Hive News Monday: National down and Labour, NZ First up in poll; Fitch warns on household debt

Bill English arrives for his first weekly post-Cabinet press conference. Copyright Lynn Grieveson / Hive News

The first Colmar Brunton-TVNZ poll taken since Bill English became Prime Minister found support for National fell 4% to 46%, Labour rose 2% to 30%, the Greens were unchanged on 11%, New Zealand First rose 1 to 11%. Mana and ACT both rose 1% to 1% and Maori was unchanged on 1%.

The poll taken from February 11 to 15 found Bill English's rating as preferred PM rose 31% ... to 31% (yes it was 0% when the poll was last taken from November 13-23), while Andrew Little fell 1% to 7% and Winston Peters was unchanged on 8%.

Over the weekend...

Fitch affirmed New Zealand's AA credit rating late on Friday, but warned that vulnerabilities in the housing sector could cause greater disruption to economic and financial stability than low dairy prices.

"While strong migration flows and supply constraints have supported demand, price growth has far outstripped income and has been fuelled by rapid and accelerating housing credit growth (9% year on year in November 2016)," Fitch wrote.

"The accompanying increase in the household debt burden is currently affordable because of low interest rates and a strong labour market, but could become unsustainable if these favourable conditions reverse, hampering consumption and potentially leading to higher non-performing loans."

Bill English and Malcolm Turnbull met on Friday and formally announced late on Friday they would work together to try to revive the TPP without America. They also signed science and R&D innovation agreements

After just a month in the White House and well over three years before the next Presidential election, Donald Trump held an election rally in an aircraft hangar in Florida. He again attacked the media and referred to an 'incident' in Sweden the previous night, which did not happen. (Washington Post) No one is quite sure where he got it from, but Vox suggested he was referring to an item he might have seen on a Fox News show on Friday night about unproven allegations that migrants were committing rapes.

Earlier, Trump tweeted that 'fake news' media such as the New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN were not his enemy, the were the "enemy of the American people."

John McCain said, while in Germany for a speech arguing against Trump's foreign policy, that dictators get started by suppressing the free press. (CNN)

Kraft-Heinz confirmed and then withdrew a US$143 billion takeover bid for Unilever over the weekend after Unilever treated the bid as hostile. British politicians also pledged to probe such a large takeover of a British firm in the wake of Kraft-Heinz's takeover of Cadbury in 2010, during which pledges to keep factories in Britain were reneged on. Cadbury was subsequently spun out of a Kraft Heinz into Mondelez , which last week announced the closure of Cadbury's factory in Dunedin. (FT)

Tweets of the day:

Carl Bildt (former Swedish PM)

Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound

Have a great day.

cheers

Bernard