Broking firm First NZ Capital began coverage of Seeka, New Zealand's top grower of kiwifruit, with a ‘neutral’ recommendation, as a positive earnings outlook offsets key risks including the company’s high debt, horticultural factors such as weather, pests and disease as well as performance by the nation's sole kiwifruit exporter Zespri Group and access to key export markets.

Businesses' confidence about their 'own activity', as opposed to the wider economy, fell to a five year low. Construction sector confidence crashed. It's time the Government and the Reserve Bank looked at stimulating the economy to fix our infrastructure deficits, lift inflation and keep unemployment falling. Phil Twyford set the upper threshold for couples bidding for KiwiBuild homes at $180,000, which sparked outrage but was needed to ensure enough demand for the 100,000 homes. It highlighted how unaffordable the $650,000 cost of KiwiBuild homes in Auckland has become, and why land price falls are needed to improve affordability. Dame Margaret Bazley's report into sexual assaults and bullying at Russell McVeagh revealed a toxic culture for women. The IMF encouraged the Government to use its balance sheet to fix infrastructure deficits. Donald Trump is set to ramp up his trade rhetoric in meetings with Nato, the Queen and Vladimir Putin over the next 10 days.

A sensitive case file that was misplaced at a Night and Day convenience store left a woman “understandably upset” after it was sent to the man she was locked in a dispute with. Shane Cowlishaw reports.

John Campbell is moving to TVNZ, Spark appointed a new marketing director, Beingmate found a MD to Fonterra's relief, A2 Milk appointed the CEO of Jetstar as its new CEO, TSB appointed a new CEO after a very long search, the Greens found a new strategy director and Chris Hipkins moved put a commissioner into Unitec.

Here's a few longer reads on economic, political and social issues for the weekend.

Everyone on and around the Wellington waterfront on Thursday morning was all agog with the one whale display in the harbour.


A damning review into Russell McVeagh’s handling of allegations of sexual harassment and assault has described a “work hard, play hard culture” at the law firm that involved sexually inappropriate behaviour.

A senior female partner at Russell McVeagh says the law firm has undergone plenty of soul searching in the wake of its mishandling of sexual harassment complaints, but warned there is no “five-minute fix”.

New Zealand farmer confidence slid in the past quarter amid concern about the impact of Mycoplasma bovis cattle disease on the country’s agricultural sector, with the number of farmers expecting conditions to improve now only just outweighing those expecting them to worsen, according to the latest Rabobank rural confidence survey.

Talkback lines and social media ran hot with outrage over the $180,000 income threshold for KiwiBuild buyers, but the Government needed it to be that high to avoid dumping houses into the market and driving down prices. Nearly 6,000 buyers applied for the KiwiBuild ballot on the first day, which would soak up three years of production. Dame Margaret Bazley’s review of the Russell McVeagh's sexual assault cases exposed by Newsroom will be released later today.

Labour unveils a plan allowing couples earning up to $180,000/year to bid for houses costing $650,000. Phil Twyford describes KiwiBuild as "a middle-class aspirational home-ownership policy". Thomas Coughlan reports.


New Zealand's government has a strong enough balance sheet to close the nation's infrastructure deficit sooner, which the International Monetary Fund says would generate long-term economic gains. Paul McBeth from BusinessDesk reports.

Actual business confidence fell to a five year low in the June quarter, while house values also fell. Phil Twyford opened registrations of interest for first home buyers interested in Kiwibuild. He set the upper income threshold for couples at $180,000 and said buyers could sell after three years, which was two years earlier than Labour promised before the election.

Business confidence fell to a five year low as winter began and it wasn't just because managers were politically biased. Bernard Hickey argues it's time the Government reacted to this cooling with a debt-funded construction stimulus and interest rate cuts.

Debates about transgender rights are gaining prominence and moving into the mainstream. Dr Bryce Edwards of Victoria University explains how transgender political struggles not only forms part of the evolving “culture wars” in New Zealand politics, but reflect the complexity of contemporary politics, containing some surprising dynamics.


With school buildings crumbling around students and teachers, the Government is suggesting it may be time to take away the responsibility of maintaining them from school boards. But will more ministry oversight be a good thing? Shane Cowlishaw reports.

The Security Intelligence Service has investigated a Chinese national studying for a PhD in electronic engineering at an Auckland university over concerns his work could be used for sensitive military purposes. Sam Sachdeva and Teuila Fuatai report.

Newsroom's Sam Sacdeva (taking the selfie), Interest.co.nz's Jason Walls (right), RNZ's Gia Carrick and AAP's Boris Jancic got stuck in a Parliamentary lift for an uncomfortable 15 minutes yesterday. They aren't happy, although Jason is putting on a good face. That's one way to slow down the news cycle.

The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research's (NZIER) closely-watched survey of business opinion found confidence about firms' 'own activity' fell to a five year low in the June quarter, suggesting a moderation of economic growth towards two percent from three percent in mid to late 2018.

Dairy marketer A2 Milk and milk processor Synlait Milk have agreed to extend their infant formula supply deal and increase the volume of formula Synlait will supply as the two continue to focus on sales in the lucrative Chinese market.

Phil Twyford has angered Wellington residents by suggesting the new Transmission Gully motorway be tolled, something Labour did not flag before the election. NZIER's business confidence survey due out at 10 am will be closely watched by politicians and economists alike.

A New Zealand military officer has been suspended after calling the new Timor-Leste prime minister the “puppet” of a revolutionary hero and warning a military coup is possible. Sam Sachdeva reports with this exclusive.

Winston Peters says he believes the state should subsidise regional airports, which is in tune with his pre-election support for an industry proposal that the Government spend $32 million to upgrade 12 regional airports.

With Donald Trump indicating the US will not play a part in the fight against global warming, James Shaw is heading to the country he now expects to take up the leadership role. Shane Cowlishaw talks to the Climate Change Minister about how the role China may play

Voting on a new pay deal for nurses will begin on Tuesday and run until next Monday. The New Zealand Nurses Organisation has recommended to its members that they accept the deal.

Sometimes a couple of gifs is all you need for a smile, especially when they're making fun of the World Cup and Neymar.


Technology columnist Richard MacManus looks at how New Zealand companies are using facial recognition and biometric data. He warns there are real bias and privacy dangers that shouldn’t be ignored.

The Government’s $5.5 billion package of spending on families, pensioners and new mums kicks in from today. Thomas Coughlan explains how it works, and its quirks, even for new mum Jacinda Ardern.

As a senior diplomat under Barack Obama, Kurt Campbell helped shape the US relationship with China. Now he says the American view of the Asian superpower needs a fundamental rethink. Campbell spoke to Sam Sachdeva about China’s role in the international system, Donald Trump’s approach to foreign policy, and New Zealand’s position on the world stage. *

New Zealand must strengthen its voice in the Asia-Pacific as the country faces an “inflection point” in its history, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. Sam Sachdeva reports.

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation has lifted its strike notice for July 5 after a revised offer from DHBs. Thomas Coughlan reports.