NewsRoom Digest: Top NZ News Items for April 30, 2015

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Newsroom Digest

This edition of NewsRoom_Digest contains 4 media release snippets and 5 links of the day from Thursday 30th April.

Top stories in the news cycle today include Fonterra’s decision to cut its forecast payout to dairy farmers by 20 cents to $4.50 per kilogram of milk solids, a rise in the uptake of HomeStart and the transfer of 2800 Housing New Zealand properties to the Tamaki Redevelopment Company, and international responses to the execution of 8 convicted drug smugglers in Indonesia – two of whom were Australian citizens.

SNIPPETS OF THE DAY

OCR Kept At 3.5%: The Reserve Bank of New Zealand kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and said it may have to lower the rate should demand and inflationary pressures track lower than would be consistent with its inflation target. Governor Graeme Wheeler changed his language compared to the March 12 monetary policy statement, dropping any reference to the possibility of rate hikes, repeating that the kiwi dollar is unjustifiably and unsustainably high and painting a weaker picture of trading partner growth. “The timing of future adjustments to the OCR will depend on how inflationary pressures evolve in both the non-traded and traded sectors,” Wheeler said. “It would be appropriate to lower the OCR if demand weakens, and wage and price-setting outcomes settle at levels lower than is consistent with the inflation target.”

Government Shows Way Forward For Tamaki: Ownership and management of approximately 2800 Housing New Zealand Corporation (HNZC) properties at Tamaki will be transferred to the Tamaki Redevelopment Company (TRC) to encourage regeneration of the area, Finance Minister Bill English and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith say. On the other hand Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. transfer of 2800 state houses to the Tamaki Redevelopment Company shows its desperation to off-load state houses and show some kind of action against Auckland’s out of control housing crisis

Air NZ Celebrates 75yrs: Air New Zealand is celebrating 75 years of flying today with birthday festivities including a mid-air game show, a chance for customers to win back their fare, and a themed flight across the Tasman.

Benefits Of Sharing Information: Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and Revenue Minister Todd McClay say that taxpayers will soon be saving millions of dollars each year as a result of more efficient use of data from information sharing. Improved automation of Ministry of Social Development systems from late 2015, away from a manual service, will allow it to identify overpayments of benefits much more quickly, so that they can be corrected sooner. It is estimated that this more effective way of working will lead to Crown savings of around $100 million a year by 2018.

LINKS OF THE DAY

ONLINE FORUM FOR 2018 CENSUS : For the first time, New Zealanders are being encouraged to go online to say what they think should be asked in the next census, with a new online discussion forum on www.stats.govt.nz. The six-week discussion forum has been set up as part of wider consultation on the content of the 2018 New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings. Census General Manager Denise McGregor says it is the first time Statistics NZ has engaged online about the census with the public. For more information go to: http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2018-census/prelim-content.aspx

HIGH NUMBER OF DWELLINGS IN MARCH: The number of new dwellings consented was 14 percent higher in March 2015 than in March 2014, Statistics New Zealand said today. This was the highest number of new dwellings consented in a March month since 2006. “Townhouses, units, and retirement villages have driven the increase in new dwelling consents over the past year,” business indicators manager Neil Kelly said. For more information about these statistics:http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/industry_sectors/Construction/BuildingConsentsIssued_HOTPMar15.aspx

TRACKING YOUR PROPERTY ONLINE: HomeOversite, a free online tool launched today makes it easier for homeowners to keep track of anything to do with their home and other properties. Lauren McKay, HomeOversite Managing Director, says the tool will fill a gap in the market by providing an online property file and service tool – a place to record anything relating to your property. “The tool will help homeowners to record anything from what paint colours they used to the contact details of the chimney sweep they used last year. There’s an easy set and forget maintenance schedule so homeowners don’t have to worry what they should be doing and when. The online tool will also remind users when any maintenance or insurances are due or when any warranties are about to expire.” To find out more visit: www.homeoversite.co.nz

25 YEAR FARMING RECORD BROKEN: Timaru-based farmers, Warren and Joy Darling have entered the renowned book of Guinness World Records, after producing the world’s largest crop of barley – breaking a 25 year record. The couple produced a staggering 13.8 tonnes of barley per hectare – smashing the previous record of 12.2 tonnes, which has been held by a Scottish grower, Gordon Rennie of Stockton Park Ltd, since 1989. Read more at:http://www.cropscience.bayer.co.nz/Articles/Bayer%20innovation%20helps%20secure%20world%20record%20barley%20harvest.aspx

OMBUDSMAN SUPPORTS INSURANCE LAW ADJUSTMENT: Insurance & Savings Ombudsman, Karen Stevens, supports a law change to help consumers who accidentally leave out information when applying for insurance. About 10% of complaints to the Insurance & Savings Ombudsman Scheme involve people who have insurance claims declined, or their entire policy “avoided” (i.e. treated like it never existed), because they left out information on the insurance application. “The two most common things people fail to disclose are their pre-existing medical conditions (39%) and any criminal convictions (29%),” says Karen. “Some cases are clear, where people deliberately leave out information they were asked to provide, knowing that it will go against them. However, in other cases, people accidentally leave out information because they have forgotten, or do not realise it is important”. Download more from this information sheet:
http://iombudsman.org.nz/assets/Uploads/what-you-need-to-tell-your-insurer.pdf

And that’s our sampling of the day that was on Thursday 30th 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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