Across the Ditch: Australian radio’s Peter Godfrey and’s Selwyn Manning deliver their weekly bulletin Across the Ditch. This week: Australia gets 40 degrees-+ temperatures and NZ gets rain! + Former Australia PM John Howard visits New Zealand + NZ Finance Minister warns mortgage interest rates will likely increase + New Zealand beats Australia in the Chappell-Hadlee ODI cricket series.

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Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard is in New Zealand and attended the first sitting of the New Zealand Parliament for 2017.

Howard was reluctant to speak to media but sat as a guest in the debating chamber during the Question and Answer session.

He is in New Zealand as a key speaker at a Australian High Commission black tie event.

ITEM TWO – Mortgage Interest Rates
New Zealand’s new Finance Minister Steven Joyce has warned home mortgage holders to be prepared for interest rate increases. He said there were signs the overlooked residential housing market has eased and the rate of house price increases has slowed.

But the house price-proportion of mortgage-household income ratios remain on the unaffordable end of the affordability scale.

This means if mortgage interest rates climb, many families may find they cannot afford to pay their mortgage payments.

Joyce said the Reserve Bank of New Zealand is expected to hold the Official Cash Rate at 1.75% but that the market has factored in that it may actually increase the OCR this year. He said bond rates have increased and interest rates in the USA had increased so home owners should budget for increases this year.

ITEM THREE – Cricket
Oh Peter, New Zealand won the Chappell-Hadleign one day international Cricket series. The win occurred after heavy rain caused the second of the three match series to be cancelled.

The series win has contributed to a successful home summer season with New Zealand having won series against Pakestan, Bangladesh and now Australia.

But there’s no time to gloat! The Kiwis now sharpen their focus to take on South Africa.

Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 25 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn is former co-founder of 36th Parallel Assessments ( and 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.