In today's email we asked what next for Jacinda Ardern and the Labour-led coalition Government.
1. The next 1,000 days of landmines
Given Waitangi Weekend is a good chance for reflection and the 100 days milestone passed on Saturday, I've written a piece assessing those 100 days and looking ahead over the next 1,000 days towards the 2020 election.
In short, the first 100 days went better than most expected and the Government's survival will depend largely on whether it delivers Kiwibuild, whether it alienates the provinces, how Winston Peters gets on with Jacinda Ardern, and whether Bill English really wants to stay on as Opposition leader.
2. A fresh start at Waitangi?
Newsroom's Sam Sachdeva has gone with most of the rest of the Press Gallery to Waitangi for the celebrations and the five days of events planned around it for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and various ministers.
He has written a preview of the celebrations and whether this year represents a chance for a fresh start in relations between the Government and Iwi, both nationally and for Ngapuhi, which is the last remaining and biggest iwi settlement.
Here's the full preview published first on Newsroom Pro on Friday, and here's the Prime Ministers' first comments to the Iwi Leaders' forum, in which she talked up action on poverty, housing and jobs, but talked down the prospect of substantive discussions on water rights.
Any major progress on dealing with water rights and any pricing of water seems increasingly remote, given NZ First's opposition to granting greater rights to iwi groups.
3. What becomes of Social Investment?
Newsroom's new Press Gallery reporter Thomas Coughlan has looked in depth into the future of Social Investment under the new Government.
He has spoken to Victoria University's Jonathan Boston, who has just written a book on the subject.
He reports it is more likely to morph rather than disappear. The Social Investment Agency's survival in the first 100 days is one indicator of that.
See Thomas' full article here on Newsroom Pro, where it was published first.
4. Briefly in our political economy...
Employing - ANZ's measure of job advertisements rose 3.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in January from December, which was its highest monthly rise in three years.
Expanding - BusinessNZ's measures of activity in the services and manufacturing industries edged lower in the December quarter, but remained firmly in expansion territory.
Spending - The Reserve Bank's measure of consumer lending grew 8.3 percent in December from a year ago, indicating voters and tourists were confident enough to be spending heavily in the last quarter of 2017 and early 2018. New car sales in January hit a fresh record, rising 7.3 percent from a year ago.
Nominating - Green MP Marama Davidson, who is nearer the lefter-leaning poverty-focused end of the party, put herself forward for the female Deputy Leader's job.
5. Briefly in the global political economy...
Falling - US stock markets fell more than two percent on Friday night after slightly higher than expected employment and wage growth figures raised fears of higher inflation and higher interest rates earlier than expected. Stock markets tend to fall when interest rates rise quickly, given bonds are one choice for investors. Stocks have also risen very quickly in the last six months.
Stealing - Bitcoin and other crypto-currency slumped over the weekend after a US$500 million theft of one type of currency was uncovered at a Japanese crypto-currrency exchange. Japan has regulated the sector, unleashing massive retail investor participation.
6. Coming up...
Waitangi Day celebrations continue on Tuesday.
Statistics New Zealand is scheduled to release December quarter labour force figures at 10.45 am on Wednesday. Economists expect a slight tick up in the unemployment rate to 4.7 percent from 4.6 percent and modest (0.3 percent) jobs growth. This follows surprising strength in the September quarter and a reversion of labour force participation from a record high.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is scheduled to deliver its first full Monetary Policy Statement of the year at 9 am on Thursday. Economists expect acting Governor Grant Spencer to leave the Official Cash Rate on hold and maintain the bank's ultra-easy stance and flat rate outlook into 2019. Inflation is seen remaining low despite solid economic growth.
7. One fun thing...
8. Today's political links
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