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Auckland Hebrew Congregation:
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Auckland and New Zealand news:
New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English meets the Jewish
13 July 2017
We had an amazing event last week hosting the Prime
Minister Bill English at Auckland's Shule.
The good news as we heard as the Prime Minister talked
of a 're-set' in the relations between New Zealand and
200 congregants listened to a very supportive Israel
address by the Prime Minster and then answered some
very searching questions primarily about NZ / Israel
It was clear that the historical good relations had
returned to normal with no mention of NZ's ex past Foreign
Minister but much praise for new replacing Foreign Minister
Photo at top - Prime Minister Bill English on the
Kiwis win off the field as Lions rugby tour brings in the
10 July 2017
There may not have been a winner on the field, but Kiwi councils
and hospitality providers are toasting to success at the end
of the British and Irish Lions tour.
The Lions visited seven cities during their 36-day trip,
taking their merry band of 20,000 vocal supporters with them.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed)
chief executive Brett O'Riley said the Lions tour has been
a "huge success".
"The region has been awash with a sea of red and the
20,000 plus visiting fans have been the best guests making
the most of the tourism experiences and food and beverage
options throughout Auckland."
Auckland hosted two of the three tests between the Lions
and the All Blacks, as well as the Blues' upset win against
O'Riley said the series brought in 14,000 domestic visitors.
"While we don't have the full economic impact data in
yet, the series is estimated to generate $26.7 million for
the Auckland economy, and 165,000 visitor nights."
Hospitality NZ Auckland president Russell Gray said the series'
deciding test being held days after the victory parade for
Team New Zealand was a "windfall" for the city.
"I think Auckland experienced a bit of a one-off last
week with the amazing America's Cup parade on the Thursday
leading straight into a test weekend, and so that was probably
bigger than anyone had anticipated.
"Everyone was in party mode and that flowed into the
Fans turn out to welcome America's Cup trophy to Team NZ
6 July 2017
Tens of thousands of joyful New Zealanders have braved a
thunderstorm in Auckland to welcome home the America's Cup
winners, who held the Auld Mug aloft on these shores for the
first time in 17 years.
The Emirates Team New Zealand members waved at the crowd
from the backs of vans for a slow, noisy procession down Queen
Street to Waitemata Harbour, where they boarded a boat for
a victory tour on the sea - dozens of yachts, sea kayaks and
dingies floating by to catch a glimpse.
Many people skipped work and school on Thursday to watch
the parade live, not wanting to miss out on the historic moment.
The parade started in sunshine and ended amid claps of thunder
and torrential rain. Office workers pressed themselves against
windows to watch and builders paused on their scaffolding
high above the city to whoop and yell.
Seagulls swooped above the cheering crowd dancing to a brass
band version of James Brown's I Feel Good. Some people had
travelled from around the North Island to shout "Kiwi,
Kiwi" and "Peter, Peter!" for helmsman Peter
Burling, who, at 26, is the youngest person to ever win the
America's Cup, and an instant hero for locals with his uncanny
resemblance to Sir Edmund Hillary.
wanted to support the team, I felt so happy and excited when
they won," said 14-year-old Ace Mead who missed school
with her three sisters to attend the parade.
"I think the team won because they had courage and faith,
and they had the whole country behind them. I got up to watch
every game with my Dad."
Many of the team - dressed in black and blue tracksuits -
looked worn out from their feat in Bermuda, but their faces
cracked into huge grins as the crowd embraced them, throwing
colourful streamers over their heads and waving handmade signs.
This week the government announced NZ $5m in funding for
the team to try and keep their sailing talent in New Zealand,
but today Australian skipper Glenn Ashby told TVNZ he had
already received phone calls from rival teams trying to poach
"I think all the guys are highly sought after because
we have been able to pull of something absolutely fantastic"
A number of the sailors bowed their heads at the start of
the parade to hide puffy eyes, blinking back tears they were
unable to control. Having only arrived back in the country
yesterday, they have yet to see some friends and family, and
many said they were keen for a few quiet days to recoup and
process before journeying south for parades in Wellington,
Christchurch and Dunedin.
"Thank you for your display of what is best in our country,"
said the prime minister, Bill English, from a podium by Waitemata
harbour, his grey suit drooping in the rain.
"You are a group of ordinary Kiwis who have done something
extraordinary," he said, before giving cause for laughter
with one of his characteristic stumbles: "You'll also
be helping Kiwis get off the shelf … ah, off the couch."
Ex-Team NZ boat builders joining Rocket Lab in Hawke's Bay
4 July 2017
Former America's Cup boat builders are to join rocket scientists
in their work on launching more rockets soon from Northern
In May Rocket Lab completed its first test launch from its
site on Mahia Peninsula - becoming the first orbital-class
rocket to lift off from a private launch site in the world.
Now the rocket maker - on track for a second test launch
in the coming months - is employing workers involved in the
Team New Zealand campaign for its advanced composites work.
"We're employing so many people at the moment it's hard
to keep up," said Rocket Lab founder and chief executive
"I know last week in the Monday meeting I welcomed five
Rocket Lab's 17m-tall Electron Rocket is made of carbon fibre
similar to that used in Team New Zealand's boat. Last week
it was revealed that 40 workers involved in building the America's
Cup-winning catamaran last year had lost their jobs at Southern
The composites team at the Auckland-based rocket maker is
led by Ben Malcolm, who worked with Team New Zealand on the
last boat for their Cup campaign, in San Francisco in 2013.
Including contractors and part-timers, there are about 25
in Rocket Lab's composites team, a third of whom had worked
with Team NZ.
Mr Beck said top boat builders could transfer their skills
to the space industry.
"It's really about craftsmanship. The America's Cup
is very high end and has beautiful craftsmanship [but] not
all boat builders would assimilate perfectly into building
into space components," he said.
White House releases staff salaries - including Kiwi Chris
3 July 2017
The Trump administration has disclosed the salaries of 377
White House staff, including Kiwi expatriate Chris Liddell.
The filing confirms the former Carter Holt Harvey, GM and
Microsoft CFO is not in it for the money: Mr Liddell's salary
is $US30,000 a year.
An earlier White House disclosure revealed his net worth
was around the $NZ100 million mark.
Nevertheless, the New Zealander has big responsibilities:.
Mr Liddell is listed as assistant to President Donald Trump
for strategic initiatives.
And in May, he was put in charge of the Council for American
Technology, a group given the mission to drag the technology
used by US government departments into the 21st century and
make it secure.
The council, chaired by Mr Liddell, includes President Trump,
Vice-President Mike Pence and the secretaries of defence,
commerce and homeland security among its members, along with
the directors of national intelligence and the Office of Budget
Auckland's Waterview tunnel opens
2 July 2017
The first cars are rolling through the country's newest and
longest road tunnel in Auckland.
The $1.4 billion Waterview Connection, where twin 2.4km-long
three-lane tunnels connect State Highways 20 and 16 opened
to traffic early on Sunday morning after five years of construction.
It is hoped the tunnel will help improve traffic flows in
the city blighted by congestion.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges says the tunnel is the biggest
transport transformation in Auckland since the Harbour Bridge
was opened in 1959.
"Wider economic benefits are estimated to be worth $430
million, through improved productivity and reduced travel
time, and also include the creation of more than 18,000 jobs
during the construction of the tunnel," he said.
The tunnel largely completes the Western Ring Route, a new
48km route linking the west of Auckland, Manukau, the city
and the North Shore.
It aims to ease pressure on State Highway 1 and the Auckland
Harbour Bridge, Mr Bridges said.
In mid-July, a shared cycling and walking network will also
open alongside the motorway.
Prime Minister Bill English earlier said the tunnel project
was 60 years in the making with a gigantic boring machine
dubbed Alice used to dig it out.
The 1.97km Lyttelton Tunnel, near Christchurch, was previously
the longest tunnel in the country.
House consents at 13-year record in May, trend improving,
Statistics NZ says
30 June 2017
Local councils across New Zealand approved 7 percent more
residential building consents in May, with house consents
at a 13-year high as the trend for new dwellings continues
The seasonally-adjusted gain in May followed falls in March
and April, Statistics New Zealand said.
A total 2,794 new dwellings were consented, including 2,039
houses, the highest monthly number since June 2004. On an
annual basis, dwelling consents rose 8 percent, with 30,645
residential buildings consented in the year.
"The trend for new homes is recovering after dipping
in late 2016," prices, accommodation, and construction
senior manager Jason Attewell said.
"It's more than double the level of the 2011 low point,
and nearly back to the mid-2016 peak." The trend for
new stand-alone houses is also rising, Stats NZ said.
In Auckland, the country's largest city, the lack of housing
supply has been most acute as record migration drives demand.
Today's figures show 10,379 homes were consented in the year
through May, up 10 percent from the previous year.
On an annual basis, the value of consents rose 12 percent
to $19.3 billion. Residential consents increased 12 percent
to $12.8 billion while non-residential consents advanced 11
percent to $6.5 billion.
NZ could reap $1bn from hosting Cup
27 June 2017
Boat-building, tourism, accommodation, hospitality and major
events for New Zealand are just some of the windfalls the
country could capitalise on in the wake of the stunning America's
The head of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development
(ATEED), Brett O'Riley, says the gains could be massive.
"You have an enormous opportunity for the New Zealand
marine industry and in the same way The Lord of The Rings
and The Hobbit showcased the best scenery, so can the America's
Cup," he told the NZ Herald.
"The only people who can really answer the question
of where the bases will be are Team New Zealand, because it
all depends on the type of boats raced.
"And are we talking a single regatta or preliminary
The economic benefits could in the billion-dollar territory,
he said, a sentiment echoed by businessman Sir Ralph Norris.
Sir Ralph told Newstalk ZB the economic benefit would be
"It might even be a little higher than [$1b]."
Sir Ralph said he understood planning for a defence was already
"I get the impression from what I've heard over the
last couple of hours that a lot of forethought has already
gone into where the race will be held in Auckland, what sort
of arrangements will be needed to be put in place.
"I don't think they're going into that cold."
NZ construction sector upbeat on infrastructure work, buoyed
by Government injection
23 June 2017
New Zealand's construction sector is increasingly upbeat
about the growing infrastructure market, which will get a
boost from the government's planned $32.5 billion investment
over the next four years.
An annual survey of sentiment in the infrastructure and buildings
construction sector shows a split between the two sub-sectors,
with those on the infrastructure side expecting increased
spending over the coming three years, with 68 percent of respondents
seeing a positive investment outlook and nearly 70 percent
expecting more work.
Finance Minister Steven Joyce, who launched the report in
Auckland this morning, said the sector is "positive"
but is figuring out "how to handle that growth.
Joyce said lending curbs by the Reserve Bank and trading
banks' tighter credit criteria were "having a bit of
an impact" on the buildings side, but were "probably
assuring that the boom we're experiencing is going to be a
bit more sustainable than in the past," when the building
cycle was propped up by more of a boom/bust thing".
Construction has been a major plank to the country's economic
growth in recent years as the Canterbury rebuild and Auckland
house-building stir activity, accounting for 6.25 percent
of the economy from 5 percent five years ago and employing
250,000 people compared to 180,000 in 2012.
Joyce said the pipeline of work and government investment
means the sector will continue to be a core part of economic
growth in coming years and that a lot of effort was going
in to make sure the industry can build capacity to meet that
It's ours! Team New Zealand claims America's Cup after 14
27 June 2017
Team New Zealand claimed the America's Cup for a third time
on Tuesday after securing a 7-1 series victory over holders
Oracle Team USA.
It was a remarkable turnaround for the Auckland-based syndicate
after suffering a defeat at the last regatta in 2013, giving
up an 8-1 lead over Oracle in the process.
With a young crew led by Olympic gold medallist Peter Burling,
Team New Zealand sailed, and cycled, their way through the
qualifying series to reach the America's Cup final.
The finals went as follows:
Team New Zealand had a dominating day one with a 30-second
in race one before thrashing Oracle by 1 minute and 27 seconds
in race two.
Two more big race wins on day two put the challengers in
a commanding position - a 3-0 lead heading into the five day
Spithill promised Oracle would be working every hour to get
faster but that didn't seem to make a difference with Team
NZ moving to a 4-0 lead with a two-minute victory in race
five and finally finished 4-1.
Spithill finally had something to crow about as the much-faster
Oracle boat claimed victory in race six to make it 4-1 at
the end of day three of racing. Was another comeback on?
Not so fast. Burling yet again dominated the Australian in
both starts in races seven and eight and held off a fighting
Spithill to move Team New Zealand to match point at 6-1.
Team New Zealand then crushed Oracle in race nine to complete
New Zealand world's second most peaceful country
22 June 2017
With terror attacks and political uncertainty rocking the
world, New Zealand appears to be emerging as a beacon of peace.
The nation has moved up two places in the Global Peace Index,
now sitting in second place behind Iceland.
As a whole, the global level of world peace has improved
- 93 countries improved with 68 deteriorating.
New Zealand was given a rating of 1.241 which is based on
societal safety and security, ongoing domestic and international
conflict and degree of militarisation.
Former prime minister and United Nations Development Programme
Administrator Helen Clark shared the good news about New Zealand
but added a warning.
"[Important] not to be complacent. NZ has its problems
First placed Iceland was given a rating of 1.111 by the review
committee while Australia rose three places to 12th with a
rating of 1.425.
The UK also rose six places and is now equal 41st most peaceful
But the United States suffered a big fall, down 11 places
to 114th out of 193 countries.
The bottom of the list remains largely unchanged. Syria was
named least peaceful country again this year, preceded by
Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen.
Chinese, UK and Australian immigrants drive NZ net migration
to new record in May
22 June 2017
New Zealand annual net migration hit another record in May
driven by foreign immigrants, with most coming from China,
the UK and Australia.
Annual net migration reached 72,000 in the year to May 31
versus 68,400 in the same period a year earlier, Statistics
New Zealand said. Three-quarters of the 130,400 migrant arrivals
were non-New Zealand citizens, with New Zealanders leaving
and returning to the country almost balancing each other out
in the last year. There has been a net migration gain of 73,000
non-New Zealand citizens in the past year.
New Zealand has been experiencing record levels of net migration
in recent years as economic growth outpaced Australia's, meaning
fewer locals moved across the Tasman. Rising immigration is
shaping up to be a key election issue as it strains the country's
infrastructure and has been blamed for inflating property
Chinese citizens accounted for 12 percent of migrant arrivals
in the year, while 10 percent each came from the UK and Australia.
Annual migrant arrivals from India dropped 31 percent to
9,200 in the year, with a 40 percent drop in annual student
visas granted to Indian citizens, which was offset by gains
from the UK and South Africa.
Short-term visitor arrivals, which include tourists, people
visiting family and friends and people travelling for work,
reached 3.6 million in the year ended May 31, up 10 percent
from a year earlier and a new annual record, Stats NZ said.
Most came on holiday or to visit family and friends, and 40
percent were from Australia while 11 percent were from China.
David Jones tipped to be coming to Newmarket
21 June 2017
Staff at giant upmarket Australian department store chain
David Jones have told a New Zealand retailer of plans to open
in Auckland, according to a local source.
David Jones has made no official announcement about Auckland
and today only trades from Wellington.
But the insider told the Herald that the well-established
Australian chain was planning to open its second New Zealand
store on the former Levene Extreme site on Newmarket's Broadway,
after last year's Lambton Quay unveiling.
"David Jones has signed for Auckland. They are going
into the new 277 development in Newmarket. This will be where
Farmers are at the moment. The interesting point will be filling
the retail spaces around David Jones with other tenants. It's
signed and sealed but not been released to the media yet,"
the local retailer said, asking his name not be used because
he has a close working relationship with the chain.
Kiwi Property plans $161m capital raising as Auckland expansion
19 June 2017
Kiwi Property Group, the largest property company listed on
the NZX, plans to raise $161 million to fund expansion in
Auckland as it sees strong growth continuing.
Kiwi Property is considering expansion and improvement projects
at its Sylvia Park shopping mall in Auckland.
It is currently undergoing a $126 million development at
Sylvia Park, adding parking and expanding the food court,
and is looking at a further $200 million expansion involving
new international retailers and a department store "as
we move to realize our world-class town centre vision for
NZ consumer confidence ticks up in June quarter on optimistic
19 June 2017
Westpac chief economist Michael Gordon said "households
have become increasingly confident about the economic outlook.
New Zealand consumer confidence gained in the June quarter
and reached its highest level since early 2015 as consumers
were more upbeat about the economic outlook although they
were slightly more jittery about the current economic situation.
The Westpac McDermott Miller consumer confidence index rose
1.5 points to 113.4 in the June quarter, above the long-run
average of 111.4. A reading above 100 indicates optimists
outnumber pessimists, and the survey has been above that level
since March 2011.
A net 18.2 percent of the 1,555 people surveyed between June
1 and June 11 expected the economy to improve over the coming
year, up from 11.8 percent in the March period.
"Households have become increasingly confident about
the economic outlook," said Westpac Banking Corp acting
chief economist Michael Gordon.
Waterview tunnel to open to cars in early July
18 June 2017
The $1.4 billion Waterview tunnel will open to cars around
the first weekend of July - but an exact date is not being
given for safety reasons and to avoid queues of motorists.
The "soft" opening was announced at today's formal
opening by Prime Minister Bill English and Transport Minister
Simon Bridges, who cut a ribbon to mark the completion of
the longest road tunnel in New Zealand.
It completes the 48km western motorway ring route - a second
motorway route through Auckland - and includes a giant motorway
interchange at Great North Road to connect the Southwestern
and Northwestern motorways.
This latest connection in Auckland's state highway network
will provide a more resilient and reliable motorway network
by reducing the current dependence on State Highway 1 and
the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
Each of Waterview's tunnels was bored by a giant tunnelling
machine, named Alice. At 2.4km long, Waterview takes the record
off the 1.97km Lyttelton tunnel as the longest road tunnel
in New Zealand.
"The Waterview Tunnel is one of the most important infrastructure
developments to take place in New Zealand and will help unlock
Auckland's potential as a world class city and secure its
future economic prosperity," Bridges said.
The western ring route - linking the west of Auckland, Manukau,
the city and the North Shore - is one of the Government's
Roads of National Significance and was prioritised because
of the contribution it will make to our fastest growing city,
the transport minister said.
"It will provide more options to Aucklanders travelling
around the city, more efficient links to and from Auckland
Airport, Ports of Auckland and inland freight hubs, reducing
costs for people and businesses, not only in Auckland, but
throughout the country," he said.
Wider economic benefits are estimated to be worth $430 million,
through improved productivity and reduced travel time, and
also include the creation of more than 18,000 jobs.
"This latest connection in Auckland's state highway
network will provide a more resilient and reliable motorway
network by reducing the current dependence on State Highway
1 and the Auckland Harbour Bridge," Bridges said.
The $1.4bn Waterview Connection is New Zealand's largest
ever roading project. It includes construction of twin 3-lane
tunnels - they are the longest road tunnels in the country
- and a giant motorway-to-motorway interchange at Great North
Road to connect the Northwestern and Southwestern Motorways,
improve network resilience and travel time reliability.
The Waterview Connection will provide a second route through
Auckland, bypassing the city centre, creating greater reliability
and resilience. While it's not designed to remove congestion
altogether, the western ring route will provide a better balance
of traffic flows across the entire road network, including
helping to remove cars from local roads.
As well as helping to cater for future traffic demands, it
will also provide more transport options including bus lanes
and walking and cycling connections.
WATERVIEW TUNNEL FACTS
Each of Waterview's two tunnels is 2.4km long - twice the
length of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
They will each carry 3 lanes of traffic.
The tunnels are the longest road tunnels in New Zealand -
the Lyttelton road tunnel at 1.97m previously held the record.
Tunnelling first began at Waterview in 2013. The first tunnel
was completed in 2014. Alice the Tunnel Boring Machine broke
through on the second tunnel on 19 October 2015.
The Tunnel Boring Machine was specifically designed for the
Waterview geology by the German company, Herrenkencht, and
manufactured in China.
The Tunnel Boring Machine was 87m long.
At construction peak up to 1000 people worked on the project.
The fit-out programme included:
- Compacting 74,500m3 of aggregate for backfill
- Laying almost 5kms of drainage pipes
- Installing 104 flame traps.
- 140,000m2 of paint is being applied - black for the roof,
white for the walls
- 4,000 lights
- 62 ventilation fans
- 50kms of cable trays to support wiring and other equipment
- 400kms of cabling and wiring
- CCTV cameras and signage is also being installed
- 5 deluge storage tanks each containing 250m3 of water
for fire control. Each deluge set will supply 10mm of water
per minute inside each of the 173 zones of the tunnel. Each
zone is located every 30m in the tunnels.
Free Trade Agreement with United States 'when time is right':
Trade Minister Todd McClay
18 June 2017
The United States has indicated it's open to a free trade
agreement with New Zealand "when the time is right",
Trade Minister Todd McClay says.
McClay has been in the US to meet the new US Trade Representative,
Robert Lighthizer, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and
Congressman David Reichert.
Ross had indicated he is open to a trade deal and didn't
see any major issues in the way, McClay said.
"It's clear the US will take time considering its trade
strategy. They're likely to have a considerable workload over
next couple of years with NAFTA renegotiations and some big
bilateral deals to do. However, I've welcomed their interest
in an FTA as a demonstration of the good shape our trading
relationship is in."
US President Donald Trump has withdrawn the US from the TPP,
a 12-country pact that had been the top trade priority of
the Obama Administration. Trump has promised an "America
first" approach to foreign policy and trade.
During his visit, McClay briefed US officials on the progress
of the TPP minus the US. Japan has assumed leadership to get
the other 11 countries to keep the deal going, with a final
decision on its future likely to be made at the Apec leaders'
summit in Vietnam in November.
McClay said Lighthizer told him he wanted to work with New
Zealand on international trade policy issues.
Last year New Zealand exports to the US were valued at $5.6
billion and imports from the US were valued at $5.7 billion.
NZ regrets fallout with Israel: Brownlee
14 June 2017
Israel's ambassador to New Zealand is returning to his post.
This ends a six-month rift in relations over a United Nations
resolution against Israeli settlements in occupied territory.
Israel recalled its ambassador Itzhak Gerberg in December
after New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal sponsored
a UN Security Council resolution which said Israel's continuing
establishment of settlements in Palestinian territory constituted
a violation under international law.
New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English sent a letter to
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the two leaders
spoke on the phone earlier this week, Israeli Foreign Ministry
spokeswoman Michal Maayan says.
"I regret the damage done to Israel-New Zealand relations
as a result of New Zealand proposing Resolution 2344 at the
Security Council," English wrote, according to the Foreign
The Israeli ambassador will return to Wellington in the next
Foreign Affairs Minster Gerry Brownlee says Mr English's
letter is a "clarification" and wouldn't go into
the original decision on the UN resolution.
"The letter indicated that New Zealand wanted to resume
diplomatic with Israel, and regretted the fallout.
"It was a clarification of the fact that we remain good
friends of Israel... All I'm going to say is that we regret
The UN resolution passed in the 15-member Security Council
because the United States, under the administration of former
President Barack Obama, did not wield its veto power and instead
abstained, breaking with its long-standing tradition of diplomatically
shielding Israel at the international body.
Mr Brownlee maintained the US had not used New Zealand as
a pawn in proposing the resolution.
NZ terms of trade rises to 44 year high
1 June 2017
New Zealand's terms of trade rose to the highest level in
about 44 years in the first quarter as export prices rose
more than three times faster than imports, led by dairy and
The terms of trade rose 5.1 per cent in the first quarter,
Statistics New Zealand said, beating the 3.9 per cent increase
forecast by economists in a Reuters survey. Export prices
rose 9 per cent in the first three months of the year and
import prices gained 2.7 per cent. Terms of trade is a measure
of the purchasing power of New Zealand's exports abroad. The
latest rise means 5.1 per cent more goods imports could be
funded by a fixed quantity of goods exports than in the December
"The terms of trade sit just 0.3 per cent below the
record high set back in June 1973. And with export prices
still very healthy over recent months, we expect it is only
a matter time before a new record is set," economists
at ASB Bank said in a note.
Dairy led the gain in export prices, jumping 18 per cent
in the first quarter as milk powder rose 20 per cent, butter
gained 23 per cent, and cheese rose 8.8 per cent. Dairy prices
are 34 per cent higher than the recent low of September 2016,
but are still 21 per cent lower than the March 2014 high,
Stats NZ said. Dairy values rose 1.2 per cent in the March
2017 quarter to $3b, while the seasonally adjusted dairy export
volumes fell 11 per cent, to the lowest level since the September
Forest product export prices rose 11 per cent in the March
quarter, led by a 15 per cent gain from wood, to reach their
highest level since the series began, and topping the previous
record set in September 2000 by 1.5 per cent, Stats NZ said.
Seasonally adjusted forestry product volumes fell 6.1 per
cent, to their lowest level since the March 2012 quarter.
Seasonally adjusted forestry product values fell 0.4 per cent
Petroleum and petroleum product prices, which aren't seasonally
adjusted, led the gain in overall import prices. They rose
11 per cent in the March 2017 quarter, and 46 per cent for
the year to March 2017. Import volumes fell 1.2 per cent in
the March 2017 quarter, and values rose by 9.7 per cent. Stats
NZ said a three-week shutdown at the Marsden Point refinery
influenced the data.
The terms of trade with China rose 5.3 per cent, and for
Australia it rose 0.6 per cent, and for the US recorded a
0.5 per cent gain.
Airport trust launched to upskill and find jobs for thousands
Construction workers at Auckland Airport
1 June 2017
The major upgrade of Auckland Airport's international departure
area is now well under way, as is the expansion of Pier B
of the international terminal which will add two more contact
gates that can each accommodate an A380 or two smaller aircraft.
The airport plans to accommodate an estimated 40 million
passengers a year by 2044 - more than double the number that
pass through the airport now.
Auckland Airport is investing more than $1 million every
week and expects this level of investment will likely continue
into the "near future".
Insight Economics has calculated that the benefits of the
airport's 30-year investment in infrastructure include creating
around 27,000 more jobs.
Government agencies (the ministries of Social Development,
Business Innovation and Employment, and Education and the
Tertiary Education Commission) were involved in the scheme
which Littlewood said enabled a "wrap around" or
account management approach to getting people in work.
"It's not just about recruitment and job placement but
thinking about the barriers to ongoing job placement. There
could be other things in their lives that are stopping them
from getting a job," he said.
Auckland Airport will tomorrow formally launch a jobs and
skills trust that has already put hundreds of people into
Since it began as a trial in November 2015, Ara has placed
227 people in jobs, including 103 who were previously on benefits.
There have been 10 low-risk prisoners through the programme,
some were on remand and didn't serve a sentence while others
were rehabilitated through a Corrections Department programme.
Some have moved from labouring jobs to supervisor roles.
Ara, or pathway, is a partnership between the airport, the
South Auckland community, Fletchers, Hawkins and other local
employers, government agencies, Auckland Council, local schools
and tertiary institutes, industry training organisations and
Most of the workers come from South Auckland and 26 placed
through Ara have gone on to apprenticeships.
Auckland Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood said the
organisation started with construction jobs but already other
businesses in the area were interested in the workers.
"We're starting to get inquiry from other businesses
at the airport - whether it's retail, food and beverage or
logistics. They're all in the same boat in the tourism boom."
Ara is currently working with seven training providers. Examples
of training arranged through Ara include SiteSafe, Working
at Heights and drivers licensing.
Sixty-eight students from five South Auckland schools have
been or are currently involved in Ara's school work experience
Auckland's economic growth 'spectacular', says council chief
28 May 2017
Auckland's economic growth is "spectacular" and
an extra 60,000 jobs were added to the country's financial
powerhouse in the last year, according to a new report.
David Norman, Auckland Council's chief economist, revealed
Auckland's growing strength in his latest Auckland Economic
Quarterly publication and he included some good news for wage
"Auckland's GDP grew at 4.4 per cent for the year ended
December 2016," Norman said quoting Infometrics data.
Latest Statistics NZ and Reserve Bank data showed New Zealand's
GDP growing at 2.2 per cent in the first quarter of this year.
GDP represents the income earned from production.
Norman cautioned against a comparison because two different
periods were being measured.
"But yes, Auckland's growth is spectacular, certainly
very strong, driven by population, tourist and the construction
boom which is creating a lot of jobs," he said.
Auckland annual employment growth is running at 7.3 per cent,
compared to 4.9 per cent for the rest of New Zealand.
Norman highlighted population growth, construction sector
activity, demand for goods and services, tourism and the retail
sector as the big economic growth drivers.
"Auckland ... added 60,000 jobs for the year to March,
2017," he wrote, citing Statistics NZ data from the household
Those jobs were created in professional services (including
law, accounting, finance, consultancy, architecture), construction
(one in every eight jobs), hospitality (one in every eight
jobs) and health care and social services (one in every 10),
Norman told the Herald.
The latest Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion said it was
harder to find skilled and unskilled workers in Auckland in
the March quarter, compared to the December quarter.
And the good news for Auckland wage earners is Norman said
the rate of wage growth was finally beginning to rise.
"As the unemployment rate falls or remains low, pressure
tends to be placed on wage rates," he wrote.
NZ goods exports hit an April record as dairy prices continue
24 May 2017
New Zealand's merchandise exports rose to their highest ever
for an April month as increased dairy prices boosted the value
of the country's largest commodity for a seventh consecutive
Exports rose 9.8 percent to $4.75 billion in April, setting
a new record for the month and marking the third-highest month
ever recorded behind the $5 billion of exports in March 2014
and $4.9 billion in March 2015, according to Statistics New
Dairy exports in April jumped 35 percent to $1.11 billion,
driven by higher prices. Milk powder values increased 27 percent,
or by $117 million, while the quantity fell 11 percent, and
the value of milk fat products rose 55 percent, or by $86
million, with the quantity lifting 4.6 percent, Stats NZ said.
The country's top five export commodities all rose from the
year earlier month. In order of their ranking, meat exports
lifted 1 percent to $630 million, wood exports gained 18 percent
to a new record of $406 million, fruit exports advanced 3.4
percent to $444 million and wine exports jumped 20 percent
to $136 million.
Meanwhile, goods imports also advanced in April, lifting
4.9 percent to $4.17 billion, setting a new record for an
April month. The main movements were in intermediate goods,
led by petroleum, and capital goods, led by mobile phones,
portable computers and tractors, the statistics agency said.
The export gains led to a goods trade surplus of $578 million
in April, the largest monthly trade surplus since March 2015
and the largest April surplus since 2011, Stats NZ said.
Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks
to Rabbinic tradition the Ten Commandments were given on this
day. In the era of the Temple.
There are a number of widespread customs observed on Shavuot.
During this holiday the Torah portion containing the Ten Commandments
is read in the synagogue, and the biblical Book of Ruth is
read as well.
It is traditional to eat dairy meals during Shavuot. In observant
circles, all night Torah study is common on the first night
of Shavuot, while in Reform Judaism, Shavuot is the customary
date for Confirmation ceremonies.
Tomorrow, Finance Minister Steven Joyce will be delivering
his first Budget - the ninth of the National-led Government
24 May 2017
A brief background ahead of tomorrow's Budget.
Five points you should know:
- The economy is growing, and well over 200,000 new jobs
have been created over the past three years - more than
180 new jobs every day.
- Wages are rising - with the average annual wage now $58,900,
up more than $12,000 since we came into office.
- The books - with a $1.8 billion surplus delivered last
year, and we are starting to reduce debt.
- Budget Forecast -$4 billion investment in infrastructure.
New Zealand has a strong economy with financial options that
give the choices many other countries don't have.
A stable government and a strong, growing economy has been
able to create more jobs and lift wages.
The focus of the Budget is certain to be growing the economy.
NZ annual net migration still running at record levels
19 May 2017
New Zealand annual net migration remained at a record high
in April and short-term visitor arrivals also hit a new record,
lifted in part by the Easter holiday.
Annual net migration reached 71,885 in the year to April
30 versus 68,110 in the same period a year earlier and on
a par with the 71,932 in March, Statistics New Zealand said.
People arriving as permanent and long-term migrants outnumbered
those departing by 129,779 to 57,894 in the latest 12 months.
Of those arriving, 57,885 were bound for Auckland while 10,146
were headed to the capital city of Wellington. In the South
Island, 12,702 were bound for Canterbury. In terms of departures,
22,021 left Auckland while 5,929 left Canterbury.
Total residence visas lifted 11 percent to 16,678. Work-visa
migrants from the UK rose 14 percent to 7,347 while those
from France were up 15 percent to 4,000.
New Zealand has been experiencing record levels of net migration
in recent years as economic growth outpaced Australia's, meaning
fewer locals moved across the Tasman. Rising immigration is
shaping up to be a key election issue as it strains the country's
infrastructure and has been blamed for inflaming property
Short-term visitor arrivals, which include tourists, people
visiting family and friends and people travelling for work,
reached 3.599 million in the year ended April, up 10 percent
from a year earlier and a new annual record, Stats NZ said.
Visitor arrivals numbered 311,900 in the April 2017 month,
up 21 percent from April 2016. However, Easter holidays, which
fell in April this year but in March in 2016, likely contributed
to the increase.
"Almost 35,000 more holiday-makers arrived in New Zealand
in April 2017 than in April 2016, which was the main contributor
to the strong overall increase in visitor arrivals in April,"
population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said.
New Zealand residents took a record 2.7 million overseas
trips in the April 2017 year, up 11 percent from the April
New Zealand wine taking the USA by storm
22 April 2017
Trendy young Americans with money to spare have developed
a taste for the crisp, fruity flavours of New Zealand wine
- and exports are soaring.
The United States is now New Zealand's biggest overseas wine
market and last year shipments jumped 11 per cent to $571
million. That was the biggest gain among the top eight countries
exporting wine to the US, according to figures from Gomberg,
Fredrikson & Associates.
In contrast, Australia fell behind New Zealand for the first
time, with its shipments to the US dropping 9 per cent to
$502m. Imports from some South American nations also fell
New Zealand wine writer and critic John Saker says demand
for New Zealand wines in the US can be summed up in three
words: Marlborough sauvignon blanc.
"Just through dumb luck really, they put sauvignon blanc
vines in Marlborough and it came out with this remarkable
result; this aromatic intensity, a real pungency.
And now it's become the standard-bearer for that variety."
According to the latest New Zealand Wine Industry report,
sauvignon blanc accounted for 86 per cent of all New Zealand
wine exports in February.
Saker says the light fruitiness of New Zealand wines perfectly
complements prevailing culinary trends.
"We're eating lighter foods than we were, say, 10 years
ago, less meat and heavy, stodgy foods. New Zealand's wines
have a fresh acidity to them and they're great lighter-style
wines which go well with the food people are eating these
The very ripe, Australian-style wines, meanwhile, have been
losing favour in world markets for a while, Saker says.
"Wine is tied up with fashion and I think New Zealand
wine is just right for the time and the Australian styles
have lost favour."
Looking forward, Saker says "we haven't scratched the
surface" of where the industry could go.
"We've achieved this level of success without very much
knowledge or experience and as that grows, and as the vines
grow older, we'll be well placed to keep expanding and reaching
Saker predicts that New Zealand chardonnay will one day follow
in the footsteps of sauvignon blanc, with Kiwi winemakers
creating increasingly delicious and unique varieties.
Working Holiday Visas to New Zealand
The Working Holiday Visa is your best chance to improve your
English, discover an amazing culture, a wonderful country,
gain some valuable work experience ...
A Working Holiday Visa is a 12 months (in most cases) visa
that allows you to work in New Zealand.
Your visa is valid from the date that you arrive in New Zealand.
This visa is multi-entry which means that it will allow you
to leave and return to New Zealand as many times as you want
during those 12 months.
More than 50,000 travellers come each year to New Zealand
with a Working Holiday visa.
In most cases, you can submit an electronic application for
a work visa under the working holiday scheme by using the
Immigration New Zealand website. It takes 15 to 30 minutes
(you can save and stop at any time) only and the process is
much faster than a paper application. You just need your details
including those in your passport, and answer questions on
your health, character and travel plans. The fee for an online
or paper application is the same. You will have a response
in a few days. Click
here to see how to apply online.
Working holiday visa restrictions:You cannot apply for a Working
Holiday Visa in New Zealand :
If you are not from the list of selected countries
- If you do not meet the health requirement
- If you are under 18 years old
- If you are over 30 years old (35 years old for selected
- Take our Free
Visa Check to see if you qualify and to a personalised
email with more information.
Your Working Holiday visa is an Electronic Visa, it's exactly
the same as a normal visa, and you must print the Visa once
you receive it by email and keep it with your passport. It's
valid as soon as you enter New Zealand.
You must have a Visa or MasterCard credit card to pay the
fee online to immigration NZ. It's not an obligation to use
your own card. You can use a friend or parents, if you have
their authorisation of course...
Countries eligible for a working holiday visa in New Zealand:
You can apply for a Working Holiday visa for New Zealand
from 41 countries:
Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China,
Croatia, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany,
Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Japan, Latvia,
Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Philippines,
Poland, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain,
Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay,
If you country is on the list, don't miss this one in a life
time opportunity to immerse yourself in the kiwi culture.
Links for more info:
For more info about the working holiday visa in New Zealand,
visit us at WorkingHolidayStarter.com.
Information for this article have also been sourced on BackpackerGuide.nz
- in our opinion, the simplest and most comprehensive resource
for a working holiday or a gap year in New Zealand.
The Working Holiday visa requires you to return home after
It is very difficult to change your status from Holiday to
change status to be able to secure a temporary work visa.
This only possibility can come about if your occupation is
highly skilled (included your occupation listed in the shortage
of skills lists) and that you are qualified and have the work
experience meeting the requirements of the job offer.
Even then there is no certainty that the visa will be granted.
BUT A SMALL PERCENTAGE ON A HOLIDAY VISA HAVE MET THE REQUIREMENTS
AND SECURED A TWO YEAR TEMPORARY WORK VISA.
The real question is are you qualified and have the work
experience meeting the requirements of the job offer and will
your employer support you with your application in order for
you to change your status.
Skilled Migrant Category
If you have skills, qualifications or experience that New
Zealand needs you may be able to apply for a resident visa
under the Skilled Migrant Category.
Upcoming visa changes
Changes were recently announced that will affect the Skilled
Migrant Category from mid-August 2017.
The Skilled Migrant Category is a points system based on
factors such as age, work experience, your qualifications,
and an offer of skilled employment. You must also be aged
55 or under, and meet English language, health, and character
How it works
1. Self assessment - Check you meet the requirements and calculate
2. Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) - Note the fees
and offices information. Submit an EOI online.
3. Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) - If you have 160
points or more you'll be selected from the EOI pool and be
sent an ITA.
4. Submit a resident application - Note the fees and offices
information. Submit your resident application within six months
on the form we provide you with.
5. Receive your visa - If successful, you'll be issued either
a resident visa or job search visa.
Common mistakes to avoid
Skilled Migrant Category applicants often make these mistakes
that result in fewer points being recognised:
Qualifications not recognised - If you're claiming points
for your qualifications they need to either be on the List
of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment or have been assessed
Work experience not comparable - If you're claiming points
for work experience it must be in the same field as your qualification
and job/job offer. If you don't have a job or job offer then
this experience also needs to be in a comparable labour market,
in an occupation on the Long Term Skill Shortage List or for
a multinational company.
Bonus point requirements not met - To claim qualification
and work experience bonus points you need to meet the strict
requirements outlined on the Long Term Skill Shortage List.
The content on this page is a summary of what can be found
on the Immigration New Zealand website. For comprehensive
process and requirements guide visit their website section.
Migrant Category | Immigration New Zealand
Booming in the Technology Sector
12 May 2017
Tech sector attracts foreign cash
Overseas funding for early-stage New Zealand technology companies
has hit a record high, with foreign investment tripling in
the past year.
Data from the second annual Investor's Guide to the New Zealand
Technology Sector showed overseas funding for these companies
had jumped from $51 million in the 2015 financial year to
$173m last year - up 239 per cent.
Early-stage companies were defined as those typically in
research and development, pre-commercialisation or commercialisation
Greg Shanahan, managing director of the Technology Investment
Network (TIN) which produced the report with the Ministry
of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), said venture
capital and publicly funded investment was a major growth
driver for more than half of the fastest growing tech companies.
"This year's guide shows that funding is a critical
part of the acceleration in sector revenue growth," Shanahan
"Record amounts of money are being raised locally by
firms to invest in this space and record amounts of investment
are coming from offshore into select companies," he said.
Investment in NZ tech sector triples
Early stage investments from offshore investors are typically
larger than are commonly seen in New Zealand. As the source
of this money broadens, particularly with growing Asian investment,
we can expect the trend to continue."
The number of high profile investors has also expanded rapidly
with the likes of movie star Ashton Kutcher, Samsung, Vinod
Khosla of Khosla Ventures, Viacom chair Shari Redstone and
Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel all investing in Kiwi tech companies.
Simon Feiglin, managing partner of global private equity
firm Riverside Company, said the focus of New Zealand companies.
"The thing we really like is that as a small and remote
country, New Zealand companies almost from conception think
globally, and are structured to achieve that objective,"
An increasing number of Kiwi companies were also pursuing
overseas funding early on, and choosing to sell a stake of
their business rather than the whole company.
Over the past decade more than 50 local tech businesses have
been taken over by foreign buyers - including Navman Wireless,
Intergen and Fisher & Paykel AppliancesThe report showed
the number of tech companies being bought outright was declining
with two acquired last year compared with nine in 2013. According
to Shanahan this was a reflection of the growing confidence
of New Zealand companies in the industry.
The 2016 TIN100 annual report on the tech industry, produced
by TIN, showed the 28,749 firms in New Zealand's tech sector
contributed $16.2b to national GDP and employed just under
Technology was the country's third largest export in 2016,
generating $6.9b in overseas revenue.
American business columnist Ashlee Vance said New Zealand's
tech sector was well-respected.
"This country of 4.5 million people has started to churn
out some awfully polished, extraordinary products," Vance
"They're world-class technological achievements - the
work of a well-educated, creative people bent on competing
on the world stage."
Increased taxes, lower spend helps swell NZ government coffers
10 May 2017
The Crown will update the surplus forecast in the May 25
The operating balance a surplus of $1.5 billion in the nine
months ended March 31, well above the $147 million surplus
it forecast in December and up from $167m in the prior year,
the latest Crown accounts show.
The Treasury expects the Crown will post an operating surplus
of $473m in the year ending June 30 and will update that forecast
in the May 25 budget, which will be Finance Minister Steven
In a pre-budget speech last month Joyce announced a $2b boost
to additional infrastructure spending over the next four years
to $11b, and wants to almost halve net debt as a proportion
of the economy by 2025 and still has plans for potential tax
relief and improving public services up his sleeve.
The Crown's net worth of $100.4b was $7.1b ahead of forecast
because of the surpluses.
Auckland's population is growing faster than anticipated
Inner city report
We are facing one of the most exciting periods of change
in Auckland's history and we are creating unprecedented levels
of growth activity.
In the City Centre alone the Auckland Council investments
equates to $4 billion in capital projects. What is more exciting
is that the private developer investment is $10 billion.
This investment is a clear indication as to what others see
in our great city too and their commitment to build our Auckland
together. We are demonstrating to the world that Auckland
is alive, vibrant and a very exciting place to invest in,
visit and live right now.
City Centre population growth exceeds 2032 targets
The population of Auckland's City Centre has exploded compared
to the 2012 Auckland City Centre Masterplan's predictions.
In 2012, Auckland's City Centre Masterplan laid out a bold
twenty year vision for the transformation of the inner City
Centre and predicted that the City Centre's 2012 population
of 27,000 would reach 45,000 by 2032.
That figure is now expected to be reached this year - a full
fifteen years ahead of prediction and is forecast to grow
by a further 30,000 residents over the next ten years, which
is the equivalent of half of the population of Rotorua relocating
to the area within Auckland's inner motorway.
Councillor Chris Darby, Chair of Auckland Council's Planning
Committee says we're witnessing the rapid renaissance of inner-urban
living in the City Centre.
"In the five years since we adopted the Masterplan,
we've seen some incredible changes happening in central city,
both in our city's physical environment and the way people
are experiencing it. As a result people are getting out and
about and are walking in higher numbers than ever before.
Pedestrians on Queen Street have doubled since 2015 and there's
been a 34% percent increase in pedestrians across the City
Centre. Significantly, despite the growth, the City Centre
has seen no increase in private car travel. More people now
live in the City Centre than travel in by car, with public
transport, walking and cycling now making up the majority
of the peak hour trips into the City Centre."
"The vision set out in the Masterplan is the blueprint
for the changes planned over the next twenty years and it's
exceptionally exciting at this five year milestone to see
how New Zealand's highest-density urban environment is thriving
and how people's perceptions of how they get to and use their
city are changing. It's become one of the most desirable parts
of Auckland to live in."
Further five year progress updates are:
- There are 10,000 more jobs in the City Centre since 2012
and more than 100,000 people now work there.
- Office vacancy rates are at a record low 2.4 percent.
- New cycling infrastructure such as the Lightpath, inner-city
cycling lanes along with future planned developments such
as the Skypath will further support the growth of cycling.
- City Rail Link construction underway. Upon completion,
the CRL will increase the two hour morning peak period capacity
into the city by 150% and will mean that the entire City
Centre will be no more than a ten minute walk from a railway
Boom times for small tourism businesses come with a warning
4 May 2017
A survey of small and medium size tourism businesses shows
43 per cent of them reporting revenue growth over the past
But they are facing problems recruiting and retaining staff.
For this calendar year tourism operators are expecting to
do even better, with 46 per cent expecting revenue to rise
- compared to the average of 38 per cent.
The current quarter is looking particularly positive, with
almost half (49 per cent) of all SME tourism operators saying
they have more sales or bookings in the pipeline.
The survey of 1000 SME operators included 12 per cent in
the tourism sector. The survey covers business owners and
operators from sole traders to mid-sized businesses of 20
to 199 staff.
Highlighted in the media this week is the financial spinoff
from the tourism boom but also found the pressure to find
workers and this is reflected in the survey.
The survey finds this is particularly the case in Queenstown
Rising house prices have made it harder for 28 per cent of
tourism operators to recruit and retain staff, nearly twice
the SME average.
The market that is doing very well, but needs to keep a close
watch on the fundamentals in order to prevent costs and pressures
from blowing out and affecting the bottom line.
Some fundamentals New Zealand needed to address as a country
such as affordable accommodation for staff, labour shortages
during seasonal peaks and the cost of compliance especially
around health and safety and resource management.
New Zealand has a fantastic industry in tourism, but we need
to take a very careful look at how we are managing its growth
and planning for the future.
NZ dollar gains as data shows jobs growth
3 May 2017
The New Zealand dollar rose on Wednesday as stronger-than-expected
employment figures and an unexpectedly big increase in dairy
prices stoked demand for the local currency.
This lifted it from the 10-month lows it hit last week.
The kiwi climbed as high as US69.68c and was trading at 69.48c
as at 5pm in Wellington from 69.18c Tuesday. The trade-weighted
index rose to 75.37 from 74.99.
Government figures on Wednesday showed New Zealand's unemployment
rate unexpectedly fell to 4.9 per cent in the March quarter
as jobs growth rose 1.2 per cent, a faster pace than the growth
While that showed signs of a tightening labour market, wage
growth remained subdued meaning it won't drive up inflation
and will likely keep the pressure off the Reserve Bank to
hike interest rates.
A bigger increase than anticipated in dairy prices at the
latest GlobalDairyTrade auction added to the upbeat tone for
"The headline levels in the labour market figures are
strong and the market is tightening up with employment running
along very nicely, but the wage inflation story is really
non-existent and that's the more important message for the
RBNZ here," ANZ senior economist Phil Borkin said.
"The kiwi got close to that 70 (US cents) level, but
we've peeled off a little bit" as investors got past
the headline numbers and looked more closely at the detail,
Prime Minister Bill English said the kiwi was at a "pretty
positive" level for exporters and near US70c or a little
lower wasn't a bad balance for the country.
The kiwi rose to A92.51c from 91.66c late Tuesday after Australia's
central bank kept its cash rate unchanged as expected.
It gained to 4.7872 yuan from 4.7672 yuan and rose to 77.84
yen from 77.37 yen. It gained to 63.55 euro cents from 63.37
cents and advanced to 53.81 British pence from 53.63 pence.
NZ business confidence still upbeat as firms anticipate
more activity, bigger profits
28 April 2017
New Zealand business confidence stayed upbeat in April as
firms expect to see more activity on their own books and generate
A net 11 percent of companies surveyed in the ANZ Business
Outlook expect general business conditions to improve over
the coming year, unchanged from March.
Firms are optimistic about their own businesses. and still
want to hire and invest," ANZ Bank New Zealand chief
economist Cameron Bagrie said in his report.
New Zealand's economy has been underpinned by an expanding
population, record tourism, a recovery in dairy prices, and
robust consumer spending over the past year.
This has given the government confidence to boost infrastructure
spending and target a more aggressive debt reduction target
in an election year where tweaking tax settings has been dangled
as a potential vote winner.
ANZ's survey of 374 firms shows companies lifted their investment
intentions 3 points to a net 24 percent expecting to boost
capital spending, while a net 22 percent want to take on more
staff in the coming year, unchanged from March.
The survey showed residential building intentions rose to
a net 33 percent from a net 25 percent in March and commercial
construction intentions were up 12 points to a net 35 percent.
NZ exports rise 11pc to 2 year high in March as dairy values
28 April 2017
New Zealand's merchandise exports rose to their highest monthly
level in two years in March as the value of dairy exports
to China jumped by two thirds.
Exports rose 11 per cent to $4.65 billion in March compared
with the same month a year earlier, and marking the highest
monthly level since March 2015, according to Statistics New
Zealand. Dairy exports led the rise, with the value lifting
29 per cent, or $250 million, and the volume up 6.4 per cent.
The gain in dairy products accounted for over half the total
increase for exports in the month, and also marked the sixth
consecutive month-on-month increase.
Global dairy prices have started to pick up this season as
demand and supply come back into balance after record high
prices in the 2013/14 season spurred farmers to ramp up production,
causing an oversupply which led to two years of weak prices.
Exports to China, New Zealand's largest market, jumped 43
per cent in March to $1.08b, as the value of dairy products
rose 66 percent, or $114m, while the quantity rose 39 per
China continues to be our top destination for goods exports,
and accounts for a quarter of the total dairy exports value,"
Stats NZ international statistics manager Tehseen Islam said.
"This March, exports to China exceeded $1b for the first
March month since 2014."
Lamb exports to China also improved, increasing by 86 per
cent, or $57m in March. Wool exports to China showed the biggest
decline, down by 40 per cent, or $16m.
Meanwhile, imports into New Zealand rose 7.6 per cent to
$4.32b in March, led by a 35 per cent rise in passenger motor
New Zealand had a monthly trade surplus of $332m, or 7.1 per
cent of exports. This compares with an average surplus of
11 per cent of exports for the previous five March months.
The annual trade deficit for the year ended March was $3.67b,
narrower than the $3.77b shortfall in the year ended February.
A rise in work visa has been the driving force behind record
immigration numbers arriving but surprisingly the main source
countries are not from Asia.
27 April 2017
The top five source countries for work visas last year are
the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, South Africa and the
United States of America.
Immigration data found work visa arrivals increased from
16,787 in 2004 to 41,576 last year.
The United Kingdom, which made up 16.6 per cent of work visas
issued, has twice as many as those of Germany on 8.8 per cent.
Figures to be released today by Statistics New Zealand is
expected to again show strong population gains, and possibly
a sixth straight month of net migration gains exceeding 6000.
The gain in the year to February 28 hit a new record high
Excluding New Zealand and Australian citizens, most arrivals
in the year to February (43,025) were on work visas.
Of the total 128,816 arrivals, 16,833 had residence visas,
23,846 student visas, 6338 visitors and 694 others.
One source which has seen a huge increase in work visas is
South Africa, rising from 2.5 per cent in 2004 to 5.5 per
cent last year.
Massey University sociologist Paul Spoonley said migrant
from Asian countries were less likely to get direct access
to New Zealand on skilled work visa.
"They are more likely to transition to permanent residence
through temporary work and study visa routes using options
such as the transition to work provisions," said Professor
Spoonley, an expert on immigration.
"Given the penetration, and now ownership, by Australians
of industries and companies, a significant component of Australian
migration to New Zealand will involve middle and senior managers,
as well as certain experts, for these companies."
"The South African arrivals remain cyclical and the
numbers arriving will reflect certain push factors as well
as the fact that there is now a well-settled local community,"
On the rise, however, are the number of arrivals from the
UK and the USA.
Also, as a proportion, work visas for Germans have increased
from 3.1 per cent of the total in 2004.
"My guess is that we are starting to see the effects
of Brexit and the Trump presidency as push factors,"
"There was an early hint of a new interest from these
two countries in the expressions of interest figures post
the Brexit vote and the confirmation of Trump as president
... they might displace arrivals from Asia if this upward
Spoonley said high value immigrants from the UK and US will
remain and important source of skilled migrants, and expected
the numbers to trend upwards through the mid and later part
The increase in work visas pushed net migration to a record
70,600 last year.
Migrant arrivals numbered 127,300, compared with 56,7000
people leaving the country. During the period, work visas
were up 3800 to 41,600, but this was matched by a similar
drop in those arriving on student visas.
The United Kingdom comprised the largest group of visitors
planning to work here on nearly 7000, followed by France,
Germany and Australia.
In March ASB had forecast net migration would hit 72,000
in the year to March 31, and the annual gain would continue
to top 70,000 until the second half of next year. Drivers
of net migration include 9000 more Kiwis returning home and
28,000 fewer leaving.
There's also been an increase in the number of Australians
moving here, international student arrivals and 21,000 additional
working holiday visa holders.
New Zealand's population is estimated to be around 4.77 million,
according to Statistics New Zealand, and growth rates at this
level would increase it to 5 million in 2019.
Recent moves by the government to tighten immigration policy
include increasing the number of required points, toughening
of English language rules and the suspension of the parent
Last week, the government announced migrants will need to
earn more than $49,000 to qualify for the skilled migrant
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said the changes were
aimed at increasing the quality of migrants, and not reducing
Migration hits another record
26 April 2017
Net migration hit another record in the year to March of
That's up from 71,333 in the year to February and up from
70,600 in the 12 months to December.
Migrant arrivals numbered 129,500 in the March 2017 year,
Statistics New Zealand said today.
Migrant departures were 57,600 in the 12 months to March
Brownlee understands the Trump talk
Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee
25 April 2017
New Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee has one important
attribute that most foreign affairs mandarins lack. He gets
the Donald Trump phenomenon.
This is an important attribute for NZ's chief diplomat, who
takes on the foreign affairs portfolio at a time when the
Trump-led United States has switched its approach by bombing
Syria and Afghanistan and is ramping up the rhetoric on North
Prime Minister Bill English kept things simple with the first
reshuffle of his premiership.
With an election five months away, English needs a settled
Cabinet to project a sense of stability and continuity when
voters head to the ballot boxes.
Gerry Brownlee is a sound appointment as Foreign Minister
to replace Murray McCully. Brownlee is an influential figure
in the Government.
Over a long political career, he has never shied from the
battlefield. English maintains that his new Foreign Minister
could, when required, be diplomatic.
H can be combative (English referred to him as "blunt
when he needs to be and diplomatic when he needs to be").
He's not afraid to call out incompetents. But he is also witty.
This aspect of Brownlee's character is not immediately visible
but as Leader of the House for eight years he would seem to
have been an honest broker.
That is a fundamental quality in his new role, which is certain
to be busy given the rise of threats from North Korea, and
political uncertainties in Britain and France.
But Brownlee is a pragmatist. During an informal discussion
during a BusinessNZ function earlier this year - when the
Trump phenomenon was a major talking point for those who justifiably
worry that it heralds a new age of protectionism - the then
Defence Minister ran against the current by suggesting that
the US President had a point when he questioned the loss of
American jobs that followed the off shore of US manufacturing.
This particular attribute may not have been top of mind when
Bill English awarded him the coveted foreign affairs portfolio
But at a time when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Mfat)
has been directed to take a 24/7 approach to monitoring the
Trump Administration, having a minister who is interested
in what the President stands for and is prepared to forge
a personal connection with key players in Washington, will
be a plus.
The other pluses are Brownlee's background as Defence Minister
during which he has forged strong personal links with key
Chinese military figures, and, in a personal sense, the quality
of reliability which he has in spades.
His predecessor Murray McCully has already gone to Washington
and met Rex Tillerson at the counter-Isis (Islamic State)
talks hosted by the Secretary of State earlier this year.
Trade Minister Todd McClay is understood to be lined up to
be one of the first bi -laterals negotiating a USA/ New Zealand
range of trade deals. This positioning for New Zealand is
the result of good staff work by NZ officials and the Washington
Trump's own tenure as President hits the 100-day mark this
There are currently uncertainties with Europe (particularly
France where the election runoff for the presidency is still
to take place) and in Britain where Prime Minister Theresa
May has announced a snap election.
NZ manufacturing activity at 14-month high as production
steps up a gear
13 April 2017
New Zealand's manufacturing activity rose to its highest
level in 14 months in March as a jump in new orders underpinned
production, while a robust building sector continues to drive
the country's economy.
The Bank of New Zealand-BusinessNZ performance of manufacturing
index rose to a seasonally adjusted 57.8 in March at 55.7
from 53.4 a year earlier.
That's the highest level of expansion since January 2016.
A 6.1 point jump in the new orders to 64.3 was the highest
reading since 2004. This was accompanied by a 2.6 point increase
in production to 60.4, a six-month high.
While the recent rebound has been in all the right places,
it's new orders that have stood out head and shoulders. Construction
with building booms providing demand for materials.
New Zealand has one of its biggest building pipelines in
history with a major push to bridge the supply gap in Auckland's
Air New Zealand among top airlines in TripAdvisor survey
11 April 2017
Air New Zealand has been recognised in TripAdvisor's inaugural
Travellers' Choice Awards for airlines, coming in fifth overall
and named runner up in the Asia-Pacific region behind commercial
partner Singapore Airlines.Air New Zealand has also been awarded
best premium economy class.
The awards are determined by the quantity and quality of
TripAdvisor traveller reviews and ratings submitted over a
Air New Zealand's general manager of customer experience
Anita Hawthorne said the accolades reflected the airline's
commitment to delivering an outstanding experience on the
15 million customer journeys on the airline every year.
"Listening to customer feedback has helped us make strides
to improving our customer experience - including significant
investment in new technologies, innovative inflight products
and aircraft interiors, and our new and refreshed lounge spaces,''
"It's incredibly satisfying to see customers acknowledge
the efforts of our people to deliver a seamless travel experience,
right across our network," said Hawthorne.
Senior vice-president and general manager for TripAdvisor
Flights Bryan Saltzburg said the airline industry was investing
billions of dollars in new aircraft and service enhancements
to differentiate the flying experience and the awards recognised
the carriers offering the very best experiences and value.
TripAdvisor collects traveller ratings for each airline,
including customer service, inflight entertainment and seat
comfort, among others.
United Airways - which operated a flight from which a passenger
was dragged from an overbooked flight overnight - is not mentioned
in any of the categories or regional areas in the survey.
World Top 10:
1. Emirates, UAE
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Azul, Brazil
4. JetBlue, US
5. Air New Zealand
6. Korean Air, South Korea
7. Japan Airlines, Japan
8. Thai Smile, Thailand
9. Alaska Airlines, US
10. Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia
New Zealand's broadband speeding up
As a country we are downloading, streaming TV and gaming
at nearly double the speeds we were last year. The average
download speed for households and small businesses on the
Chorus network in February 2017 was 41Mbps compared with 25Mbps
the same time last year. So what's driving our acceleration
in download speeds?
As Chorus crosses the country laying ultra-fast fibre and
upgrading the technology in our copper network, more Kiwis
can, and are, taking advantage of our faster, more reliable
broadband connections. The number of households on the Chorus
network enjoying ultra-fast fibre has nearly doubled in the
last 12 months to 21%, compared with 11% in February last
year. VDSL connections have also increased to 17%, up from
12% in February 2016.
The launch of The Gig nationwide in October last year has
opened a whole new world of broadband for the over 10,000
Kiwis who made the move to our fastest residential broadband
service by the end of February. Find out more about the Gig
Our use of new technology is also driving our increase in
speed. Content is flying into our homes faster due to newer
technology such as high definition online television and more
interactive and complex online games.
New Zealand's top broadband towns
So who is leading the charge in driving our faster broadband
speeds? Dunedin is way out in front really making the most
of winning our Gigatown competition to be the first place
in New Zealand to receive our Gig broadband connection in
2014. It has an average connection speed of 196Mbps. Auckland's
North Shore City is second at 54Mbps. Third placed Rotorua
at 51Mbps is also New Zealand's fastest growing, meaning those
in the Bay of Plenty are really embracing the faster broadband
connections available to them.
Is better broadband at your place?
It is quite possible that better broadband is available at
your place too.
One of the six in ten New Zealand households can now upgrade
the country's broadband connection right away to place into
the fast lane.
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