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offer - US Tax Accountant
24 May 2019
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Essential Skills in Demand Lists – 2018/19 review
8 May 2019
Immigration New Zealand is implementing changes to skill
shortage lists at the end of May 2019.
On 27 May 2019, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) will update
the Essential Skills in Demand (ESID) lists, and replace the
current Immediate Skill Shortage List with the new Regional
Skill Shortage List.
The lists are reviewed regularly to ensure they meet the changing
needs of the labour market and to preserve opportunities for
From 27 May the ESID lists will include the:
- Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL)
- Regional Skill Shortage List (RSSL) and the
- Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List (CISSL).
The new RSSL will replace the Immediate Skill Shortage list
to ensure a regional approach to identifying skill shortages.
The outcomes of the LTSSL review are to:
- add Aged Care Registered Nurse
- amend ‘Construction Project Manager Roading and Infrastructure’
by extending the listing to include building Construction
The outcomes of the Immediate Skill Shortage List review
(that will be applied to the RSSL) are to:
- add Early Childhood Teacher, Primary School Teacher and
Secondary School Teacher
The outcomes of the review of the CISSL are to:
To find out if your skill is on the shortage list, go to the
- add Building Associate
- amend Plumber (General) to extend the listing to all regions
Auckland Airport's $5 billion spend-up will change the way
4 April 2019
Auckland Airport faces the challenge of keeping more than
20 million passengers a year moving through one of the biggest
building sites in the country.
As it scrambles to keep up with unprecedented expansion in
aviation, it needs to build ''The Airport of the Future''
for the additional 20 million passengers forecast to pass
through it during the next 20 years.
It's been likened to ''making your bed while stading on it''
- operating an airport for 55,000 passengers a day while hundreds
of workers are rebuilding it.
Auckland is the gateway for more than 80 per cent of the
3.8 million overseas visitors and the bigger number of Kiwis
who come into the country each year.
The tourism surge of the past five years has meant more airlines
are flying here and more visitors wanting to fly domestically.
In turn, the increase in the number of planes has meant more
destination and price options for New Zealanders to fly overseas,
which they're doing in record numbers.
The airport, and others in the tourism sector, has been caught
out by the visitor influx which exceeded forecasts, requiring
an accelerated building programme.
In the 10 years to 2027 the company will spend more than
$5 billion on key projects and billions more in the following
The ''infrastructure deficit'' has been a long-running theme
for the airport since it opened for operations in November
Within months of the ribbon being cut at what was a dual
international and domestic terminal, it was quickly congested
and overcrowded with passenger numbers running four years
ahead of forecasts. It spurred what turned out to be a long
and frustrating path to building a dedicated international
terminal that opened in 1977 - eight years behind schedule.
The new international arrivals area will be as big as the
After years of delays and protracted negotiations with airlines,
agreement is near on the final shape of the project and should
be known around the middle of the year. This new 80,000sqm
terminal will be on the south eastern end of the international
one bringing an end to the inconvenient walk or bus ride between
the two. It creates a single front door whether travelling
internationally or domestically.
Lovatt says it ''will be impossible to compare it with the
existing domestic experience'' and it shortens minimum domestic-international
connection times which is important for airlines. But there's
a wait - work's planned for 2022-2027.
Highly-anticipated French beauty retailer Sephora setting
up first New Zealand store
4 April 2019
French beauty giant Sephora could soon open it's first New
Zealand store, with work on a three-storey Auckland site about
to get underway.
Work on a retail space at 146-152 Queen St is tipped to begin
within the coming weeks and the retailer is sparing no cost
- reportedly splashing out millions for the fit-out, to the
tune of more than $5 million.
The large store which will be housed in a heritage building
will be similar in concept to other flagship stores it has
located around the world. A source said there were rumours
the fit-out includes an elevator, interesting lighting fixtures
and elaborate signage.
The fit-out is understood to be as lavish as it gets when
it comes to retail stores.
Sephora wants the store complete within a matter of months,
which means it will likely be open in time for the Christmas
Speculation of Sephora opening a New Zealand store has been
rife for the best part of five years, though the retailer
has remained tight-lipped on its plans for the New Zealand
The store will draw people from all parts of Auckland and
will "become a destination for people from outside of
Auckland as well", he said.
Sephora is hugely popular particularly with millennials who
engage with the brand on social media. In the last few years
the retailer has had double-digit growth in store sales and
profitability, and is pushing into new markets such as India.
Website to recruit 40,000 young people into the Auckland
Hospitality and Tourism industry
Auckland tourism and hospitality leaders have launched a
website and campaign to recruit 40,000 young people into the
industry - but they say the Government needs to step up as
There is a major effort to encourage new recruits to make
an international career out of hospitality and tourism.
In Auckland alone, the number of jobs in the sector is expected
to increase 27 per cent by 2025. There will be an estimated
76,000 Aucklanders working in the industry in the next three
years - but that's not enough.
"We've got a lot of work to do to bridge that gap,"
says Steve Armitage, general manager at Auckland Tourism and
Events (ATEED). "There's a huge opportunity for Auckland
and a huge opportunity for our youth to get in at the grassroots
level and develop a career pathway."
He muses. "When I was at school, there was no discussion
about tourism as a career prospect. It was all about law,
accountancy, the more traditional industries. You can't always
have the fun that you can in other sectors."
Tourism and hospitality, he says, is different. It's eye-opening.
It's fun. It's a chance to re-establish the human connections
that are too often lost in our emoji-stilted reliance on social
"You get to meet and deal with a lot of really interesting
people, you get to have a direct influence on the community
you live in in a really positive way, you get to showcase
that to people on a day-to-day basis, you get to share your
ATEED's new Go with Tourism website (https://www.gowithtourism.co.nz)
includes a "right fit" quiz to direct young people
into the best training or career; and "success stories"
of some inspiring young adventure tourism guides, chefs, web
Global tourism will double by 2030, Briars says, and increasing
numbers of people will take shorter, faster trips to places
like New Zealand. "They don't expect silver service.
We have to find our own New Zealand way of hospitality, professional
but relaxed, and I think we are doing that. When they come
to New Zealand, they want every single experience to be fantastic."
The tourism tidal wave
2 April 2019
As Auckland looks ahead to 2021 the future of Auckland's
tourism leaders are investigating how the city is working
to get its infrastructure ready for APEC and the America's
Auckland gets about 2.6 million international guests a year.
And nothing tests the infrastructure like a "turnaround
day" needed when it arises for one or more of the world's
biggest cruise liners arriving, at the same time.
This could well be called the perfect storm. Adding to the
congestion below the ground now happening is the CBD being
dug up to build the new underground City Rail Link.
In 2021 - that will be the year the city will host the America's
Cup, the APEC Leaders' Summit, Te Matatini, the Royal NZ Yacht
Squadron's 150th Anniversary, the women's Rugby World Cup,
the women's Cricket World Cup, and the men's Softball World
The city is already preparing for an upgraded passenger terminal
and making an extra extension so that next year it will be
easier to go and dock increasingly larger luxury cruise ships
so there will be less congestion with the hotels and roads.
The city council is supporting the continuing tourism boom.
However by 2025, the amount of money spent by visitors in
Auckland is forecast to soar 85 per cent to $13.9 billion.
The number of overnight guest nights will top 10 million,
and 76,000 Aucklanders will be employed in the visitor sector.
If Auckland is to avoid becoming another "over-tourist"
Barcelona, Venice or Dubrovnik, it also faces a massive cost
to develop the infrastructure to sustainably integrate these
And the strategy calls for a cohesive approach to the city's
development: for those who visit Auckland, for those who live
in Auckland, for those who work in Auckland.
The Tourist industry will need to meet future challenges
by far sighted planning as it comes to grip right now managing
with difficulty the current six-and-a-half million people
we have now let alone with certainty the much greater number
of tourist projected arrivals expected progressively increasing
over the next ten years.
Auckland beats US cities for crane numbers, NZ hits new
national record: 195 giants, crawlers on-site
29 March 2019
Auckland outstrips every United States city with crane numbers
and nationally, we have reached at an all-time high, according
to the RLB Crane Index out today.
Auckland has 98 fixed cranes, compared with the busiest US
city, Seattle with 59, the index found.
Nationally, we have 148 long-term tower, fixed and crawler
cranes working as construction activity picks up pace and
eight more cranes have been added since the end of last year.
This is the highest index since commencement the latest commentary
Chris Haines, a Rider Levett Bucknall Auckland-based director,
said Auckland had more cranes than any US city, although New
York only measured Manhattan "whereas we measure from
Manukau to Albany."
Fletcher Construction still had the highest number of Auckland
cranes for any one builder, he said. Haines said Fletcher
had nine cranes on two Auckland's CBD sites: the $703m NZ
International Convention Centre and the $1b Commercial Bay
where New Zealand's tallest crane was in action.
Precinct Properties said last year its towering Eenie was
nearly a quarter of a kilometre tall.
Haines said CMP Construction, headed by Ron Macrae, was the
second-busiest builder in terms of crane numbers. It has six
cranes up on its sites including the new $300m-plus Alexandra
Park apartment projects at Greenlane, he said.
Haines said ASX-listed retail giant Scentre Group had five
tower cranes on its $790m Westfield Newmarket site of 230
new shops including a new Countdown, David Jones department
store, furniture and furnishings store
The record levels of construction activity across New Zealand
is a good news story for both Auckland and New Zealand economies.
The record 98 long-term Auckland cranes highlighted strong
activity continuing in the Construction industry.
The index listed new crane sites as including the Britomart
hotel, Wynyard Quarter apartments at 30 Madden St by Willis
Bond, Watercare at Rosedale, a Pakuranga retirement village,
Precinct's hotel extensions at its 1 Queen St office block,
Kiwi Property Group's Sylvia Park extensions, work at Dilworth
School, Onehunga's Fabric apartments, America's Cup wharfs
and bases and Manson's Fanshawe St project.
Haines said resources were being stretched and cranes had
to be shifted to meet demand, coming from Christchurch to
Auckland after the post-earthquakes rebuild and from overseas,
Australian business Titan was now active in Auckland, Haines
said, buying a new Jaso J265 internal climber luffer crane
from Spain for the 38-storey Holiday Inn Express and Even
Hotel on the Wyndham/Albert St corner.
December visitor numbers reach new heights
15 February 2019
There were 529,300 visitor arrivals in December 2018, the
highest for any month, Statistics NZ said today.
December 2018's figure was 15,900 higher than December 2017,
which was the previous record holder.
Visitor arrivals in the December 2018 month averaged 17,100
a day. That's equivalent to just over the population of Tauranga
arriving every eight days in the month.
The United States led the increase in visitor arrivals for
December 2018, up 4,900 compared with December 2017. Other
- Australia, up 2,300
- United Kingdom, up 2,100
- India, down 1,500.
Visitors stay for longer holidays in December. The median
length of stay (half stayed longer than this time, half stayed
less) for visitors arriving in December 2018 was 13 days.
This compared with nine days for the 2018 year.
"Visitors tend to stay longer than usual in December
months," population insights senior manager Brooke Theyers
said. "This is because more visitors visit family and
friends, and fewer visitors arrive for business and conferences."
Annual growth still high but slowing
In the year ended December 2018 there were 3.86 million visitor
arrivals. This was up 129,500 from last year.
Luxury brands debut at Auckland Airport
7 February 2019
A string of luxury retailers have made a New Zealand debut
opening up shops in Auckland Airport's recently refurbished
international departures terminal.
Luxury handbag brands Kate Spade and Michael Kors, along
with Italian retailers Furla and Maxmara, have each opened
their first New Zealand store in the terminal.
The Airport's luxury shopping precinct began opening in July
last year, first with Michael Kors and jewellery retailer
Partridge's Rolex store. Since then other brands such as Coach,
Lacoste, Fossil, Montblanc and Boss by Hugo Boss have opened
Richard Barker, general manager of retail at Auckland Airport,
said luxury was a segment the Airport was previously missing,
and work to secure the new market entrants began over two
Auckland Airport carried out consumer research to identify
what brands were most in demand and were missing from New
Zealand's shopping arena.
"When we first did this research the likes of H&M
and Zara weren't even in the country and those [brands] came
up but their formats are too big for airports so we spoke
to lots of brands and came up with the proposition of 'best
of New Zealand and the world'," Barker said.
"We deliberately aimed for what is described ... as
'affordable luxury' that had appeal for [Kiwis] and international
Other luxury retailers such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton were
considered but deemed too out of reach for most so the Airport
selected "tier 2" alternatives, Barker said.
The revamped terminal is also home to All Blacks, Icebreaker
and Whittaker's stores to service international visitors,
The Airport's departures terminal has been going through
expansion and refurbishment for close to three years. Part
of the revamp was to introduce a new food and beverage offering,
Barker said, including new eateries Better Burger, Mexico
and Al Brown's Best Ugly Bagels. Next month, popular UK food
outlet WonderTree will open in the terminal.
Around 10 million people went through Auckland Airport last
year. This is expected to grow to 30 million in 2030 and 40
million in 2040.
Consent figures show Auckland new house building booming
30 November 2019
Consents were issued for more than 13,000 new homes in Auckland
in the year to October - the first time that number had been
reached since the 1970s, Statistics NZ said.
Home permits in Auckland briefly reached a similar high level
in the early 1970s, when Auckland's population was less than
half what it is now," acting construction statistics
manager Dave Adair said.
Over the past year, only 48 per cent of consented new homes
in Auckland were stand-alone houses (74 per cent across the
rest of New Zealand). The remaining 52 per cent were apartments,
townhouses, retirement village units, and flats.
Infometrics economist Gareth Kiernan said it was good news
that consent numbers were growing after a soft patch in 2017.
"However, capacity constraints remain an issue in the
construction sector in Auckland, even if they have become
less critical in the residential subsector over the last year
and become more problematic in the non-residential subsector.
"Although we expect further growth in Auckland consent
numbers during 2019, we don't think consent numbers of over
13,000 can be sustained, and expect activity to pull back
to around 12,000 consents per annum during 2020. This outlook
is obviously problematic given the massive undersupply of
housing in Auckland."
Cameron Bagrie, of Bagrie Economics, agreed there was no
quick fix. "It took 20 years to get into this pickle
in housing in Auckland and it will take another 20 to get
out the other side.
He said KiwiBuild looked likely to take a "hellishly
long time" to get up and running in a way that would
make a dent in the city's supply problem.
"It's not as bad as it was but we're still struggling
to keep up. We've still got phenomenal migration numbers and
population growth and the lion's share of that is going into
Auckland. It's heading in the right direction, the demand
side is starting to peel back but there's still a miss-match."
America's Cup win to spark boat building boom
23 January 2019
Hosting the next America's Cup could inject at least half
a billion dollars into New Zealand's yacht industry, an industry
The Marine Industry Association said that since Auckland last
hosted the event in 2003, boat building had boomed. He expected
another leap would come with the next one.
It is now widely recognised that New Zealand is on the brink
of the largest construction boom in 40 years. 'Unprecedented
growth' is expected over the next decade.
What is driving the boom? Auckland normally host about 50
super yachts per year. The America's Cup it is estimated would
lift that number to 120.
The next Cup is expected to be worth several hundred million
dollars to Auckland when the city hosts it, Auckland Chamber
of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett said.
New Zealand did need to plan for the wealthy yachting tourists,
he said. "We know that we're dealing with a sport where
it's the top end of town. These are also people who are investors,
they're looking at the market, and they are looking to do
business in other places around the world. So it's an opportunity
for us to showcase ourselves."
For those not familiar with Auckland Boat Building industry
including what is involved with servicing these overseas marine
giants a grease and oil change is half a million dollars for
a super yacht. They need a warrant of fitness every five years
and New Zealand is probably the best place in the southern
hemisphere to have that, and there can easily be a couple
of million dollars for that service. Then at the same time
if they want to change the decor of the vessel you can add
another $3 million to that.
C-Tech managing director Alex Vallings said the Auckland-based
carbon fibre specialist had been involved with Team New Zealand
for 15 years, and the orders were pouring in after Bermuda.
"We were just five people back then and we worked from
a tin shed on a farm out in Waitakere. We were not so keen
for the America's Cup sailors to come out and see our backyard
operation at that point. Now things have changed though, we're
in a new factory on Rosebank Road with 40 staff."
He said it all started when he heard people complaining about
the quality of the sail battens at the start of the 2001 Volvo
Ocean Race in South Hampton.
C-Tech has designed their version and took it to Team New
Zealand. He said they tried it and liked it. "It kind
of snowballed into an exclusivity agreement ... and at the
same time we started developing the market into super yachts."
From its Avondale factory it made Team New Zealand's wing
control system, parts of the dagger foils, the rudders, tubing,
the fairings and the bicycle parts. Now the business has more
than 22,000 patents and is the world leader in sail battens.
New Zealand extends its global diplomatic posts
New Zealand's new $50 million embassy in Beijing
14 January 2019
Whilst both powerhouses in the USA and China have seen an
NZ diplomatic expansion, New Zealand's continued search for
new and developing trading partners has seen now a global
The new Beijing (China) Embassy will have its largest diplomatic
Two new diplomatic post abroad are in Ireland and Sweden
opening in 2018 . Stockholm (Sweden) it will act as a new
base from which it hopes to improve relationships with the
other Nordic countries: Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland.
With NZ negotiating a free trade agreement with Europe, it
made sense to have more influential friends in the Union.
The Dublin (Ireland) embassy has been in the planning stages
for getting the go-ahead and now that Britain is about to
leave the EU in anticipation that it was seen as inappropriate
for NZ to have bilateral relationship managed by its London
New Zealand's diplomatic relationship historically has been
a long one with one in six Kiwis claiming some Irish heritage.
In the pipeline is a new post is Colombia and also Sri Lanka.
The new embassy in Colombia reflects a change to a democratic
country but also with an eye for NZ to join the Pacific Alliance
trade pact of South American countries.
The new post in Barbados was designed to give closer links
with the 13 Caribbean states with the post in Ethiopia developed
to provide closer links to the 55 countries of the African
New Zealand's embassy in Iraq was reopened after it closed
in the 1991 first Gulf war.
NZ Minister of Foreign affairs Winston Peters has been a
strong advocate to continue to develop the country's global
export partners and see the development of its diplomatic
posts a major building block to achieve those goals.
Ormiston's $200m shopping centre to create hundreds of jobs
in South Auckland
8 December 2018
The rise of online shopping has influenced the look and feel
of a $200 million shopping mall being built to service a new
Todd Property and Auckland Council redevelopment agency Panuku
have started construction of a 4.5ha town centre in Ormiston,
a new town in the south Auckland suburb of Flat Bush, which
is expected to house a population the size Gisborne by 2028.
The town centre will feature 100 business tenants, a three-level
parking structure and four anchor tenants, including The Warehouse,
a Hoyts cinema complex, an existing Pak 'n Save, and an additional
supermarket. Ormiston is 22 kilometres from central Auckland.
It will also include a gym, library and aquatic centre.
By comparison Auckland's largest shopping centre Sylvia Park
is 24ha and has more than 200 stores.
Todd Property managing director Evan Davies said ground work
started on the Ormiston town centre in October and development
was expected to be completed by 2020.
The town centre, located next to Barry Curtis Park, was designed
to integrate with the urban landscape via streets, alleyways
and public open spaces, in contrast to traditional closed-in
malls. The centre would have a focus on food and entertainment,
featuring a dining lane, a food hall and restaurant precinct.
Auckland restaurant The Grove rated ninth best in the world
and country's best
5 December 2018
Auckland's The Grove has been named the ninth best restaurant
in the world and New Zealand's number one.
The results come as part of website Trip Advisor's 2018 Travellers'
Choice Restaurants Awards.
The awards rank the world's best fine dining restaurants,
with French eatery Au Crocodile rated number one, followed
by Martin Berasategui and El Celler de Can Roca, both in Spain.
The Travellers' Choice Awards honour travellers' favourite
dining establishments worldwide, based on the millions of
valuable reviews and opinions on TripAdvisor.
"Millions of diners worldwide rely on TripAdvisor to
discover their perfect culinary experience. The 2018 Travelers'
Choice restaurant winners are what diners consider the best-in-class,
and we hope these leaders in hospitality will inspire others
to try something new," said Bertrand Jelensperger, senior
vice-president for TripAdvisor Restaurants.
Eight new challengers lodge entries for America's Cup
30 November 2018
The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Team New Zealand
confirmed today that there has been an additional eight notices
of challenge for the next America's Cup.
The deadline officially closed for the 2021 event, today
New Zealand will host the 2021 America's Cup in Auckland
after winning the title in Bermuda in 2017.
Only one of the entries is able to be immediately accepted
with the other seven notices still being looked over.
"We are really encouraged by the level of interest that
has been shown from around the world by the number of notices
of challenge that have been lodged by today's deadline,"
said Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton.
"It has been a long time coming, but worthwhile to give
potential teams every opportunity to enter what will be a
huge global event for New Zealand.
"However, we must remain cautious and not jump to conclusions
on the final number of teams. It is only when the acceptance
process has been completed that we will know how many will
compete in the Prada Cup alongside Luna Rossa, American Magic
& INEOS Team UK."
Conditions of some of the challenges will require changes
to the protocol, which is dependant on agreement with the
Challenger of Record before each new challenger's participation
can be confirmed.
"We understand there will be questions around what a
conditional challenge is," said Dalton.
"To give some context, an example is where we might
have a challenge that is conditional on there being an America's
Cup World Series event in that specific challenger's country.
"This, obviously, is something that cannot be determined
today and also needs agreement with the Challenger of Record."
The process of assessing the entries and conditions of the
eight new challengers will start straight away with the Royal
New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Team New Zealand.
The Government and Council have been advised that a maximum
of five challengers can be accommodated on Wynyard Point with
three double bases and two singles.
Should less than three of the late challenges be accepted,
the Government and Council will then have the option of not
proceeding with the Hobson Wharf extension for the 36th America's
The top car accessory for 2019 might be an electric scooter
12 November 2018
Electric scooters are definitely a thing in New Zealand.
They're also set to become a thing for motorists of all kinds
as we move towards a future that many automotive brands are
calling "e-mobility": where a car is just one element
in a range of electric transport options you might use to
get from A to B. Case in point: the Mi Electric Scooter just
launched in New Zealand from the biggest Chinese brand you've
probably never heard of.
Electric Scooter can do 25kmh and has cruise control. Yes
Xiaomi, or just "Mi" in branding terms, is already
an iconic brand in China and India. It's the world's fourth-largest
mobile phone manufacturer (nine per cent of the global market)
but also produces a vast range of electronics, most focused
on the Internet of Things: everything app-controllable from
a desk lamp to a rice cooker.
Mi opened its first store in New Zealand on November 10,
at the Sylvia Park shopping centre in Auckland (with backing
from electronics chain PB Tech). Over 1500 people queued to
get into the store, which is the brand's first in Oceania.
Over 1500 people queued at Mi store in Auckland for opening
day. More than 400 Mi e-scooters were sold in the Auckland
store's first day, including 200 online in just 30 minutes.
What's the big deal? Apart from the fact that Mi is a big
thing for those in the know and e-scooters are a craze - thanks
partly to rentable app-enabled models like the Lime brand
- the $699 Mi Electric Scooter is also a pretty smart piece
When you're not using it, the Mi model can be folded in five
seconds to fit in a cupboard or in the boot of your car. It
Air New Zealand does deal for autonomous air taxis
16 October 2018
Air New Zealand and Zephyr Airworks have signed an agreement
to bring the world's first autonomous electric air taxi service
to New Zealand.
The agreement between the national carrier and autonomous
air taxi operator Cora signals the intention to form a long-term
relationship to make autonomous, electric air travel a reality
for all New Zealanders.
The air taxis produce no emissions and are self-piloted through
software, so those using them as transport do not need a pilot's
licence. No runway is required, either, because they take
off like a helicopter. The current model has a range of about
100 kilometres and can travel at about 150kmh.
Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon said the
airline was committed to embracing new technologies that made
life easier, as well as understanding the potential of cleaner
energy solutions for travel.
"Zephyr Airworks is leading the way in re-defining personal
mobility to make it easier for all of us to get around. Zephyr
Airworks' innovative technology and commitment to New Zealand
make them an ideal partner for advancing the future of travel
in New Zealand.
Zephyr Airworks chief exective Fred Reid said the company
was delighted to be fostering a close relationship with one
of the world's top-rated and successful airlines.
"Both companies see the potential for our airspace to
free people from the constraints of traffic and its associated
social, economic and environmental impacts.
"Through the development of their autonomous electric
air taxi Cora, the possibility of getting from A to B quickly
and safely, and also relieving the impact of polluting emissions,
is very real indeed," he said.
"The announcement today is the start of a long-term
relationship. We've been impressed with Zephyr Airworks' innovative
and considered approach and our core values are aligned when
it comes to delivering reliable, convenient and sustainable
air travel that will benefit all New Zealanders."
The Government's books are in healthy shape with a $5.5
10 October 2018
Speaking to reporters at the release of the Government's
June 2018 financial statements, Finance Minister Grant Robertson
stressed the importance of making sure New Zealand is prepared
for a "rainy day".
"Economists have been warning about growing risks in
the international economy, particularly due to rising trade
protectionism, which we need to be well-placed to face in
case this flows through to the New Zealand economy."
The books show the Government has a lot of headroom to deal
with any potential economic shocks.
Its surplus is $5.5 billion - that's $2.4 billion ahead of
A number of factors contributed to the surplus being so far
ahead of expectations, Robertson said. For example, Government
spending was 1.4 per cent below forecasts as of June 2018
because of "timing issues," according to the Treasury.
This was largely a result of things like lower than expected
spending across the education sector and less than had been
forecast being spent on the year-end family tax credit claims.
There was also "one off factors," Treasury said,
such as "timing delays" with Government initiatives
- such spending on the Provincial Growth Fund and social housing
expenses - being pushed out to the 2018/19 year.
Robertson said these factors will "reverse out"
over the next financial year.
Notably, the Government has met its Budget Reasonability
Rules four years early.
The self-imposed rules state the Coalition Government would
keep debt at below 20 per cent of GDP and to keep spending
below 30 per cent of GDP by 2022.
Corporate tax revenue was up, due to profits for both large
and small businesses being higher than the Treasury had forecast
in Budget 2018.
Mega container cranes arrive in Auckland to keep up with
city's rapid growth
9 October 2018
Three mega-cranes with a price tag of $60 million, this morning
sailed in on a ship into Auckland's Waitemata Harbour. The
cranes are the biggest in Australasia and weigh 2,100 tonnes
Each one is 82.3 metres tall - almost 20m taller than Auckland's
Built in Shanghai, the giant cranes, towering high above
spectactors' heads as it glided into dock at about 830am,
had been at sea for four weeks.
The trip was meant to be speedier but faced delays along
the way due to bad weather.
Ports of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson told the Herald the container
cranes were truly a game changer.
"These three container cranes are all about meeting
the demands of Auckland."
"They can be remotely operated [and] in a first in the
world, they can lift containers out of the hold of a ship
at different heights," he said.
Each crane can lift four containers at once, weighing up
to 130 tonnes - which is considered to be a New Zealand first.
Gibson said it was quite an investment, costing $60 million
in total, but was "much needed".
Operations manager John Miller said they'd built a new wharf
that could take some of the largest cranes in Australasia.
"That allows us to turn the ships around quicker, regardless
of the tide and the amount of cargo they put on."
It will take a week to get the cranes off the ship it came
on, and a further five to six months before they can begin
Hollywood comes to Auckland - Auckland film studios booked
9 October 2018
Located in West Auckland, South Pacific Films is renting
out one of its studios for filming a US TV series The Wilds
and another for a Netflix adaption of 2014 Kiwi film The
Ateed Screen Auckland manager, Michael Brook said permits
for film on location doubled in Auckland last week, while
US dominated, he described a diversification of clients from
China and the UK.
An example was the Netflix production of The Letter for
the King being filmed at Auckland Film Studios the Amazon
Studio's TV version is being shot at an alternative location
outside of Auckland.
Auckland Film Studios is also a base for the mammoth task
of filming James Cameron's Avatar 2 and 3 sequels.
Kumeu Film Studios in West Auckland is shooting the live
action remake of the animated Disney film Mulan.
Studio West also in Auckland is fully booked out until mid
July 2019, filming the modern incarnation of US kids' show
A BBC adaption of the Kiwi Man Booker Prize winning novel
The Luminaries will also have its cast announced in
the coming weeks, and is set to be shot throughout New Zealand.
A joint German-NZ funded drama series The Gulf and
and a joint Danish-NZ drama series Straight Forward
are two Screentime NZ/Lippy productions.
The German network wants a show that looks and feels exotic,
so it's set in New Zealand and all the cast are New Zealanders.
Chief executive Philly De Lacey, Auckland production company
Screentime NZ said US networks were now more open minded about
what their audiences were willing to consume. Whereas now
you go in and if it's a good idea, they don't mind it's got
a New Zealand feel. In fact there are now some networks that
don't want US content, they want foreign content".
"Ten years ago if I went into the US and pitched a drama
series, they'd ask are Americans going to like this if it
is not about America?"
New Year message from our local Member of Parliament - Simon
9 September 2018
When we consider the state of the world, it is sometimes
easy to become disheartened. It can be tempting to dismiss
the troubles around us as too large to be solved by any one
person. However, there is, in Rosh Hashanah, a guide to resolving
humanity's most enduring problems.
Chairman Stan Rose (left) with Simon O'Connor
As you know, the shofar calls people to contemplate their
lives, to recognise their faults, and to strive to better
themselves. It is all too easy for us to become fixated on
our daily routines and to forget these more challenging re?ections.
Of course, it is precisely because these reflections are so
challenging that they are so valuable.
l believe that the path to a better world begins with each
of us recognising that no one is perfect and that we share
the potential to improve the world by contributing our own
self-improvement. If all people were encouraged to contemplate
their shortcomings and to strive towards greater personal
growth, humanity itself would more closely approach its full
The most remarkable element of this truth is that it does
not require universal acceptance to be effective. Each of
us is capable of making the world a tiny bit better and, as
such, each of us is responsible for making that improvement.
Perfection is an unattainable goal, but the pursuit of it
is a defining feature of the human spirit. Though I am not
Jewish, I find that many aspects of Rosh Hashanah speak to
the better parts of each of us and through us to the best
elements of humanity.
May this New Year be a sweet one full of health and happiness
for you and your families.
Member of Parliament for Tamaki
Chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee
Annual LIMMUD festival
One of the features of Jewish life in New Zealand is the annual
LIMMUD, a festival of Jewish Learning. This takes place in Auckland,
is volunteer run, and attracts around 300 people over a weekend.
Most attendees come from Auckland, with the balance coming from
smaller centres such as Hamilton, Wellington and Whanganui.
LIMMUD presents some 50 - 70 sessions over 1.5 days, attracting
a range of international and domestic presenters, speaking
on a wide range of topics from "Art and the Talmud"
to "Understanding Middle Eastern Conflict".
Children are cared for at onsite classes, and there is a
shuk where you can buy Jewish related books, art and items.
Kosher food is provided at lunches.
LIMMUD provides a space where a range of Jews can gather
to schmooze, learn, and eat in a warm supportive environment.
It's the one time of the year where Jewish identity and community
in NZ is affirmed and strengthened.
If you would like to explore this further check out the LIMMUD
website at limmud.org.nz.
New Zealand's net migration gain dips to three-year low
21 September 2018
New Zealand's net migration gain continues to fall from a
peak in 2017 but remains high.
New Zealand's annual net migration gain has fallen again
- continuing a downward trend, albeit at a gentle pace.
The annual inflow of people into the country has now fallen
from a peak of 72,400 in 2017 to 63,280 now. Migrant arrivals
were 129,100 and migrant departures were 65,800 for the latest
"The number of migrant arrivals in August was only slightly
lower than in August 2017, so it was the increase in the number
of departures that led to the fall in net migration"
said Statistics NZ population insights senior manager Brooke
Westpac's Ranchhod noted another factor weighing on migration
"is departures of non-New Zealand citizens". Longer
term he said he expected net migration would continue to gently
ease over the next few years.
Paranoid Silicon Valley magnates pour millions into New
Zealand doomsday bunkers
12 September 2018
In recent months, two 150 tonne survival bunkers journeyed
by land and sea from a Texas warehouse to the shores of New
Zealand, where they're buried 11 feet underground.
"Seven Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have purchased bunkers
from Rising S Co. and planted them in New Zealand in the past
two years", said Gary Lynch, the manufacturer's general
manager. "At the first sign of an apocalypse - nuclear
war, a killer germ, a French Revolution-style uprising targeting
the 1 per cent - the Californians plan to hop on a private
jet and hunker down", he said.
"New Zealand is an enemy of no one," Lynch said
in an interview from his office in Murchison, Texas, southeast
"It's not a nuclear target. It's not a target for war.
It's a place where people seek refuge."
The island nation, clinging to the southern part of the globe
2,500 miles off Australia's coast, has 5.7 million people
and six times as many sheep. It has a reputation for natural
beauty, easy networking, low-key politicians who bike to work,
and rental prices half those of the San Francisco Bay Area.
That makes it an increasingly popular destination not only
for those fretting about impending dystopia but for tech entrepreneurs
seeking incubators for nurturing startups.
"It's become one of the places for people in Silicon
Valley, mostly because it's not like Silicon Valley at all,"
said Reggie Luedtke, an American biomedical engineer who's
moving to New Zealand in October for the Sir Edmund Hillary
Fellowship, a program created to lure tech innovators.
Luedtke, 37, said people in California have asked him if
he's relocating as part of a doomsday contingency plan, because
"that's what the country is known for."
Such notoriety has made New Zealand's isolation, once deemed
an economic handicap, one of its biggest assets. The nation
allows emigres to essentially buy residency through investor
visas, and rich Americans have poured a fortune into the country,
often by acquiring palatial estates.
Billionaire hedge-fund honcho Julian Robertson owns a lodge
overlooking Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown, the South Island's
luxury resort destination. Fidelity National Financial Inc.
Chairman Bill Foley has a homestead in the Wairarapa region,
north of Wellington, and Titanic director James Cameron bought
a mansion nearby at Lake Pounui.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tour of New Zealand confirmed
10 September 2018
Kensington Palace has confirmed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex,
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, will visit New Zealand later
The Royals will arrive in Wellington and visit Abel Tasman
National Park, Auckland and Rotorua between October 28 and
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern welcomed the announcement.
"It's wonderful news that the Duke and Duchess are coming
to New Zealand as part of their first major tour outside the
United Kingdom. I know they will receive a very warm Kiwi
welcome wherever they go," Ardern said.
"I hope many New Zealanders will have the opportunity
to see the Duke and Duchess as they visit some of our beautiful
provinces and national parks, and experience our hospitality."
The pair got married earlier this year in May and the New
Zealand visit will be a part of their first major tour outside
the United Kingdom.
Both have visited the country separately in the past - Meghan
travelled around the country in 2015 and Harry has been here
previously on Royal duties.
Prince Harry visited the country in 2015, his Royal Highness
undertook an official Royal tour in May following an invitation
from the Government.
Revealed for Auckland's newest proposed skyscraper
6 September 2018
A shortlist of five designs has been revealed for a high-rise
that will be built at 65 Federal Street - a site close to
the Sky Tower in the Auckland central businesss district.
The designs were created by London-based architects Zaha
Hadid, locals Warren and Mahoney, and international firms
Woods Bagot, Cox Architecture, and Elenberg Fraser as part
of an international design competition run by Melbourne-based
property development company, ICD Property.
The architects each created two designs for the competition,
with the first design following current city planning rules
and the second showcasing what can be built with more liberal
planning parameters. The latter are pictured. ICD could not
immediately supply images of the "within planning rules"
The judges are Graeme Scott from ASC Architects, NZIA fellow
Julie Stout, ICD director Alice Smith and Greenstone Group
MD Phil Eaton.
The winning design will be announced in October by ICD.
The total budget for the development is expected to be around
$200 million, a rep for ICD says.
It is expected to be completed by 2022.
Migration - End July last year to this year
24 August 2018
It is now a year since the net inflow to the year ended July
showing the net gain of permanent migrants of 63,800 people.
The average over the past 20 years has been only 23,200.
There is a drying up of the net flow of people from New Zealand
to Australia and an increase in net immigration from the rest
of the world.
Over the past four years the net inflow of migrants from
the rest of the world (excluding Australia) averaged 66,100
a year, up from an average 39,700 over the four years before
In the year ended July, the net loss of people to Australia
was 1000, a turnaround from net gains of 500 the year before
and 1800 the year before that. But it is still a meagre and
Australia's unemployment rate is 5.3 per cent compared with
New Zealand's 4.5 per cent, and a Australian labour force
participation rate of 65.5 per cent there versus 70.1 per
So the gravitational pull of Australia may prove weaker in
the near-term future than in the past.
In the latest year, 46,500 permanent and long-term arrivals
were on work visas, up 2.5 per cent on the year before.
People in New Zealand on temporary visas as of June last year
saw 152,400 people here on work visas represented a 16 per
cent increase on a year earlier. It has increased at a compound
annual growth rate of 8.5 per cent between 2010 and 2017.
Of the 152,000, 36,700 - about one in four - were in the
essential skills category, up 17 per cent on the year.
Auckland's rapid growth according to Auckland Council's
16 August 2018
Auckland's population was 1,650,000 as at June 2017, 43,000
thousand new residents for the year.
GDP growth is healthy, construction is surging as the city
builds thousands of new homes and retail trade growth remains
well above inflation, according to the Auckland Tourism, Events
and Economic Development growth monitor and index for 2018.
"Recent years have seen enviable growth in population
and Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as the rest of the world
and returning Kiwis have come to appreciate what Auckland
has to offer and have made the city their home." The
population may hit 2,500,00 by 2043.
Auckland is New Zealand's largest and most consistent source
of job growth. Around 190,200 jobs were added in the past
five years. Auckland's economy accounted for 38 per cent of
New Zealand's economic output.
Mission Bay $200m face-lift: Big housing and retail redevelopment
planned for popular Auckland beach suburb
12 August 2018
Developers have unveiled their plans to revamp Mission Bay,
to the concern of some locals.
Landmark waterfront buildings will make way for a $200 million,
multi-storey housing and retail development if a bold plan
to change the face of one of Auckland's most cherished beach
suburbs is approved.
Urban Legacy & Partners Limited, known as Urban Partners
and founded under the name Retail Holdings by brothers Haydn
and Mark Staples in 1983, will next week lodge a land use
resource consent application with Auckland Council to demolish
buildings and houses it owns on a 6527sq m block between Tamaki
Drive, Patteson Avenue and Marau Crescent in Mission Bay.
In their place, the company plans to build up to 100 apartments
and townhouses, a 2920sq m hospitality and retail space, up
to 265 basement and ground level car parks and a 955sq m cinema
complex with four or five theatres, all across seven buildings
of varying heights up to seven storeys.
Project director Doug Osborne, who has worked in the property
industry for more than 40 years, said the project would bring
"much needed" improvement to the commercial area
and create a lasting lifestyle legacy for a favourite spot
for Aucklanders and visitors.
Community interests were a priority, he said. "We've
put thought and care into a design that references elements
of the art deco flavour of Mission Bay while providing a mix
of hospitality, modern retail and recreational space for locals
The Apec squeeze: World leaders to take over Auckland
12 August 2018
A tourism leader is warning big events in 2021 will put
strain on Auckland hotels and need to be promoted carefully
to avoid damaging the sector.
The America's Cup will be sailed early in the year and that
November the Apec leaders' meeting will ''take over Auckland''
at a time when planned new hotels may not necessarily be finished.
It is estimated there will be 10,000 delegates and 3000 media
in the city for leaders week - the highlight of the Asia Pacific
Economic Co-operation event.
While the event's organisers are confident the city will
cope, Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts
said that even with if the reported new hotel developments
were finished in time, Auckland would struggle to accommodate
Apec and the usual number of visitors at that time of the
''For the government delegations they're talking about 9000
rooms - it's not far off requiring every possible hotel room
including those which haven't been built yet,'' he said.
There had been consultation on how to meet the demand.
''There are very strong imperatives to get it right because
it would be very embarrassing to not meet a basic requirement
such as having enough rooms for all these delegates.''
US President comes up trumps by signing off Kiwi Act
2 August 2018
United States President Trump has signed legislation that
will make it easier for New Zealanders to trade or invest
in the world's biggest economy.
The knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors Act or
Kiwi Act allows New Zealanders to apply for E-1 and E-2 trade
and investment visas.
"The Kiwi Act will increase trade and investment between
the United States and New Zealand and will benefit both our
countries" Prime Minister Jacinda Arden said in a statement.
She expects the legislation to be a "big boost"
to New Zealand businesses.
The E-1 and E-2 visas will allow New Zealander nationals
who qualify to enter the US multiple times over a two years
without having to apply for a new visa each time they enter
the US. The visas cover individuals seeking to engage in substantial
trade and investment activities in the US.
Arden said the US is important to New Zealand's interests
and the Act will help develop closer economic ties. She said
officials will now work with the US State Department to ensure
the Act can be implemented as soon as possible so Kiwis begin
applying for visas.
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