NewsRoom Digest: Top NZ News Items for May 19, 2015

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Newsroom Digest

This edition of NewsRoom_Digest contains 5 media release snippets and 4 links of the day from Tuesday 19th May.

Top stories in the news cycle today include the Finance Minister Bill English confirming that this week’s Budget will include more housing initiatives directed at increasing housing supply and clarification that rules targeting property investors will make it easier for the government to track any money that’s been obtained illegally.

SNIPPETS OF THE DAY

Govt To Inject Funds To Forestry: The Government will invest $5 million over seven years in a research partnership to increase the competitiveness of the forestry sector, Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce announced today. “Forestry is New Zealand’s third largest export earner – behind dairy and meat, contributing around $5 billion to our exports. This investment aims to strengthen the ties between research organisations and the industry to produce excellent research driven by industry needs,” says Mr Joyce. The new partnership is led by Future Forests Research, an industry-operated entity, in collaboration with Scion, the University of Canterbury, and the NZ Dryland Forests Initiative.

NZ First: Cutting Veterans Services: New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters has warned the Prime Minister to abandon a cost-cutting plan to sack individual contractors who provide treatment to veterans and replace them with new “streamlined” services. Veterans have been advised of the changes in a letter in the last few days. Mr Peters says within the waffle there is a clear message that unwelcome changes are coming. “It is outrageous that veterans who served their country and are now suffering disabilities can be treated in such a cynical, callous way.

Dairy Competition Report: Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith announced today they will request a report on the state of competition in New Zealand’s dairy industry from the Commerce Commission. The report is required under the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act, which allowed for the merger of our largest dairy co-operatives to form Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited. The DIRA contains provisions to ensure contestability in New Zealand’s farm gate and factory gate markets. These provisions are intended to expire when there is workable competition in the domestic dairy market. “The dairy industry is a major part of our economy, and we’ve seen significant growth in recent years,” says Mr Guy.

Businesses Lift Inflation Expectations: New Zealand businesses lifted their expectations for inflation over the next two years, sapping any immediate pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates, and prompting the kiwi dollar to jump higher. The consumers price index is seen rising an annual 1.32 percent on a mean basis in the year ahead, up from the 1.11 percent pace seen in the March quarter, while two-year ahead inflation expectations increased to 1.86 percent from 1.8 percent three months earlier, according to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s survey of expectations. The kiwi dollar climbed half a US cent, and recently traded at 74.15 US cents from 73.68 cents immediately before the release.

Low Fuel Price Equals Low Producer Prices: Producer prices fell in the March 2015 quarter, due to lower fuel prices, Statistics New Zealand said today. Prices received (as measured by the output producers price index (PPI)) and paid (as measured by the input PPI) both fell in the March 2015 quarter, down 0.9 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively. “Producers benefited from lower petrol and diesel prices. Lower fuel prices helped to lower input prices in many primary industries, and in construction and transport,” prices manager Chris Pike said. Output prices for the petroleum and coal product manufacturing industry fell 19 percent in the March 2015 quarter. This is the biggest quarterly fall since a 20 percent fall in the December 2008 quarter when fuel prices also fell sharply.

LINKS OF THE DAY

BRAZIL & INDONESIA TOURISM TARGET: Two booklets that aim to help New Zealand tourism operators be better hosts to Brazilian and Indonesian visitors have been released by the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) today. The guides to getting ready for visitors from Indonesia and Brazil were released today at TRENZ 2015, the New Zealand tourism industry’s biggest annual international business event. “These guides provide practical tips and information, and are a basic but useful starting point to help businesses deliver an outstanding visitor experience to visitors from our emerging markets,” TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says. They follow two very popular briefs for China and India issued by TIA in 2012. Read more:
www.tianz.org.nz/main/cultural-briefs

KEEP ONLINE DATA SAFE: Australasian Consumer Fraud Awareness Week runs from 18-24 May 2015. The focus this year is on the importance of protecting your personal information so that it doesn’t fall into the hands of online scammers.
Download online report here:
http://www.netsafe.org.nz/safer-internet-day/documents/SID-2015-Internet-Challenges-Report-WEB.pdf

INNOVATORS TO GAIN FROM SOUTHEAST ASIA: Five of New Zealand’s top tech entrepreneurs will gain an introduction to a market of more than 620 million people on a forum run by the Asia New Zealand Foundation. The Foundation will take the group to Southeast Asia in June, for meetings in Thailand and Singapore to learn more about business opportunities in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). ASEAN is a grouping of 10 nations with a population of more than 620 million people and has a free trade agreement with New Zealand through the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA.
For more about the ASEAN Young Business Leaders Initiative: http://asianz.org.nz/our-work/action-asia-business/asean-initiative

PROJECT POSSUM TRAINING: More than 90 students from around Northland are expected to gather near Kaikohe over the next week to gain hands-on knowledge of possum trapping, fur and pelt recovery as ‘Project Possum’ enters its fifth year. The chair of the Northland Regional Council’s Environmental Management Committee, Joe Carr, says Project Possum training is run under the umbrella of the Enviroschools Programme, which is funded in Northland by the council. Enviroschools programme generally is available from the regional council’s website via:
www.nrc.govt.nz/enviroschools

And that’s our sampling of the day that was on Tuesday 19th 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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