Hive News Monday: English called on to condemn Trump's refugee bans; Joint Labour/Green state of the nation event; Smol to go

Newspapers in a US hotel lobby the morning after Trump's inauguration speech. Copyright Lynn Grieveson / Hive News

The machinery of Government is still grinding back to life after the summer break and a succession of provincial and national holidays to set to disrupt the flow in the next week or two.

But there is plenty for those in the political economy to watch, including Donald Trump's barrage of executive orders in his first week in office, which are sending shockwaves around global trade and diplomatic circles. Like everyone else, Bill English is set to spend the weeks and months ahead reacting to the fallout from the new President's actions.

In just the first few days, Trump has suggested imposing what amounts to a 20% tax on all imports to pay for his wall on the Mexican border and has suspended the entry of all refugees for 120 days. He has also banned all Syrian refugees indefinitely and blocked the entry of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, but not Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The orders sparked chaos in US airports, causing the detention of dozens and forcing hundreds to be turned back. Spontaneous protests erupted outside US airports and the moves were condemned widely across America and by US allies such as Britain and Germany.

Labour and the Greens also called on Bill English to condemn Trump's actions. The Prime Minister is expected to face questions at a stand-up for reporters later today, and then in interviews tomorrow, and at a full post-cabinet news conference on Wednesday.

The joint Green/Labour approach towards changing the Government was emphasised in their joint state of the nation speeches at the Mt Albert War Memorial Hall over the weekend, including this one from Andrew Little and this one from Metiria Turei.

However, the joint approach doesn't extend to divvying up electorates or having a completely unified policy platform, as Little detailed in this RNZ interview this morning. He did foreshadow a joint policy on aged care and said Labour and the Greens agreed on fiscal guidelines and economic management.

In other economic and political news...

Statistics New Zealand reported merchandise trade figures for December this morning, including that meat and dairy exports fell in value in calendar 2016 and the merchandise trade deficit for the year was NZ$3.2 billion, down from NZ$3.5 billion the previous year.

Statistics New Zealand reported on Friday that guest nights in October were 6% higher than in October 2015, with international guest nights rising 17% and domestic guest nights falling 0.6%.

In the first big bureaucratic personnel change since English named his first cabinet on December 20, MBIE's first and only CEO David Smol will step down when his term ends in June. State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes confirmed Smol's departure on Friday.

The NZ Initiative published a report on migration this morning that concluded that New Zealand benefits from migration, or at the least is not made worse off by it.

Tweets of the day:

Vincent Baby:

Mike Bloomberg on yesterday's Trump-Putin call: "I feel for him. We've all had bosses who call us on the weekend." via Axios

Mike Birbiglia:

I'd like a ban on people who don't release their tax returns.

Jim Axelrod:

Just to be clear: Iraqi refugee held in cuffs for 17 hours at JFK before being allowed in was an interpreter for US troops during the war.

Have a great day

cheers

Bernard