Talkback lines and social media ran hot with outrage over the $180,000 income threshold for KiwiBuild buyers, but the Government needed it to be that high to avoid dumping houses into the market and driving down prices. Nearly 6,000 buyers applied for the KiwiBuild ballot on the first day, which would soak up three years of production. Dame Margaret Bazley’s review of the Russell McVeagh's sexual assault cases exposed by Newsroom will be released later today.
Actual business confidence fell to a five year low in the June quarter, while house values also fell. Phil Twyford opened registrations of interest for first home buyers interested in Kiwibuild. He set the upper income threshold for couples at $180,000 and said buyers could sell after three years, which was two years earlier than Labour promised before the election.
Phil Twyford has angered Wellington residents by suggesting the new Transmission Gully motorway be tolled, something Labour did not flag before the election. NZIER's business confidence survey due out at 10 am will be closely watched by politicians and economists alike.
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.
Donald Trump's moves to pull out of the Iranian nuclear deal and start trade wars with Europe and China created further fallout for oil prices and Harley Davidson. Winston Peters said he wanted houses to be affordable for people on the living wage, but only if house prices did not fall. That would imply a 100 year wait for Aucklanders on the living wage.
The big news in the political economy this morning is the growing fear that US President Donald Trump's trade war with China and Europe is now hurting global economic growth and could cause a recession.
China's central bank effectively eased monetary policy overnight to pump up a slowing economy. The easing came as Donald Trump ramped up his trade and investment war rhetoric. Annual migration fell a bit, but monthly migration rose as work visa numbers kept rising. Labour's election campaign manager will jump straight into Air New Zealand in August.
Jacinda Ardern is in labour so Winston Peters is now Acting Prime Minister.
Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese imports. China promised to retaliate. Trump said he would add another $200 billion if China did. The Kiwi dollar fell below 69 USc. David Parker agreed to exempt Singaporeans from the foreign buyers ban to allow the CPTPP to go ahead. Kris Faafoi announced plans to toughen rules on beneficial ownership and director identification. A major inquiry into a firm of private investigators used by Government agencies was launched.
A nurses strike looms within a fortnight unless the Government can either stonewall unions in final negotiations or relax its fiscal pursestrings a bit. The Government has relented slightly on its foreign buyers ban, allowing foreigners to hold on to new apartments and hotel units they provide the capital to build. But rest home operators and wine companies missed out on the exemptions they hoped for.