Power shortages during winters when there is not enough water, wind or sun remain the Achilles heel in New Zealand's otherwise huge potential to move most of its fossil fuel-driven economy to renewable electricity, says a new report from the national grid operator, Transpower.
Energy-intensive heavy industry has a long term future in New Zealand, but only if policies to decarbonise the economy can deliver a secure energy supply, says the outgoing chief executive of New Zealand Aluminium Smelters, Gretta Stephens, who will swap to be CEO at Bluescope's New Zealand Steel plant later this month.
Rising wages that take people into higher tax brackets, a growing population fueling economic activity, and a series of new revenue-gathering crackdowns are forecast to yield the government $5.7 billion more tax revenue over the five years to June 2022 than was expected just six months ago, Budget documents say.
The Productivity Commission will conduct an investigation into the impacts of technological change and disruption, and the future of work.
Bottlenecks in the booming construction industry see weak growth in residential house-building over the next 12 months and have forced the Treasury to halve its forecast rate of progress on the government’s KiwiBuild affordable housing policy.
The Budget creates three new government quangos to run the rule over political parties’ spending promises, keep tabs on local governments’ administration of the Resource Management Act, and a special tribunal to sort out Canterbury earthquake insurance disputes.
The Commerce Commission is warning monopoly electricity networks not to treat electric vehicle chargers as assets they can charge all electricity users for.