Newsroom Pro's 8 things at 8 am: Steel dumping case dumped; Turei angers Peters; Greens plan water charge

Over the weekend the Greens have announced their water policy - but also angered a potential coalition partner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson

1. Steel dumping claim dumped

In a decision that removes a potential irritant in New Zealand's relationship with China, MBIE announced on Friday that the Government had decided not to take anti-dumping action against Chinese steel exporters because there was little evidence the steel was being subsidised.

This followed a complaint from New Zealand Steel that state-subsidised Chinese steel was being dumped in the New Zealand market.

The issue first bubbled to the surface in July last year, when Fairfax revealed the complaint and reported threats of “retaliatory measures” from China against Kiwi exporters.

The Government initially downplayed the issue, although then-Prime Minister John Key chastised Trade Minister Todd McClay after he failed to tell him officials had spent months looking into the reports of possible reprisals.

Chinese Premier Li Keiqiang raised the issue when he visited Wellington in March, rejecting the steel dumping allegation in a news conference and connecting the issue with New Zealand's dairy exports. See our report on that.

Newsroom's National Affairs Editor Shane Cowlishaw covered the announcement on Friday that no material subsidisation had been found and that action would not be taken.

Here's his full report put on Newsroom Pro on Friday, including union reaction and comments from Commerce Minister Jacqui Dean.

2. 'Cybersecurity is their rugby'

There's more on the thorny issue of cyber-security below from the G20 meetings, but closer to home Newsroom's Foreign Affairs and Trade Editor Sam Sachdeva has been looking at what New Zealand can learn from Israel on the topic.

It turns out the Israelis have built a major industry around cyber-security.

Paul Ash, the director of the National Cyber Policy Office at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, told Sam Israel was a world leader in the area, having developed the world’s second-largest cybersecurity industry “in a very short time”, with over 20,000 people employed and over five per cent of worldwide cybersecurity revenue.

See Sam's full report published first on Newsroom Pro on Friday, including comments about how Israeli parents want their kids to work in cyber-security.

"Over there, cybersecurity is their rugby," said Ryan Ko, the director of the New Zealand Institute for Security and Crime Science at Waikato University.

3. Greens want bottled water levy

Green Co-Leader James Shaw announced the Party's water policy in Nelson yesterday, including plans for a 10c/litre levy on both domestic and export sales of bottled water.

The policy is for half of the revenues to go to councils, and the other half to go to iwi. The Greens also announced plans to hold nationwide meetings and hui to develop a new way to allocate and charge for water for commercial use, once it was in Government. It did not indicate a price.

4. Turei angers Peters

However, the Greens would likely need to work with New Zealand First in Government, given the current polling.

That was made slightly harder over the weekend after Green Co-Leader Metiria Turei told Q+A that New Zealand First was on a roll because of its "very racist approach to immigration."

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters responded with a statement: "My warning to the Greens is don't call New Zealand First racist - an allegation that is spurious - and think there won't be consequences."

5. Numbers of the day

45.9 percent - National's poll average in the latest Radio NZ poll of polls released this morning. It combines the results from the last four polls from Colmar Brunton, Reid Research, Roy Morgan, UMR and Curia.

National was up from 45.3 percent in May. Labour's average fell to 26.5 percent from 29.4 percent in May, while New Zealand First rose to 10.7 percent from 9.4 percent. The Greens rose to 12.4 percent from 11.9 percent. If these averages were replicated on September 23, National would need the support of New Zealand First to govern.

40 - The number of candidates named on ACT's party list on Sunday, including David Seymour, Rodney Local Board chair Beth Houlbrooke, Exeltium PR consultant Brooke van Velden and real estate agent Bhupinder Singh in that order. Deputy Leader Kenneth Wang resigned shortly before the release of the list.

6. While you were sleeping...

US President Donald Trump announced on twitter last night that he had discussed with Russian President Vladimir Putin the creation of a "impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded..."

Republicans senators criticised the idea. "It's not the dumbest idea I have ever heard, but it's pretty close," said Lindsey Graham. Democrats were incredulous. "If that’s our best election defense, we might as well just mail our ballot boxes to Moscow," said Democratic congressman Adam Schiff.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported on Saturday that US officials had said Russian government hackers had broken into the business and administrative systems of US nuclear power and other energy companies.

In economic and financial news, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday night that US jobs grew 222,000 in June from May, which was more than than the median economist expectation of 179,000. However, wage growth in the month of 0.2 percent was slightly below expectations, which leaves the debate about whether central banks will significantly tighten monetary policy unresolved. (New York Times)

7. Coming up...

Prime Minister Bill English is scheduled to hold his weekly post-cabinet news conference this afternoon in Wellington.

Statistics New Zealand is scheduled to publish electronic card transactions data for June on Tuesday, and food price data for June on Thursday.

8. One fun thing

The G20 meetings were contentious and rioters caused mayhem on the streets of Hamburg, but there was one fun thing.

The White House Press Office accidentally labelled China's President Xi Jingping as the President of Taiwan in the transcript of his conversation with Trump... (Bloomberg)