NewsRoom Digest: Top NZ News Items for May 13, 2015

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Newsroom Digest

This edition of NewsRoom_Digest contains 5 media release snippets and 4 links of the day from Wednesday 13th May.

Top stories in the news cycle today include the Reserve Bank announcing new lending restrictions for the Auckland housing market, the Government growing pessimistic about the chances of signing the Trans Pacific Partnership, and Nepal being hit by another devastating earthquake.

SNIPPETS OF THE DAY

Lending Restrictions For Aucklanders – RBNZ: The Reserve Bank will target Auckland property investors with new lending restrictions as it looks to take the heat out of the property market in the country’s biggest city, which it sees as a key risk to the nation’s financial system. The bank intends in October to introduce new limits on lending to property investors in the Auckland Council area that would require those borrowers to have at least a 30 percent deposit, saying the potential for a sharp correction in the market has increased.

Labour: RBNZ Action Shows Govt Out Of Ideas: The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to take action to curb speculation but the Government’s refusal to tackle foreign speculators gives them a free hand [it shows] the ludicrous situation where a central bank wants to tackle a major issue that the Government is ignoring.”

Intelligence And Security Review: A former Deputy Prime Minister and a respected lawyer are to lead the first regular review of New Zealand’s security and intelligence agencies, Acting Attorney-General Amy Adams announced today. Ms Adams says she intends to appoint Sir Michael Cullen and Dame Patsy Reddy to carry out the review. “This will be an important and challenging review, and I’m pleased Sir Michael and Dame Patsy have agreed to lend their expertise to the task. They bring complementary skills and experience to the role. Sir Michael is a former member of the Intelligence and Security Committee and has knowledge of national security issues. Dame Patsy has extensive governance experience and legal expertise,” Ms Adams says

South Island Drought Update:Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says farmers throughout the eastern South Island are still feeling the effects of drought, particularly in North Canterbury. “It’s likely the medium-scale adverse event classification will remain in place until August or September this year, depending on conditions over autumn,” says Mr Guy. “Despite recent rainfall, farmers and growers are still feeling the impacts of these prolonged dry conditions.”

$122 Million Project Almost Done: Work on the last section of the Western Corridor in Christchurch is underway with the Transport Minister, Simon Bridges, turning the first sod of the $122 million project today. The new Western Belfast Bypass, a 5km section of highway, is the final stage of the $322 million Western Corridor (State highway 1) and, together with the Southern Motorway and Northern Arterial, makes up the Christchurch Motorways project. The Christchurch Motorways project is a Road of National Significance, in which the Government is investing more than $900 million to build.

LINKS OF THE DAY

FOOD PRICES Fall To 0.3 percent: In April 2015, food prices fell 0.3 percent, Statistics New Zealand said today. This follows a 0.1 percent rise in March and a 0.7 percent fall in February. “More discounting on items such as biscuits, snack foods, and sauces contributed to lower grocery prices. This was countered by higher prices for tomatoes, beef, and chicken,” prices manager Chris Pike said. Grocery food prices fell 0.9 percent, influenced by lower prices for cakes and biscuits, snack foods, and sauces. The price of cakes and biscuits was influenced by more discounting on biscuits:

http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/prices_indexes/FoodPriceIndex_HOTPApr15.aspxhttp://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/prices_indexes/FoodPriceIndex_HOTPApr15.a

DROP IN SHEEP NUMBERS: New Zealand had 29.8 million sheep at 30 June 2014, Statistics NZ said today. “The number of sheep fell by 3 percent from 2013. The last time the sheep number was below 30 million was back in 1943,” agriculture statistics manager Neil Kelly said. At 30 June 2014, the number of dairy cattle had increased 3 percent, while the total number of beef cattle declined slightly. The total number of dairy cattle was just under 6.7 million, with increases of 67,000 dairy cattle in the North Island and 148,000 in the South Island. For more information about these statistics:

http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/industry_sectors/agriculture-horticulture-forestry/AgriculturalProduction_final_HOTPJun14final.aspx

TRADE ME PROPERTY PRICE INDEX: The average asking price for a home in New Zealand soared to $539,750 in the three months to April, more than $25,000 higher than a month ago and the highest month-on-month rise recorded in the past five years.Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said: “All three major metropolitan regions posted new record highs in asking price with Wellington up over 4 per cent to an average asking price of $458,750 and Canterbury up by more than 11 per cent to $468,000.” Read more here:
http://www.trademe.co.nz/property/price-index/for-sale/april-2015/

SECURITY REVIEW: A former Deputy Prime Minister and a respected lawyer are to lead the first regular review of New Zealand’s security and intelligence agencies, Acting Attorney-General Amy Adams announced today. The terms of reference for the review can be found at: www.justice.govt.nz/publications/global-publications/i/intelligence-and-security-agencies-review

And that’s our sampling of the day that was on Wednesday 13th 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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