Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The New Zealand dollar has risen to its highest level in more than a year against the greenback.

As of this morning it was sitting at more than 73 US cents, almost $1 more than yesterday.

That's the strongest the kiwi dollar has been against the American currency since May last year.

The rise is being attributed to positive risk sentiment and higher commodity prices, although economists note the sector is currently under-performing.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Otago and Southland have come up as winners in the latest Lottery Grants Board handout.

The two regions have been allocated more than $2.2m between them.

A total of $189m is being distributed to community and statutory bodies this year, through lottery profits.

The New Zealand Film Commission, Creative New Zealand and Sport New Zealand will receive just over $80m to support their work.

Specific details about projects and time-scales for what this latest round of money will be spent on will be made available over the next few months.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Fewer New Zealanders are staying in motels and hotels, compared to the same time last year.

But while domestic guest nights are down 6.4%, international guest nights are up 9.7%.

North Island stays are down 1.2%, and the South Island saw a slight gain, up 1%.

Despite the drops, the trend for national guest nights is continuing to rise after fluctuating in March and April.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Blueskin Energy Ltd's application to build and operate a wind farm has been declined at a Dunedin City Council Hearings Committee.

Resource consent to establish a community owned wind farm near Warrington, failed to meet the required standards.

The decision to decline the application was significantly influenced by the adverse effects it would have on properties.

There is an appeal period of 15 working days.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Retail spending is on the up throughout the country, with large growth in the durables and hospitality industries.

They were both up around 1.5% last month, collectively expanding by $31m.

The sector's total electronic spending in June reached $4.6b.

That's an almost 7% jump from the corresponding period last year.

It's the first time in more than a year that all 6 retail industries had increases in spending.


Friday, July 8, 2016
Thumb not available yet

The Reserve Bank is urging the Government to review its immigration policy in a bid to stem rising house prices.

The call comes just days after Prime Minister John Key told the central bank to ''get on with it'' and introduce new restrictions on property investors.

But Deputy Governor Grant Spencer says there are inherent risks with too much investor involvement in the property market.

Spencer says the government needs to recognise that the large inflow of migrants over the last three years has significantly boosted housing demand.

But he warns changes to immigration will only work at the margins, but they could eventually help calm the housing market.


Friday, July 8, 2016

Regions are continuing to benefit from the tourism sector's focus on attracting more visitors outside peak periods.

The latest Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates show most regions experienced growth in tourism expenditure over the past year.

Otago is the fastest growing region, with an increase of 10% totalling $3.2b.

The Government has committed an additional $45m over the next four years to assist the sector in attracting visitors outside peak seasons.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Thumb not available yet

More than $460,000 has been allocated to several major city events.

The funding has been given out by the Dunedin City Council's Events Assessment Sub-committee, which received 14 applications.

Eleven of those were granted, with ID Dunedin Fashion Week receiving the largest sum, taking away $95,000.

The aim of the fund is to encourage both major and small events to flourish in the city.

Other successful recipients include this month's Chocolate Carnival as well as the Otago Rally and Midwinter Carnival.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Nearly 80% of KiwiSaver members are reading their annual statements, but less than a quarter are checking whether they're on track for retirement.

Research by investment watchdog the Financial Markets Authority has found males over 60 are more likely to read their statements, while females in their 20s were less likely to.

For those who didn't read the statement the biggest barriers were that it was too complicated or they weren't interested in it.

The research surveyed 2000 people between May and June, with more than 1300 being KiwiSaver members.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The country's dairy and seafood exports are propping up the economy while forestry remains largely unchanged.

Overall goods exports rose 3.7% last month, up $179m.

Seafood prices led the growth, gaining over 8%, buoyed by an increase in the price of hoki and squid.

The meat and aluminium sectors also fared well with increases of around 2% respectively.


Thursday, June 30, 2016
Thumb not available yet

It remains unclear whether the proposed merger between Silver Fern Farms and a Chinese investor is done.

Silver Fern Farms had till the end of June to satisfy conditions of the sale with China's Shanghai Maling Aquarius.

The Dunedin-based company insists the deal hasn't been derailed, but it's facing criticism from New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters.

He believes Silver Fern’s directors haven't acted in the best interests of the company, particularly by not seeking shareholder approval for a major transaction.

Those complaints have been rejected by the companies office.

Shanghai Maling is bidding for 50% of the meat co-op, for a price of $261m.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

New statistics on Maori businesses are providing an insight into the economic strength of more than 1000 Maori authorities.

Maori assets grew 15.5% in 2014 to reach $15b.

It's the second reported year of asset growth with an increase of $1.6b the year before.

The main contributor to the growth was assets such as goodwill, trademarks, shares and long-term bonds and loans.


Monday, June 27, 2016

The ramifications of Britain's exit from the European Union is creating a lot of uncertainty for New Zealand markets.

However, Trade Minister Todd McClay has assured exporters New Zealand's economic relationship with the UK and Europe will remain the same for the foreseeable future.

He's currently seeking meetings with fellow trade ministers from both the UK and Europe.

The New Zealand dollar fell to a 10 day low against the greenback after the British public's vote, stoking uncertainty in financial markets.


Monday, June 20, 2016

A contract deadline is looming on a proposed merger between Silver Fern Farms and a Chinese investor.

The Dunedin-based company has to submit an application to the Overseas Investment Office before the end of June, in order to continue with the proposal.

The merger with Shanghai Maling Aquarius needs both OIO and ministerial approval before going ahead, but no recent work has been done on the application.

Shanghai Maling is bidding for 50% of the company, for a price of $261m.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Thumb not available yet

The total cost of the country's flag referendum has been released, with figures showing the project came in under budget.

The provisional cost has been revealed as $21.8m, almost $4m less than what was initially budgeted.

That's despite the late addition of the red peak option, which cost just under $270,000.

The most expensive aspect of the process was the first postal referendum, coming in at a cost of $9.

After two referendums, 57% of New Zealanders voted to retain the current flag with the remainder voting for the Kyle Lockwood alternative.