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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
Tennis: Serena Williams confirmed for ASB Classic
28 September 2016
Serena Williams is coming to Auckland, in what has been labelled
the biggest ever signing for the ASB Classic.
The American star, who is rated as one of the greatest tennis
players in the history of the sport, was confirmed for the
2017 tournament at a press conference in Auckland on Wednesday
ASB Classic organisers were adamant the news will take the
event to another level. "We are obviously over the moon
with this news," said tournament director Karl Budge.
"Serena is one of the biggest sporting stars on the
planet. She has had the most Grand Slam victories, most consecutive
weeks at Number One and has twice held all four Grand Slam
trophies at once. I think she is the greatest player, man
or woman, to play the game.To have an athlete of Serena's
calibre come to Auckland is going to be huge for New Zealand
and cements the ASB Classic as our biggest annual sporting
Williams herself is happy to be following in the footsteps
of sister Venus, who has played the ASB Classic on three occasions.
"I am really excited to be coming to Auckland for the
first time. I have heard so many great things about the city
and the tournament itself and I have always wanted to play
there," said Williams.
"The ASB Classic is the first event of the year and
it can really set you up for a great run in Melbourne,"
added Williams. I will be looking to start my year strongly
Williams has captured 71 WTA titles across her career and
has dominated Grand Slams for the past two decades winning
22 Grand Slam singles titles - an all-time record she shares
with Steffi Graf.
Along with her singles successes, the American has also won
14 doubles and two mixed doubles titles for a total of 38
Grand Slam successes - the most of any active player male
Belgian developers plan Auckland apartments
28 September 2016
An artist's impression of how the finished project (centre)
could look once finished.
A European-headquartered developer is marketing a proposed
Auckland apartment project off the plans to potential buyers.
Eaglestone of Belgium plans to build the 17-level 49-unit
Library 27, given this name because the site planned for the
project is behind Auckland's Central City Library in the central
Eaglestone has rented space for a showroom near the project
at 2 Kitchener St and employed kiwi Kim McGregor to head the
project planned for 27 Rutland St.
McGregor said units were being marketed from $545,000 to
$880,000 "which is very reasonable in today's market,
given the location, design outcomes and quality finishes."
Asked why Belgium developers were interested in New Zealand,
McGregor said it was a coincidence: "Someone from Eaglestone
came to New Zealand for a family holiday in 2003."
Construction is planned to be completed in 2019, she said.
"We're getting resource consent. We've got building consent,"
she said last week.
"What's unique about Library 27 is there's no compromise.
Each apartment type we have available provides a quality of
life that will appeal to those who like the finer things in
life," she said.
Consultants CBRE, marketing Library 27, said nearly 2000
Auckland CBD apartment had been sold off the plans this year.
Eaglestone information describes the business as "a
Belgium-owned development company specialising in large-scale
urban projects around the world.
Library 27 represents the first New Zealand development for
Eaglestone, which has a proven reputation for developing high-quality
and elegant buildings that fit naturally into their urban
Kiwis are happy with their quality of life a survey has
22 September 2016
Health and wellbeing was the main reason for people rating
their quality of life so high, with relationships coming a
close second in most areas in New Zealand.
The survey was first conducted in 2003, was repeated in 2004,
and has been undertaken every two years since.
Overall, 81 per cent of the respondents rated their overall
quality of life positively.
For those surveyed in Auckland rating life 'extremely good'.
For a happy life most surveyed said health and wellbeing
was driver for the satisfaction result in all areas surveyed.
New Auckland waterfront theatre's official opening
22 September 2016
The curtain has risen on the stage of Auckland's new $36
million ASB Waterfront Theatre, with Mayor Len Brown declaring
it open this morning.
Cast of the theatre's first show and a band - formed by a
group of brass instrumenet-playing welders - were first on
the stage in the main auditorium.
People gathered just after 8am in that 668-seat 'cedar crucible'
in the Wynyard Quarter for speeches and a performance from
the Billy Elliot the Musical cast, casting lights from their
helmuts across the theatre in a dramatic first performance.
Then came a fanfare from Southern Steel workers whose talents
came to light when they had brought out their instruments
during building construction. They had so impressed people
that they became part of the opening event.
The cast of Billy Elliot The Musical with the cast of Southern
The council had backed the theatre because there was a strong
business case behind creating such a venue and a home for
the Auckland Theatre Company.
A free public open day is being held on Saturday from 10am,
with back-stage tours, storey telling and performances.
Another record month for net migration
21 September 2016
New Zealand's net migration rose in the year through August,
returning to the record set in the June year on immigration.
Annual net migration reached 69,100 in the year to August,
equaling the previous annual record set in June this year
and driven primarily by more arrivals.
Arrivals rose 6 percent in the August year, one quarter of
whom were returning New Zealand citizens. Departures fell
3 percent.A swelling population stoking economic activity
with record inflows of tourists.
Of those new migrants who arrived in the latest year, a net
47 percent settled in Auckland.
At the same time, overseas short-term visitor arrivals reached
3.36 million in the year ended August, up 11 percent on the
year earlier and a new record.
A 17 percent increase in holidaymakers drove visitor arrivals
in the year, with the biggest increases from China, Australia
and the US. In August, visitors arriving from the US most
commonly came from California, Texas, and New York state,
with the increase related to the introduction of new airline
All Blacks eye winning streak world record
18 September 2016
New Zealand's sporting religion is Rugby and at international
level the face of Rugby is the All Blacks.
They are the world champions and now having another crack
at the elusive world record test match winning streak is on
the All Blacks' radar.
Assistant coach Ian Foster revealed the milestone has loomed
in their sights as motivation after thumping South Africa
41-13 in Christchurch on Saturday.
It was successive win number 15, leaving them two short of
equalling the world mark, which they have hit twice before.
The teams of 1965-69 and 2013-14 share the record with the
1997-98 South African Springboks.
Success on the road against Argentina and South Africa would
set them up for a shot at the outright record against Australia
in Auckland on October 22.
The All Blacks have their eyes on the looming prize.
Despite their dominance of the last decade, the record has
proved burdensome for the All Blacks.
They have reached 15 straight wins four previous times since.
The All Blacks have taken to setting statistical targets in
recent times. Becoming the first nation to defend the World
Cup was a stated driver last year.
Foster smiled when the winning streak target was put to him.
"Sounds a little bit more interesting, yeah."
The All Blacks extended their world record winning streak
on home soil to 44 with Saturday's win.
Return of the rock star economy
11 September 2016
This Thursday GDP (Gross domestic product) figures are expected
to show the New Zealand economy grew by at least 3.5 per cent
in the year to June 30.
ASB Bank's economists are picking it to be as high as 3.7
"We expect GDP lifted a whopping 1.2 per cent over the
June quarter, led by construction, manufacturing and retail
activity," ASB senior economist Jane Turner writes in
That will be a stunning result for an agricultural economy
that has just been through one of the most dramatic dairy
price slumps in living memory.
It's hard not to draw the conclusion that the rock star economy
is on the comeback trail - at least in the terms that the
catch-phrase was originally coined by HSBC economist Paul
That is to say, relatively speaking.
New Zealand currently has one of the highest growth economies
compared to peers in the Western developed world.
The country hasn't had a recession in eight years now.
The bounce in dairy prices of the past few weeks - moving
things out of financial disaster territory at least for most
farmers - will only add to the confidence to New Zealand's
We saw in on the currency market last week as the kiwi surged
to US74.5c - a 16 month high - and also lifted above A97c.
"The surge in Q2 growth will be led by the construction
sector, manufacturing and retail activity. Unusually strong
exports will also contribute to a temporary boost to Q2 growth,
led by large lifts in meat, dairy, kiwifruit and oil exports,"
ASB's Turner notes.
There's no doubt the strong economic growth is also being
underpinned by record net migration gains.
But as NZIER senior economist Christina Leung points out
this still generates positive momentum for the wider economy
and is certainly preferable if you consider the opposite -
economic contraction due to population decline.
The hope would be that the momentum created is sustained
as net migration growth flattens out.
At that point we will start to see an increase in GDP per
Is it sustainable?
Though ASB expects we could see some weaker growth as some
of the drivers come off peaks it sees the trend as sustainable.
ANZ economists have noted their business confidence survey
suggests may push on towards four per cent next year.
This will help the Reserve Bank find some of the long lost
inflation pressure it needs to get back on target.
But at this stage no one sees any reason why they won't cut
rates at least once more this year - probably in November.
The low inflation, low interest rate environment continues
to underpin an asset boom.
The mighty New Zealand passport
7 September 2016
According to citizenship and planning firm Henley & Partners,
New Zealand passports are the seventh most powerful in the
world, based on how many countries can be visited without
applying for a visa.
Kiwis are able to visit 171 countries and territories without
The Department of Internal Affairs says "the strong
reputation and travel accessibility offered by the New Zealand
passport is one of the reasons we put a lot of effort and
expertise into the strength of its issuance, integrity and
The beautiful design of the New Zealand passport artwork
depicts themes of navigation and travel, representing the
long journeys Kiwis have made throughout history to explore
The other features is how the Southern Cross travels from
right to left, representing the movement of the constellation
through the sky. The colour also changes from purple to orange
to green to blue, which represents dawn to twilight.
Jewish Community Celebrates its Historic First: A "Made
in New Zealand" Torah
6 September 2016
At a Torah Dedication at the Auckland Hebrew Congregation,
a unique Torah was gifted to the Jewish Community of New Zealand.
Generously funded and donated by the late Lewis Keegan in
memory of his great-grandfather Lewis Emanuel Lazarus, the
Torah is a historic first for New Zealand.
Solomon Lazarus attended the initial meeting in 1862 in Dunedin
charged with the responsibility to form the first formal Jewish
Since the Auckland Hebrew Community's establishment in 1864,
certain Torah scrolls have been written in New Zealand. But
this Torah is the first to be made entirely of New Zealand
materials by a group of New Zealand artisans led by internationally
acclaimed mixed media artist Helen Schamroth.
About the Torah:
The Torah contains the five books of Moses. The text has
remained completely without change for thousands of years,
passed on from generation to generation.
Many non Jewish dignitaries were invited and attended the
celebrations including Dame Sylvia Cartwright - former Governor
General of New Zealand.
O'Conner representing the Government attended and later sent
the following message:-
"It was an absolute honour to join Auckland's Jewish
community this afternoon to celebrate their new Torah.
"Thank you to the congregation for the invitation to
speak as they completed the first completely kiwi made Torah
- every part from parchment to scribing, dressing to crown
was New Zealand made.
"This is a real moment in our proud Auckland and New
Zealand's Jewish history."
The parchment for the scroll, made from New Zealand sheepskin,
was handwritten in the original Hebrew by qualified New Zealand-based
sofer (scribe) Rabbi Azriel Glick.
Using a feather and ink that includes a rare type of charcoal,
Rabbi Glick reproduced all 600,000 letters perfectly. Had
he made even a single error the scroll would have been rendered
Once the Torah scroll was written, the parchment was rolled
up around two ornate wooden shafts, carved from Pohutukawa
wood by local wood turner and attached to either end of the
The Pohutukawa, renowned for its strength and beauty and
regarded making it a fitting choice for the Torah as the turned
wood shafts are said to symbolize the tree of life.
All decorative elements-from the ornately gold-embroidered
inky-blue velvet mantle (cover) to the sterling silver keter
(crown) were produced by New Zealand artisans led by Schamroth.
With a view to creating a contemporary design that was steeped
in tradition but also reflected New Zealand, Schamroth, who
previously designed other elements for the synagogue, worked
with graphic designer Lilach Cohen to realize the design.
This included scattered stamens of a Pohutukawa flower on
the cover (the number 18 symbolises 'life' in Jewish numerology).
Collaborating with silversmith Joanna Campbell, Schamroth
used the leaves of the Pohutukawa as the main design element
of the silver crown. Viewed from above, the six Pohutukawa
leaves folding over evoke the Magen David (Star of David).
New Zealand universities confirmed as world-class
QS World University Rankings are in, and New Zealand's
eight universities remain in the top 3% globally.
6 September 2016
Despite competition internationally, six of New Zealand's
eight universities improved their rankings while the other
two largely held their places.
This year the University of Auckland defended its position
as New Zealand's top ranked university.
Otago University rose four places to 169, closely followed
by Canterbury and Victoria at 214 and 228 place.
Three universities had also made significant improvements
in their placings over the past two years.
Waikato moved up 77 places to rank in at 324, and Lincoln
up 68 places to 343.
The Auckland University of Technology also made significant
gains - up 60 places.
The QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings assess universities
across four areas: research, resourcing, graduate employability
Chris Whelan, the executive director of Universities New
Zealand, said the rankings are an extraordinary result and
"something that New Zealanders should be proud of".
"We are the only country in the world to have all our
universities ranked within the top 500.
If you are a young New Zealander thinking about where to
do a degree, you can be confident of getting a world-class
education at any of our universities."
Whelan said an increased focus on funding high quality research
contributed to the success of New Zealand rankings.
"University Vice-Chancellors acknowledge that the government's
increased investment in research funding in recent years has
made a difference."
AUT Vice-Chancellor Derek McCormack said it was pleasing
to see AUT recognised for their international outlook.
"Our students gain cross-cultural experience dealing
with the complexity of many people coming together from different
Tertiary Education Skills and Employment Minister Steven
Joyce congratulated all eight of New Zealand's universities.
Joyce said international education was now New Zealand's
fifth largest export earner, earning $3.5 billion for the
"One reason for that is our universities are amongst
the best in the world and as a result we can offer students
an outstanding education experience ."
The QS Rankings considers 3800 institutions worldwide and
ranks the top 916.
Residential building work surges in second quarter, beating
2 September 2016
Total building activity increased to its highest level since
records began 26 years ago.
The value of residential building work put in place rose
in the second quarter of 2016, led by Auckland.
The seasonally adjusted value of residential building work
rose 7.3 percent to $3.1 billion in the June quarter from
three months earlier, Statistics New Zealand said. Building
work volumes grew a seasonally adjusted 5.5 percent in the
quarter, with the trend reaching its highest level since the
series began in 1989.
Total building work put in place beat market estimates of
a 2 percent gain. In Auckland, the actual value of residential
work in current prices surged 39 percent from the same quarter
of 2015 to $1.8 billion, while in
"Total building work put in place was much stronger than
we and the market expected," said Jane Turner, senior
economist at ASB. "While Auckland continues to lead the
charge, the lift in construction is now fairly broad-based
Turner said second-quarter construction activity growth was
surprising given there had been a "soft patch" in
consents earlier in the year.
"This suggests that capacity constraints and growing
back-logs could be contributing to a strong pipeline of activity
in the absence of new consent issuance," Turner said.
"If this is the case, it reinforces the outlook for further
increases in construction-related inflation.
However, inflation pressures outside of construction remain
Update: Economy gets boost from bubbling building sector
15 September 2016
New Zealand's booming construction sector remains one of
the main pillars for the country's economic growth, benefiting
from an expanding population in need of housing and spurring
activity in other industries.
Government data today showed the construction sector grew
5 percent in the three months ended June 30, making the biggest
contribution to a 0.9 percent expansion in gross domestic
product. That was the second quarter where it grew at a 5
percent pace, and the level of activity in the building sector
was 11 percent higher than the same period a year earlier.
ASB's Turner today said the construction sector strength
was broad-based across the country, though she expects it
will slow in regional areas over the next year, whereas Auckland's
need will persist for much longer.
"That is generating support to other sectors of the
economy - manufacturing, wholesale, transport, all these industries
benefit and housing demand has flowed through to real estate
services," she said.
Turner said. "We do expect that construction impetus
to continue for some time, particularly in Auckland where
the outstanding backlog for housing demand is still very large
and a long way from being met."
Today's GDP data showed an 11 percent jump in non-metallic
mineral product manufacturing, which covers building products,
its biggest recorded quarterly increase, while the increased
housing demand stoked a 1.3 percent gain in rental, hiring
and real estate services activity.
Crone promises early start to second Auckland harbour crossing
Auckland mayoral candidate Vic Crone launches her campaign
31 August 2016
Auckland mayoral candidate Vic Crone is promising to fast-track
a second harbour crossing with provision for rapid transit.
The local council elections for mayor and councillors will
occur in October.
Work on a second Waitemata Harbour crossing would begin about
2020 if Crone can persuade the Government. She is also promising
to bring forward six other major transport projects costing
As well as a second harbour crossing, she would bring forward
six other key transportation projects.
Crone said Auckland's population north of the bridge was
forecast to grow by 130,000 by 2033 and a second harbour crossing
was an "absolute key priority for me as mayor".
She said if the Government agreed to the timeframe, the council
would invest a further $600 million through to 2027/2028 to
integrate a public rapid transport corridor into the crossing.
"Whether the public transport component is rapid bus
transit, rail and/or newer technologies, the decision will
ultimately be subject to a strong business case," Crone
Crone is "100 per cent" behind the $2.5 billion
city rail link, which, she said, would come before the second
The Auckland Plan currently identifies the additional Waitemata
Harbour Crossing will be required around 2030 and take five
to seven years to build.
Agribusiness: The world's hungry for our produce
Primary Minister Nathan Guy (left) is a happy man celebrating
the booming Agribusiness
31 August 2016
The nature of work in the primary sector is changing. It's
not just milking cows or shearing sheep - it is things like
environmental planning, IT and robotics, veterinary science.
Nathan Guy says a big challenge for the wider primary sector
is making use of technology and science to keep adding value
to what is produced.
There are a lot of positives on the horizon for New Zealand
farmers and growers. Most sectors have had a great year, with
horticulture in particular being a star performer. Horticultural
exports are up 20 per cent compared with the previous year,
wine has risen by 10 per cent, seafood is up 15 per cent and
arable up 14 per cent.
Overall, New Zealand's primary sector exports have increased
3 per cent over the last year to $36 billion which is a great
result, given the tough time the dairy sector has had in recent
seasons. It shows New Zealand have a strong, broad and diversified
There are positive signs for the dairy industry too, with
Fonterra lifting their forecast payout to $4.75 plus dividend,
taking it to around the average break-even mark. It was great
morale boost for hardworking farmers following some positive
Global Dairy Trade results.
Success often brings challenges and a major one ahead is
finding enough skilled and capable workers.
Auckland Airport major projects with construction, tourism
boom requirements being ramped up
Auckland International Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood
29 August 2016
The airport celebrates its 50th year this year, with passenger
movements up from 700,000 in 1966 to 17.3 million in 2016,
a rise of 9.1% on the previous year.
The tourism uplift led to eight new international airlines
adding capacity during 2016 and 15 new routes established
with flight frequencies increased on existing routes.
Some 11 countries had passenger growth of over 10% and five
countries over 20%.
Mr Littlewood said they were also expecting double-digit
passenger growth again in the coming year.
Domestically, Jetstar's entry on regional routes to compete
against Air New Zealand has also increased flight capacity
and grown the market.
Key infrastructure projects this financial year include work
continuing on the upgrade of the international terminal departure
This will significantly expand the airport's core processing
and retail footprint including dutyfree areas.
Work has started on the extension of the international terminal
Pier B to add an additional 10,000 sqm of footprint, gates,
and air bridges.
Construction will begin this financial year on its third
hotel, with planning already under way on a fourth hotel.
Auckland's new Unitary Plan provides for the development
of a second runway and improved land designations to allow
for flexible airport development within the airport precinct.
Investment in its property business continues where a number
of new projects are planned including a 17,000sq integrated
office, warehouse and dog handling facility for the Ministry
of Primary Industries and an 11,000sq m distribution centre
Retail income grew twice as fast as the airport's passenger
growth in the 2016 financial year, up 19.3%.
Air New Zealand rides the tourism boom with record full
26 August 2016
Air New Zealand has ridden the tourism boom and staved off
increased competition to deliver the best full-year earnings
in its 76-year history.
Earnings before other significant items and tax was up 70
Shareholders are being rewarded with a one-off special dividend
of 25 cents per share on the top of a final dividend of 10
cents per share, taking total ordinary dividends to 20 cents
for the year.
Chairman Tony Carter said the airline's staff is critical
to its success.
Chief executive Christopher Luxon said the airline ended
the year with customer satisfaction at record highs, staff
culture continuing to improve, and the best financial results
in its history.
"Alongside connecting New Zealanders and Kiwi businesses
with each other and the world, we employ 11,300 staff."
Aircraft capital expenditure is expected to be $2.1 billion
over the next five years.
Passsenger revenue was $4.5 billion, up 8.9 percent, while
cargo improved to $349 million compared to $317 million the
The big gains were in the America/Europe markets with revenue
at $330 million compared to $286 million the previous year
following the start of direct flights to Houston, Texas in
April last year and passenger numbers in that market rising
to 1.14 million from just over 1 million the prior year.
Vacancy - Crystallographer
24 August 2016
Situation vacant - chemical engineer specialising in crystal
growth in relation to precious stones.
The position is based in Auckland.
For further details please contact Stan Rose, email
Building boom will last until 2021
26 July 2016
The building boom will last through to 2021 when the sector
will be employing more than half a million people, new reports
Government ministers released the National Construction Occupations
Projections report and the National Construction Pipeline
report on Tuesday.
Employment Minister Steven Joyce says the first shows construction-related
occupation numbers hitting 539,500 in the next five years,
up 10 per cent on 2015.
Occupations expected to experience the largest growth during
that time are electricians, up 14 per cent, plumbers up 13
per cent and civil engineering professionals up 11 per cent.
Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith says the second
report shows building activity is at record levels nationwide.
"This report shows annual construction activity across
New Zealand has topped $31 billion, an all-time high, and
is projected to reach $37 billion in 2017," he said.
"Residential construction is particularly strong...
Auckland is expected to reach an all-time high of 13,332 homes
in 2017 and stay at record levels until 2022."
Both reports were independently produced by research companies.
A little bit up - a little bit out
26 July 2016
Auckland needs to find room for an extra 1 million people
in the next 25 years.
The blueprint for making that happen - has just been announced
with the announced Unitary Plan.
The Unitary Plan proposes to allow 400,000 houses to be built
to accommodate up to 1 million extra people by 2041.
Of these about 266,000 houses will be in the current urban
areas and up to 140,000 houses outside the city limits.
The earliest date when the Unitary Plan will come into force
is September 16th.
At its heart, the plan aims to achieve a higher quality,
compact city with more townhouses and terraced houses and
Very recent Auckland demographics are well ahead of population
forecasts with Auckland's population to reach 2 million people
(currently 1,700,000) in four years.
A tidal wave of technology firms are basing themselves in
Auckland and across the country, says CBRE New Zealand.
Artist's impression of the new Datacom building in Auckland's
19 July 2016
Global mobile working, wellness and lifestyle trends are
driving office demand and opening opportunities for companies
to restructure how and where they work within Auckland.
They include Auckland-based Vend, Harmoney, Rocket Lab, Unleashed
Software, Booktrack, Vigil Monitoring, Power by Proxi, Equitise
and 90 Seconds. New Zealand's biggest tech company Xero, based
in Wellington, and Martin Jetpack of Christchurch also made
Ross Bolton, CBRE's Occupier Advisory and Transaction Services
Director, says "The report is just the tip of the iceberg.
You only need to spend a minute on rabble.co.nz to see hundreds
of Auckland-based tech firms such as Cityinsidr, AlphaCrowd,
Snowball Effect, YQ, Pushpay, fulQrum and many more taking
up office space in the city. The likes of Datacom's future
move to Wynyard Quarter and the rapid expansion of 9 Spokes
are great examples of companies that are seeking larger premises
in Auckland's CBD."
CBRE's Bolton says that one of the main reasons is that workforces
are becoming more mobile, enabled by technology.
"Auckland has become an effective gateway location for
future South Pacific growth and finance. Recent IPOs of 9
Auckland is a step ahead for up-and-coming sectors such as
technology, he says.
"As the global trend towards staff wellness and wellbeing
rises in importance all the time, companies looking to create
a great environment for their people know that it is now time
to consider how their office locations support their aspirations
to be people-centric organisations.
"This is leading to a re-examination of their property
requirements, increasing Auckland's popularity within and
having a knock-on effect of spreading interest across New
Zealand cities at the same time."
CBRE is working with a number of companies to examine their
needs for an Auckland base as well as satellite locations
outside the CBD and elsewhere in the country.
"Using the latest analytical software, we examine a
combination of factors to determine the most effective locations
for individual companies," says Bolton.
"They include future population projections, mapping
commute times and proximity to lifestyle options and amenities.
We are suggesting that companies should re-evaluate how they
operate. Auckland is now a global city."
Migration, tourism boom continues in June
21 July 2016
Annual net migration reached a new record 69,100 in June,
rising from 68,400 in the year through May, and marking the
23rd month in a row that the annual net gain in migrants has
set a new record.
New Zealand's booming migration extended its run of posting
new records in June, while tourism numbers also continued
their strong growth.
Annual net migration reached a new record 69,100 in June,
rising from 68,400 in the year through May, and marking the
23rd month in a row that the annual net gain in migrants has
set a new record, Statistics New Zealand said. At the same
time, overseas short-term visitor arrivals reached 3.31 million
in the year ended June 30, up 11 per cent on the year earlier.
Visitors on work visas accounted for the bulk of new arrivals,
up 11 per cent to 39,118 in the year ended June 30, while
those on student visas were up an annual 6.7 per cent at 27,518.
The number of New Zealand and Australian citizens arriving
rose 4.5 per cent to 36,428 in the year.
Of those new migrants who arrived in the year, a net 31,778,
or 46 per cent, settled in Auckland.
Most holidaymakers came from Australia, with 37,456 Australians
travelling to New Zealand in the month. On an annual basis,
Australians made up 537,152 of the 1.7 million holidaymakers,
while China was the second biggest pool at 307,504. down 2.5
Auckland's new Waterfront theatre nears completion
21 July 2016
The new $36 million ASB Waterfront Theatre will have its
official opening on September 22nd and two days later will
be a public open day.
The first performance on October 7th will be Billy Elliot.
The theatre has risen in the Wynyard/Viaduct area opposite
the former Team New Zealand yachting base where the $200 million
Park Hyatt Hotel has begun to be built.
Updates from the theatre tell how timber walkways and hand
railings to the lighting bridges are complete, along with
the bleacher flooring to the stalls and balcony.
Over the next few months the crew will be focusing on the
internal framing works, wall linings, painting, carpentry
Audiences will be exposed to world-class productions as well
as seamless customer experiences from the minute they enter
Lydia Ko named on ESPN top 100 most famous athletes list
18 July 2016
New Zealand's champion golfer Lydia Ko has been named on
ESPN's top 100 most famous athletes list.
The 19 year old world No 1 followed this award by winning
the Marathon LPGA Ohio USA tournament.
A relieved Lydia Ko dug into her reserves of fitness and
persistence to win a protracted three-way play-off at the
It was the fifth play-off of Ko's career. She has won four,
with the exception coming at last month's Women's PGA Championship
Ko won in consecutive weeks major tournaments in Southern
California this year.
The 19-year-old New Zealander tied for third last week in
the U.S. Women's Open in California.
Kim won the season-opening event in the Bahamas for her third
Greys Avenue Deli - where the Auckland Jewish community
13 July 2016
Tucked in the Jewish complex in the centre of the commercial
business district of Auckland is the café commonly
called by the Jewish community The Deli. The Deli is more
than a kosher café, or where the Auckland Jewish community
meet and can sort out their private catering functions.
Deli holds the august title as the home of the Kosher Kiwi
Licensing Authority of New Zealand.
Perhaps even more important The Deli is the place where Jews
meet at the coffee house with family and friends.
Being located in the Greys Avenue Jewish centre The Deli
has immediate access to both the Auckland Hebrew Congregation
offices, separately the Kadimah College offices, and if available
Auckland's Senior Rabbi Nathaniel Friedler.
The AHC office can organise an appointment to have an interview
with Stan Rose - Chairperson of the AJI (Auckland Jewish Immigration).
Stan holds for many years a Government Immigration Adviser's
License and represents the AHC with incoming Immigration enquires.
As the word Deli signifies you can buy a wide range of Jewish
constantly updated delicatessen items.
The Deli is within short easy walking distance where the
Hugh International Convention Centre is being built.
Jewish conventioneers traditionally are noted to be involved
in many of the specialised professions normally associated
with international conventions.
The Deli will be delighted to have a special warm welcome
mat out for any Jewish conventioneers including any accompanying
Hello New Zealand: the Aussies are coming!
11 July 2016
More Australians are moving here than New Zealanders are
The Weekend Australian carried an article on Saturday
headlined 'Quest for happiness lures Australian families across
the ditch', interviewing the Dirk family, who expressing deep
satisfaction about the move here.
They're not alone.
In its latest data, Statistics NZ recorded that New Zealand
was now enjoying a net gain of 1700 migrants from Australia:
the difference between the number of them coming here versus
us going there.
In the year to May, 25,700 Australians moved here.
The Weekend Australian glowed about New Zealand and
Fresh from the success of recreating Middle Earth, Kiwis
have done it again by making real the twin modern fantasies
of stable government and economic reform, an alluring combination
attracting Australian businesses and workers across the ditch.
"While the zeal for reform has been lost amid political
instability in Australia, New Zealand Prime Minister John
Key has been in charge since 2008, delivering income tax cuts
and boosting the GST to 15 per cent," the newspaper reported,
speaking to the Dirks of the Golf Coast who shifted to Methven
south of Christchurch where Sean Dirks is a truck driver.
His wife Rebecca Dirks said there was "never going to
be a reason for us to go back".
New Zealanders are not as keen to migrate to Australia as
they have been in previous decades.
Fewer New Zealand citizens chose to migrate to Australia.
This led to a net gain of 1700 migrants from Australia in
the May 2016 year. May was the eighth consecutive month to
show an annual net gain."
NZ budget surplus exceeds forecast in 11 months to May 31,
on track to meet full-year surplus
Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler
5 July 2016
The New Zealand government posted a larger-than-expected operating
surplus in the first 11 months of the financial year, although
most key indicators were in line with budget projections,
meaning the forecast full-year surplus is likely to be achieved.
The operating balance before gains and losses (obegal) was
a surplus of $2.3 billion in the 11 months ended May 31, above
the $1.98 billion forecast in the Budget Economic and Fiscal
Update, which projected a full-year surplus of $700 million.
Identified population growth was the biggest contributor
to gross domestic product growth this year and next.
Net migration was expected to peak at 70,700 in the year
ended June 30 before returning to the long-run average 12,000
a year by June 2019.
Compared with the 11 months ended May 31, 2015, total core
Crown revenue was $3.5 billion higher at $69.8 billion, outpacing
a $1.5 billion gain in core Crown expenses at $67.2 billion.
Don't be afraid of immigration: Prime Minister John Key
Prime Minister John Key
3 July 2016
New Zealanders don't need to be frightened by immigration
the way people in some other countries are, Prime Minister
John Key says.
"In the UK it was about not being able to control it,"
"In New Zealand we do control migration."
Mr Key was talking to reporters on Sunday after speaking
at National's annual conference in Christchurch, and he was
asked whether he thought Brexit and immigration problems in
other EU countries could spill over at home.
He says arguments about immigration have been going on for
"If you break it down, which bits would people really
want to stop?"
"Certainly not returning Kiwis or Australians. Certainly
not people on working holidays or in the skills category...
our conditions are different, we keep a close watch on it."
Mr Key says not long ago the debate was about Kiwis leaving
"It was about if you wanted to see your grandchildren
you should go to the departure lounge," he said.
"Eight years ago we were fretting about people leaving.
I think the challenges we have at the moment are a far better
set of circumstances."
Brexit fallout: UKIP leader Nigel Farage apologises to New
Zealand for joining Common Market
UKIP leader Nigel Farage
28 June 2016
UKIP leader Nigel Farage today apologised for Britain
turning its back on New Zealand when it joined the Common
In an exclusive London interview Mr Farage said he was sorry
for the way Britain treated New Zealand producers who had
enjoyed a good trading relationship before the British Government
aligned with European trade blocs.
"Now Brexit gave an opportunity to strengthen traditional
trade ties Downunder", he said.
Mr Farag , said: "What is even more exciting for me
is what we can do with you guys. And I apologise to everybody
in New Zealand for what my parents' generation did - we turned
our backs on you."
He said it was time to negotiate good trade deals and return
to how the two nations previously operated. "We had good
preferential trading terms as some of the closest friends
and countries in the world.
We joined the Common Market as it was then called and dealt
you a very bad hand.
"Well now we can talk to you guys about having a sensible,
better trading relationship and Britain once again has the
chance to be a global trading nation, not just a European
"Then you will get down to the really hard yards of
Britain working through its divorce proceedings essentially
with the EU, and New Zealand and Australia and the likes having
to complete access arrangements in the EU and in Britain."
New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key comments
Prime Minister John Key has already spoken to Australian Prime
Minister Malcolm Turnbull about how to approach the British
exit from the European Union.
"Where it makes sense, we will co-operate together,"
Mr Key said yesterday. "Where it is appropriate, we will
do things under our own steam."
Mr Turnbull faces a general election on Saturday and took
time out of his campaign schedule for the discussion with
Both are former merchant bankers and Mr Key said he expects
the global markets to settle down after the "shock and
awe" on Friday, which wiped $2 trillion off the value
of global equities after the shock vote. Now they have had
a chance to digest that and probably get a sense of how long
this process ultimately will be, I think the markets will
Mr Key did not think it would cause a repeat of the global
financial crisis. The New Zealand economy was much stronger
than it was in 2008-09 and world markets were more robust.
The long-term implications were more for the British economy
and its capacity to compete in Europe than the global stage.
New Zealand's current access arrangements for trade and people
to Britain and Europe will remain in place, in the meantime.
Trade Minister Todd McClay is due to meet his British and
EU counterparts in China in two weeks.
Australia and New Zealand are preparing to launch free-trade
agreements with the EU but doing so separately and at different
Until the vote, the EU was on track to get approval this
year from its members, to begin talks next year and have them
finished by 2019.
Back historically 40 per cent of New Zealand's exports went
to Britain. And in the 1950s, more than 80 per cent of New
Zealand exports also went to Britain. This is down to three
per cent of New Zealand's exports.
The last 43 years of having Britain in the EU has opened
doors for NZ within Europe. Those relationships - how strong
they are - will be tested.
Here come the Americans: Why NZ travelers should be happy
23 June 2016
More capacity and those links deeper within the United States
puts New Zealand on the radar for more Americans.
American Airlines (the worlds biggest) has more than 100
million frequent fliers who will now be more aware of New
Zealand now the airline is flying here.
American Airlines and United (which is in a partnership with
Air New Zealand) have huge domestic networks and regional
links throughout the Americas. Being able to travel within
the same airline or within deep alliances makes ticketing,
check-in and travel more convenient.
The airline launched bookings earlier this year and slashed
prices on the Auckland-Los Angeles to $799 return fares for
later this year. When American Airlines announced last November
it was flying the route, Air New Zealand cut some Grabaseat
airfares to Los Angeles from about $785 to $499.
American (and United) will fly Boeing 787 Dreamliners. These
aircraft are being rolled out quickly across the world and
have impressed passengers and crew with a more pleasant cabin
environment, they're quieter and windows are much bigger than
the aircraft they replace.
United States carriers have also come in for some criticism
for poor service, especially compared to airlines such as
Air New Zealand. However, both United and American say this
is history. There's a renewed sense of pride and that shows
through in customer engagement - there are new uniforms and
a fresh on-board experience.
NZ tourism, migration boom continues
23 June 2016
New Zealand's booming tourism and migration were extended
in May as the economy's two biggest support planks continued
to set annual records.
Annual net migration reached a new record 68,400 in May,
rising from 68,100 in the year through April, and up from
57,800 a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said.
At the same time, overseas short-term visitor arrivals reached
3.29 million in the year ended May 31, up from 3.27 million
in the year through April and 11 per cent higher than a year
Visitors on work visas accounted for the bulk of new arrivals,
up 11 per cent to 38,900 in the year ended May 31, while those
on student visas were up an annual 8.3 per cent at 27,800.
The Treasury expects annual net migration will peak in June
Of those new migrants who arrived in the year, a net 31,600
settled in Auckland, followed by a net 7,000 moving to Canterbury,
2,900 in Wellington, 2,600 in Waikato, and 2,400 in Bay of
Auckland's tallest residential tower gets green light
23 June 2016
A 52 storey residential tower to be built on Auckland's Custom
Street has received resource content from Auckland Council.
The tower, to be built within the next four years, is part
of architecture firm Peddle Thorp's design to redevelop the
Custom Street East block between Fort Street and Gore Street.
The redevelopment will incorporate smaller buildings on the
site, including a 11-storey office block which will be transformed
to house a small hotel.
Peddle Thorp director Bradley Luke said the residential tower
will "add a new dynamic to Auckland's skyline and help
to redefine the potential of apartment living".
"Every apartment in the development is north-facing
and most have unencumbered views out to the Waitemata Harbour.
We've designed them so they are liveable, high quality and
maximise outdoor space," he said.
"For residents and visitors, it features public walk
ways that will connect people to Gore Street Lane and includes
a selection of apartments with double height balconies to
maximise outdoor living space."
Luke said the tower's sharp angle at the top was designed
to avoid shading nearby Emily Place and to give the tower
a striking form.
The main tower will house 221 apartments, including 11 floors
of penthouse apartments, as well as a mix of three bedroom,
two bedroom, one bedroom and studios.
The base of the tower will have four floors of retail and
restaurants and the smaller tower will be redesigned to house
a new hotel.
The residential tower will be the tallest in Auckland City
and is anticipated to be the tallest in New Zealand.
Facts and figures:
- Height of tower: 187m
- Accommodation types:
- Penthouses - 15, across eleven floors
- Three bedroom - 56
- Two/three bedroom, plus study duplexes - 10
- One bedroom, plus study - 60
- Studio - 80
NZ ahead of the pack in machine-to-machine tech
20 June 2016
The speed of data thanks in part to New Zealand's national
fibre roll-out, the average fixed-line broadband speed would
jump 250 per cent to 49.1 Mbps in 2020. The average mobile
connection speed would triple to 18 Mbps in 2020, believed
to be the world's fastest.
The proportion of connected devices communicating with one
another rather than users is growing faster in New Zealand
than the global average.
The country's IP traffic will double to reach 50 gigabytes
per person by 2020, or the equivalent of more than 72,000
DVDs an hour.
Glen Bearman, head of digital transformation for Cisco in
New Zealand, said machine-to-machine (M2M) devices would make
up 70 per cent of all devices in New Zealand by 2020.
In 2015 these accounted for 52 per cent of all connected
devices in New Zealand and are predicted to account for 45
per cent globally in 2020.
M2M devices include things such as sensors tracking stock
on farms, connected technology used in factories, and health
devices, an area of huge growth in New Zealand, he said. Wearables
such as FitBits and Apple Watches also fall into the category.
Bearman adds: "In as little as three and a half years
we'll be at 37 million devices and connections. Connections
include the M2M stuff ... LED lighting in the home talking
to a box where you can control it from is included. Even in
a mature market like New Zealand we're going to see an incredible
New Zealand remains one of the safest destinations
16 June 2016
TOP FIVE SAFEST COUNTRIES:
- New Zealand
THE FIVE LEAST SAFE COUNTRIES:
- South Sudan
The Institute of Economic and Peace (IEP), has ranked 163
countries from safest to most dangerous on the 10th edition
of the Global Peace Index.
The report published this month revealed the world has become
more dangerous in 2016, reinforcing an underlying decade-long
deterioration in global peacefulness driven primarily by increased
terrorism and higher levels of political instability.
New Zealand remained the fourth safest country in the world,
unchanged from last year.
Orion Health are looking for software developers
23 May 2016
A chance for everyone who dreams to live and work in New
Zealand! Orion Health are recruiting senior Java developers,
global support consultants, business analysts, software engineers
C# .Net, android developers, mobile developer iOS.
Contact Sagi Adiv (www.facebook.com/sagi.adiv).
View Orion Health's website at https://orionhealth.com.
Migration possibly at highest level yet
May 16, 2016
Net migration in New Zealand is the highest it has been since
at least 1978 - and possibly ever.
More than 124,000 people arrived in New Zealand in the March
2016 year, intending to stay long-term or permanently. A During
the same period, 56,450 emigrated - resulting in a net gain
of 67,619 people - the highest 12 month figure for any period
in at least 38 years.
One quarter of arrivals were accounted for by New Zealand
citizens returning after being away for more than a year.
Compared to the March 2014 year, more immigrants arrived
from 30 of the 33 nations listed this year.
Australia accounted for more than 25,000 arrivals, with many
likely to be returning Kiwis., and 27,000 from Europe.
In the March year, 1862 more people moved from Australia
to New Zealand than the other direction - a stark contrast
from 2012, when almost 40,000 people a year were leaving across
the ditch - more than 100 a day. Between May 1991 and September
2014 - a period of 281 months - 280 months had a net loss
of migrants across the Tasman.
All regions had a net gain of international migrants in the
year, but more than half of all arrivals said they would live
Auckland in late autumn
May 15, 2016
Since the year started in January till now in late autumn,
beautifully fine days continue with winter scheduled to start
less than a month away.
Such is the weather's impact that we couldn't resist an abbreviated
article just released that not everyone is happy about the
continued fine weather.
New Zealand's never-ending summer is proving good for the
nation's health, but not its funeral industry.
Funeral directors believe the continuing warmer weather is
to blame for unusually sluggish business so far in 2016.
More people die as the weather gets colder. One funeral director
said trade was down 20 per cent on last year.
The death rate increases through winter, peaking in July,
August and September, before falling away toward midsummer.
Bell, Lamb & Trotter Funeral Directors managing director
Andrew Bell said business was down about 20 per cent.
Industry suppliers have also noticed the slump. "It
just seems to be right through the country," said Ed
Campbell, director of Kumeu-based Western Caskets."We
started to notice it around Christmas time. It's really hit
since the beginning of the year."
Key to seek free trade agreement upgrade in China
April 17, 2016
Prime Minister John Key is off to China with two cabinet
colleagues and business leaders looking for opportunities.
Mr Key is accompanied by Trade Minister Todd McClay and Primary
Industries Minister Nathan Guy and together they will seek
to upgrade the free trade agreement New Zealand has with China.
Mr Key will meet President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang
in Beijing and will also visit Xi'an and Shanghai.
This month marks eight years since New Zealand's FTA with
China was signed and since then two-way trade between the
two countries has more than doubled, reaching almost $19 billion.
New Zealand was the first country to sign a free trade agreement
with China. For the Chinese that rates personal relationships
ahead of business deals John Key is openly personally welcomed
with an express wish from the Chinese President that the New
Zealand Prime Minister should bring his family on this trip.
Last month Mr Key told the Platinum Primary Producers annual
conference in Wellington that the renegotiation of the agreement
was a "massive opportunity".
Mr Key will also address students at Tsinghua University,
meet Chinese business leaders and attend the launch of the
New Zealand Film Festival in Shanghai.
Options for people over 55 years of age
You have several visa options if you're over the age of 50.
Check out the following categories to determine which visa
is right for you:
Dependent on your country of citizenship, your Visitor's
Visa will be issued upon arrival in New Zealand for three
months (or six months if you're from the UK). With this visa,
however, you cannot work.
To determine if you are from a visa-waiver country, check
out the current list. If you are not eligible for Visa-waiver
visits, you must apply for a Visitor Visa before your travel.
Work and Residence
- Essential Skills Work Policy - If you have a job offer
from a New Zealand employer, this temporary work policy
is great for someone of any age
- Work to Residence - This visa category allows you to stay
in New Zealand for up to 30 months and eventually apply
- Skilled Migrant Category -The Skilled Migrant Category
is based on points for skills, qualifications, experience
and a number of other factors, including age - you must
be 55 years old or younger to meet the age requirement.
- Student Visa - Whether you want to take a short course
or study full-time you may be interested in a Student Visa.
While there are no age restrictions on this visa policy,
you must qualify for a course of study before applying.
- arent Policy - If you are the parent(s) of a New Zealand
citizen or resident, who has been a New Zealand resident
for at least three years, you may be eligible to join them
in New Zealand under our Parent Category.
- artnership Visas - Regardless of age, you may qualify
for a Student Visa, Temporary Work Visa or Residence as
a partner of someone in New Zealand who's studying or working
or is a New Zealand citizen or resident
- efugee Family Support Category - If you have a refugee
family member who's already living in New Zealand, they
may qualify to sponsor you. Every year, 300 sponsored people,
of all ages, settle in New Zealand
- In addition, please see the Temporary Retirement Category
and Parent Retirement Category details below.
Other visa categories that you may qualify for require a
certain level of business investment. These include:
- Starting/running a business
- If you are an experienced business person interested in
being self-employed in your own business in New Zealand,
applying for an Entrepreneur Work Visa may be an option
- If you already have a Long Term Business visa (which was
closed on 20th December 2013), after running your New Zealand
business for at least two years, you may qualify for an
Entrepreneur Residence Visa
- Investing at least NZ$750,000
- Temporary Retirement Category - If you're aged 66 years
or over, you may want to consider this visa policy. The
Temporary Retirement Category is a two year renewable visa
and requires a NZ$750,000 investment. The visa is renewable
as long as you continue to meet all the criteria, including
investment funds, income and health insurance.
- Investing at least NZ$1 million
- Parent Retirement Category - Designed for people of any
age with children who are New Zealand residents or citizens,
this visa grants you permanent residence. There is an investment
requirement of NZ$1 million over four years.
- Investing at least NZ$1.5 million
- Investor (Investor 2 Category) - If you're aged 65 years
or younger, this visa policy is great if you want to live
in New Zealand. Granting you permanent residence, this visa
requires an investment of NZ$1.5 million in New Zealand
over a four year period.
- Investing at least NZ$10 million
- Investor Plus (Investor 1 Category) - A faster track to
residence, there's a minimum investment requirement of NZ$10
million for three years. There's no age requirement for
the Investor Plus Visa.
Expat life in the land of Hobbits
29 March 2016
Settled UK couple shares their thoughts after immigrating
This is one of the world's best places to live.
Here's how to land a job there
With a laid-back, outdoorsy vibe, New Zealand's largest city
is often called one of the world's best places to live. Here's
how to land a job there.
When Lizzie Brandon first arrived in Auckland, New Zealand
in 2008, she used to write down things about her new home
that were different to life in Bedford, England, more than
11,000 miles away.
Some items on that list - "Nobody wears shoes… you don't
have to tip."
While not everyone in Auckland walks around barefoot, it's
true that tipping is relatively unheard of. But for a newcomer
these relative oddities say a lot about the city's laid-back,
With 1.5 million people, Auckland is the largest city in
New Zealand, a country in the South Pacific known for hobbits,
rugby and sheep than being a draw for foreign workers. But
with 39% of its population born abroad, it's one of the world's
most culturally diverse cities - even more so than London
or New York.
Kiwis (a nickname for New Zealanders based on their national
bird) are fond of the outdoors, and Aucklanders are no different.
The city is built on an isthmus between two harbours, and
with rugged hills and black-sand beaches to the west and golden
bays to the north, it's a haven for fishing, sailing, hiking,
cycling and most other leisure activities that involve getting
out of the house.
The city's outdoorsy nature and cosmopolitan makeup are two
reasons why it often ranks high on annual global liveability
lists - recruitment consulting firm Mercer last month listed
it third in its annual Quality of Living Rankings for the
third year running and Auckland is ninth on the Economist
Intelligence Unit's list of the world's most liveable cities.
Overall, the country rates highly as a place to live for
foreign workers - HSBC listed New Zealand as the second-best
place to live for expats in its latest Expat Explorer survey.
We feel genuinely privileged and grateful to live here.
Brandon agrees it's a great place for foreigners. "We
love it. We really, really love it," said the 45-year-old,
who moved to Auckland after her husband Sean got a job offer
as a roofing contracts manager. The couple live in Browns
Bay, a quiet suburb on the city's north shore. Coming from
flat, landlocked Bedford, it's a luxury for Brandon to have
the beach at her doorstep.
"We still have to pinch ourselves when coming over the
hill to our home in Browns Bay and seeing the ocean. The view
is stunning," she said. "We feel genuinely privileged
and grateful to live here."
Generally, people wanting to work in New Zealand will be
granted a visa if they either have a job offer from an accredited
employer, have specialist skills or work in fields that are
in demand, such as biotechnology and creative industries.
The New Zealand government has a list of some 700 in-demand
skilled occupations on its website.
Some people apply for permanent residency straight away through
a points system, which rewards applicants for qualifications
and needed skills.
Those with a job offer can get a two-year Work to Residence
(Talent) visa which allows expats to upgrade from a temporary
to resident visa. Libby Svensen, director of New Zealand-based
relocation company Relocations International, said most of
her expatriate clients arrive on a two-year working visa,
which has benefits on its own.
Those with a job offer can get a two-year Work to Residence
(Talent) visa which allows expats to upgrade from a temporary
to resident visa.
"They're entitled to all of our healthcare benefits
and education, and are treated just like a New Zealander,"
she said. "All that has to happen on top of that is that
their kids have a student visa, so they don't have to pay
international fees [for schooling]."
Landing the job
White-collar professionals are the most common type of employee
in the city, which is positioning itself as a high-tech hub
for information communications technology (ICT). Auckland
mayor Len Brown said the ICT sector is growing at about 15%
every year. "It's about 14% of the entire regional economy
at the moment."
He said there is strong investment from China and the US
"in particular Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, San
Diego - there's a number of businesses that are looking to
invest and establish themselves in Auckland."
Many multinational tech companies have bases there, such
as Vodafone, Cisco and Microsoft. There are also opportunities
in the financial services, engineering and construction, tourism
and life sciences industries.
Auckland's time zones mean the work day overlaps with the
US (there is currently a four-hour time difference between
Los Angeles and Auckland) and parts of Asia.
Where to live
Many people, who are priced out of the central suburbs look
further west, north or south. But living further out comes
with its own challenges. Auckland is a large, spread-out city
and most people drive.
What to do
Piha's black sands and powerful surf are a draw for tourists.
New Zealand is known as an outdoorsy nation, and Auckland
is no different. Some of the city's beaches, such as Mission
Bay and Takapuna Beach, are very close to the city's main
Further west, the Waitakere Ranges offer excellent hiking
and the rugged black-sand beaches of Piha and Muriwai attract
surfers from all over the world.
It's so lovely that everyone has boats and goes fishing on
Being perched right on the Hauraki Gulf, many Aucklanders
take to the water to relax - whether it's sailing in weekend
regattas or taking a trailer boat out early to catch fish.
It's one thing that Brandon noticed when she arrived. "It's
so lovely that everyone has boats and goes fishing on the
Those who prefer staying indoors with a meal aren't out of
luck either. Auckland has a thriving restaurant scene and
when it comes to café culture, it fancies itself as
at least equal, if not superior to its Australian neighbours
Sydney and Melbourne. Locals ask for a flat white - smaller
than a latte, it consists of velvety microfoam poured over
a double ristretto shot - that any Auckland barista should
be able to make.
New Zealand has a good reputation as a quality producer of
New World wines, and there are some excellent vineyards on
the city's doorstep. Waiheke Island, a 35-minute ferry ride
from the CBD, is a great spot to tour the vineyards and sample
the wares afterwards.
For the most part, the people of New Zealand, and Auckland,
have a laid-back, egalitarian approach to life and generally
are friendly, welcoming and approachable. Tipping is not expected
or part of the culture.
New Zealand has a good reputation as a quality producer of
New World wines, and there are some excellent vineyards on
the city's doorstep. Waiheke Island, a 35-minute ferry ride
from the CBD, is a great spot to tour the vineyards and sample
the wares afterwards.
Most Aucklanders take their sport very seriously - rugby
is something of a national obsession, so those who want to
break the ice quickly may want to familiarise themselves with
Kiwis enjoy a good-natured rivalry with their Australian
neighbours in everything from sport to coffee to breakfast
"Hobbiton is two hours south of where we live,"
Brandon said. "That still blows my mind."
New Zealand in top five in world literacy survey
March 8, 2016
New Zealand ranked higher in literacy than Germany (9), Canada
(10), the US (11), UK (14) and Australia (15).
New Zealand is the fifth most literate country in the world.
In a newly released study, The World's Most Literate Nations,
New Zealand is ranked in the top five - joining Nordic countries
such as Finland, Iceland, Denmark and Sweden to claim the
New Zealand ranked higher than Germany (9), Canada (10),
the US (11), UK (14) and Australia (15).
The study, conducted by John W. Miller, president of Central
Connecticut State University in New Britain, Connecticut,
looked at literate behaviours and their supporting resources
- five categories such as size and number of libraries and
"The power of literacy and the value of being part of
a literate world is often taken for granted," Mr Miller
The team examined data from 200 countries but, due to lack
of relevant statistics, only 61 made the cut.
"The factors we examined present a complex and nuanced
portrait of a nation's cultural vitality, and what the rankings
strongly suggest and world literacy demonstrates is that these
kinds of literate behaviours are critical to the success of
individuals and nations in the knowledge-based economics that
define our global future," Mr Miller said.
The study looks at two aspects of literacy - achievement
in two international tests, Progress in International Reading
Literacy Study (PIRLS) and Programme for International Student
Assessment (PISA); and literate behaviour characteristics,
which includes population, newspapers, libraries, and years
TOP 20 MOST LITERATE NATIONS:
5. New Zealand
11. United States
14. United Kingdom
18. Slovak Republic
20. Czech Republic
BOTTOM 20 NATIONS:
46. Brazil and Serbia
48. South Korea
50. Costa Rica
Global tour before work on $681m Commercial Bay starts
March 4, 2016
The architect, developers and builders of New Zealand's largest
new office tower and shopping centre have toured some of the
world's best buildings before they start their big new job.
In June, Precinct Properties will begin the 39-level $681
million Commercial Bay on the site of the Downtown Shopping
Centre opposite the waterfront on Quay
New York was one of the cities the Precinct Properties and
Commercial Bay tour group visited.
"On glass, we'll spend around $65 million," Pritchard
said of the Auckland project, making that New Zealand's most
expensive glazing project.
"On steel, it will be about $40 million to $50 million."
Pritchard said one of the most interesting aspects of the
tour was how retail had changed and was evolving.
The importance of designing a retail centre which complimented
the existing CBD landscape was apparent, he said.
That was planned at Commercial Bay, where a new east-west
laneway will be created.
However, Pritchard indicated shops had been designed to form
"Commercial Bay is designed to cater for a pleasant
environment. The key selling point is 3.1m ceiling heights
and an enormous amount of natural light," he said.
The project's shops are due to open by October 2018 and the
Auckland third-best city for quality of living
February 23, 2016
Auckland has been ranked the world's third-best city for
quality of living for the fourth time.
The City of Sails came third in three previous Quality of
Living surveys by recruitment consultancy Mercer, last year,
in 2014, and in 2012.
The survey ranks 230 cities on factors such as culture and
environment, political stability, safety, housing, education,
and ease of doing business.
Austrian capital Vienna was the top-ranked city globally,
followed by Zurich in Switzerland. The cities have held their
rankings since the survey began in 2010.
Vancouver was North America's highest-ranking city, in 5th
place, and Singapore was the highest ranking Asian city, coming
in 26th place.
Mercer mobility leader Lorraine Jennings said New Zealand
cities had several attractive qualities.
"New Zealand cities illustrate a stable infrastructure,
increased availability of housing on the city fringe and lifestyle
choices that are particularly appealing to the younger generation.
"This is all good news in terms of New Zealand-based
companies attracting international talent."
Safety was a key determinant of quality of life, according
"Heightened domestic and global security threats, population
displacement resulting from violence and social unrest in
key business centres around the world are all adding to the
complex challenge facing multinational companies."
Worst for personal safety was Baghda rated the world's least
safe city, ahead of Damascus, the second-least safe city.
Baghdad was also rated the lowest for quality of life overall.
Bangui in the Central African Republic was the second lowest-ranked
city for quality of life.
Only a handful of cities in the Middle East and Africa made
the top 100 for overall quality of life. Dubai was the highest
ranking city in the region, at 75.
HSBC offers 3.95 per cent, '50-year-low' mortgage rate
February 17, 2016
HSBC is offering a 3.95 per cent, 18-month fixed-term mortgage
special, which it claims is the lowest rate offered in New
Zealand in more than 50 years.
But there are, of course, strings attached.
The special is being offered to new HSBC Premier customers
and existing Premier clients who take on at least $100,000
in additional borrowing.
HSBC Premier customers are required to have a minimum combined
home loan of $500,000 or $100,000 in savings and investments
To qualify for the special, borrowers must have a deposit
or equity of at least 20 per cent, and 30 per cent in the
case of new residential lending in Auckland.
They must also have their salary credited to an HSBC account.
Meanwhile, HSBC has also reduced its carded rates for its
six-month, two-year, three-year and four-year fixed-term home
loans to 4.85 per cent, 4.39 per cent, 4.59 per cent and 4.79
per cent, respectively.
HSBC has been consistently offering highly competitive and
often market-leading home loan rates in New Zealand for a
number of years now.
Global brands boost demand for CBD retail space
February 17, 2016
A growing number of retailers are vying for Kiwi buyer dollars
and the demand remains strong for prime retail central city
Clothing stores H&M and Zara have recently committed
to Sylvia Park mall in Auckland and a number of other well-known
international retailers are coming or are on the verge of
coming to New Zealand.
Swedish furniture store IKEA, American warehouse club Costco
and metro discount German supermarket chain Aldi - all of
which are likely to follow.
In most cases international retailers always try Auckland
first as a test and if this works, they will often expand
to Christchurch and Wellington at the same time before later
moving into the provincial centres.
Location is entirely dependent on demographics for example,
a Costco will want one million people within a 30 minute drive
time of each store.
Topshop opened in Auckland's Queen Street last year - possibly
triggering the move of other brands into the CBD with Chanel
and Tiffany and Co due to set up stores. Other global retailers
will probably follow.
Unemployment drops sharply to 5.3pc, near six-year low
February 3, 2016
The unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in the December
quarter from 6 percent three months earlier, according to
Statistics New Zealand.
New Zealand unemployment unexpectedly fell to near a six-year
low in the final three months of 2015 as people left a labour
market flooded by strong migration and as employers took on
more workers. The kiwi dollar initially jumped almost half
a US cent.That's the lowest level since March 2009.
Construction work grew 3.1 percent in the quarter to 232,000,
while manufacturing jobs increased 1.8 percent to 254,400.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing jobs climbed 5.7 percent
Record inflows of migrants have kept the labour force expanding
over the past year.
The data comes ahead of Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler's
first public speech of the year, this afternoon, where he's
expected to elaborate on adopting a bias for lower interest
rates as low oil prices keep a lid on inflation.
The kiwi dollar rose as high as 65.42 US cents after the data
was released, from 65.02 cents immediately before, and was
recently at 65.16 cents.
the same period. Across all sectors, weekly earnings rose
1 percent in the quarter for an annual rise of 3 percent.
NZ migration at record high in 2015 as fewer depart for
Australia, foreign students flood in
February 1, 2016
New Zealand had a record net gain in migrants of 64,900 in
the December year, with fewer people leaving for Australia
and more arrivals from across Asia.
The annual gain in migrants has set records for the past
17 months. Arrivals rose 12 percent in the December 2015 year
from the December 2014 year, and departures fell 2 percent
to 57,000, Statistics New Zealand said.
The net inflow of migrants from Australia continued in December,
the ninth month in a row. Before April 2015, the last net
gain in migrants from Australia had been in June 1991. Of
all migrant arrivals in the December year, 25,300 were from
Australia. Fewer New Zealand citizens left for Australia,
with departures down 11 percent in 2015, less than half the
peak departures set in 2010.
Migrants on student visas rose 22 percent in the year.
All regions had a net gain of international migrants in December,
with most going to Auckland. Just over half of all migrants
with a stated address on their arrival card were moving to
the Auckland region, which accounts for 34 percent of New
Last week, Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler said New
Zealand's economy is expected to be up this year due to persistently
strong inbound migration and high levels of tourism, along
with an elevated level of construction work and improving
business and consumer confidence.
Tourist arrivals continue to break records
February 1, 2016
The number of visitors arriving in New Zealand continued
to break records in December.
The number of visitors arriving in New Zealand reached 444,900
in December, the highest-ever monthly figure. The biggest
increase was in visitors from China, up 11,000 (43 per cent)
from December 2014.
Statistics New Zealand released the arrivals figures today,
and said annual visitor arrivals reached a record 3.13 million,
up 10 per cent from the previous year.
"The previous record set in December 2014, was easily
surpassed this month," population statistics manager
Jo-Anne Skinner said. "This was mainly driven by a 17
per cent increase in arrivals of holidaymakers."
Of the visitors arriving in New Zealand, 1.33 million of
visitors were from Australia, 355,900 from China and 243,100
from the United States in the December year.
What makes New Zealand a great country
New Zealand has a greater cultural competence and is more
tolerant - than any other parts of the world due to the large
number of indigenous people and Auckland being the largest
Pacific City in the world.
January 18, 2016
There are many reasons why record numbers of tourists come
to New Zealand and migrants want to settle here.
They breathe the air and drink water from the tap. Friends
just back from visiting Beijing coughed their way around the
Forbidden City and climbing the Great Wall. Corruption is
not the modus operandi and if you try it, enforcement systems
generally catches you.
New Zealand has an independent judicial system and tough
regulation and regulators to protect the public interest whether
in financial products or food.
New Zealand has a greater cultural respect and welcomes the
diversity more than any other parts of the world due to the
large number of indigenous people and Auckland being the largest
Pacific City in the world.
Now with the growing number of migrants allowed into New
Zealand as international students, essential and highly skilled
migrants and business investor migrants, it has become one
of the most super diverse countries in the OECD.
New Zealand already does well in comparison with other countries
regarding racial harmony. We are perceived on the world stage
as a neutral, independent, peaceful country, who has a sympathetic
ear for the issues faced by small states, being one ourselves.
Our success in getting on the Security Council is evidence.
New Zealanders now have the best possible opportunity to
successfully build on this super diversity - over 200 ethnicities,
160 languages. 25% of New Zealanders where not born here.
NZ retail spending hits record high
January 14, 2016
New Zealanders spent a record $6 billion shopping in December,
the highest ever monthly figure recorded by Statistics New
Shoppers swiped their electronic cards and spent $304 million
more than throughout December 2014, an increase of 5.3 per
Business indicators manager for Statistics NZ, Clara Eatherley,
said hospitality spending had the biggest increase.
"While card spending was up in five of the six retail
industries in December, a significant fall in the durables
industry has lowered overall card spending in the retail sector."
Trends across the spending in retail sectors have generally
been rising since Statistics NZ began monitoring in October
Last week, Paymark indicated a strong growth in spending
in December, citing a growth of 8 per cent compared to December
Paymark pointed to a number of factors behind the overall
increase in spending, including the Reserve Bank cutting the
OCR, which flows on to lower mortgage rates, as well as continued
"Retail spending has trucked along at a pretty solid
pace over the course of the last year, supported by strong
growth in house prices, a large net inflow of migrants, and
solid tourist spending.
The strong Christmas spend up had contributed to New Zealand's
largest listed retailer Warehouse Group forecasting a 15 per
cent to 21 per cent lift in first-half net profit.
The largest retail movements in December 2015 were:
- Durables, down $21 million (1.8 per cent)
- Hospitality, up $13 million (1.6 per cent)
- Core retail spending (which excludes the vehicle-related
industries) fell 0.4 per cent in December 2015, following
a 0.3 per cent rise in November.
New Zealand: a place worth returning to
January 9, 2016
New Zealanders find themselves when returning from overseas
a very different economy than one they left years ago - a
more buoyant nation attracting many more people with their
energy, capital and flair to country.
Kiwis are quietly proud that New Zealand is a country that
now holds its own with any country in the world. For the past
few years record numbers of people have immigrated to the
country, many of them are New Zealanders coming home or staying
Immigration is setting records and the population is
growing at a faster rate than seen since 1974.
Historically back in 1960 right up to 1974 the population
growth continued at record high levels to 1974, then it stopped.
Everybody blamed the oil shock. Inflation had resulted, unemployment
had set in but New Zealand's problems went much deeper than
the price of oil.
Britain made the decision to join the European market and
as our only reliable international customer created for New
Zealand bleak economic prospects.
The oil shock, inflation, unemployment saw New Zealand living
on borrowed money, borrowed time, waiting for the creditors
When the new government was elected in 1984 it had taken
New Zealand 10 years from 1974 to get the new economy properly
Ten years on by 1994 inflation was down and the National
Budget produced its first surplus.
This continuous process of market and product diversification
that began 40 years ago when the UK joined the European community
now show a sharp reversal of current trade figures with the
UK who do not figure in New Zealand's top 10 markets.
40 years ago NZ used to be all about frozen animal carcasses
and bulk milk powder. Now the country is increasingly about
high value food and beverages, ICT, Niche high-tech manufacturing,
and services like Education Tourism.
A further 10 years and into the 2000 and economically and
culturally a confident new New Zealand emerged as outstanding
international traders around the globe.
Today New Zealand finds its self with a rapidly growing economy
as a multi national nation, more buoyant than most, attracting
many more people with their energy, capital and flair to this
beautiful, industrious young country - and as a consequence
there has been a dramatic return of many kiwis permanently
The big money earners: Jobs in construction, engineering
and IT are tops for pay
January 4, 2016
People looking to maximise their earning prospects in 2016
should consider a career in construction, engineering or information
Data released by job search company Seek shows outside of
consultancy work roles linked to the building industry were
paid the most last year and were some of the few sectors to
see decent pay rises.
The average salary for the construction industry is now $94,580,
a boost of 5 per cent on 2013 while engineers earned an average
Construction, design and architecture and trades and services
jobs were some of the few career paths to see an increase
of 5 per cent or more in the last year while most other sectors
only grew by 1 to 2 per cent and some went backwards.
Seek spokeswoman Sarah Macartney said the jump in pay for
jobs linked to the building industry was simply down to supply
And so far that hadn't changed despite a slow-down in the
Auckland property market.
The average construction salary of $94,580 was about right
for people that had between five to 10 years experience and
were probably a site manager, quantity surveyor or project
While some of those roles required a tertiary degree others
were about gaining skills and experience on the job.
Top ten biggest earning jobs - average salary - percentage
increase in 2015:
- Consulting and strategy: $97,127 -2 per cent
- Construction: $94,580 - 5 per cent
- Engineering: $92,595 - 1 per cent
- Information and Communication Technology: $91,223 - 1
- Mining resources and energy: $89,593 - 5 per cent
Record migrants and tourists arriving in NZ
December 21, 2015
Migration flows into New Zealand continue to surge, with the
latest figures from Statistics New Zealand showing a net gain
of 6300 migrants last month.
Net migration has been regularly breaking records since August
2014, when it surpassed the previous highest net gain of 4700
in February 2003.
November 2015 had a seasonally adjusted net gain of 200 migrants
from Australia - the eighth month in a row to show an increase.
In the 12 months to November 2015, 63,700 net migrants arrived
in New Zealand. That figure set new records for the last 16
Statistics New Zealand said the migration gain was driven
by both more arrivals and fewer departures.
Departures of New Zealand citizens to Australia fell 12 per
cent in the November 2015 year, down to 21,300. This is less
than half the record 48,800 departures in the December 2012
The net gain of 400 migrants from Australia in the November
2015 year was the second month in a row with an annual net
gain of migrants.
Michael Gordon, senior economist at Westpac, said the ongoing
net immigration gains will cause New Zealand's annual population
growth rate to reach its highest pace since 1974.
"We expect that net immigration will remain strong for
some time yet. But the current strength will eventually moderate."
Chris Tennent-Brown, senior economist at ASB, said the strong
inflow of migrants would support labour capacity, and contain
"Housing demand and retail spending will also remain
supported by the inflows, particularly in Auckland,"
Higher skill levels needed for trades
December 12, 2015
Opportunities for tradespeople abound but New Zealand
lacks the skilled and semi-skilled workers to meet demand.
Around 1924, a newspaper in Iowa used the term "blue
collar worker" to describe those in manual trades who
wore durable clothes in colours, like blue, which more effectively
hid dirt and/or grease.
The term stuck, becoming a catch-all to label those in the
trades, semi-skilled and unskilled sectors of the workforce.
It distinguished them from so-called "white collar workers"
in professional and, more often, office-based jobs.
But today, it's become a misnomer. Though trade staff may
still mainly work with their hands, jobs are more likely than
ever before to require high skill and education levels and
see a goodly number of people moving into project management
and supervisory roles. In addition, the jobs which might fall
into the category have mushroomed ranging from aviation engineers
and automotive mechanics to technicians and transport inspectors.
Opportunities abound but New Zealand lacks the skilled and
semi-skilled workers to meet demand. Construction, utilities
and hospitality sectors have been hardest hit.
Shortages can be partly attributed to demand; there's more
infrastructure which needs to be repaired or maintained or
redeveloped. Additionally, major infrastructure projects in
Auckland, Shortages are likely to continue. Not enough young
people train to work in the trades and this is compounded
by the fact existing staff are ageing..
AWF Madison Group is New Zealand's largest recruitment company
and comprises AWF, Madison and Tradeforce. Collectively, the
three businesses employ more than 230 full-time staff and
deploy up to 4500 temporary staff daily - many of those to
construction, infrastructure development, manufacturing, food
processing, timber processing and waste management sectors.
Its chief executive Simon Bennett says technology means the
"playing field" has been completely transformed.
There is a perception that trade jobs will disappear with
workers replaced by robots and other high-tech innovations
but rapidly developing technology is creating fresh opportunities
and/or requiring those already in the trades to upskill.
"Very few holes will be dug today by a person with a
spade but someone does have to operate and maintain the machinery
that does the digging," says Mr Bennett. "It means
you need staff who can do that - we've got a real shortage
of project and site managers - because there are often more
elements to pull together."
The impact of technology on manufacturing and the trades has
diversified the skills required particularly the further up
the hierarchy one advances.
"People talk a lot about innovation at work but this
conjures up a vision of - and is often illustrated by - young
men and women with university degrees in spectacles and white
coats doing something in a science lab," says Mr Newsome.
"The reality is a lot of innovation occurs on a building
site or in a warehouse."
Pat Cody, principal advisor for Careers New Zealand, says
tradesmen and women who want to "future proof" their
employment opportunities need to stay up-to-date with the
technological advances in their fields. Mr Cody offers the
following tips and hints:
- Develop a reputation for good work; word of mouth is
still powerful particularly in the trades
- Develop niche/specialist skills within the specific trade
- Always expand your skill set; for example, by engaging
in different project work
- Establish your network within the trade and related trades
- Develop the ability to collaborate and lead people
- Stay attuned to technology development in your industry;
go to trade shows, read industry magazines
- Develop complementary skills/qualifications, business/project
Project Auckland: Five big years of the Super City
October 30, 2015
Congratulations, Auckland. This weekend is the fifth birthday
of the Super City.
Five years ago, in what was the biggest and most complex
merger in New Zealand's local government and corporate history,
the late Mark Ford and his team at the Auckland Transition
Agency broke eight councils into bits and reassembled them
into one new Super City with assets worth $29 billion and
annual revenues of $3.1 billion.
It was a complex exercise, likened to joining together eight
jumbo jets while they were still in the air.
On November 1, 2010, the Auckland Council was born, replacing
the existing Auckland Regional Council, Auckland City Council,
Manukau City Council, North Shore City Council, Papakura District
Council, Rodney District Council, Waitakere City Council,
Franklin District Council and their associated community boards.
The ambition for the new Super City was breathtaking. The
project was risky. But what project worth doing was ever straightforward?
It was also done under extreme time pressure.
Auckland is now an internationally competitive, inclusive
and dynamic economy; a great place to live and conduct business;
and a place buzzing with innovation, where skilled people
work in world-class enterprises.
The city is also bursting its seams through an influx of
immigrants including g many New Zealanders who want to move
north-a vote in the city's future.
Auckland retains its third place on the Mercer Quality of
Auckland's diverse population carries with it challenges,
but also opportunities.
The focus is on Auckland's drive to increase its international
competitiveness and attract and retain the necessary talent
and investment to ensure the city-region became a thriving
Auckland's diverse population carries with it challenges,
but also opportunities.
It is time to savour the Super City's successes -- before
getting back to work on the next phase.
Tech exports hit record growth
29th October 2015. NZ Herald
Technology, New Zealand's third-largest export behind
dairy and tourism has had record growth this year.
Managing director of Technology Investment Network Greg Shanahan
says although it is not about to overtake dairy just yet,
it is a case of "watch this space".
Greg Shanahan, managing director of Technology Investment
Network (TIN). One of the major contributors
to tech sector growth came from companies in the financial
services sector. Photo / Brett Phibbs.
The 11th annual TIN100 report produced by Technology Investment
Network (TIN) was released last night at a cocktail event
at the ASB Cube on Auckland's North Wharf with several hundred
guests including Minister for Economic Development Steven
The report tracks the progress of New Zealand's technology
companies as well as the sector as a whole.
Dairy remains New Zealand's largest export sector with $14.2
billion, followed by tourism at $11.8 billion, according to
latest Statistics NZ figures. Technology is third with $6.5
billion - a number Shanahan said was continuing to rise.
Over the past year the sector has had record growth of $609
million, or 7.3 per cent, with combined revenue for the top
200 technology companies surveyed by TIN reaching just under
$9 billion. The majority of the sector's revenue was from
high-tech manufacturing companies including Fisher & Paykel
Healthcare, Gallagher Group and Compac Sorting Equipment.
Shanahan said the growth in revenue across all technology
sectors was a reflection of the firms' dedication and hard
"Although macroeconomic factors played a significant
part in the performance, much of the success can be attributed
to the hard work and ambition of the companies themselves,"
"There is a very sophisticated ecosystem operating in
New Zealand now with companies conscious of what the key success
drivers are, and eager to pioneer best practices to achieve
One of the major contributors to this growth was companies
in the financial services sector, which was the fastest growing
in both dollar and percentage terms. The 11 financial services
companies across the top 200 companies grew revenue by $129
million for the year, or 58 per cent.
Companies going public or attracting investment from overseas
was also a major trend, with 13 public listings from the top
200 tech companies in the past two years - more than had listed
collectively in the previous 10 years.
It was an exciting time for technology companies, said Shanahan.
"Whilst technology exports aren't about to knock dairy
exports off its perch just yet - watch this space".
Technology sector growth of $609 million or 7.3 per
Total revenue for top 200 companies of just under $9
Workers in sector up 6.9 per cent to 37,000
Export revenue up 7.5 per cent to $6.5 billion
High-tech manufacturing $5.5 billion - up 4.6 per cent
ICT $2.4 billion - up 13.1 per cent
Biotech $350.5 million - up 8 per cent
Net migration hits record high as Kiwis come home
Oct 22, 2015
New Zealand has had a record net gain in migrants of 61,200
in the September year, driven by more Kiwis coming home and
fewer leaving for Australia.
The annual gain in migrants has been setting new records
for the past 14 months, and there were 118,800 arrivals in
the September year and 57,600 departures.
There was a net gain of 5600 migrants in September, the second
highest ever, with seasonally adjusted permanent and long-term
monthly net migration fluctuating around 5100 over the past
There was also a net gain of 100 migrants from Australia,
the sixth month in a row to show a net gain, reflecting weaker
economic conditions across the Tasman.
The fall in migrant departures was mainly due to fewer New
Zealand citizens leaving for Australia. Departures of Kiwis
to Australia fell 15 per cent to 21,500 in the September year,
which is less than half the peak departures set in the December
Of the migrant arrivals in the September year, some 24,700
were from Australia, with two-thirds of those being New Zealand
citizens returning home.
All regions had a net gain of international migrants in the
September year, with most going to Auckland and then Canterbury.
The tourism boom is also soaring with overseas visitor arrivals
hitting a record annual total of 3.04 million for the September
year, up 9 per cent on the previous year.
Australia was the biggest source of visitors at 1.3 million
followed by China at 327,900 and the US at 237,300.
Visitor arrivals for September rose 12 per cent to 217,000,
with China recording the highest ever number of visitors for
a September month, up 41 per cent from the same month in 2014.
Low cost, short term accomodation for new arrivals
Shalom Court is New Zealand’s only Jewish Aged Care facility
located in St Johns, Auckland.
A number of the older self-contained cottages are surplus
to need and are being offered to the community and new immigrants
for short term rental.
Cottages sleep two people with en-suite bathroom, lounge
Shalom Court is within walking distance to Meadowbank Shopping
Centre and the Auckland Hebrew Congregation’s Stiebel. Bus
stops to and from the city centre are outside the facility.
To enquire about or view a cottage, please contact Malindy
Rose on (0064) 9 521 7325 or email@example.com.
If you want to work in New Zealand you need to secure some
sort of working visa
The following is a full list of the work application types
that will use the online forms:
Post-Study Work Visa - Open
Post-Study Work Visa - Employer Assisted
Student and Trainee Work Visa (Medical/Dental, Jockey,
Work Experience for Student)
Work to Residence - Long Term Skill Shortage List
Work to Residence - Talent Accredited Employer Work
Work to Residence - Talent Arts Culture Sport Work
Religious Worker Work Visa
Specific Purpose or Event:
- Senior or specialist business people on short-term secondments
- People seconded to New Zealand as an intra-corporate transferee
- People wishing to undertake business activities in New Zealand
for a period exceeding three months in one year
- Migrant investment instructions principal applicants
- Sports referees, show, display or exhibition judges, non-accredited
media and broadcasting personnel for major sporting events
- Dance and music examiners of recognised international teaching
- Installers or servicers of specialised machinery or equipment
supplied by an overseas company
- Sports people and professional sports coaches
Immigration Medical Package for just NZ$220
The Victoria Park Medical Suites offer one of the cheapest
Immigration Medical Examination package in Auckland.
Victoria Park Medical Suites belongs to the Onshore Panel Physician
Network for completing Immigration New Zealand medical examinations.
Fees for Immigration Examination Package:
- Children under 11 years old: $60 (exam)
- Children 11-14 years old: $130 (exam, urine test, chest
- 15 years old & over: $220 (exam, urine & blood
tests, chest x-ray)
- 15 years old & over: $155 (exam, urine & blood
- Limited Medical Certificate: $170
here for more information.
Kiwis in 4th safest nation
27 June 2015
New Zealanders live in the fourth safest country in the world
, behind Iceland, Denmark and Austria.
Six out of the top ten most peaceful countries were European,
according to the 2015 Global Peace Index published in June
by the Institute for Economics and Peace.
The study ranks 162 nations based on factors like the level
of violent crime, involvement in conflicts and degree of militarisation.
New Zealand was named fourth safest, down from second last
year, and ahead of Switzerland in fifth, and Australia in
Political and social stability, “relative race harmony”,
geographical isolation and low levels of corruption and crime
were behind the ranking, said expert Professor Patman.
“This is a remarkable uncorrupted, honest and decent society,
and compared to other countries, this country is incredibly
War-torn Syria remains the most dangerous country in the
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