NewsRoom Digest: Top NZ News Items for April 7, 2015

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Newsroom DigestThis edition of NewsRoom_Digest contains seven media release snippets and five links of the day from Tuesday 7th April.

Top stories in this news cycle currently include the New Zealand dollar approaches parity with the Australian dollar, New Zealand’s richest man, Graeme Hart, plants to float most of Carter Holt Harvey in what could be the biggest IPO this year, and Auckland real estate agency Barfoot & Thompson reports a record month for prices and sales.

SNIPPETS OF THE DAY

NZ Dollar Approaches Parity With Australia: The New Zealand dollar will likely reach parity with the Australian dollar this afternoon when the Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to drop its key interest rate. The kiwi was at 99.37 Australian cents as at 8:30am this morning, and had rose to 99.78 cents yesterday.

NZDF Iraq Contingent Train In Australia: About 120 members of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) departed from the Ohakea Air Force Base this morning for a Mission Readiness Exercise in Australia. The group includes a large number of personnel who will deploy to Iraq in the Building Partner Capacity training mission, as well as exercise support staff. The three-day exercise at Enoggera military camp near Brisbane will include a series of scenarios designed to ensure the trainers in the Building Partner Capacity mission are ready, and to demonstrate to their senior commanders that they are fully prepared for the tasks and environment they will face in Iraq.

Fonterra $250 million Bond Sale: Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world’s biggest dairy exporter, may sell $250 million of six-year bonds in what would be its third security listed on the NZX debt market. The Auckland-based dairy company would sell the bonds, expected to mature in October 2021, to New Zealand institutional and retail investors. Proceeds would be for general corporate purposes, it said. Fonterra has $150 million of March 2016 bonds that carry a coupon of 6.83 percent and were last quoted at a yield of 3.9 percent and $35 million of perpetual notes that pay 5.59 percent annual interest.

Barfoot Auckland Housing Sale Record: Auckland house sales volume and average prices rose to a record last month, with buyers undeterred by soaring prices in the face of relatively low borrowing costs, according to Barfoot & Thompson, the city’s largest real estate agency. The average sale price rose 3.9 percent from February to $776,729, beating the previous record set in December by $17,000, it said in a statement. The 1,597 homes sold in March was a monthly record for the firm.

Trade Me Jobs Listings Rise: The New Zealand employment market is in excellent health and set for another solid year of growth, according to an analysis of over 54,000 roles listed on Trade Me Jobs in the first quarter of 2015. Head of Trade Me Jobs, Peter Osborne, said the number of job listings across the country increased 8.5% year-on-year, with solid growth in 12 out of 15 regions.

Rhodes Scholarships For Chinese Students: For the first time, mainland Chinese citizens will have the opportunity to be awarded Rhodes Scholarships in China to study at Oxford University. The first cohort of Chinese Rhodes Scholars will be selected in 2015 and join the class of 2016 for postgraduate study at the University of Oxford. Funded by donors from mainland China and Hong Kong, as well as the University of Oxford, the Rhodes Scholarship for China will cover all University and College fees, a personal stipend for room and board, as well as health insurance and travel.

More than 3 million arrivals and departures: Customs Minister Nicky Wagner says the 2014-2015 summer season saw record numbers of passengers and goods cross New Zealand’s border. “The Government’s investment in border processing technology is paying off with Customs able to process record numbers of passengers over the busiest summer season so far,” Ms Wagner says. “Over three million international passengers arrived to and departed from airports between December and February – an increase of over six per cent compared to the same time last year.

LINKS OF THE DAY

FRUIT FLY ERADICATION: The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) remains confident that the isolated population of Queensland fruit fly will be eradicated from Auckland. Since the first male fruit fly was trapped in Grey Lynn in mid-February, 14 adult flies have been located. The last find was over a month ago on 6 March. The last detection of larvae in fruit collected from the affected area was on 13 March. MPI’s Director of Response, Veronica Herrera says this is good news but is not yet an indication that the flies are gone for good. Find out more at more:
http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/files/pests/queensland-fruit-fly/2015/auckland-fruit-fly-2015-MPI-approved-retailers-in-controlled-areas.pdf

MAORI & PASIFIKA TRAINING INITIATIVE: The Government today announced further expansion of the Māori & Pasifika Trades Training initiative with the selection of three new consortia to join the scheme. The three join 12 providers already chosen to assist young Māori and Pasifika people to gain qualifications, New Zealand apprenticeships and employment in trades that are in demand across the country. More information is available at:www.mbie.govt.nz/what-we-do/business-growth-agenda/skilled-safe-workplaces/maori-pasifika-trades-training-initiative

RISE IN BUILDING CONSENTS: The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment released the latest edition of the New Zealand Housing and Construction Quarterly today. The report shows an increase in the number of new building consents issued last year, with new dwelling consent numbers rising to their highest levels since 2007. Download the reports here:
http://dbh.govt.nz/nz-housing-and-construction-quarterly-open-data.

NZ SALARY GUIDES: The 2015 Hudson New Zealand Salary Guides has been released, providing essential salary information for hiring managers, job candidates and anyone curious about what they are currently worth. See:http://nz.hudson.com/salary-guides?utm_source=Social&utm_medium=EmailToBus&utm_campaign=SalaryGuides

‘EXTINCT’ NATIVE PLANTS REDISCOVERED Department of Conservation rangers have rediscovered a native herb that was believed extinct and another herb thought to be extinct in the wild. Dysphania pusilla, or pygmy goosefoot, was found in Canterbury’s McKenzie Basin and in Molesworth Station in South Marlborough last summer. Also found in Molesworth was Leptinella filiformis, or slender button daisy, which hadn’t been seen growing wild since the late 1990s. Read the full release and view photos of the plants at:http://www.doc.govt.nz/news/media-releases/2015/extinct-native-plants-rediscovered/

And that’s our sampling of the day that was on Tuesday 7th April 2015.

Brought to EveningReport by Newsroom Digest.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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