NewsRoom Digest: Top NZ News Items for May 01, 2015

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Newsroom Digest

Last day of the week , 1st day of the 5 month of the year and here’s our Digest:

This edition of NewsRoom_Digest contains 8 media release snippets and 7 links of the day from Friday 1st May.

Top stories in the news cycle today include McDonald’s agreeing to scrap zero-hour contracts, the latest figures from QV for April showing Auckland’s average home value is now more than $800,000, and Parliament passes legislation increasing penalties for employers who exploit migrant workers.

SNIPPETS OF THE DAY

Labour: Unite Union and McDonalds Reach Solution: Unite Union and McDonald’s have given New Zealand a perfect way to celebrate May Day by reaching a settlement that strikes another blow against zero-hour contracts, Labour spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Earlier this week it looked like Unite and McDonald’s had reached an impasse in negotiations. “But rather than walking away, both parties remained in talks and worked together to reach a solution. That’s the exact opposite of what the Government has allowed to happen by removing the duty to conclude collective bargaining from New Zealand’s employment law.”

High Priced Auckland Homes: New figures put the cost of an average Auckland home at $800,000 and show large parts of the country facing stagnant or falling property values, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The QV data released today shows residential property values in Auckland have almost doubled, rising 48.1 per cent, since 2007. But house values are falling in 11 regions. “That equates to house prices in Auckland increasing at a rate of 14.6 per cent a year and a whopping 4.3 per cent in the past three months alone.

Challenge To Achieve Budget Surplus: Finance Minister Bill English is warning that achieving a budget surplus next year is becoming more difficult, with the Treasury forecasting tax revenue will be $4.5 billion lower over the next four years than was expected a year ago. In his traditional pre-budget speech to the Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce, English said the May 21 budget would show how very low inflation would eat into the tax take because the dollar value of all economic activity rises more slowly than when inflation is higher, meaning less total available taxable revenues. “The Treasury now expects nominal GDP (gross domestic product, a measure of economic activity) over the next four years through to 2019 to be around 1.5 percent lower than forecast in Budget 2014, mainly because of lower inflation,” English said. “That is about $15 billion less and, to put that in context, that is more than half the impact of the global financial crisis.

RBNZ Completes Licensing Non-Bank Deposit Takers: The Reserve Bank has completed the licensing of Non-bank Deposit Takers (NBDTs), with licences issued to 31 entities. Toby Fiennes, Reserve Bank Head of Prudential Supervision, said: “Completion of licensing puts in place another measure to help maintain the stability of New Zealand’s financial system.” The Reserve Bank has powers to monitor NBDTs and intervene should an NBDT become distressed or fail. You will find more information on this in the “Links” section of our Digest.

$298m For Public Private Partnership Schools: Education Minister Hekia Parata and Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye say the signing of a $298 million contract for four more public private partnership (PPP) schools will see significant benefits for schools and taxpayers alike. “The contract for the schools, which will be located in Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown, was signed this week with building consortium Future Schools Partners,” says Ms Parata. Under a PPP, the private partner is responsible for designing, financing, building and maintaining the school property.

MPI Fee Update: On 1 July 2015, updated fees and changes to the way the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) recovers costs for its services from businesses and industries will come into effect. Changes and updated fees are a result of a recent review of cost recovery, which MPI consulted on in February this year. Throughout consultation, MPI held 21 consultation meetings around the country and received a total of 247 submissions.

Take Precautions When Making Donations: Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Jo Goodhew is warning New Zealanders to be alert for unscrupulous people who exploit the public’s generosity following the earthquake disaster in Nepal. “New Zealanders’ swift response to the appeals set up to provide assistance to victims of the Nepalese earthquakes has been incredible. It is a real tribute to New Zealand’s generosity and sympathy for those facing a terrible disaster,” Mrs Goodhew says. “However experience shows that although the vast majority of fundraising is genuine, the public should be mindful of people fundraising fraudulently “I encourage New Zealanders to donate to well-established registered charities that have the experience and infrastructure needed to provide disaster-relief assistance.”

New Body Armour For Corrections Officers: All frontline Corrections officers are to get new lightweight stab-resistant body armour, Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has announced. As part of the Corrections Staff Safety Programme, 3,500 stab-resistant vests are to be rolled out to all frontline custodial staff from next month. “While stabbing incidents involving frontline staff are low, it is a priority for our government to keep our Corrections officers safe,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

LINKS OF THE DAY

31 LICENSES ISSUED BY RBNZ: The Reserve Bank has completed the licensing of Non-bank Deposit Takers (NBDTs), with licences issued to 31 entities. The following links have more information:

http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/regulation_and_supervision/non-bank_deposit_takers/register/index.html

http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/regulation_and_supervision/non-bank_deposit_takers/3857993.html

http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/regulation_and_supervision/non-bank_deposit_takers/licensing/

NEW FEES FOR MPI: On 1 July 2015, updated fees and changes to the way the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) recovers costs for its services from businesses and industries will come into effect. More details here:
http://mpigovtnz.cwp.govt.nz/law-and-policy/legal-overviews/updated-fees-charges/

PETROL PRICE JUMP: Rising commodity prices mean the price of 91 octane petrol has risen over $2 per litre for the first time since early December, says AA PetrolWatch. The price of petrol rose 10 cents during April, to end the month on $2.03 per litre at most outlets. Diesel rose 9 cents to $1.29 per litre in the main centres, not including those locations discounting prices. For more information, go to: www.aa.co.nz/petrolwatch

RBNZ HIGHLIGHTS CAPITAL MARKETS: The Reserve Bank today published an article in the Reserve Bank Bulletin that describes New Zealand’s capital markets, and the role they play in the functioning of financial markets and the real economy. More information:
http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/research_and_publications/reserve_bank_bulletin/2015/

And that’s our sampling of the day that was on Friday 1st May 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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