
Construction workers at Auckland Airport
1 June 2017
The major upgrade of Auckland Airport's international departure
area is now well under way, as is the expansion of Pier B
of the international terminal which will add two more contact
gates that can each accommodate an A380 or two smaller aircraft.
The airport plans to accommodate an estimated 40 million
passengers a year by 2044 - more than double the number that
pass through the airport now.
Auckland Airport is investing more than $1 million every
week and expects this level of investment will likely continue
into the "near future".
Insight Economics has calculated that the benefits of the
airport's 30-year investment in infrastructure include creating
around 27,000 more jobs.
Government agencies (the ministries of Social Development,
Business Innovation and Employment, and Education and the
Tertiary Education Commission) were involved in the scheme
which Littlewood said enabled a "wrap around" or
account management approach to getting people in work.
"It's not just about recruitment and job placement but
thinking about the barriers to ongoing job placement. There
could be other things in their lives that are stopping them
from getting a job," he said.
Auckland Airport will tomorrow formally launch a jobs and
skills trust that has already put hundreds of people into
Since it began as a trial in November 2015, Ara has placed
227 people in jobs, including 103 who were previously on benefits.
There have been 10 low-risk prisoners through the programme,
some were on remand and didn't serve a sentence while others
were rehabilitated through a Corrections Department programme.
Some have moved from labouring jobs to supervisor roles.
Ara, or pathway, is a partnership between the airport, the
South Auckland community, Fletchers, Hawkins and other local
employers, government agencies, Auckland Council, local schools
and tertiary institutes, industry training organisations and
Most of the workers come from South Auckland and 26 placed
through Ara have gone on to apprenticeships.
Auckland Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood said the
organisation started with construction jobs but already other
businesses in the area were interested in the workers.
"We're starting to get inquiry from other businesses
at the airport - whether it's retail, food and beverage or
logistics. They're all in the same boat in the tourism boom."
Ara is currently working with seven training providers. Examples
of training arranged through Ara include SiteSafe, Working
at Heights and drivers licensing.
Sixty-eight students from five South Auckland schools have
been or are currently involved in Ara's school work experience
Auckland's economic growth 'spectacular', says council chief
28 May 2017
Auckland's economic growth is "spectacular" and
an extra 60,000 jobs were added to the country's financial
powerhouse in the last year, according to a new report.
David Norman, Auckland Council's chief economist, revealed
Auckland's growing strength in his latest Auckland Economic
Quarterly publication and he included some good news for wage
"Auckland's GDP grew at 4.4 per cent for the year ended
December 2016," Norman said quoting Infometrics data.
Latest Statistics NZ and Reserve Bank data showed New Zealand's
GDP growing at 2.2 per cent in the first quarter of this year.
GDP represents the income earned from production.
Norman cautioned against a comparison because two different
periods were being measured.
"But yes, Auckland's growth is spectacular, certainly
very strong, driven by population, tourist and the construction
boom which is creating a lot of jobs," he said.
Auckland annual employment growth is running at 7.3 per cent,
compared to 4.9 per cent for the rest of New Zealand.
Norman highlighted population growth, construction sector
activity, demand for goods and services, tourism and the retail
sector as the big economic growth drivers.
"Auckland ... added 60,000 jobs for the year to March,
2017," he wrote, citing Statistics NZ data from the household
Those jobs were created in professional services (including
law, accounting, finance, consultancy, architecture), construction
(one in every eight jobs), hospitality (one in every eight
jobs) and health care and social services (one in every 10),
Norman told the Herald.
The latest Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion said it was
harder to find skilled and unskilled workers in Auckland in
the March quarter, compared to the December quarter.
And the good news for Auckland wage earners is Norman said
the rate of wage growth was finally beginning to rise.
"As the unemployment rate falls or remains low, pressure
tends to be placed on wage rates," he wrote.
NZ goods exports hit an April record as dairy prices continue
24 May 2017
New Zealand's merchandise exports rose to their highest ever
for an April month as increased dairy prices boosted the value
of the country's largest commodity for a seventh consecutive
Exports rose 9.8 percent to $4.75 billion in April, setting
a new record for the month and marking the third-highest month
ever recorded behind the $5 billion of exports in March 2014
and $4.9 billion in March 2015, according to Statistics New
Dairy exports in April jumped 35 percent to $1.11 billion,
driven by higher prices. Milk powder values increased 27 percent,
or by $117 million, while the quantity fell 11 percent, and
the value of milk fat products rose 55 percent, or by $86
million, with the quantity lifting 4.6 percent, Stats NZ said.
The country's top five export commodities all rose from the
year earlier month. In order of their ranking, meat exports
lifted 1 percent to $630 million, wood exports gained 18 percent
to a new record of $406 million, fruit exports advanced 3.4
percent to $444 million and wine exports jumped 20 percent
to $136 million.
Meanwhile, goods imports also advanced in April, lifting
4.9 percent to $4.17 billion, setting a new record for an
April month. The main movements were in intermediate goods,
led by petroleum, and capital goods, led by mobile phones,
portable computers and tractors, the statistics agency said.
The export gains led to a goods trade surplus of $578 million
in April, the largest monthly trade surplus since March 2015
and the largest April surplus since 2011, Stats NZ said.
Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks
to Rabbinic tradition the Ten Commandments were given on this
day. In the era of the Temple.
There are a number of widespread customs observed on Shavuot.
During this holiday the Torah portion containing the Ten Commandments
is read in the synagogue, and the biblical Book of Ruth is
read as well.
It is traditional to eat dairy meals during Shavuot. In observant
circles, all night Torah study is common on the first night
of Shavuot, while in Reform Judaism, Shavuot is the customary
date for Confirmation ceremonies.
Tomorrow, Finance Minister Steven Joyce will be delivering
his first Budget - the ninth of the National-led Government
24 May 2017
A brief background ahead of tomorrow's Budget.
Five points you should know:
- The economy is growing, and well over 200,000 new jobs
have been created over the past three years - more than
180 new jobs every day.
- Wages are rising - with the average annual wage now $58,900,
up more than $12,000 since we came into office.
- The books - with a $1.8 billion surplus delivered last
year, and we are starting to reduce debt.
- Budget Forecast -$4 billion investment in infrastructure.
New Zealand has a strong economy with financial options that
give the choices many other countries don't have.
A stable government and a strong, growing economy has been
able to create more jobs and lift wages.
The focus of the Budget is certain to be growing the economy.
NZ annual net migration still running at record levels
19 May 2017
New Zealand annual net migration remained at a record high
in April and short-term visitor arrivals also hit a new record,
lifted in part by the Easter holiday.
Annual net migration reached 71,885 in the year to April
30 versus 68,110 in the same period a year earlier and on
a par with the 71,932 in March, Statistics New Zealand said.
People arriving as permanent and long-term migrants outnumbered
those departing by 129,779 to 57,894 in the latest 12 months.
Of those arriving, 57,885 were bound for Auckland while 10,146
were headed to the capital city of Wellington. In the South
Island, 12,702 were bound for Canterbury. In terms of departures,
22,021 left Auckland while 5,929 left Canterbury.
Total residence visas lifted 11 percent to 16,678. Work-visa
migrants from the UK rose 14 percent to 7,347 while those
from France were up 15 percent to 4,000.
New Zealand has been experiencing record levels of net migration
in recent years as economic growth outpaced Australia's, meaning
fewer locals moved across the Tasman. Rising immigration is
shaping up to be a key election issue as it strains the country's
infrastructure and has been blamed for inflaming property
Short-term visitor arrivals, which include tourists, people
visiting family and friends and people travelling for work,
reached 3.599 million in the year ended April, up 10 percent
from a year earlier and a new annual record, Stats NZ said.
Visitor arrivals numbered 311,900 in the April 2017 month,
up 21 percent from April 2016. However, Easter holidays, which
fell in April this year but in March in 2016, likely contributed
to the increase.
"Almost 35,000 more holiday-makers arrived in New Zealand
in April 2017 than in April 2016, which was the main contributor
to the strong overall increase in visitor arrivals in April,"
population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said.
New Zealand residents took a record 2.7 million overseas
trips in the April 2017 year, up 11 percent from the April
New Zealand wine taking the USA by storm
22 April 2017
Trendy young Americans with money to spare have developed
a taste for the crisp, fruity flavours of New Zealand wine
- and exports are soaring.
The United States is now New Zealand's biggest overseas wine
market and last year shipments jumped 11 per cent to $571
million. That was the biggest gain among the top eight countries
exporting wine to the US, according to figures from Gomberg,
Fredrikson & Associates.
In contrast, Australia fell behind New Zealand for the first
time, with its shipments to the US dropping 9 per cent to
$502m. Imports from some South American nations also fell
New Zealand wine writer and critic John Saker says demand
for New Zealand wines in the US can be summed up in three
words: Marlborough sauvignon blanc.
"Just through dumb luck really, they put sauvignon blanc
vines in Marlborough and it came out with this remarkable
result; this aromatic intensity, a real pungency.
And now it's become the standard-bearer for that variety."
According to the latest New Zealand Wine Industry report,
sauvignon blanc accounted for 86 per cent of all New Zealand
wine exports in February.
Saker says the light fruitiness of New Zealand wines perfectly
complements prevailing culinary trends.
"We're eating lighter foods than we were, say, 10 years
ago, less meat and heavy, stodgy foods. New Zealand's wines
have a fresh acidity to them and they're great lighter-style
wines which go well with the food people are eating these
The very ripe, Australian-style wines, meanwhile, have been
losing favour in world markets for a while, Saker says.
"Wine is tied up with fashion and I think New Zealand
wine is just right for the time and the Australian styles
have lost favour."
Looking forward, Saker says "we haven't scratched the
surface" of where the industry could go.
"We've achieved this level of success without very much
knowledge or experience and as that grows, and as the vines
grow older, we'll be well placed to keep expanding and reaching
Saker predicts that New Zealand chardonnay will one day follow
in the footsteps of sauvignon blanc, with Kiwi winemakers
creating increasingly delicious and unique varieties.
Working Holiday Visas to New Zealand
The Working Holiday Visa is your best chance to improve your
English, discover an amazing culture, a wonderful country,
gain some valuable work experience ...
A Working Holiday Visa is a 12 months (in most cases) visa
that allows you to work in New Zealand.
Your visa is valid from the date that you arrive in New Zealand.
This visa is multi-entry which means that it will allow you
to leave and return to New Zealand as many times as you want
during those 12 months.
More than 50,000 travellers come each year to New Zealand
with a Working Holiday visa.
In most cases, you can submit an electronic application for
a work visa under the working holiday scheme by using the
Immigration New Zealand website. It takes 15 to 30 minutes
(you can save and stop at any time) only and the process is
much faster than a paper application. You just need your details
including those in your passport, and answer questions on
your health, character and travel plans. The fee for an online
or paper application is the same. You will have a response
in a few days. Click
here to see how to apply online.
Working holiday visa restrictions:You cannot apply for a Working
Holiday Visa in New Zealand :
If you are not from the list of selected countries
- If you do not meet the health requirement
- If you are under 18 years old
- If you are over 30 years old (35 years old for selected
- Take our Free
Visa Check to see if you qualify and to a personalised
email with more information.
Your Working Holiday visa is an Electronic Visa, it's exactly
the same as a normal visa, and you must print the Visa once
you receive it by email and keep it with your passport. It's
valid as soon as you enter New Zealand.
You must have a Visa or MasterCard credit card to pay the
fee online to immigration NZ. It's not an obligation to use
your own card. You can use a friend or parents, if you have
their authorisation of course...
Countries eligible for a working holiday visa in New Zealand:
You can apply for a Working Holiday visa for New Zealand
from 41 countries:
Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China,
Croatia, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany,
Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Japan, Latvia,
Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Philippines,
Poland, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain,
Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay,
If you country is on the list, don't miss this one in a life
time opportunity to immerse yourself in the kiwi culture.
Links for more info:
For more info about the working holiday visa in New Zealand,
visit us at WorkingHolidayStarter.com.
Information for this article have also been sourced on BackpackerGuide.nz
- in our opinion, the simplest and most comprehensive resource
for a working holiday or a gap year in New Zealand.
The Working Holiday visa requires you to return home after
It is very difficult to change your status from Holiday to
change status to be able to secure a temporary work visa.
This only possibility can come about if your occupation is
highly skilled (included your occupation listed in the shortage
of skills lists) and that you are qualified and have the work
experience meeting the requirements of the job offer.
Even then there is no certainty that the visa will be granted.
BUT A SMALL PERCENTAGE ON A HOLIDAY VISA HAVE MET THE REQUIREMENTS
AND SECURED A TWO YEAR TEMPORARY WORK VISA.
The real question is are you qualified and have the work
experience meeting the requirements of the job offer and will
your employer support you with your application in order for
you to change your status.
Skilled Migrant Category
If you have skills, qualifications or experience that New
Zealand needs you may be able to apply for a resident visa
under the Skilled Migrant Category.
Upcoming visa changes
Changes were recently announced that will affect the Skilled
Migrant Category from mid-August 2017.
The Skilled Migrant Category is a points system based on
factors such as age, work experience, your qualifications,
and an offer of skilled employment. You must also be aged
55 or under, and meet English language, health, and character
How it works
1. Self assessment - Check you meet the requirements and calculate
2. Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) - Note the fees
and offices information. Submit an EOI online.
3. Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) - If you have 160
points or more you'll be selected from the EOI pool and be
sent an ITA.
4. Submit a resident application - Note the fees and offices
information. Submit your resident application within six months
on the form we provide you with.
5. Receive your visa - If successful, you'll be issued either
a resident visa or job search visa.
Common mistakes to avoid
Skilled Migrant Category applicants often make these mistakes
that result in fewer points being recognised:
Qualifications not recognised - If you're claiming points
for your qualifications they need to either be on the List
of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment or have been assessed
Work experience not comparable - If you're claiming points
for work experience it must be in the same field as your qualification
and job/job offer. If you don't have a job or job offer then
this experience also needs to be in a comparable labour market,
in an occupation on the Long Term Skill Shortage List or for
a multinational company.
Bonus point requirements not met - To claim qualification
and work experience bonus points you need to meet the strict
requirements outlined on the Long Term Skill Shortage List.
The content on this page is a summary of what can be found
on the Immigration New Zealand website. For comprehensive
process and requirements guide visit their website section.
Migrant Category | Immigration New Zealand
Booming in the Technology Sector
12 May 2017
Tech sector attracts foreign cash
Overseas funding for early-stage New Zealand technology companies
has hit a record high, with foreign investment tripling in
the past year.
Data from the second annual Investor's Guide to the New Zealand
Technology Sector showed overseas funding for these companies
had jumped from $51 million in the 2015 financial year to
$173m last year - up 239 per cent.
Early-stage companies were defined as those typically in
research and development, pre-commercialisation or commercialisation
Greg Shanahan, managing director of the Technology Investment
Network (TIN) which produced the report with the Ministry
of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), said venture
capital and publicly funded investment was a major growth
driver for more than half of the fastest growing tech companies.
"This year's guide shows that funding is a critical
part of the acceleration in sector revenue growth," Shanahan
"Record amounts of money are being raised locally by
firms to invest in this space and record amounts of investment
are coming from offshore into select companies," he said.
Investment in NZ tech sector triples
Early stage investments from offshore investors are typically
larger than are commonly seen in New Zealand. As the source
of this money broadens, particularly with growing Asian investment,
we can expect the trend to continue."
The number of high profile investors has also expanded rapidly
with the likes of movie star Ashton Kutcher, Samsung, Vinod
Khosla of Khosla Ventures, Viacom chair Shari Redstone and
Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel all investing in Kiwi tech companies.
Simon Feiglin, managing partner of global private equity
firm Riverside Company, said the focus of New Zealand companies.
"The thing we really like is that as a small and remote
country, New Zealand companies almost from conception think
globally, and are structured to achieve that objective,"
An increasing number of Kiwi companies were also pursuing
overseas funding early on, and choosing to sell a stake of
their business rather than the whole company.
Over the past decade more than 50 local tech businesses have
been taken over by foreign buyers - including Navman Wireless,
Intergen and Fisher & Paykel AppliancesThe report showed
the number of tech companies being bought outright was declining
with two acquired last year compared with nine in 2013. According
to Shanahan this was a reflection of the growing confidence
of New Zealand companies in the industry.
The 2016 TIN100 annual report on the tech industry, produced
by TIN, showed the 28,749 firms in New Zealand's tech sector
contributed $16.2b to national GDP and employed just under
Technology was the country's third largest export in 2016,
generating $6.9b in overseas revenue.
American business columnist Ashlee Vance said New Zealand's
tech sector was well-respected.
"This country of 4.5 million people has started to churn
out some awfully polished, extraordinary products," Vance
"They're world-class technological achievements - the
work of a well-educated, creative people bent on competing
on the world stage."
Increased taxes, lower spend helps swell NZ government coffers
10 May 2017
The Crown will update the surplus forecast in the May 25
The operating balance a surplus of $1.5 billion in the nine
months ended March 31, well above the $147 million surplus
it forecast in December and up from $167m in the prior year,
the latest Crown accounts show.
The Treasury expects the Crown will post an operating surplus
of $473m in the year ending June 30 and will update that forecast
in the May 25 budget, which will be Finance Minister Steven
In a pre-budget speech last month Joyce announced a $2b boost
to additional infrastructure spending over the next four years
to $11b, and wants to almost halve net debt as a proportion
of the economy by 2025 and still has plans for potential tax
relief and improving public services up his sleeve.
The Crown's net worth of $100.4b was $7.1b ahead of forecast
because of the surpluses.
Auckland's population is growing faster than anticipated
Inner city report
We are facing one of the most exciting periods of change
in Auckland's history and we are creating unprecedented levels
of growth activity.
In the City Centre alone the Auckland Council investments
equates to $4 billion in capital projects. What is more exciting
is that the private developer investment is $10 billion.
This investment is a clear indication as to what others see
in our great city too and their commitment to build our Auckland
together. We are demonstrating to the world that Auckland
is alive, vibrant and a very exciting place to invest in,
visit and live right now.
City Centre population growth exceeds 2032 targets
The population of Auckland's City Centre has exploded compared
to the 2012 Auckland City Centre Masterplan's predictions.
In 2012, Auckland's City Centre Masterplan laid out a bold
twenty year vision for the transformation of the inner City
Centre and predicted that the City Centre's 2012 population
of 27,000 would reach 45,000 by 2032.
That figure is now expected to be reached this year - a full
fifteen years ahead of prediction and is forecast to grow
by a further 30,000 residents over the next ten years, which
is the equivalent of half of the population of Rotorua relocating
to the area within Auckland's inner motorway.
Councillor Chris Darby, Chair of Auckland Council's Planning
Committee says we're witnessing the rapid renaissance of inner-urban
living in the City Centre.
"In the five years since we adopted the Masterplan,
we've seen some incredible changes happening in central city,
both in our city's physical environment and the way people
are experiencing it. As a result people are getting out and
about and are walking in higher numbers than ever before.
Pedestrians on Queen Street have doubled since 2015 and there's
been a 34% percent increase in pedestrians across the City
Centre. Significantly, despite the growth, the City Centre
has seen no increase in private car travel. More people now
live in the City Centre than travel in by car, with public
transport, walking and cycling now making up the majority
of the peak hour trips into the City Centre."
"The vision set out in the Masterplan is the blueprint
for the changes planned over the next twenty years and it's
exceptionally exciting at this five year milestone to see
how New Zealand's highest-density urban environment is thriving
and how people's perceptions of how they get to and use their
city are changing. It's become one of the most desirable parts
of Auckland to live in."
Further five year progress updates are:
- There are 10,000 more jobs in the City Centre since 2012
and more than 100,000 people now work there.
- Office vacancy rates are at a record low 2.4 percent.
- New cycling infrastructure such as the Lightpath, inner-city
cycling lanes along with future planned developments such
as the Skypath will further support the growth of cycling.
- City Rail Link construction underway. Upon completion,
the CRL will increase the two hour morning peak period capacity
into the city by 150% and will mean that the entire City
Centre will be no more than a ten minute walk from a railway
Boom times for small tourism businesses come with a warning
4 May 2017
A survey of small and medium size tourism businesses shows
43 per cent of them reporting revenue growth over the past
But they are facing problems recruiting and retaining staff.
For this calendar year tourism operators are expecting to
do even better, with 46 per cent expecting revenue to rise
- compared to the average of 38 per cent.
The current quarter is looking particularly positive, with
almost half (49 per cent) of all SME tourism operators saying
they have more sales or bookings in the pipeline.
The survey of 1000 SME operators included 12 per cent in
the tourism sector. The survey covers business owners and
operators from sole traders to mid-sized businesses of 20
to 199 staff.
Highlighted in the media this week is the financial spinoff
from the tourism boom but also found the pressure to find
workers and this is reflected in the survey.
The survey finds this is particularly the case in Queenstown
Rising house prices have made it harder for 28 per cent of
tourism operators to recruit and retain staff, nearly twice
the SME average.
The market that is doing very well, but needs to keep a close
watch on the fundamentals in order to prevent costs and pressures
from blowing out and affecting the bottom line.
Some fundamentals New Zealand needed to address as a country
such as affordable accommodation for staff, labour shortages
during seasonal peaks and the cost of compliance especially
around health and safety and resource management.
New Zealand has a fantastic industry in tourism, but we need
to take a very careful look at how we are managing its growth
and planning for the future.
NZ dollar gains as data shows jobs growth
3 May 2017
The New Zealand dollar rose on Wednesday as stronger-than-expected
employment figures and an unexpectedly big increase in dairy
prices stoked demand for the local currency.
This lifted it from the 10-month lows it hit last week.
The kiwi climbed as high as US69.68c and was trading at 69.48c
as at 5pm in Wellington from 69.18c Tuesday. The trade-weighted
index rose to 75.37 from 74.99.
Government figures on Wednesday showed New Zealand's unemployment
rate unexpectedly fell to 4.9 per cent in the March quarter
as jobs growth rose 1.2 per cent, a faster pace than the growth
While that showed signs of a tightening labour market, wage
growth remained subdued meaning it won't drive up inflation
and will likely keep the pressure off the Reserve Bank to
hike interest rates.
A bigger increase than anticipated in dairy prices at the
latest GlobalDairyTrade auction added to the upbeat tone for
"The headline levels in the labour market figures are
strong and the market is tightening up with employment running
along very nicely, but the wage inflation story is really
non-existent and that's the more important message for the
RBNZ here," ANZ senior economist Phil Borkin said.
"The kiwi got close to that 70 (US cents) level, but
we've peeled off a little bit" as investors got past
the headline numbers and looked more closely at the detail,
Prime Minister Bill English said the kiwi was at a "pretty
positive" level for exporters and near US70c or a little
lower wasn't a bad balance for the country.
The kiwi rose to A92.51c from 91.66c late Tuesday after Australia's
central bank kept its cash rate unchanged as expected.
It gained to 4.7872 yuan from 4.7672 yuan and rose to 77.84
yen from 77.37 yen. It gained to 63.55 euro cents from 63.37
cents and advanced to 53.81 British pence from 53.63 pence.
NZ business confidence still upbeat as firms anticipate
more activity, bigger profits
28 April 2017
New Zealand business confidence stayed upbeat in April as
firms expect to see more activity on their own books and generate
A net 11 percent of companies surveyed in the ANZ Business
Outlook expect general business conditions to improve over
the coming year, unchanged from March.
Firms are optimistic about their own businesses. and still
want to hire and invest," ANZ Bank New Zealand chief
economist Cameron Bagrie said in his report.
New Zealand's economy has been underpinned by an expanding
population, record tourism, a recovery in dairy prices, and
robust consumer spending over the past year.
This has given the government confidence to boost infrastructure
spending and target a more aggressive debt reduction target
in an election year where tweaking tax settings has been dangled
as a potential vote winner.
ANZ's survey of 374 firms shows companies lifted their investment
intentions 3 points to a net 24 percent expecting to boost
capital spending, while a net 22 percent want to take on more
staff in the coming year, unchanged from March.
The survey showed residential building intentions rose to
a net 33 percent from a net 25 percent in March and commercial
construction intentions were up 12 points to a net 35 percent.
NZ exports rise 11pc to 2 year high in March as dairy values
28 April 2017
New Zealand's merchandise exports rose to their highest monthly
level in two years in March as the value of dairy exports
to China jumped by two thirds.
Exports rose 11 per cent to $4.65 billion in March compared
with the same month a year earlier, and marking the highest
monthly level since March 2015, according to Statistics New
Zealand. Dairy exports led the rise, with the value lifting
29 per cent, or $250 million, and the volume up 6.4 per cent.
The gain in dairy products accounted for over half the total
increase for exports in the month, and also marked the sixth
consecutive month-on-month increase.
Global dairy prices have started to pick up this season as
demand and supply come back into balance after record high
prices in the 2013/14 season spurred farmers to ramp up production,
causing an oversupply which led to two years of weak prices.
Exports to China, New Zealand's largest market, jumped 43
per cent in March to $1.08b, as the value of dairy products
rose 66 percent, or $114m, while the quantity rose 39 per
China continues to be our top destination for goods exports,
and accounts for a quarter of the total dairy exports value,"
Stats NZ international statistics manager Tehseen Islam said.
"This March, exports to China exceeded $1b for the first
March month since 2014."
Lamb exports to China also improved, increasing by 86 per
cent, or $57m in March. Wool exports to China showed the biggest
decline, down by 40 per cent, or $16m.
Meanwhile, imports into New Zealand rose 7.6 per cent to
$4.32b in March, led by a 35 per cent rise in passenger motor
New Zealand had a monthly trade surplus of $332m, or 7.1 per
cent of exports. This compares with an average surplus of
11 per cent of exports for the previous five March months.
The annual trade deficit for the year ended March was $3.67b,
narrower than the $3.77b shortfall in the year ended February.
A rise in work visa has been the driving force behind record
immigration numbers arriving but surprisingly the main source
countries are not from Asia.
27 April 2017
The top five source countries for work visas last year are
the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, South Africa and the
United States of America.
Immigration data found work visa arrivals increased from
16,787 in 2004 to 41,576 last year.
The United Kingdom, which made up 16.6 per cent of work visas
issued, has twice as many as those of Germany on 8.8 per cent.
Figures to be released today by Statistics New Zealand is
expected to again show strong population gains, and possibly
a sixth straight month of net migration gains exceeding 6000.
The gain in the year to February 28 hit a new record high
Excluding New Zealand and Australian citizens, most arrivals
in the year to February (43,025) were on work visas.
Of the total 128,816 arrivals, 16,833 had residence visas,
23,846 student visas, 6338 visitors and 694 others.
One source which has seen a huge increase in work visas is
South Africa, rising from 2.5 per cent in 2004 to 5.5 per
cent last year.
Massey University sociologist Paul Spoonley said migrant
from Asian countries were less likely to get direct access
to New Zealand on skilled work visa.
"They are more likely to transition to permanent residence
through temporary work and study visa routes using options
such as the transition to work provisions," said Professor
Spoonley, an expert on immigration.
"Given the penetration, and now ownership, by Australians
of industries and companies, a significant component of Australian
migration to New Zealand will involve middle and senior managers,
as well as certain experts, for these companies."
"The South African arrivals remain cyclical and the
numbers arriving will reflect certain push factors as well
as the fact that there is now a well-settled local community,"
On the rise, however, are the number of arrivals from the
UK and the USA.
Also, as a proportion, work visas for Germans have increased
from 3.1 per cent of the total in 2004.
"My guess is that we are starting to see the effects
of Brexit and the Trump presidency as push factors,"
"There was an early hint of a new interest from these
two countries in the expressions of interest figures post
the Brexit vote and the confirmation of Trump as president
... they might displace arrivals from Asia if this upward
Spoonley said high value immigrants from the UK and US will
remain and important source of skilled migrants, and expected
the numbers to trend upwards through the mid and later part
The increase in work visas pushed net migration to a record
70,600 last year.
Migrant arrivals numbered 127,300, compared with 56,7000
people leaving the country. During the period, work visas
were up 3800 to 41,600, but this was matched by a similar
drop in those arriving on student visas.
The United Kingdom comprised the largest group of visitors
planning to work here on nearly 7000, followed by France,
Germany and Australia.
In March ASB had forecast net migration would hit 72,000
in the year to March 31, and the annual gain would continue
to top 70,000 until the second half of next year. Drivers
of net migration include 9000 more Kiwis returning home and
28,000 fewer leaving.
There's also been an increase in the number of Australians
moving here, international student arrivals and 21,000 additional
working holiday visa holders.
New Zealand's population is estimated to be around 4.77 million,
according to Statistics New Zealand, and growth rates at this
level would increase it to 5 million in 2019.
Recent moves by the government to tighten immigration policy
include increasing the number of required points, toughening
of English language rules and the suspension of the parent
Last week, the government announced migrants will need to
earn more than $49,000 to qualify for the skilled migrant
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said the changes were
aimed at increasing the quality of migrants, and not reducing
Migration hits another record
26 April 2017
Net migration hit another record in the year to March of
That's up from 71,333 in the year to February and up from
70,600 in the 12 months to December.
Migrant arrivals numbered 129,500 in the March 2017 year,
Statistics New Zealand said today.
Migrant departures were 57,600 in the 12 months to March
Brownlee understands the Trump talk
Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee
25 April 2017
New Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee has one important
attribute that most foreign affairs mandarins lack. He gets
the Donald Trump phenomenon.
This is an important attribute for NZ's chief diplomat, who
takes on the foreign affairs portfolio at a time when the
Trump-led United States has switched its approach by bombing
Syria and Afghanistan and is ramping up the rhetoric on North
Prime Minister Bill English kept things simple with the first
reshuffle of his premiership.
With an election five months away, English needs a settled
Cabinet to project a sense of stability and continuity when
voters head to the ballot boxes.
Gerry Brownlee is a sound appointment as Foreign Minister
to replace Murray McCully. Brownlee is an influential figure
in the Government.
Over a long political career, he has never shied from the
battlefield. English maintains that his new Foreign Minister
could, when required, be diplomatic.
H can be combative (English referred to him as "blunt
when he needs to be and diplomatic when he needs to be").
He's not afraid to call out incompetents. But he is also witty.
This aspect of Brownlee's character is not immediately visible
but as Leader of the House for eight years he would seem to
have been an honest broker.
That is a fundamental quality in his new role, which is certain
to be busy given the rise of threats from North Korea, and
political uncertainties in Britain and France.
But Brownlee is a pragmatist. During an informal discussion
during a BusinessNZ function earlier this year - when the
Trump phenomenon was a major talking point for those who justifiably
worry that it heralds a new age of protectionism - the then
Defence Minister ran against the current by suggesting that
the US President had a point when he questioned the loss of
American jobs that followed the off shore of US manufacturing.
This particular attribute may not have been top of mind when
Bill English awarded him the coveted foreign affairs portfolio
But at a time when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Mfat)
has been directed to take a 24/7 approach to monitoring the
Trump Administration, having a minister who is interested
in what the President stands for and is prepared to forge
a personal connection with key players in Washington, will
be a plus.
The other pluses are Brownlee's background as Defence Minister
during which he has forged strong personal links with key
Chinese military figures, and, in a personal sense, the quality
of reliability which he has in spades.
His predecessor Murray McCully has already gone to Washington
and met Rex Tillerson at the counter-Isis (Islamic State)
talks hosted by the Secretary of State earlier this year.
Trade Minister Todd McClay is understood to be lined up to
be one of the first bi -laterals negotiating a USA/ New Zealand
range of trade deals. This positioning for New Zealand is
the result of good staff work by NZ officials and the Washington
Trump's own tenure as President hits the 100-day mark this
There are currently uncertainties with Europe (particularly
France where the election runoff for the presidency is still
to take place) and in Britain where Prime Minister Theresa
May has announced a snap election.
NZ manufacturing activity at 14-month high as production
steps up a gear
13 April 2017
New Zealand's manufacturing activity rose to its highest
level in 14 months in March as a jump in new orders underpinned
production, while a robust building sector continues to drive
the country's economy.
The Bank of New Zealand-BusinessNZ performance of manufacturing
index rose to a seasonally adjusted 57.8 in March at 55.7
from 53.4 a year earlier.
That's the highest level of expansion since January 2016.
A 6.1 point jump in the new orders to 64.3 was the highest
reading since 2004. This was accompanied by a 2.6 point increase
in production to 60.4, a six-month high.
While the recent rebound has been in all the right places,
it's new orders that have stood out head and shoulders. Construction
with building booms providing demand for materials.
New Zealand has one of its biggest building pipelines in
history with a major push to bridge the supply gap in Auckland's
Air New Zealand among top airlines in TripAdvisor survey
11 April 2017
Air New Zealand has been recognised in TripAdvisor's inaugural
Travellers' Choice Awards for airlines, coming in fifth overall
and named runner up in the Asia-Pacific region behind commercial
partner Singapore Airlines.Air New Zealand has also been awarded
best premium economy class.
The awards are determined by the quantity and quality of
TripAdvisor traveller reviews and ratings submitted over a
Air New Zealand's general manager of customer experience
Anita Hawthorne said the accolades reflected the airline's
commitment to delivering an outstanding experience on the
15 million customer journeys on the airline every year.
"Listening to customer feedback has helped us make strides
to improving our customer experience - including significant
investment in new technologies, innovative inflight products
and aircraft interiors, and our new and refreshed lounge spaces,''
"It's incredibly satisfying to see customers acknowledge
the efforts of our people to deliver a seamless travel experience,
right across our network," said Hawthorne.
Senior vice-president and general manager for TripAdvisor
Flights Bryan Saltzburg said the airline industry was investing
billions of dollars in new aircraft and service enhancements
to differentiate the flying experience and the awards recognised
the carriers offering the very best experiences and value.
TripAdvisor collects traveller ratings for each airline,
including customer service, inflight entertainment and seat
comfort, among others.
United Airways - which operated a flight from which a passenger
was dragged from an overbooked flight overnight - is not mentioned
in any of the categories or regional areas in the survey.
World Top 10:
1. Emirates, UAE
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Azul, Brazil
4. JetBlue, US
5. Air New Zealand
6. Korean Air, South Korea
7. Japan Airlines, Japan
8. Thai Smile, Thailand
9. Alaska Airlines, US
10. Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia
New Zealand's broadband speeding up
As a country we are downloading, streaming TV and gaming
at nearly double the speeds we were last year. The average
download speed for households and small businesses on the
Chorus network in February 2017 was 41Mbps compared with 25Mbps
the same time last year. So what's driving our acceleration
in download speeds?
As Chorus crosses the country laying ultra-fast fibre and
upgrading the technology in our copper network, more Kiwis
can, and are, taking advantage of our faster, more reliable
broadband connections. The number of households on the Chorus
network enjoying ultra-fast fibre has nearly doubled in the
last 12 months to 21%, compared with 11% in February last
year. VDSL connections have also increased to 17%, up from
12% in February 2016.
The launch of The Gig nationwide in October last year has
opened a whole new world of broadband for the over 10,000
Kiwis who made the move to our fastest residential broadband
service by the end of February. Find out more about the Gig
Our use of new technology is also driving our increase in
speed. Content is flying into our homes faster due to newer
technology such as high definition online television and more
interactive and complex online games.
New Zealand's top broadband towns
So who is leading the charge in driving our faster broadband
speeds? Dunedin is way out in front really making the most
of winning our Gigatown competition to be the first place
in New Zealand to receive our Gig broadband connection in
2014. It has an average connection speed of 196Mbps. Auckland's
North Shore City is second at 54Mbps. Third placed Rotorua
at 51Mbps is also New Zealand's fastest growing, meaning those
in the Bay of Plenty are really embracing the faster broadband
connections available to them.
Is better broadband at your place?
It is quite possible that better broadband is available at
your place too.
One of the six in ten New Zealand households can now upgrade
the country's broadband connection right away to place into
the fast lane.
Number of cranes goes sky-high
7 April 2017
The construction boom is seeing an unprecedented number of
cranes rise across New Zealand's cities, according to research
The Q2 2017 RLB Crane Index revealed a record 132 cranes
towering over New Zealand's cities, with Auckland alone accounting
"In Auckland, in particular, strong economic growth
driven by high inward migration and increasing tourist numbers,
along with solid housing activity, manufacturing and consumer
spending, has seen the rock star economy continuing to drive
the construction industry, where demand is stretching the
current supply," said Chris Haines, Rider Levett Bucknall's
"Auckland continues to dominate New Zealand skies with
72 long-term cranes, 55 per cent of all cranes observed across
the seven key centres," Haines said.
"The current index highlights a 13 per cent increase
in the number of cranes within the Auckland region since the
last count in Q4 2016.
Twenty-three new cranes have been erected and 15 have been
removed from projects that are nearing completion."
Construction work put in place increased by 20 per cent in
the 2016 calendar year, making it the fifth consecutive year
The Sky City Convention Centre, a Fletcher Building project,
sports 4 cranes alone.
However, experts have warned that continued growth in the
construction sector comes with heightened risks.
Chris Hunter, the chief at Auckland-headquartered builder
NZStrong, and Tony Maginness, a director of accountant and
insolvency specialist Staples Rodway, warned of many risks.
"This is the most dangerous time in our construction
cycle. Our supply chain pricing is going up so fast. There's
rapid cost escalation in the construction sector and it's
putting us at risk if we're not careful with our bidding,"
Maginness was also concerned.
"We are experiencing arguably the biggest construction
boom in New Zealand history, with the number of projects putting
growing pressure on construction firms and its supply chain
to deliver," he said.
"There are simply not enough resources to meet this
demand, with subcontractors, labour and materials shortages
having a significant impact on the ability of construction
firms to meet deadlines. Some companies are over trading and
are becoming victims of their own success."
Now I know why everyone loves awesome New Zealand
3 April 2017
The Daily Mail's English Journalist Mark Palmer kicked
off his eight-day tour of New Zealand in Queenstown.
Daily Mail Travel Editor Mark Palmer recently visited New
Zealand for an eight-day tour, which left him raving about
friendly Kiwis and exhilarating adventure sports. Here's what
he had to say:
The very thought of zip-wiring, bungee jumping or throwing
oneself out of planes would turn some of us into cowardly
But this is New Zealand, where adventure in the great outdoors,
however contrived, has become one of the defining themes of
a boom in visitor numbers that seems to be taking even Kiwis
Queenstown is a case in point.
Once a sleepy spot beside the extraordinarily beautiful Lake
Wakatipu (48 miles long and three miles across at its widest
point), it's now the country's adventure capital.
The can-do spirit that at first can be disarming, but it
soon grabs you and makes you ponder: "Why can't we be
as nice as these people?"
Or as proud of their country. And why is there no litter
in the street (recycling bins every 100 yards or so in many
areas must help)? And why does one feel nothing other than
100 per cent safe?
During my eight-day visit, I never once encounter any unpleasantness,
any rudeness of any kind, and for all its fresh air and adrenaline-fuelled
action, this must be why it is constantly named one of the
most desirable countries in the world to visit. People even
hitch-hike in New Zealand, for heaven's sake.
In Queenstown, he took the Skyline gondola up to the 450m-high
viewing station, past bungee jumpers, mountain bikers and
The question is: how to do it? Auckland, obviously with a
population of more than one and a half million and one that
seems to blend Maori and Kiwi culture to good effect.
But stay in Auckland at the end of your trip, rather than
at the beginning. It might seem crazy to take an internal
flight after the long, long one from the UK, but that's what
we do, arriving in Queenstown just in time to take the Skyline
gondola up to the 450m-high viewing station, past bungee jumpers,
mountain bikers and hearty trekkers.
Queenstown feels like a ski resort without snow, a student
town where every night is party night, but without the beer
brawls and ritual vomiting.
Smaller and more sedate is Wanaka, about an hour's drive
north. On the way, stop for a pint - as Prince Harry did (or
was it two?) - at the old Cardrona hotel, which, with its
Fifties petrol pump and quaint, creaking bar is a joy to behold.
Transtasman telco cable completed, boosting NZ's international
30 March 2017
A new $100 million trans-Tasman underwater cable has been
completed, the latest in a drive to boost New Zealand's connectivity
with the rest of the world.
Spark New Zealand, Vodafone New Zealand and Telstra pooled
their efforts to build the cable in late 2014 and today announced
the 2,288-kilometre link between South of Auckland and Sydney
Australia was officially open for business.
The Tasman Global Access cable uses two fibre pairs with a
capacity of 20 terabits per second and is expected to help
meet the explosion in demand that's projected to keep growing.
"The TGA cable represents a big investment in trans-Tasman
telecommunications and a huge amount of work has gone into
getting it across the line and in service."
Spark general manager of wholesale and international Jilyut
Wong said in a statement. "The added resilience and diversity
is extremely important to keeping New Zealand connected, now
and into the future."
Telecommunications Minister Simon Bridges welcomed the investment
by Spark, Vodafone and Telstra, saying the government's investment
in building a fibre network spurred demand for broadband services
and meant increased trans-national links were important infrastructure.
"This cable is another step towards ensuring we've got
affordable and robust connections with the rest of the world,"
Bridges said. "It also ensures that domestic demands
for data are supported by international capacity, setting
us up for the future."
Key to leave Parliament in April
15 March 2017
Former Jewish born PM John Key prime minister MP John Key
will be leaving Parliament for the last time next month.
Mr Key will give his valedictory speech on March 22 and his
resignation from Parliament will take effect from April 14.
His departure will be less than six months before the general
election in September, so a by-election in his Helensville
seat will be avoided.
When Mr Key resigned in December, he said he would only stay
in Parliament long enough to not trigger a by-election, which
cost roughly $1 million.
"It has been an absolute honour to serve in Parliament
since 2002, as MP for Helensville, National Party leader and
prime minister," Mr Key says.
He says he has enormous faith in the leadership team of Bill
English and Paula Bennett to provide the stability and continuity
New Zealand needs to build on that strength, while continuing
to support those in need.
It is not clear what Mr Key will do next but he has talked
about taking on directorships.
Auckland expected to deliver most jobs
15 March 2017
Auckland is expected to deliver the biggest number of new
jobs over the next four years as the country's biggest city
continues to generate above-average economic growth, says
economic consultancy Infometrics.
In a report on the economic outlook for the country's regions
and industries, Wellington-based Infometrics predicts Auckland
will add 83,550 jobs between now and March 2021, as the service
sector and finance in particular boost white-collar professions,
an ageing population stokes demand for healthcare and social
assistance work, and an expanding population drives education
and training jobs.
Auckland's gross domestic product has expanded at an average
annual pace of 3.3 per cent between March 2010 and March 2016,
outpacing the national average of 2.3 per cent, which Infometrics
says reflects "the recovery of service sector activity,
around which much of Auckland's economic activity is centred"
and as a surge in inbound net migration fuels population growth
and aggregate demand in the city.
"With New Zealand's labour market expected to remain
relatively tight throughout the next four years, we anticipate
that net migration will hold at above-average levels, sustaining
strong population growth in Auckland," the report said.
"The expanding population will provide a solid basis
for continued GDP growth in the region, which will be magnified
by the continued expansion of key service industries that
are important to the Auckland economy."
The Infometrics report notes New Zealand's period of strong
economic growth while acknowledging medium-term risks to the
outlook posed by the threat of a Chinese slowdown and the
possibility of trade sanctions between the US and China. The
economic consultancy expects New Zealand's GDP to rise an
average 2.6 per cent a year over until March 2021, with annual
jobs growth of 1.7 per cent.
New Zealand universities sit high in international rankings
8 March 2017
The University of Auckland was rated the best in New Zealand
in each of the faculty rankings, including 25th in the world
in Arts and Humanities.
The University of Auckland featured in the top 50 in the
world in 16 subjects, including two subjects in the top 20:
ranked 16th in archaeology, 20th in education, 29th in English
language and literature, 33rd in psychology, 34th in geography
and in anatomy and physiology, 36th in law, 37th in accounting
and finance, 38rd in civil and structural engineering, 42nd
in modern languages, 44th in anthropology, 45th in social
policy and administration, 49th in statistics and operational
research, and 50th in linguistics, nursing, and sociology.
New Zealand universities have again scored high rankings
in the annual QS World University Subject Rankings, with the
University of Auckland leading the pack.
Universities New Zealand executive director Chris Whelan
said there was still a lot to be proud of. "These are
outstanding results for a country with eight universities
being evaluated against 4430 other universities from around
the world," Whelan said.
"They reflect the high regard in which our universities'
teaching and research is held across a wide range of disciplines."
Now in its sixth year, the annual QS World University Rankings
by Subject compares academic reputation, employer reputation,
research citations, and impact.
Rankings played a big part in who students, researchers,
countries and research institutes chose to work and study
with, Whelan said.
"It's not about institutional vanity, it's about their
Its business school was once again ranked the best university
in New Zealand to study accounting and finance, commercial
law, business and management, property, economics and information
Green buildings more than just a buzzword
27 February 2017
Companies are seeking a new rating which saves money as well
as boosting sustainability.
Harnessing the power of young talent is helping office building
owners and tenants drive energy efficiency efforts.
University graduates are working as interns, providing free
office building assessments to businesses keen to gain benchmark
office energy performance, NABERSNZ.
NABERSNZ is a system for rating the energy efficiency of
office buildings. It is an independent tool, backed by the
New Zealand government.
The assessment interns are supervised by the New Zealand
Green Building Council (NZGBC), which delivers NABERSNZ for
the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority.
Food producer Ceres Organics is one of the first to use NABERSNZ
interns to boost its sustainability efforts.
Its Auckland headquarters is already recognised as being
built to the highest of environmental standards, achieving
a 5-star Green Building rating when it was completed three
The Green Star rating recognises the great design and construction
of a building while a NABERSNZ rating rewards ongoing energy
efficiency achieved in an occupied workplace.
More than 95 per cent of material from the derelict 70s building,
which had previously stood on the site, was diverted from
landfill and reused in the new structure - from Kauri floorboards
in the boardroom to concrete base course under the driveway.
The building is designed to make the most of natural light
and airflows, with a building management system operating
the windows opening and closing to maintain a comfortable
Ceres have been ringing up power savings of $40,000 a year
- equivalent to cutting 40 per cent off its power bill - but
are always looking to lift its sustainability game.
Facilities manager Dominic Leverton says the NABERSNZ rating
gives it an independent, external measurement that can regularly
evaluate the energy efficiency of its day-to-day operations.
NZGBC chief executive Andrew Eagles says the energy efficiency
measures implemented as part of a NABERSNZ rating have already
helped many owners and tenants achieve great results at their
buildings, starting with getting the easy wins that instantly
result in savings.
NZ - where everyone knows your name
Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett
28 February 2017
Two American tourists thought they'd found the friendliest
country in the world when they got talking to a woman at Wellington
Airport earlier this month.
Passersby kept greeting the woman by name, prompting the
Americans to enthuse about the little country where everyone
knew everyone else.
They told her they had a new president called Trump.
"You don't say?" she responded.
They said they'd heard New Zealand had also changed its leader
Yes, his name is Bill and he is a very nice man, she said.
"Do know him?" they asked.
To their amazement, she did.
They didn't spot the amused looks from people sitting nearby
when she said: "We also changed our deputy prime minister."
"Wow! You don't know him too do you?" they asked.
"Well, yes," said Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett.
Bennett told the tale during a visit to Westport last week.
She said she had planned to wade through paperwork while waiting
for a delayed flight, but gave up after the Americans asked
to share her table.
They left with photos of themselves with the Deputy PM. She
left with unfinished paperwork.
Auckland Airport, on front line of tourism boom, lifts first-half
profit by 19pc
17 February 2017
Auckland International Airport broadly met analyst expectations
with a 19 per cent gain in first-half profit although analysts
and investors see some speed wobbles as New Zealand's busiest
gateway responds to surging passenger growth.
Short-term visitor arrivals to New Zealand rose 12 per cent
to a record 3.5 million in 2016, government figures show.
In Auckland Airport's first half, international passenger
numbers (arrivals and departures) climbed about 13 per cent
to 5.1 million, while domestic passengers rose 12 per cent
to 4.3 million.
The airport welcomed four new airlines and five new services
in its first half and now has a stable of 27 airlines, 44
international and 19 domestic destinations.
New additions Hong Kong Airlines, Tianjin Airlines and Hainan
Airlines will contribute to growth in the second half of the
To cope with the growth, the company currently has 42 capital
expenditure projects underway, including security processing,
new check-in counters, upgraded baggage handling, upgraded
retail, new duty-free shops, new gates and lounges.
It has committed to a new five-star hotel, has completed
airfield stands including those that can accommodate the new
generation of jumbos such as the A380, is making progress
on plans for a second runway and has installed infrastructure
required for its new builds including water, waste water,
electricity and fuel.
Shane Solly, a director at Harbour Asset Management, said
having watched several growth cycles at Auckland Airport,
they tend to be followed by some flattening off.
"It is a tiger by the tail in terms of managing the
growth," he said. "Management is doing a very good
job managing that process. It is a near-term tactical issue,
while long term they are making the right decisions."
Tourists are discovering NZ's best-kept accommodation secret:
16 February 2017
A new breed of more independent tourists is helping drive
an explosion in the number of international visitors staying
in New Zealand motels.
Traditionally, motels have attracted far less of the international
tourist trade than other accommodation options, with about
two-thirds of motel guests being Kiwis, in part because the
concept of holiday accommodation with its own full kitchen
is almost unknown outside Australia and New Zealand.
However, Statistics NZ's November accommodation survey results,
published today, showed the sixth month in a row of 20%-plus
growth in international guest nights in motels versus the
same month a year earlier.
In November, some 378,000 of the total 1.6 million nights
spent in New Zealand by international visitors were spent
in motels, an increase of 29% on November 2015. The total
international visitor number for the month was also another
record, and up 5.1 percent on the previous November, reflecting
New Zealand's international tourism boom.
Tourism bodies put the trend to motel use down to two main
factors: international tourists "discovering" the
category and efforts to encourage travel to a wider range
of regional destinations.
"If you're successful in getting international travelers
exploring every part of the country, then you would expect
to see that motels doing well," said Chris Roberts, head
of Tourism Industry Aotearoa, an industry umbrella body. "Outside
the main centers, there are plenty of sizeable New Zealand
towns that don't have hotels," the traditional pied-a-Terre
for the visiting international tourist.
Roberts said there was also a notable increase in the use
of holiday parks by international tourists, with many such
parks now investing in more motel-style accommodation as well
as the traditional campground cabins, campervan and tent sites.
"It seems to suggest that the international traveler
is discovering the motel product, which is reasonably unique
to New Zealand," said Roberts.
Rachael Shadbolt, the general manager for communications
at Hospitality New Zealand said the wider trend to more international
travelers staying in motels was a phenomenon that motel owners
were starting to notice.
Not only was it a "different holiday experience"
but it often seemed to suit families seeing the country while
visiting international students studying in New Zealand.
New Auckland mayor welcomes future residents
7 February 2017
Wherever you are from, you can feel at home here in Auckland.
Auckland is New Zealand's largest and most international
city, with more than 180 ethnicities, including the largest
Maori population in the world. Over 40 per cent of our almost
1.5 million residents were born outside New Zealand.
This diversity gives Auckland a unique cultural identity,
with a constant cycle of events and festivals that celebrate
the histories and cultures of the many races who call our
city home, and which all take place in stunning locations
throughout our city.
We are blessed with a pristine natural environment and work
hard to preserve our native flora and fauna. Bordered as we
are by three harbours, and with more than 1,600 kms of shoreline,
we have enough beaches and parks for everyone. In lust a few
hours you can go from the solitude of a seaside cove accessible
Only by kayak or on foot, to world-renowned surf spots and
unspoiled coastal forest.
Auckland is seen by many around the world as a welcoming
and friendly city. There is a strong spirit of cooperation
across our communities and the diversity of our population
brings richness and vibrancy to our daily lives.
I want to take this opportunity to investigate Auckland as
your new home. Bring us your talent, skills, experience and
international perspective, build a better life for yourself
and your family. In return, our city will offer you a quality
of life unparalleled elsewhere in the world.
Prime Minister Bill English speaks with US President Donald
6 February 2017
New Zealand's Prime Minister Bill English got "friendly,
warm, thoughtful" Trump and even an invite to the White
House "if you're passing by."
English has given more detail on his phone call with the
US President Donald Trump, describing Trump as "warm,
civil and very thoughtful" during a call which ranged
from immigration bans to the Super Bowl.
He said the call, which he took from the roadside on Auckland's
waterfront in between Waitangi Day fixtures, was "a warm
and friendly conversation."
English said Trump had even extended an invitation to the
White House - although it was not in the usual diplomatic
"He has a more casual attitude to diplomatic relationships
than is usual, but he conveyed his enthusiasm for meeting
at some stage in the White House ... 'well, if you're passing
Despite the warm offer, English said he was unlikely to get
there before the September election. "I'd imagine it
will take some time for the new administration to bed in,
and then we've got the election campaign. I wouldn't anticipate
getting there this side of the election."
He said Trump appeared to be positive about the relationship
with New Zealand. "He thinks it's a fantastic place.
They talked about Trump's attempt to ban citizens from seven
countries entering the US - an Executive Order which has been
suspended by the US courts.
English told Trump he disagreed with the action and it was
not something New Zealand had done. "He just noted our
views. I don't think that he was surprised by people having
a different view."
The pair also discussed the different ways they dealt with
"The discussion focussed on what steps we take and the
US takes to as a way of protecting our citizens from high-risk
people coming in, which is clearly at the top of his agenda."
They also discussed trade - Trump has withdrawn the US from
the TPP and is instead planning to try to negotiate bilateral
agreements with other countries as part of his "America
English said the topic of a New Zealand-US agreement did
not come up.
"He's clearly focused on bigger agreements such as NAFTA.
And in any case we want to sort through our own process to
be sure that kind of a deal would be better than, say, a TPP
proceeding without the US."
No request was made for New Zealand to do more to combat
"[There was] I think a good understanding that we discussed
our role as a small country, a long way away, pulling our
weight in the defence of our own people around the world and
working alongside the US to contribute."
English and Trump also discussed New Zealand golfer Sir Bob
Charles and the Superbowl - English said he had thanked Trump
for taking time out to call on the day of the Superbowl.
"He knew a reasonable bit about New Zealand. He asked
about the economy and is a great admirer of Bob Charles through
his golfing contacts."
English had also passed on his thanks to Trump for the visit
of the USS Sampson to Kaikoura in the days after the earthquake.
English said "at the top" of Trump's agenda appeared
to be security and the safety of US citizens.
Trump used positive language and said he thought New Zealand
was a fantastic place.
He said they spoke for about 15 minutes.
English expected the call to be "civil" despite
the reports of a fractious phone call between Australia's
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Trump.That was over the
deal struck between the Australian Government and the Obama
administration for the US to take about 1200 refugees from
Manus Island and Nauru.
The White House is expected to put up a 'readout' summarising
the call later. In its summary of Trump's 'second week of
action' it says the aim of the calls are to "promote
an America First foreign policy."
English is about the 15th leader Trump has spoken to since
Former Prime Minister John Key had a brief conversation with
him after the US elections. He has spoken to leaders from
Israel, Russia, Germany, Mexico, India, Japan, France, Saudi
Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Korea, Jordan, China, Britain
Tourism, Immigration hit fresh records in calendar 2016
31 January 2017
In 2016, more migrants came to New Zealand on work visas
and more holidaymakers arrived than ever before.
New Zealand saw record numbers of tourists and immigrants
in 2016 with more migrants coming in on work visas and more
holidaymakers than ever before, and economists expect migrant
inflows to keep rising.
Short-term visitor arrivals, which includes tourists, people
visiting family and friends and people travelling for work,
reached 3.5 million in the year ended December 31, up 12 percent
from the year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said.
The government has extolled the benefits of immigration, with
a swelling population stoking more activity and record inflows
of tourists underpinning an economy growing at a rapid pace.
The past year has seen a marked lift in arrivals from the
UK (up nearly 2000 people on last year's levels). The increase
in arrivals is mainly due to more people coming on work or
residency visa. These trends are expected to continue to some
time, with NZ's positive economic story, including its labour
market, making it a very attractive destination. Net migration
inflows is expected to remain strong for some time.
Of the new migrants who arrived in the year, a net 33,900,
or 48 per cent, settled in Auckland, followed by a net 9.6
per cent who moved to Canterbury, net 5.2 per cent going to
Wellington and net 3.9 per cent settling in Waikato.
There was a 10 per cent lift in work visas given out in 2016
to 41,600, with that category of visa accounting for the most
migrant arrivals in the year, ahead of New Zealand and Australian
citizens at 37,700.
Today's data show a 16.2 per cent uplift in the number of
visitors holidaying in New Zealand in 2016 with 1.8 million
holidaymakers from Australia, China or the US. On an annual
basis, Australians made up 562,000 of the 1.8 million holidaymakers,
while China was the second-biggest pool at 311,000.
Business visitors rose 1.4 per cent in December from the
same month a year earlier to 17,800, and increased 5.2 per
cent on an annual basis to 289,000, about two-thirds of whom
came from across the Tasman.
Glitzy hotel boom for Auckland as city struggles with record
An artist impression of SkyCity's New Zealand International
Convention Centre hotel. The build is part of a boom in new
hotels to help Auckland cope with visitor numbers.
28 January 2017
Auckland is gearing up for the arrival of five new 5-star
hotels, including glamour chain The Ritz-Carlton.
The new developments are set to add 2500 new hotel beds over
the next 10 years, a move which will ease pressure on the
city's tourism but not eliminate the shortfall.
By 2030, at least 19 new hotels will be completed and open
for business in the City of Sails.
With Auckland experiencing record visitor growth - worth
$7 billion a year according to Auckland Tourism Events and
Economic Development (Ateed) - peak seasons and major events
are triggering shortages of places to stay.
Hotels are already in short supply across Auckland months
out from June's British and Irish Lions rugby tour, and even
UK pop star Adele's first visit to New Zealand has caused
a rush on hotel rooms for her three shows in March.
According to 'Project Palace', a 2016 report released by the
Government, the independent forecast of regional hotel activity
estimated around 2500 new hotel rooms will be built in Auckland
over the next 10 years.
However, that report also notes the expected shortfall by
2025 in Auckland is actually up to 4,300 new hotel rooms.
Ateed confirmed 19 new builds or hotel refurbishments are
slated for completion by 2030 to "help ease some of this
Some of the new players also promise to bring a next-level
of luxury to the Auckland market, with world renowned glamour
chain The Ritz-Carlton one of at least five 5-star hotels
headed for New Zealand's biggest city.
Others included the Park Hyatt Auckland and Sofitel So hotels
in the CBD and a new hotel planned for Auckland Airport.
Also, SkyCity's latest addition to the Auckland skyline will
include a 300-room, five-star hotel as part of the $700 million
New Zealand International Convention Centre.
SkyCity said it needed to build more rooms to avoid turning
"SkyCity Grand Hotel is one of New Zealand's premium
hotels and frequently runs at capacity," said Brad Burnett,
general manager of Sky Tower and SkyCity's hotels.
"The new Hobson Street hotel will help absorb future
demand for hotel rooms in Auckland, particularly with the
development of the New Zealand International Convention Centre,
with the city expecting to welcome an estimated additional
33,000 international convention delegates annually."
Ultra Fast Broadband soon to be nation wide
22 January 2017
New Zealand is rolling out faster internet to more than 150
additional towns all across the country as part of the second
phase of our Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) programme.
This means around 423,000 additional New Zealanders in both
rural and urban areas throughout New Zealand will have access
to world-class broadband.
The first phase of the UFB build will provide access to 85
per cent of New Zealanders by 2019.
The Government is investing $2 billion in rolling out faster,
better internet and making New Zealand one of the leading
OECD countries for access to fibre.
The opportunities for Auckland that this opens up are endless
and people and businesses are benefitting all around the country.
Average internet speeds have more than tripled since 2008
and set to double that again.
Employees most upbeat since 2008
20 January 2017
New Zealand employment confidence rose to its highest level
in eight years as Kiwis grew more upbeat about the prospect
of wage increases and less pessimistic about job opportunities
in what's seen as a robust labour market.
New Zealand's economy is expected to continue expanding at
a decent clip in 2017 as the recovery in global dairy prices
adds a third leg to the nation's growth, which was propelled
by a major construction pipeline and unprecedented tourism
An expanding population has been soaked up by that economic
growth with new jobs created to absorb more people, though
that's kept wages relatively stagnant over the past two years.
However, with rising oil prices and a disrupted supply chain
set to inject inflationary pressures and the building sector
still struggling to find labour, wages are also expected to
Of the 1,554 respondents surveyed, a net 29.8 percent experienced
earnings growth in the December quarter, up from 26 percent
in September, and 28.8 percent anticipate a pay rise, up from
Employees grew less pessimistic about the jobs market, which
employers have been saying it becoming increasingly competitive.
A net 5.1 percent said it was hard to get a job in the quarter,
compared to a net 12.4 percent in September, while a net 4.9
percent expect it to be harder to get a job in a year's time,
down from 6.8 percent.
New Zealand's past Xero chairman Chris Liddell appointed
Trump's strategic director
18 January 2017
chairman Christopher Liddell has been given a strategic position
in Donald Trump's administration.
The 58-year-old New Zealand businessman will lead the new
White House Strategic Development Group.
As strategic initiative director he will help bring any change
Mr Trump plans into fruition, and will interact with private
"Chris Liddell and Reed Cordish have led large, complex
companies in the private sector, and have played instrumental
roles throughout the transition," President-elect Trump
"Their skill sets are exactly what is needed to effect
substantial change, including system wide improvement to the
performance of the government. I am delighted that they will
be part of my executive team."
Mr Liddell served as executive director of transition planning
for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, and after that
election co-authored a book on presidential transition planning.
His previous business roles include chief financial officer
for General Motors, Microsoft and International Paper.
In March he told TVNZ's Q&A programme: "Donald Trump's
a very atypical president. He's not a traditional Republican.
He's not a traditional Democrat. He's a mixture of both of
"And if you want to take an optimistic view, and I'm
optimistic, I think he will actually come up with some policies
that both sides will be willing to look at."
He predicted people would see a more moderate Donald Trump
than one seen on the polarizing campaign trail, and said "It's
a lot about who he surrounds himself."
He joins other assistants to the president including Mr Trump's
son-in-law Jared Kushner, chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon,
White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and National Security
adviser Michael Flynn.
Bill English attracts attention for all the right reasons
in United Kingdom
14 January 2017
Four days into his European tour, Prime Minister Bill English
has started to attract attention from international media
with CNN's Richard Quest saying the United Kingdom could learn
a thing or two from New Zealand.
English will also travel to Germany on Monday for his meeting
with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The headlines in the United Kingdom following a meeting between
English and British PM Theresa May focused on the "Brexit
boost" English gave to May by praising her "clarity"
on the issue, as well as the promise of an early post-Brexit
free trade agreement between New Zealand and the UK.
Asked what his interest in English was, Quest said it was
because of the position New Zealand had found itself in following
the collapse of the Trans Pacific Partnership courtesy of
the election of Donald Trump and Brexit.
He said the United Kingdom was looking for "quick, easy
wins" once Brexit happened - and that was behind British
Prime Minister's eagerness to sign up early for trade talks
with New Zealand.
It could learn a lot from New Zealand about trade negotiations
- which the UK has not had to do for itself while part of
the European Union.
"How does New Zealand do it? Remember, the UK has not
negotiated its own trade deal for the best part of four decades.
They don't know how to do it."
"New Zealand is not only an example of a small country
that is surviving internationally on its own, but also is
going to be one of those touchstones that the UK is going
to try to get a very quick trade deal with.
"I think what [New Zealand] is is an example par excellence
of how a country, which is resource rich, has great ingenuity,and
manages to not only survive but thrive in challenging circumstances."
Kiwi restaurants named among world's best on list of 1000
Sid Sahrawat of Sidart Restaurant
15 January 2017
Eight New Zealand restaurants have been named in a prestigious
list of the world's 1000 best eateries.
La Liste is a restaurant guide compiled from hundreds of
guidebooks and online review sites to list the world's 1000
Seven of the Kiwi restaurants to crack the list are in Auckland
- The French Cafe, The Grove, Sidart, Kazuya, Cocoro, Merediths
and Baduzzi - with Christchurch's Roots also making it.
Sidart owner and chef Sid Sahrawat is stoked that his restaurant
has made the list for the second year in a row.
"It's a very important list to be a part of. For all
the restaurants included it's an amazing achievement,"
he told the Herald.
He noticed the benefits of being included in the list almost
immediately. "Last year there was a dramatic increase
in terms of the reservations straight away, the emails were
a lot busier and there were a lot more overseas reservations."
Last year there were four Kiwi restaurants on the list, and
Sahrawat said doubling that number showed the high quality
of the fine dining scene in New Zealand.
"I think it just goes to show how good New Zealand restaurants
are becoming, and it's just going to keep getting better."
Sahrawat has just returned from a trip to Melbourne, and
said Kiwi cuisine now compares to the best from across the
"The quality of the restaurants now I think are as good
as any other overseas. I really think that we're on par with
what's happening around the world now."
My Kitchen Rules NZ judge Ben Bayly is executive chef of
two restaurants on the list, The Grove and Baduzzi. He told
the Weekend Herald he was "so proud" to be associated
with two establishments which were included.
"It's a tough gig running a restaurant, everyone's a
food critic, there's not too many other jobs in this world
where you get judged so much."
Baduzzi is a newcomer to La Liste while The Grove makes a
repeat appearance. Bayly was quick to credit the staff at
Baduzzi for getting the restaurant into the world's top 1000.
He echoed Sahrawat's call that New Zealand restaurants are
of a similar standard to the very best internationally.
"People appreciate what good food is, and restaurateurs
can see an opportunity.
Auckland's Karekare beach named among the best in the world
21 January 2017
An Auckland beach has been named one of the best in the world,
beating famous sandy spots in Australia, Brazil and beyond.
Karekare Beach on Auckland's west coast took second place
in a list of the 25 best beaches in the world chosen by Passport
Magazine, a gay travel publication.
The picturesque black sand beach was famously featured in
Jane Campion's The Piano and was the only Kiwi beach named
on the list.
"Karekare might be a movie star, but it wears its fame
and beauty effortlessly," judges wrote.
"Adding to the drama is the jaggedness of the coast,
the fine dark sand, the rough-hewn peaks, the alluring Karekare
Falls just moments away, and, most of all, the overpowering
elements, the impression of being out at the edge of the world."
The top spot was taken by L'Espiguette Beach, Aigues-Mortes
in the French Riviera, while Panama's Bocas Del Toro came
Let the good times roll in 2017: ASB Bank
10 January 2017
ASB Bank senior economist Jane Turner said much would depend
on the international outlook.
The New Zealand economy is set to move into high gear in
2017, according to ASB Bank.
The bank said this year was shaping up to be "full of
promise" after a slow start in 2016.
the groundwork has been laid for the New Zealand economy to
shift back into high gear," said ASB senior economist
Strong population growth and low interest rates have fuelled
construction demand and a tourism boom has the retail sector
humming, she said in a commentary. The labour market has tightened
and households now feel more confident.
Combined with a sharp shift in the US growth/inflation outlook,
New Zealand and international interest rates have lifted quite
sharply in a short space of time.
Nonetheless, New Zealand interest rates do remain relatively
low for the time being, but borrowers must brace for higher
interest rates in coming years, she said. Meanwhile, savers
can finally breathe a sigh of relief, as nominal yields continue
to improve over the coming year, Turner said.
"All going well, 2017 should be a prosperous year for
New Zealand. But, as always, being a small open economy which
is subjected to the whim of global sentiment, we need to also
prepare for the unexpected," she said.
"As we start a new year, household confidence is now
well above average levels and points to stronger consumer
Wynyard Quarter changes ramp up in 2017
6 January 2017
New apartments, construction of the five-star $200 million
hotel, offices and transformed streetscapes: expect to see
big changes with the urban renewal of Auckland's waterfront
Wynyard Quarter in 2017.
The busiest two years in the 20-year regeneration are now
in full swing.
The new ASB Waterfront Theatre has been opened, along with
the heritage Mason Bros. building and work on other sites
has proceeded at pace.
When the quarter is fully developed by around 2030, it will
be home to about 3000 residents and 25,000 workers.
A spokesperson for the Auckland Council-controlled Panuku
Development Auckland which is in charge of the work said a
tremendous amount of activity would occur in the area in 2017.
The heritage warehouse, Mason Bros. building has been completed
with the official building opening is planned for early 2017.
Construction of the $200 million seven-level Park Hyatt Hotel
on Halsey St opposite the new ASB Waterfront Theatre began
in the middle of 2016.
The hotel will be 29,000sq m with 195 rooms, food and beverage
outlets, event spaces, spa, fitness centre and a 25m pool.
The building was designed by local architecture firm, Bossley
Architects working with Singapore-based AR+D with interior
design by Conran + Partners.The hotel's design is based on
the notion of a Maori cloak, "a double skin offering
warmth, privacy and beauty", the project's web site says.
A new public walkway will be created between the hotel and
the waterfront on the Viaduct Harbour edge, continuing the
existing walkway in front of the Stratis apartment buildings
and Sofitel Hotel.
The Park Hyatt Auckland will be the first Park Hyatt hotel
in New Zealand and is due to open in 2018.
The innovation precinct is also to be completed in late 2017.
"Residential apartment developmenl be completed in early
Those are the 113-unit Wynyard Central and the 49-units overlooking
the Viaduct Basin.
Tenants will also move into the new Datacom headquarters
opposite Air New Zealand's world headquarters. This $86.2m
headquarters is a 16,735sq m building.
Auckland celebrates 2017 with spectacular New Year's eve
1 January 2017
New Zealand is among the first countries to have welcomed
in 2017 with a spectacular firework display from Auckland's
Thousands of cheering revellers rang in the New Year there
at 11am as multi-coloured fireworks exploded across the city
skyline at midnight.
The Sky City casino and event centre's impressive tower provided
a dramatic backdrop to the annual fireworks just an hour after
Samoa welcomed in 2017.
The pyrotechnic display included 500kg of fireworks and lasted
over 5 minutes.
Giant cruise liner sails into Auckland
27 December 2016
The largest cruise ship to traverse New Zealand's waters,
made its debu t in Auckland this morning.
The ship carries 6400 guests and crew and the economic benefit
of its visits have been touted in the millions.
Its owners claim it is the most technologically advanced
liner to have sailed in New Zealand waters.
It features such diversions as bumper cars, a circus school,
rock-climbing on the ship's funnels, a surf machine and a
viewing pod, 90m of which can be extended above the water.
It has 18 restaurants.
The 168,666- is owned by cruise line operator Royal Caribbean.
Auckland businesses can look forward to an economic boost,
during a typically quiet spell, with the cruise expected to
contribute more than $1.5 million to the city's economy this
Royal Carribean managing director Adam Armstrong said the
arrival of the Ovation in New Zealand was a first for the
"This occasion marks the first time that a cruise line
has ever based a brand new ship in this market. We're so proud
to share this momentous occasion with the people of New Zealand."
Christmas message from Bill English - New Zealand's new
23 December 2016
As 2016 comes to an end and we head into next year, I'm looking
forward to leading a Government that ensures the benefits
of our strong economic growth are widely shared.
We'll be building on some of the good progress we've made
- New Zealand now has the fourth-fastest growing economy
in the developed world and 144,000 jobs have been created
over the past year.
- Average annual wages are up $12,000, or 25 per cent, since
2008 - double the rate of inflation.
- We achieved a government surplus of $1.8 billion this
year, giving us choices in the future.
- As well as getting the books in order, we increased benefits
for families with children by $25 a week this year - the
first government in 43 years to increase benefits beyond
- Paid parental leave was increased to 18 weeks and we also
extended its eligibility.
Next year our focus will remain on achieving the best results
for all New Zealanders, including the most vulnerable. We'll
also be building the roads, public transport, schools and
homes needed to support a strong economy and growing population.
I wish you and your family all a very Merry Christmas, a
Happy New Year, and all the best for 2017.
The economy basks in the sun looking towards 2017
22 December 2016
The sunny economy will be a comfort to Kiwis as they head
into their holidays.
New Zealanders can go on holiday this week with the knowledge
that next year should be one of steady growth.
A raft of data including monthly trade, migration, building
permits, current account and online jobs, give a good snapshot
of how the economy is behaving and all the signs are that
it will be a prosperous New Year.
Migrants, tourists continue to flock to NZ
21 December 2016
New Zealand is proving more popular than ever with a record
number of migrants and tourists visiting our shores.
There were 70,400 more migrants arriving than leaving the
country in the year to November, beating the previous annual
record of 70,300 set a month earlier.
Stats NZ said the increase was driven by a rise in migrant
arrivals and a lower number of departures.
Hundreds of thousands of people flock to New Zealand ever
This included a record 126,700 migrant arrivals in the year
to November and 56,300 migrant departures.
New Zealand and Australian citizens made up 30 per cent of
all arrivals at 37,500, while a further 41,200 people came
on work visas.
Student visa holders accounted for 24,600 arrivals and resident
visa holders 16,500.
A November record of 333,600 visitors and tourists also arrived
in the month, up 11 per cent on a year ago, while the number
of visitors in the year to the end of November rose to 3.45
million, up 12 per cent on a year earlier.
Project Auckland: Public transport use on the rise
14 December 2016
Public transport is the critical centrepiece and our biggest
opportunity to solve the transport problems in Auckland, says
Dr Lester Levy. is Chairman of Auckland Transport.
We live in exciting and challenging times in Auckland as
we deal with transport infrastructure as well as unprecedented
growth in our population. This provides us with some extreme
challenges and has really put transport in Auckland under
Fifty five per cent of New Zealand's recent population growth
has been in Auckland where the population will reach 1.6 million
Fundamentally this means that Auckland will have grown by
over 125,000 people in the past three years, effectively absorbing
a city the size of Tauranga.
Public transport is clearly important because it has the
capacity to move many people, quickly and effectively. The
new electric trains, AT Hop and key rail station developments
are already revealing their worth through record public transport
use on the city's rail network.
Bus generally does not get the same profile as trains but
nonetheless is critical to transport in Auckland. In point
of fact, bus is the backbone of public transport accounting
for around 80 per cent of the total public transport use in
The redesign of the bus service network is the biggest change
for Auckland public transport in recent decades with the first
stage implemented in South Auckland in October.
Along with simpler fares, the new bus network will offer
for the first time a new value proposition for public transport
in Auckland similar to successful overseas cities.
Within Auckland's public transport model, rapid transit stands
out as the real opportunity. In Auckland people have already
voted with their feet as shown by the annual compound growth
of the northern network busway and the rail network.
An increasing share of our public transport network usage,
and certainly our growth, is related to the rapid transit
We plan to extend and enhance this network with the City
Rail Link, the augmented Northern busway, the Ameti busway,
the Northwestern busway, and a mass rapid transit solution
across the isthmus and out to the airport.
How new $850m Auckland tower could look
14 December 2016
This new image shows how Commercial Bay, Auckland's biggest
new office tower and shopping centre, could look once it is
NZX-listed landlord Precinct Properties released the new
view of the 39-level $850 million tower, looking down Albert
St towards the waterfront.
The tower, which will be 180m tall, appears at the centre
with the heritage DFS Galleria on the right and the AMP tower
on the left.
The block will be Auckland's first structural steel-framed
high-rise office tower, with 39,000sq m or 3.9ha of floor
It will have a 1300sq m lobby opening onto a 1400sq m sky
Demolition of buildings on the site is complete. The PwC
building will be finished around the middle of 2019 and Auckland
Transport's city Rail Link tunnels will run beneath it.
Bill English becomes new Prime Minister of New Zealand
12 December 2016
Bill English has emerged from the National Party caucus confirmed
as its leader and the new Prime Minister of New Zealand following
John Key's surprise resignation last week.
He is set to be sworn in as Prime Minister on Monday afternoon.
Bill English quickly secured enough caucus votes to be named
"We will focus on roads, public transport, schools and
houses needed to support a strong economy and growing population,"
he said. "I want to be a positive Prime Minister for
New Zealand. We are a country that has matured in many ways."
English told reporters that there would be a cabinet reshuffle
before Christmas, but would not be drawn on exactly when.
"It will be a cabinet that can make decisions that can
work for New Zealand," he said.
He added politics and the country was in different shape
compared to his failed election bid in 2002.
"That was a time when the Labour Party was at its peak.
I have learned a lot since then."
WHAT BILL ENGLISH SAID:
On Catholicism - "I'm an active Catholic and proud of
it. It's an influence on forming my judgement. It doesn't
define me but it's an influence. "My views on abortion
and euthanasia are well known and I would vote differently
now on gay marriage."
On Pike River - "I won't have the time to meet with
[the families] tomorrow (Tuesday). I am willing to give consideration
to meeting with the families."
On Paula Bennett (deputy Prime Minister) - "She brings
with her the political experience of winning and holding marginal
seats and enacting world leading welfare reform."
On sharing economic growth - "I am of the view that
the government can do a better job with supporting the most
On Australian-New Zealand relations - "It will progress
positively. We need Australia to be doing well. That helps
The Prime Minister's position will officially become vacant
after John Key's formal resignation in Government House on
There are expected to be more tweaks to come in terms of
cabinet and policy.
"We'll use it as an opportunity for a stocktake and
we'll see how that looks in January, February," he said.
Investor policy changes to encourage growth
7 December 2016
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says changes to the
migrant investor policy will encourage investments that provide
greater economic benefits for New Zealand.
"There's no doubt the Migrant Investor categories are
performing well with $2.9 billion invested since they were
launched in July 2009 and a further $2.1 billion in funds
committed," Mr Woodhouse says.
"However, around two thirds of investment is currently
placed in bonds and the government believes there is an opportunity
to rebalance this towards growth-oriented investments.
"That is why we are making changes to increase the amount
and performance of investment while better recognising the
non-financial contribution of migrant investors."
The changes include:
- Doubling the funds Investor 2 migrants must invest to
- Removing the need for Investor 2 migrants to hold $1 million
in settlement funds.
- Recognising higher levels of business experience and English
language skills through changes in the points system.
- Increasing the annual cap of approved Investor 2 migrants
from 300 to 400.
- Rewarding investment in growth-oriented investment with
incentives such as bonus points, priority processing, and
a financial discount.
"Many investors tend to move into growth focused investments
as they become more familiar with the New Zealand environment.
These changes will encourage them to do so earlier in the
process while incentivising investments that deliver greater
economic benefits for New Zealand," Mr Woodhouse says.
The changes will come into effect in May 2017.
Parker is New Zealand's first world heavy weight boxing
11 December 2016
Kiwi boxer Joseph Parker is the new heavyweight champion of
the world after edging Andy Ruiz Jr by majority decision in
The fight for the WBO belt went down to the most slender
of margins on Saturday night, with Parker earning a 115-113
victory from two judges and a 114-114 draw from the third.
Parker, 24, started the fight slowly but grew into the contest,
dominating the closing rounds as his stocky opponent began
And his superior fitness and punching power told in the end,
making him the first Kiwi to be crowned heavyweight world
He's likely to seek a unification fight overseas in 2017
or a bout with former champion Tyson Fury when he's recovered
from substance abuse.
The fifth round proved more fortuitous for Parker, hitting
Ruiz with a left-hand blow to the face and setting himself
up for a dominant sixth-round performance.
But with half the fight gone, it remained difficult to pick
the man with the upper hand.
But as Ruiz began to tire, Parker found new ways of getting
under his defence via uppercuts and several right-hand blows
to the face.
"What a dream come true," Parker said immediately
after the fight.
The 25 richest, healthiest, happiest, and most advanced
countries in the world
10 December 2016
The Legatum Institute, a London based research institute
released on Thursday its 10th annual global Prosperity Index,
a huge survey that ranks the most prosperous countries in
The amount of money a country has is one factor of prosperity,
but the Legatum Institute considers much more than that in
The organisation compared 104 variables to come up with its
list. These variables include traditional indicators like
per-capita gross domestic product and the number of people
in full-time work, but also more interesting figures such
as the number of secure internet servers a country has, and
how well-rested people feel on a day-to-day basis.
The variables are then split into nine subindexes: economic
quality, business environment, governance, education, health,
safety and security, personal freedom, social capital, and
The index looked at the 149 countries in the world that have
the most available data. For the last seven years of the index,
Norway has taken the top spot, but in 2016 a new nation is
the world's most prosperous.
Find out the result below.
1. New Zealand - Officially the most prosperous country
on earth, according to the Legatum Institute, New Zealand
ranked top of both the social capital and economic quality
sub-indexes, and 2nd for business environment and governance.
Who is Haruhisa Handa? The billionaire backing NZ Football
Dr Haruhisa Handa at the 2016 BMW ISPS Handa New Zealand
8 December 2016
Who is Haruhisa Handa and why is the spectacularly successful
Japanese billionaire funding New Zealand sport?
That's the question that has emerged from today's announcement
that Handa is partnering with New Zealand Football and will
sponsor one of the oldest trophies in our sporting history,
the Chatham Cup which started in 1923.
Described by Forbes Magazine as "one of the most fascinating
and beguiling figures in Japan, Handa is not only a wealthy
businessman and philanthropist but is also a Shinto priest,
an operatic baritone, an expert calligraphist, artist, specialist
in poetry and an avid golfer.
He has performed on the opera stage many times, including
with top performers such as Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo
and Renee Fleming as well as pop star Michael Bolton.
His works of art even featured in a British museum exhibition.
Handa is also the founder of ISPS Handa.
The acronym stands for International Sports Promotion Society
and the group, formed in 2006, has a growing history of supporting
sport in New Zealand.
For four years they were the title sponsor for the New Zealand
Women's Open where they played a role in the recovery of Christchurch
following the damage caused by the earthquakes.
In a profile, Forbes Magazine, considered a business bible,
lauded Handa's passion, describing him as a "global philanthropist"
who is "refreshing and courageous" having overcome
a conformist society in Japan that was often "curiously
suspicious of his efforts".
"Dr Handa is someone to admire and to watch," wrote
the magazine. "The breadth and scope of what he contributes
not only with his financial support but also with his personal
energy and commitment is unique.
"He practices each and every discipline he is involved
"New Zealand is not the only country I have supported
football," he said. ""It would be wonderful
to see the impact in New Zealand".
Handa was made an honorary appointment to the New Zealand
Order of Merit in 2016 for services to golf and philanthropy.
Revealed: Auckland suburbs are first-home buyer favourites
Mangere was this year's most popular area for Auckland's
first home buyers
8 December 2016
Auckland first-home buyers are active in six suburbs where
places can be bought for an average $641,000 to $708,000,
new figures out today reveal.
Mangere was the most popular this year, with 39 per cent
of all sales going to first home buyers at an average $641,000,
up 13 per cent on last year, according to CoreLogic data.
The 60 places sold there were mostly standalone three-bedroom
houses built in the 1960s and 1970s selling from mainly $392,000
to $847,000, according to CoreLogic senior researcher Nick
Birkdale followed with 73 sales to first home buyers making
up 38 per cent all sales for an average $708,000. First home
buyer numbers rose 6 per cent on last year.
Glen Eden followed with 136 houses or 37 per cent bought
by first home buyers, paying from $395,000 to $1.05m. Most
of the houses were three-bedroom standalones built between
the 1950s and 1980s and sold at any average $696,000.
In Ranui, first home buyers bought 83 places, making up 37
per cent of the market, up 8 per cent on last year, paying
an average $643,000.
In Hobsonville, first home buyers bought 73 places, up 15
per cent this year, paying $400,000 to $949,000 and purchasing
mostly two-bedroom places.
In Avondale, 92 places went to first home buyers, up 6 per
cent on last year, paying an average of just under $738,000.
A new Mangere housing scheme, Market Cove, is selling off-the-plan
residences starting from $425,000.
Guy Taylor, general manager of the planned Market Cove, said
building work was due to start next year
First homebuyers know interest rates have been historically
low and have set about getting themselves on the ladder."
he said. Deposits are coming from the traditional ways of
saving and family support.
New Zealand economy - into 2017
8 December 2016
Stronger for longer - extractys from a leading bank chief
The New Zealand economy is humming along nicely.
Annual GDP growth hit 3.6%in June, and the economy appears
to have maintained this commendable pace of growth through
the second half of the year, with2017also shaping up well.
International events still have the capacity to surprise.
The creditable performance of the New Zealand economy is
not new news. It's been a feature of our resent Economic Overviews.
However a new facet of the story has been the broadening
nature of that growth including construction and tourism are
continuing to chug along.
In recent months there has been a broader improvement across
sectors in addition there has been a notable improvement in
the dairy sector, which we had expected to remain a drag on
Also in contrast to expectations, migration has continued
its record breaking run, rising to a new all-time high of
almost 70,000 in September.
Policy play an important role when it comes to arrivals of
migrants on the various categories, and the government has
recently announced measures aimed at reducing these flows.
However much of the swing in net migration relates to trans-Tasman
migration of both Australian and New Zealanders, for whom
there are no significant restrictions on most people's ability
to live and work in either country.
For these people, economic incentives dictate the flows.
For most that boils down to labour market opportunities.
At a glance simply comparing unemployment rates suggest New
Zealand. But in reality New Zealand's out performance is more
Australia's unemployment rate has been declining against
a backdrop of falling participation, and a shift toward part-time
work. That's in stark contrast to the situation in New Zealand.
Consequently, the very weak out flows to Australia of New
Zealanders is a trend we're likely to see continue for some
From a much larger pool of overseas New Zealanders than is
acknowledged, considering many left as single and are now
married with families, the open access to returning home Kiwis
numbers is likely to be maintained and probably will increase
given the uncertainty of overseas. economies.
Strong net migration inflows in prime working age cohorts
have supported a big lift in participation in the labour force.
But employment growth has been even stronger. This has seen
the unemployment rate fall to 4.9%-its lowest level since
We expect to see the unemployment rate decline further in
2017 as strength in economic activity leads to further hiring
New Zealand farewells its greatest leader
6 December 2016
Key has announced his intension to resign as New Zealand's
The Prime Minister leaves with the polls showing he is still
as popular by as larger margin as he has been through the
last 8 years.
It's a day that sees the finest leader our country has ever
known deciding to resign in a style true to himself, on his
own terms and in his own time. None of us would or should
have expected anything less.
It has been a privilege and an honour for the vast majority
of Kiwis particularly those of the Jewish faith, to of experienced
the 8 years under his leadership.
We can all be exceptionally proud of such a courageous, effective,
pragmatic and down to earth politician.
His strong, confident leadership has been exceptional. He
leaves an amazing legacy of a country that is now the envy
of many others in the world, with a strong economy that provides
us with real choices in the near future.
It's now time to hand him back to his devoted family and
thank them for sharing him with us and the nation for as long
as they did.
While the gap John Key leaves is vast he leaves with a legacy
that New Zealand is regarded economically and as a nation,
one of the most progressive in the developed world.
New Zealanders under John Key's exceptional leadership ends
on the 12th December and the new Prime Minister will be appointed
to carry forward John Key's mandate as country head into the
2017 General Election.
For now let us celebrate the end of an amazing political
career of New Zealand's greatest Prime Minister.
Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen clinches V8 Supercars title with
3 December 2016
Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen clinched the Australian V8 Supercars
title with an incredible drive.
A stunning come-from-behind drive in Sydney has delivered
New Zealand's Shane van Gisbergen his first Supercars championship.
He becomes the first New Zealand-born driver to win an Australian
touring car crown since Jim Richards in 1991.
Van Gisbergen had been considered a mercurial talent since
he started racing in the category in 2007 as a gung-ho 18-year-old.
But after switching to the factory-backed Red Bull outfit
this season from the family-run Tekno Autosports, the 27-year-old
has been incredibly consistent and measured.
He finished on the podium in each of the past eight races
leading up to the finale, including Sandown, Bathurst and
Auckland Airport warning: The summer squeeze is coming
2 December 2016
should allow extra time during the summer peak when there
will be up to 30,000 passengers a day using the international
terminal, up 15 per cent on last year.
Passengers should get there 30 minutes earlier than usual,
the airport says.
It has also publicly listed the busiest 10 days during summer.The
airport will handle 150 flights a day as inbound tourism and
travel by Kiwis booms.
Three new airlines are due to begin services during the next
two months and current carriers are boosting capacity to meet
There is a major upgrade of the international departure area
with new passport control, security screening and processing
area, and some new space for two duty-free stores.
During the past financial year total passenger numbers were
up 9 per cent to 17.3 million. Eight new airlines announced
services during the year and since June 30 two more had said
they are coming here.
Judy Nicholl, Auckland Airport's general manager - aeronautical
operations, said the company was taking steps to deal with
the summer peak. It had installed 45 mobile international
self-service check-in kiosks; re-configured its international
check-in area to provide 13 more service counters and upgraded
its international baggage handling system.
On the airfield it had built a new taxiway and a new fully-serviced
airfield stand, and two improved remote airfield stands to
accommodate larger international aircraft.
Connecting Auckland to Northland
1 December 2016
The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has approved the Puhoi
to Warkworth road consortium.
The NX2 Consortium will design, build and finance the road,
a process that's expected to take five years.
The Overseas Investment Office said it was satisfied the
criteria of substantial and identifiable benefit to New Zealand
had been met. This includes jobs, new technology or business
skills and greater efficiency or productivity.
The OIO was also satisfied that it met criteria under strategically
important infrastructure, advance significant government policy
or strategy and economic interests.
In September a board of inquiry approved the Transport Agency's
proposal to build the 18.5km extension of the Northern Motorway
from Puhoi to just north of Warkworth.
Photographer Marti Friedlander passed away in Auckland
16 November 2016
Martha "Marti" Friedlander (CNZM) was a New Zealand
photographer who emigrated from England in 1958. She was known
for photographing and documenting the country's people, places
and events, and was considered one of the country's best photographers.
She was aged 88.
Rabbi Friedler's Eulogy for Marti Friedlander
Dear Gerard, family, community, and the many friends of Marti,
Our Rabbis, in the Ethics of the Fathers, taught us the proper
characteristics one should cling to in his life:
Rabbi Eliezer says: A good eye. Rabbi Yehoshua says: A good
friend. Rabbi Yose says: A good neighbour. Rabbi Elazar says:
A good heart.
Marti had it all. A good eye: What is a good eye? One can
think that an eye is a very passive organ, it's only a reflection
of the outside world. Marti taught us that the eye can be
very good, not only in capturing a moment, through the lenses
of a camera, but also by seeing the beauty in the world and
in humanity. In her good eye and love of people she managed
to turn a single moment to an everlasting moment of beauty
and grace. It was a mixture of great talent with endless love
From her early years in the Jewish orphanage in London she
was grateful for what she had. When she came to NZ with her
beloved husband it was this attitude of good eye which made
her the most acclaimed photographer in this wonderful country.
Look around you: how many good friends and good neighbours
can we see here today? Marti knew how to give from herself
to each and one of her friends whether he was a neighbour
who lived close by, or a friend from a far. Everyone could
feel her friendship and love. Her laugh was so contagious.
Her last speech, given just a few weeks ago when she received
the honorary doctorate from the Auckland University, reflected
her good heart. Thanking everyone, thanking the nurses in
the hospital who looked after her, thanking her best friends
and of course her beloved husband Gerard. The love between
the two of you, after 60 years of life together, is inspiring
by all means. Marti could not have succeed in her amazing
work without your love and support.
Marti was always busy until her last moment. She said to
me many times, "Life is so busy, I have no time!".
But she always found time in her busy lifestyle for her friends
or to help others in need.
She was one of the most influential Jews in NZ, and she was
always proud of this connection.
Dear Gerard, Marti will be missed by all, but we can't even
imagine how hard it is for you right now.
I want you to remember you are not alone. You are surrounded
by wonderful family and friends. Marti may physically not
be here anymore, but she will always be with you wherever
Marti left a big hole that we may find hard to fill, but
we can all try to be a little bit like Marti so that her legacy
will endure: Love to people and humanity, optimism even when
times are difficult, and always be grateful.
Marti's thousands of photographs reminded me the lyrics of
a famous song you might know:
We keep this love (to Marti) in a photograph
We made these memories for ourselves
Where our eyes are never closing
Hearts are never broken
And time's forever frozen still
May her memory be a blessing to all of us.
Migration hits highest level in more than 25 years
16 November 2016
Permanent and long-term international migration to New Zealand
is at its highest level in more than 25 years.
The country had a net gain of 69,954 people as a result of
permanent and long-term migration in the year to September,
according to Statistics New Zealand figures.
That was the highest net gain in more than 25 years and up
on 61,234 last year and 45,414 the previous one.
Most migrants have settled in Auckland.
Dairy prices soar
2 November 2016
Dairy product prices climbed substantially at the Global with
whole milk powder soared 19.8% to $US3317 a tonne.
The GDT price index jumped 11.4% to $US3327, up from $US2965
at the previous auction two weeks ago.
Whole milk powder soared 19.8% to $US3317 a tonne - breakeven
territory for many farmers.
Last week Fonterra said it reduced its forecast milk volume
for the 2016-17 season. Dairy markets reacted sharply to tightening
milk supply in New Zealand.
Jobless rate falls below 5% for first time since 2008, wage
2 November 2016
New Zealand's unemployment rate fell below 5% for the first
time since December 2008 as employers took on more staff than
expected, although that didn't spur wages to rise at a faster
pace. The kiwi dollar rose on the figures.
The unemployment rate fell to 4.9% in the three months ended
September 30 from a revised 5% rate in June, Statistics NZ
Employment grew 1.4% in the quarter, outpacing a 0.5% gain
economists were picking, with rental, hiring and real estate
services adding 5,000 jobs in the period. That was also faster
than a 0.7% increase in the size of the working-age population,
which helped drive up the participation rate to a record 70.1%,
though a new methodology influenced that series.
"This strong growth in employment, coupled with fewer
unemployed people, pushed the unemployment rate below 5% for
the first time in nearly eight years," labour and income
statistics manager Mark Gordon said in a statement.
The New Zealand dollar rose to 72.05USc from 71.81USc immediately
before the report was released. The trade-weighted index climbed
to 77.49 from 77.16.
New Zealand's swelling population, fuelled by record migration,
has kept wage increases limited in recent years, stifling
domestically generated inflation at a time when a strong kiwi
dollar makes imported products cheaper. That low level of
consumer price inflation has contrasted with rapid gains in
asset prices such as housing and made life difficult for the
Reserve Bank, which has refrained from slashing interest rates
for fear of stoking an ebullient property market.
Today's data show wage inflation remained muted increasing
0.4% in the quarter, unchanged from the previous quarter,
and in line with economists' expectations.
Public sector wages rose 0.7% in the quarter, due largely
to new collective agreements for nurses, primary teachers
Southland reported the highest rate of union membership at
23.6% while Auckland had the lowest at 16%.
Auckland accounted for more than half of the new jobs added
in the quarter.
Auckland's Harbour Bridge Sky Path gets resource consent
2 November 2016
Above is a computer generated image of the proposed Sky Path
cycleway and pedestrian footbridge to be built on the Auckland
Harbour Bridge eastern side of the bridge.
Resource consent has been issued for Auckland's Sky Path harbour
Chief Environment Judge Newhook approved Sky Path's consent
in the Environment Court today.
New Zealand's Steven Adams (USA Netball star) has what no
other NZ sports person has ever achieved by a mile - a whopping
NZ$142 million NBA deal
2 November 2016
Steven Adams' provides the Oklahoma City Thunder with something
that not many other players can.
Not only did the deal prove that NBA centres still get paid
big money, but it also showed how prominent Steven Adams is
now becoming - regarded as as one of the brightest talents
in the league.
And there's something he has, that almost all others struggle
with, Oklahoma City Thunder writer Nick Gallo thinks.
"The number on quality that this Thunder organisation
and the people of Oklahoma City love about Steven, is he is
perhaps one of the most selfless players at this level of
skill and talent in the NBA," Gallo told the Radio Sport
"I think people view Steven as a player who is not defined
by the numbers he puts up. His intrinsic value on the court
comes in so many different other ways."
Gallo said the value he places on teamwork, winning, and
effort is what separates him from others in the league.
But he also believes the 23-year-old can muscle it in the
stats column as well.
"The Thunder is getting a player who is not even scratching
his prime yet but looks to be one of the best two-way centres
in the NBA for years to come," he said.
"Numbers may look different from night to night for
Steven just based on how the defence is playing against the
Thunder, but I think they know they are going to get 100 per
cent total effort."
Gallo had spoken to Adams after the deal and said he wanted
to stay in Oklahoma because it reminded him of New Zealand
- even taking a potential pay-cut to make it happen.
China tourism growth set to accelerate with increased flight
31 October 2016
More than 50 flights operate between China and New Zealand
each week but by the end of the year, more than 70 flights
will operate between Auckland, Christchurch and the major
cities of China, not necessarily those cities on the eastern
part of China but also you can go west, go to the hinterland
This certainly gives the consumers of both China and New
Zealand more options, more choices and also more competitive
New Zealand tourism arrivals rose 11 percent to a record
3.4 million in the year through September, with Chinese arrivals
jumping 24 percent to 406,000, according to the latest data.
Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts told
a Tourist conference new infrastructure was required to meet
"There is investment happening - we just need a lot
more of it," Mr Roberts said. "We are currently
experiencing unprecedented growth and there are very good
reasons to expect that strong growth to continue. New Zealand
undoubtedly is an attractive place to visit and more and more
of the world wants to come here.
"Our focus is not limited to just hotels, which was
just a small part of the supply chain," he said. "We
can broaden our view to a large area, to the whole supply
chain of the tourism industry."
A big year for those investing in technology
New Zealand's technological sector has cracked $1 billion
growth for the first time, with revenue up 12 per cent for
the year. This is easily the best year in the tech sector
ever, closing the gap on Dairy exports.
Earnings were in 3 major sectors - high-tech manufacturing,
biotechnology, and information andcommunications. Auckland
had 12.2 per cent growth.
Exports were up 13.5% at $6.87 billion, total revenue up
12% at $9.42 billion and the industry employed 40,000 employees
Australia was the biggest market delivering 26.6% of all
sales. The USA brought in revenue of 2.13 billion, up 25%.
The big ten:
1 Fisher & Paykel Appliances
2 Datacom Group
3 Fisher & Paykel Healthcare
4 Gallagher Group
6 Orion Health
7 Temperzone Group
8 Tait Communications
9 Douglas Pharmaceuticals
10 NDA Group
Shalom Court wins award
23 October 2016
It is with much pride and exhilaration that I share with
you the news that Shalom Court is the inaugural winner of
the New Zealand Aged Care Association’s Small Operator Industry
Award for Outstanding Care.
NZACA is our parent organisation of over 570 members, representing
90% of New Zealand’s residential aged care sector. Approximately
170 of these are “under-50 bed” care homes - winning this
award is a phenomenal achievement.
Each one of you contributes or has contributed in a unique
way to an organisation that has earned national recognition
for its quality of care and I want to personally thank you
for your loyalty, energy and support that so positively impacts
upon our residents’ care and the wellbeing of staff, families,
friends and community.
Anthony Hart, Executive Officer
21 October 2016
New Zealand welcomed record migrants and tourists in the
year through September, Statistics NZ says.
Annual net migration reached 70,000, surpassing the previous
annual record of 69,1000 set in the year to August 2016. That
was driven both by more arrivals and fewer departures.
Migrant arrivals reached a record 125,600 in the September
year, up 6% on the year to Sept. 2015, with the biggest increases
in arrivals from South Africa, China, Australia and India.
Annual migrant departures fell 3% from 2015 to 55,700, with
fewer departures to Australia and the UK. New Zealand citizens
leaving to live overseas accounted for about 60% of all migrant
At the same time, overseas short-term visitor arrivals reached
3.39 million in the year ended July 30, up 11% on the year
earlier, with a 17% lift in holidaymakers to 1.74 million
A swelling population stoked more activity with record inflows
of tourists. At the same time, a rising population has posed
problems for policymakers by fuelling demand for an already-stretched
housing market in Auckland
Today's data show there was a net gain of 2000 migrants from
Australia in the September year, the 12th consecutive month
to show an annual net gain from that country.
More migrants came in on work visas in the September year,
up 10.7% to 40,200 on a year earlier, with 32% of migrants
now arriving on work visas. Some 16,000 migrants, or 13%,
arrived using residence visas in the September year, up 15%
Peter Beck - New Zealand's rocket man with the one million-horsepower
20 October 2016
The Rocket Lab launch will be the first of three test missions.
If successful, it will lead to commercial flights next year,
propelling New Zealand into a unique place in the space industry
by launching the first commercial orbital missions from a
In the lead-up to liftoff, Rocket Lab base near Auckland
airport is bulging at the seams and buzzing with activity.
Scientists, engineers and technicians hover over the fuselages
of three test rockets in varying stages of completion, lying
horizontal in the large hangar-style workshop.
Some time before the end of the year, the result of a lifetime
of dreaming, a decade's dedicated work and tens of millions
of dollars of investment capital will be launched from a remote
part of the East Coast of New Zealand
The most powerful machine to fly from this country will be
headed for orbit.
On an as-yet undisclosed date, he says the one million-horsepower
Electron rocket will be test fired from the Mahia Peninsula
launch site, aimed for a low Earth orbit.
Silicon Valley venture capitalist Vinod Khosla had invested
in Rocket Lab. "The things that excited us the most was,
number one, Peter, who was a consummate rocket scientist."
The New Zealand government has invested $25m over five years
but there is massive Silicon Valley funding and backing from
Rocket Lab's Auckland base is just off a road named in honour
of New Zealand's (and arguably the world's) first powered
aircraft inventor - Richard Pearse - and security is stringent;
cameras or any digital devices must be left in safe storage
The real prize here is when it starts flying commercially.
Peter is building up to commercial flights, not just up to
this one launch - Peter says the thing that is exciting is
when we enable customers to do something very cool,"
"You can test a lot of things on the ground but there
are some things you can't test."
While the pressure to launch is growing, Beck says the Electron
is not going anywhere until it's ready and conditions are
Rocket Lab aims to be small and nimble in the commercial launch
business, which last year was estimated at being worth $9
billion. High frequency Electron launches for less than US$5m
apiece compare to others valued at closer to $200m, which
come with years-long waiting times.
"We don't think of ourselves as space on a budget, we're
almost the opposite of that, we're a premium ride. We take
a customer who would normally be ride sharing, or strapped
onto the side of a big rocket, to a very dedicated orbit,
dedicated time frame."
Although he clams up when things get personal, it's hard
to stop the ebullient inventor on the subjects he loves: different
types of orbit (the Electron goes into a low earth orbit,
so it needs to travel at 25 times the speed of sound to avoid
falling to earth) and the future of satellites.
"A satellite that was the size of a car is now the size
of a refrigerator, next year it's probably going to be the
size of a microwave. Now, why that's important to you, is
that it enables satellite companies to put up infrastructure
in space at an unprecedented cost, and an unprecedented frequency
- provided they can get them launched of course."
"It's been a long journey - it's been a wild ride."
United States ship to visit NZ for first time in 33 years
19 October 2016
The visiting Vice President announced US will send ship to
Royal NZ Navy 75th Anniversary celebrations.
It will be the first time the US has agreed to send a ship
since New Zealand passed its non-nuclear legislation in 1987
which does not allow nuclear powered ships or those carrying
nuclear weapons to enter New Zealand waters.
US Vice President Joe Biden said in making the announcement
in July "It with great pleasure and an honour Mr Prime
Minister that the United States gladly accepts the invitation
to send a ship to the Royal New Zealand Navy's 75th celebration
"It will be another expression of our close and co-operative
relationship between our two countries that we have worked
so hard together to strengthen."
"I would characterise it as a victory for the relationship
between New Zealand and the United States".
Air New Zealand in top three best airlines in the world
19 October 2016
Air New Zealand has been named one of the best airlines in
the world by readers of luxury travel magazine Conde Nast
The airline was placed at number three on the magazine's
list of the best airlines in the world for 2016, as part of
its annual Readers' Choice Awards.
Comfortable seats on longhaul flights helped earn Air New
Zealand its accolades, CN Traveler said.
"With some of the longest flights in the world, the
Kiwi carrier pays close attention to seat comfort; legroom
is ample on its widebody," it wrote.
Auckland's Jewish Shalom Court Aged Care rest home awarded
New Zealand's Gold Medal
5 October 2016
The award recognises outstanding care for an under 50-bed
The inaugural NZ Small Operators Industry award was made
at the presentation on 5 October at the New Zealand Aged Care
Australia's biggest retailer unveiled new $640 plans for
Auckland's Newmarket shopping centre
17 October 2016
The Scentre Group retail developer revealed details in an
investor presentation saying it would start work next year
on a new David Jones retail store in Auckland and complete
David Jones opened in Wellington in July.
The proposal will make David Jones an anchor tenant in a
new centre of 78,000sq ft with 160 new speciality retail stores
with the Scenter Group's expansion of its Newmarket mall.
World's largest fashion retailer Zara opens its doors in
A queue of eager shoppers is forming outside the Zara store
in Sylvia Park
6 October 2016
The world's largest fashion retailer Zara openeded the doors
to its first New Zealand store at 9.30am today.
Around 50 people have gathered at Auckland's Sylvia Park
shopping centre ahead of the official opening. Excitement
has been building since the brand announced last year it would
be bringing a store to the country.
Media have been shown inside the store, which is white-washed
with bright, elegant lighting and designed in an open-plan
The New Zealand launch marks Zara's 93rd market with the
one-storey Sylvia Park store based set to offer all of the
brand's clothing collections including women's, men's and
First Retail Group managing director Chris Wilkinson tipped
the store would likely next open another in Wellington.
The company has assigned staff to create its Southern Hemisphere
collection with a team focused specifically on understanding
the New Zealand market.
Zara's chief communications officer Jesus Echevarria said
he was excited to be launching in the country and hoped to
meet customer expectations.
"We see a lot of opportunity in New Zealand, customers
here love fashion."
Zara, which is part of Inditex Group, has 2,021 stores worldwide
and is renowned for its reproduction of designer clothes.
It opened its first store in Spain in 1975 and is worth US$10.7
Unearthing Auckland's theatrical history
5 October 2016
The $65 million restoration of Auckland's St James Theatre
is continuing to unearth secrets of the city's past.
The St James has been a major focus of social life in Auckland
for the best part of a century. It has been the venue for
many important cinematic and theatrical events held for many
royal and important occasions.
An array of artefacts has already been found beneath the
historic theatre's floorboards and now a long-forgotten tower
has also been discovered.
The St James Theatre project has taught the developers not
to be in so much of a hurry. The building has secrets - and
will reveal these only when she wants to."
"Heritage buildings are often complicated to work with,"
says Steve Bielby from the Auckland Notable Properties Trust.
"The St James is a private-public project - a partnership
between the Auckland Notable Properties Trust and developer
Relianz Holdings which is building an apartment building around
the theatre. Auckland's rising property prices made the proposed
apartment development viable," he says.
NZ dollar hits highest level against British pound in decades
4 October 2016
The New Zealand dollar rose to its highest level against the
British pound in decades as the governing UK Conservative
party said it would focus on controlling immigration, rather
than securing tariff-free access to European markets in its
negotiations to leave the trading bloc.
The Kiwi traded at 56.82 pence at 5pm in Wellington, from
56.52 pence at 8am and 56.10 pence yesterday.
The Kiwi's previous post-brexit high against the British
pound was 56.37 pence on July 8.
UK's Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday said negotiations
to secure Britain's exit from the European Union would begin
at the end of March.
New Zealand to welcome a record number of cruise ships this
28 September 2016
New Zealand is gearing up for a bumper cruise season, with
a record number of cruise ships headed for our shores.
Cruise Lines International Association Australasia commercial
director Brett Jardine said 33 ships will be cruising local
waters between October 1 and April 30, with nine making their
The ships will make more than 600 calls to ports around the
country, including close to a dozen maiden calls for cruise
lines at destinations including Stewart Island, Wellington
Among the visitors will be the largest ship to sail to New
Zealand, Royal Caribbean's 167,000-tonne Ovation of the Seas,
as well as the youngest and most luxurious ship to cruise
local waters, the Seabourn Encore, which will arrive in New
Zealand just one month after she is officially named in Singapore.
Jardine said the record season reflected New Zealand's growing
popularity as a cruise destination, as well as continuing
growth in Kiwi passenger numbers.
Figures showed close to 70,000 New Zealanders took a cruise
in 2015, a 10 per cent increase on the previous year.
"New Zealand's popularity as one of the world's hottest
cruise destinations will be clearly evident this summer,"
"Not only will there be more ships visiting than ever
before, there will be scores of inaugural calls around the
country as cruise lines extend their itineraries to take in
a wider range of beautiful ports around the North and South
Home | Requirements
| Immigration | Young
people | Students | Links
| Consulates | News
| Contact us
Free help for Jews immigrating to Auckland
- email us at
With you all the way "
We will respect your privacy in
collecting and handling personal information in accordance
to the New Zealand Government Privacy Act 1993. We will not
give your details to others without your consent.
^ TOP OF PAGE