The Government launched reviews of employment law and climate change law aimed at soothing the nerves of employers and farmers respectively. It appeared to rule out a breakup of the Reserve Bank and started considering introducing a deposit insurance scheme. Better foreign ownership data showed almost 20 percent of property buyers in central Auckland in the last year were not citizens. Documents showed officials advised the Government against its decision to stop issuing new offshore oil and gas drilling licenses, saying it would actually increase emissions because coal would be used instead of gas. The economy may have slowed a bit in the March quarter as construction sector activity and confidence continues to wane. Donald Trump waged trade wars ahead of G7 meetings and his summit with Kim Jong Un.
New Zealand may finally implement deposit protection as part of a review of the Reserve Bank.
The 8 things that mattered this week included big Government decisions on mycoplasma bovis and methamphetamine contamination of houses, the return of Heather 'H2' Simpson to oversee a major and potentially problematic health sector review, fresh criticism of New Zealand as the 'soft-underbelly' of the Five Eyes security alliance, Rob Everett's warning to banks operating at the 'edge of the law', the Law Society's mea culpa in the wake of the #metoo moment at Russell McVeagh, the frustrating weakness in business confidence and the latest turmoil around Donald Trump's trade wars and the eurozone debt crisis.
The Reserve Bank gave the financial system a clean bill of health in its half-yearly Financial Stability Report today, but said it wanted to see subdued mortgage lending growth sustained before it further eased restrictions on Loan to Value Ratios.