Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

What does 2018 hold in store for NZ?


What does 2018 hold in store for NZ?

February 22, 2018

A leading economist says New Zealanders will have to wait until later in the year to see where the needle settles on the government’s ‘superficial change v substantive change’ spectrum.

Dr Ganesh Nana, chief economist at BERL, says either way the longer-term case for change, along with external influences, will continue to question the strength of the foundations of New Zealand’s recent charmed economic ride.

Dr Nana will give a keynote presentation at a NZ Health IT (NZHIT) event in Auckland next Tuesday, February 27. He says the new government has styled itself as the government of change. But, will it be superficial or substantive?

“For businesses in the health sector, the shift beyond GDP (as a measure of prosperity) means access is also important. Suggested measures incorporate a four capitals approach where inclusion is part of social capital. Is there trust and are there institutions enabling communities to enjoy as well as contribute to broader wellbeing?

“Are communities able to access services, or are some excluded? Will the much-vaunted technology advances maintain, enable and improve broad access to health services, or improve services for select proportion of the population as others experience depleted services?

“The capability and capacity of homecare and aged care workforce prompts similar questions as to whether services are inclusive or exclusive to groups in the community.

“In other sectors the overall case for change is clear, though not widely accepted. While New Zealand’s economic growth story has been enviable at the headline level, the sustainability of the drivers - dairy, tourism and immigration - was always questionable.

“The side-effects of deteriorating water quality in rivers and streams, strained regional tourism infrastructure, and housing shortages have increased the prominence of these questions.

“The affordability of maintaining local infrastructure in the face of static or declining ratepayer base, accentuates long-term sustainability questions.

“Workforce numbers and skills continue to dog the economic story, with productivity and per-capita growth noticeably less impressive. The concentration of the distribution of prosperity has strained some social indicators.

“Ageing demographics call into question the long-term viability of government finances then there are external influences such as geo-political instability, such as BREXIT, US, China, Korea, Russia, Persian Gulf, trade barriers; climate change, robotics and synthetic foods.

“The fundamental economic strategy based on low inflation and low wages, with an increasingly large safety net required by government is not delivering the results desired by many.

“The new government has signalled changes in the form of larger transfers to lower income families, higher minimum wage, regional development boost, research and development incentives and house building. These appear more of the same, but perhaps superficial rather than substantive changes in economic framework or strategy.”

Dr Nana says changes around monetary and tax policy remain in the wait and see category. Potentially substantive changes lie in the performance indicators associated with the Living Standards Framework to be incorporated in forthcoming Budget announcements.

Measuring economic performance via indicators beyond GDP growth have the potential to require more balanced investment and policy actions.

Treasury drafts favour a four capitals approach – financial/physical capital, human capital, natural capital and social capital, he says.

“While in line with including child poverty targets in the Public Finance Act, the extent of and appetite for incorporating the ‘4 capitals’ approach into the NZ economic and policy framework will determine whether this is substantive or superficial.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Thompson+ Clark, And Russia’s FIFA World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark, which has been employed – time and again - by state agencies over the past decade, to spy on (and provide security against) ordinary New Zealanders engaged in lawful forms of protest. More>>

 

HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say! Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in urope for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>

ALSO:

Hit And Run: AG Gives Approval For Inquiry

Attorney-General David Parker has today announced a Government Inquiry will be held into Operation Burnham and related events. The operation undertaken in Tirgiran Valley, Afghanistan, ... More>>

ALSO:

Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages