THE NATIONAL BUSINESS REVIEW
TOP STORIES FOR JULY 23
AUSSIE THREAT to CURB KIWIS – Australian Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock warned New Zealand against freeing up immigration too far or risk losing free access for its citizens to live and work across the Tasman. He made it clear Canberra was monitoring transtasman migration to ensure New Zealand is not being used as a back-door entry to Australia. Australian figures show a sharp increase in the number of New Zealanders moving permanently to Australia.
OPINION POLL: AUSTRALIA TOP – Australia scored a positive rating of 76% of people surveyed by the National Business Review- Compaq poll. Only 7% felt negatively about Australia and 17% were neutral or undecided, the lowest number of fence-sitters for all countries surveyed. Serbia, China and South Africa stood out as the countries to which New Zealanders have the strongest negative feeling.
FLETCHER DEAL FLAK – Fletcher Challenge is still confident its multibillion-dollar deal to merge its paper division with Fletcher Challenge Canada will fly, but some Canadian market watchers are baulking at the price the paper division is demanding. An analyst said compared with recent deals in North America, Fletcher Paper was asking hundreds of dollars more per tonne of capacity.
ANALYSIS & COMMENT
RODNEY HIDE – Aucklanders are getting up earlier and earlier to beat the traffic. The political spin has the problem as too many cars. This lets councils off the hook and puts the blame squarely on car drivers. But the real problem is the lack of roads. The problem is not with those who drive to work but successive councils who have failed in their job of providing for the transport needs of Auckland.
GARETH MORGAN – It is clear the economy has not shaken off a pitifully low sustainable rate of growth despite the wonders of post-1984 reforms. Some, of course, would claim the reforms have caused the growth cramps but for that there is little case. The steady decline has been under way at least since 1970 and there is no evidence of a lesser or greater speed in it since 1984. So whatever is hamstringing the economy’s ability to deliver has been with us for a long time.