Percentage-based pay increases for politicians appear destined for the scrapheap, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announcing a salary freeze for MPs as the Government develops a “fairer” model to set their pay.
The education sector is claiming a victory after the Government relaxed its plans to tighten work visa access for international students in New Zealand.
The Government has watered down its plans to tighten up work visas for international students, following pushback from education providers concerned about the impact on their businesses.
The Reserve Bank held interest rates at record lows and repeated its neutral view that it could either raise or cut rates. Business confidence fell again back to its post-election low. Labour scrapped its KiwiBuild visa policy forcing employers to take on an apprentice for each migrant. Instead, it will streamline the hiring of migrant workers to fill a 30,000 construction workers shortage. Shane Jones said John Key lobbied him to exempt the Te Arai land development from foreign buyer rules.
The doors will be opened wider to overseas construction workers as the Government pushes to fulfil its ambitious building promises. Shane Cowlishaw reports.
The government has backtracked on a requirement for construction companies wanting to bring in extra foreign workers to have to take on apprentices too.
The Government has announced a levy for international tourists, but has also snuck in a proposal that would increase costs for New Zealand citizens as well. Shane Cowlishaw reports.
Tourism industry bodies have responded to the government's proposed levy on international visitors positively - provided they benefit from the money raised.
Political-watchers are either appalled or saluting the government’s pragmatism in appointing Jim Bolger to head their industrial relations law rewrite. But Dr Bryce Edwards of Victoria University says Bolger’s appointment is entirely appropriate, as the former National prime minister is probably to the left of many MPs in the new government.
Before the election, Labour’s proposed Fair Pay Agreements were painted by critics as a return to the days of industrial strife and strikes. With a Jim Bolger-led working group convened to flesh out the details, Shane Cowlishaw explores whether it will really plunge the country into darkness.