Bernard Hickey

Bernard was the Managing Editor of from 2008 to 2012. A financial journalist for 20 years, he has worked for Reuters, the FT Group and Fairfax Media in Wellington, Canberra, Sydney, London, Singapore and Auckland in that order.

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The key events in our political economy this week included still-low inflation figures keeping interest rates on hold for at least another year, house price inflation bubbling along outside of Auckland and Christchurch and worsening a productivity problem, the re-emergence of a debate over whether councils should collect and spend income and consumption taxes, and Donald Trump's tearing up of the American-led post-war order that is forcing Europe and others, including ourselves, to look for alternative trade and security partners.

KiwiRail CEO Peter Reidy is moving to head Fletcher Building's troubled construction division and Trevor Janes is stepping down as KiwiRail chair. MBIE's James Stevenson-Wallace is replacing Carl Hansen as the Electricity Authority's CEO. Hamilton's former mayor Julie Hardaker will become the new chair of the Environmental Protection Authority to replace Kerry Prendergast and Simon Botherway is joining the board of the Guardians of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. Transparency International appointed Julie Haggie to a newly created CEO role.

Here's a few longer reads on political, economic and social issues from around the world for your weekend.

The Russian operative charged with trying to form relationships with people high up in US politics, Mariia Butina, was pictured in this photo of a meeting between Russian officials and Donald Trump.