8 Things: Bridges Stamps His Mark On National; MacManus On Fixing Social Media's Ills; Democracy'...
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In the global political economy, Donald Trump broke with decades of tradition for US presidents and criticised the US Federal Reserve's plans for further hikes in US interest rates. He also called for a lower US dollar.
The US dollar fell and US long term interest rates fell in response over the weekend.
Meanwhile, a Salvation Army survey released this morning found 10 percent of New Zealanders had been using their ovens to heat their homes and that 45 percent had gone without heating in the last year because of cost. It also found 37 percent missed a meal and 16 percent skipped a rent or mortgage payment in the past year because they could not afford it.
In our special features below, Newsroom technology columnist Richard MacManus looks in his Monday column at how social media is making us ill and why the mute and unfollow buttons should be our friends.
Newsroom's Sam Sachdeva spoke to National leader Simon Bridges as he wrapped up his two-month tour of New Zealand and found a more confident leader considering various tweaks to National's policy positions. Bridges also saw the potential for realignments within Parliament to help National regain power.
Newsroom's Thomas Coughlan delves into the broader picture of the apparent failure of democracy in the west. He spoke to Cambridge politics professor David Runciman, who believes the creeping pall of fascism is not a symptom of democracy’s death, but a midlife crisis.
Also, look out below for news that net migration eased a bit, but is still near record highs, and for our weekly look at what's coming up.
All this news and analysis, and much more, is in the 8 Things below:
23 July 2018
1. MacManus: Curing thyself of social media ills
1. MacManus: Curing thyself of social media ills
Technology columnist Richard MacManus looks at how social media is making us ill and why the mute and unfollow buttons should be our friends.
By the end of 2017, even Facebook was admitting social media is bad for us. The biggest social media company in the world simply could no longer ignore the side effects: fake news, constant outrage, polarised opinions, tribalism, groupthink, virtue signalling, and all the other ills of our internet culture.
Yet despite Facebook’s promise to “help elevate the conversation” in 2018, we’re now halfway through the year and nothing has really changed. And when you look at the hard data, you can see why.
Facebook’s user numbers are stronger than ever. In its first quarter results, Facebook announced that its daily active users were 1.45 billion on average for March 2018 – an increase of 13 percent year-over-year. The fact is, Facebook continues to grow every quarter. So there’s no financial or market incentive for it to change.
As Michael Jackson once sang, perhaps it’s time for us to look at the man (or woman) in the mirror. “Take a look at yourself, and then make a change” was Jackson’s earnest advice to us little people.
There’s certainly no shortage of self-help books about taming technology. Author Nicholas Carr, who himself wrote The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, recently reviewed two similar books. One is entitled “Antisocial Media,” while the other is “Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now.” Those titles tell you all you need to know.
But as Carr concluded, despite the solid arguments made in both books, ultimately we all continue to use social media. “The only thing worse than being on Facebook is not being on Facebook,” Carr wrote.
I agree and have always maintained that social media has many positive uses. I use Twitter to keep track of the latest technology developments and industry chatter. I use Facebook to post baby photos and keep in touch with family and friends. I don’t want to lose those benefits by deleting my accounts.
So what can those of us who refuse to stop using social media do to make it a better experience?
Unfollowing many of the most popular people on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and similar platforms would be a good start. That’s because popular accounts are often run by very flawed individuals. As the cultural critic Chuck Klosterman recently put it on a podcast show, Twitter tends to attract people who are performative, idealogues in their opinions, and may even “have some elements of mental illness” because they constantly need “feedback from the public to validate that they exist.”
Yet many of us follow these deranged individuals, simply because they are entertaining. How about we not give them the attention they so desparately crave?
Who am I kidding, many of us will continue to follow blowhards on Twitter and keep clicking “like” on the small percentage of our Facebook friends who over-share. If reality tv taught us anything in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it’s that most of us enjoy watching ordinary people with outsized egos say dumb things in public. Facebook and Twitter are just the latest platforms for such behaviour.
Perhaps we need professional help. Just as there are now many self-help books about technology, there are also a number of organisations that have arisen to try and save us from ourselves (and our mobile phones).
'Spend your time better'
The most prominent is run by ex-Googler Tristan Harris. He’s come up with what’s essentially a philosophy for using technology, which he labelled Time Well Spent. This philosophy advocates for self-control when it comes to technology, including such measures as removing social media apps from your phone and turning off notifications.
The media attention Harris attracted for Time Well Spent led to the founding this year of an advocacy group called the Center for Humane Technology. This organisation argues that modern technology – and especially social media – is addictive and is harmful not only to us, but to our children. “The race to keep children’s attention trains them to replace their self-worth with likes, encourages comparison with others, and creates the constant illusion of missing out,” the group’s website claims.
But we know all this already. The real question is: what’s being done about it? The Center for Humane Technology has several current initiatives, including trying to convince technology companies to adopt “humane design.” It’s asking the likes of Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft to “redesign their devices and core interfaces to protect our minds.” At the same time, the group is lobbying politicians to try and curtail the power of the big tech companies.
The intervention of well-meaning technologists like Tristan Harris is appreciated; and I believe will eventually make a difference. But ultimately I think it’s up to each one of us, as free-thinking individuals, to make changes to how we use technology and how our children use it.
'Unfollow and then rebuild?'
We can start by actively managing our social media activity. As internet commentator Anil Dash recently put it, our social networks require maintenance or upkeep too – just as we make regular updates to other parts of our digital lives. Dash even went so far as to unfollow 5,000 people on Twitter, and then gradually rebuild his network to better suit his current interests.
I’m not yet at the point where I want to unfollow everyone, but I do unfollow over-sharers on Facebook and I steer clear of people who practice groupthink or spout ideological nonsense on Twitter. On social media, the unfollow button and the mute option are your friends.
I’ve also followed some of the advice that Tristan Harris and other ethical technologists espouse. I turned off Facebook and Twitter notifications on my phone, and I try and limit the amount of time I spend browsing social media.
So can we cure or fix social media? I’m afraid not. Just as reality tv hasn’t gone away, the bad parts of social media are here to stay too. But that doesn’t mean you have to give them your attention.
2. Bridges making his mark on National
National leader Simon Bridges has wrapped up a two-month tour of New Zealand, saying the community events have given him a better sense of the issues on Kiwis’ minds. Sam Sachdeva spoke to him about how National must change and the road ahead.
The prodigal son has returned - and he’s craving a feed from the local takeaway.
After two months of community meetings all over New Zealand, Simon Bridges is finally on the home stretch.
On this particular Friday, there are just two events ahead of him: tomorrow is the finale in his Tauranga electorate, but first comes the Te Atatu Union Church Hall.
National MP Alfred Ngaro, who lost the Labour-leaning electorate to Phil Twyford by just over 3000 votes, rings his leader to check on his progress and thank him for attending a fundraiser hosted by the Croatian Cultural Society the night before.
“Policy comes later - what comes first is people getting to know you,” Ngaro tells Bridges.
Eventually, the leader’s Crown car pulls up outside the church hall, and he steps out into the Auckland suburb he called home as a child.
The 41-year-old is unashamed to appeal to the crowd’s partisan and religious leanings, saying: “I feel like a prophet coming home to his own land.”
“I grew up in west Auckland, I’m a Westie...today it’s Te Atatu Peninsula, isn’t it? Back then it was just Tat North.”
Plenty else has changed since then, although some things stay the same: “It was good to see there’s Haddad’s Takeaway still open where I used to buy a hamburger late at night.”
Brushing up on 'bread and butter'
Bridges estimates at least 10,000 people have attended the meetings, insisting they haven’t been all card-carrying party members.
The string of meetings, on top of normal parliamentary duties, appears to have taken its toll: he tightly grasps the microphone at Te Atatu, citing a bad voice after “too many public meetings in too many towns”.
He says the tour has had two main benefits.
Firstly - a beloved, if understandable, cliche for politicians everywhere - has been “how important it is to get out of the so-called beltway and talk to real people”.
“There’s an accountability about it that reminds you they’re not so concerned about the kind of silly utterances in Parliament or the day-to-day politics,” Bridges tells Newsroom .
“They’re concerned about big issues like the direction of the country, its infrastructure, its health system, the bread and butter things that we in National need to remind ourselves of what we’ve got to focus on.”
That sentiment is reflected at Te Atatu, where the questions focus on issues like law and order, healthcare, the economy, and the welfare system.
There are also what Bridges describes as the “little gems” that come up in different towns.
Here, a query about the future of cheque books leads to the surprising admission that Bridges, a self-described “young fogey”, still uses them.
“I have got online banking on my phone, but I forgot my password about six months ago - and my wife controls all the money as well,” he says.
The second takeaway has been more personal, with the new leader able to adjust to life atop the party.
“It’s made me much more confident frankly, getting up and having to listen all around New Zealand and be more accountable in that way has forced me to think through my positions on quite a lot of things,” he says.
“I’ve got a much clearer sense in my head about what I’m about as leader of the National Party, and what our task is and some of the, if not detailed policy positions we’ve got to come to, certainly where we’ve got to be driving at.”
It’s clear that some Kiwis are keen for Bridges to move the steering wheel in a different direction to the last government.
At Te Atatu, one woman with a husband in care expresses her concern about New Zealand’s low-wage economy and the array of workers’ strikes, leaving no doubts about where she puts the blame.
“That’s where I think your government went absolute bonkers in the last nine years, I really do, because now it’s all coming home to roost.”
Holding on the economy, 'recalibrating' elsewhere
Bridges tells Newsroom he is in two different minds when it comes to National’s policy approach.
“In terms of economic direction, I don’t think there’s a lot we would change actually: you look at that and you say, ‘No, you got a lot of that right’, and we’re seeing that with the sort of complaints I’m hearing at the public meetings where it’s very much a...reaction to the uncertainty they fear.”
Beyond economic issues, he believes there is “definitely room for us to recalibrate” in areas like education, health, the environment and social welfare.
He tells one questioner his government was “a bit slow” on issues like mental health and addiction services, while to another he suggests it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to ban fizzy drinks from schools.
That recalibration doesn’t portend any fundamental shift in values, Bridges is quick to add.
“We’re the National Party, we’ll always be emphasising individual responsibility over more collective-type views and we’ll have a different view of fairness than this government, but I think people are looking for us to not just bash this government up but really do some thoughtful work.”
That work has yet to occur, but there appear to be misgivings about some aspects of its current approach, including the “tough on crime” rhetoric around Waikeria Prison and the Government’s justice reforms.
One man refers to the work done by Sir Peter Gluckman , the Prime Minister’s former chief science advisor, saying more prisons are not the answer to fixing New Zealand’s justice system.
“He’s a well-respected person and you’re sort of going the opposite of what he’s suggesting.”
Bridges is unswayed, responding: “I’d rather have more people in prisons and fewer victims than fewer people in and more victims.”
He tells Newsroom he is not unsympathetic to the argument that rehabilitation services are important, but not at the expense of traditional deterrents.
“I agree with those points they’re making: I don’t think we should see this debate as lock ‘em up versus entirely rehabilitative, I think it’s not an either/or entirely, it’s about making sure you’re trying to do a bit of both.”
The road ahead
The end of Bridges’ tour has come in time to prepare for this weekend’s National Party AGM in Auckland - his first as leader.
“I expect to find in the party wing the same sort of feeling as in the parliamentary side of it, which is a strong sense of unity and purpose, a surprisingly upbeat feel really when you think of the fact we’re going to be nearly a year into opposition, not government as people would have hoped.”
The conference is about “getting down to business” and developing new policies and plans - although don’t expect to see any details unveiled just yet.
“My worry would be if it is too good, well the current government will take it, and regardless of that we just don’t know the economic landscape we would potentially be inheriting.”
Party delegates will also be keen to see how the man has evolved in his four months in the job - and there are signs that the Simon Bridges of today has changed from the Simon Bridges of his leadership campaign .
“For me, I’ll be wanting to stamp my imprint a bit, show a bit of a sense of what a Simon - ah, ah, my leadership will mean.
“You’ll see I’ve checked myself there, I can’t go into the third person because you guys give me such a hard time, even though I think it’s legit, but anyway.”
Then there is the longer-term issue of how National finds the friends it may need to form government in 2020 and beyond.
Bridges has fielded a question about MMP at every meeting: in Te Atatu, a man asks whether there are “any steps you can take to stop this from happening in the future” (“this” being New Zealand First’s decision to opt for Labour over National).
He is sanguine about the party’s coalition prospects, pointing to the fact it has spent more time in government than out of it since the first MMP election in 1996.
Bridges isn’t a fan of MMP but says the current system is here to stay, and there is plenty of time for National to “organically and responsibly” find new coalition partners if needed.
“I do maintain next year we’ll start to see that landscape move, possibly within Parliament as battle lines are drawn and divides are made more clearly within parties, but more than that I think outside of Parliament, whether it’s on the so-called progressive left or the more conservative end of town.”
If National is to somehow unseat Labour in 2020, Bridges can't rely on the party's disciples lifting them there alone.
3. Democracy's very public midlife crisis
Today's creeping pall of fascism is not a symptom of democracy’s death, but a midlife crisis, Cambridge politics professor David Runciman tells Thomas Coughlan
There seems to be no shortage of people calling time on democracy. It’s not altogether difficult to see why.
Democracies live or die on the wisdom of crowds and there's no shortage of recent examples in which the crowd’s caprice has a slim plurality on its wisdom.
It’s not like we didn’t see it coming. Democracy’s critics going back to Plato have said that it really means rule by the ignorant, but the last century of democratic life has managed to refashion any number of ignorant electorates into a functioning Government. No longer. But does that mean democracy is dead?
“I’m not dead yet”
Not yet, says Cambridge politics professor David Runciman.
His most recent book How Democracy Ends argues that democracy is alive, if not altogether well
Trump, Brexit and the creeping pall of fascism that’s descended on large swathes of Europe and America are not symptoms of democracy’s death, but a crisis — a midlife crisis, according to Runciman.
The established democracies are old, tired and groaning with the existential angst of middle age. This doesn’t mean the crisis faced by democracies isn’t serious, it is, but it’s probably not the end.
“When a miserable middle-aged man buys a motorbike on impulse, it can be dangerous. If he’s really unlucky it all ends in a fireball,” Runciman writes.
“American democracy is in middle age. Donald Trump is its motorcycle”.
I’m speaking to Runciman down the line from Cambridge, where he had just finished recording his popular podcast, Talking Politics , which tackles issues as diverse as the politics of football, technology, and the meaning of Donald Trump.
Trump, he tells me, is not the symbol of democracy’s end, but rather evidence of the electorate’s enduring faith in democratic institutions.
“Part of this is that people continue to have this underlying faith that democratic institutions can survive anything that we throw at them and that we can throw Trump at them and democracy will survive,” he says.
“I do feel that part of the reason people voted for Trump was not because they believed him when he said America was broken but because they didn’t believe him.
“They actually believe that American democracy and politics was robust enough that they could voice their anger, their deep frustration, their desire for something radically new without having to face the consequences of the risk of the collapse of democracy”.
The tired, broken electorate faced with a known and unknown future took a gamble on something new. It bought a motorcycle.
Not quite Nuremberg
If Trump isn’t the end of democracy, he certainly looks and sounds like it. His dystopian rendering of post-industrial “American carnage” at his inauguration chided the liberal establishment with chilling echoes of Nuremberg.
Runciman doesn’t deny it’s scary. But it’s not 1933 —that comparison is way off and even drawing it is part of the problem, he says.
We draw comparisons for all the wrong reasons. We look back at the 1930s, searching for the emergence of fascism or we look back at the 50s, 60s, and 70s and think of our better, more virile, selves and the times when our democracies just seemed to work better.
We draw parallels between Trump and the 1930s because we recognise the politics. We recognise the demonisation of minorities, populism, and nascent fascism — but while the politics may be recognisable, the society around it is completely different.
“We are so much richer, so much older, we have so much less experience of violence and war, we are so much more networked we have a kind of communication and information environment for which there is no parallel in history,” Runciman says.
If you’re looking for a parallel between America in the 1930s and the present it wouldn’t be rich, greying contemporary America, but contemporary Egypt. It’s young, with a median age of just 24 (roughly the same as in the US in 1930), it’s GDP per capita is US$4,000, roughly the same as 1930s America and the unemployment rate is high — at 15 percent.
The other comparison we make is with societies that seem to be doing what we used to be able to do. Contemporary China seems to embody the vitality that has been lost in much of the ageing democracies. They did this in the 1930s too. Democratic, depression-era Europe and America blamed their slow, stuttering democratic institutions for failing to deliver them the swift advances seen in Stalin’s USSR or Hitler’s Germany. Runciman calls it "dictator envy".
But China isn’t the right comparison.
A better society to look at would be Japan. It’s old, it’s rich, and it doesn’t think the solution to demographic decline is immigration. The median age in Japan is 47 and the birth rate is just 1.46. Japan is a shrinking, but prosperous society.
“It’s very peaceful, it’s been through an economic crisis dating back 30 years that it never resolved but it’s never broken the system either — democracy carries on and elections carry on. It’s got that kind of stuck, Groundhog Day quality to it”.
Beyond the motorcycle
That nostalgia is a key commodity in contemporary politics should hardly be surprising.
Democracies are old, but the people who live in them are old too. Societies where demography and democratic power are so stacked in favour of the old have never existed, we don’t how politics work when society skew so heavily against its young. As much as we may wish it weren’t true, children aren’t the future, at least not in the wealthy west — the elderly are.
The challenge of middle-age is that embracing the new often means accepting that end of youth. The temptation is to wrap oneself in fruitless nostalgia, rather than adapt to the changing circumstances of age.
“One of the ways a midlife crisis can go wrong is you know you need to change. You’re stuck in a rut, you’ve lived half your life or more and you want to do something different but you’re also really attached to your life because you’ve lived it,” Runciman says.
A democracy of the future, a late-middle age democracy, needs to park the motorcycle, stop looking back and embrace the challenge of the new.
“We need the political structures that suit the social, political world that we live in, we need the political structures of the 21st century, democracies are working with 20th century political structures”.
And this could mean democracy changing into something that looks materially different. Democracy won’t break, snap or collapse says Runciman, but it might fragment - indeed it increasingly is.
He believes two of the central components of democracy are fragmenting: the technical, problem-solving part of democracy is increasingly located in supranational institutions like the European Union, where decisions are made by elites.
Where the other side of democracy goes is more complicated. The side that gives people a voice and lets people feel heard.
The traditional way those two sides of democracy were brought together through political parties or nation-state level democracy no longer seem fit for purpose.
“Democracy should create results for people and respect people and these two things have come apart.
“We may have to live in a world where the more technical, governing sides of our politics are quite distant from us."
It sounds bleak, but it could mean a revitalisation of local politics, breathing new life into a hitherto neglected part of most modern political scenes.
It could be a bright future, but we’ll have to survive the looming motorcycle accident first.
How Democracy Ends ($36.99) is published by Profile Books and distributed in New Zealand by Allan & Unwin.
4. Bridges backs Peter Ellis over wrongful conviction claim
Peter Ellis, the former childcare worker who claims he was wrongfully convicted of child sex abuse, has a new advocate - National leader Simon Bridges.
Bridges says Ellis’s case is the most obvious case of a miscarriage of justice in the New Zealand system, but has stopped short of calling for any action to clear his name.
In 1993, Ellis was found guilty of 16 sexual offences related to his time working at the Christchurch Civic Creche and sentenced to 10 years in jail.
Ellis has consistently maintained his innocence, making a number of legal appeals and political bids to overturn the convictions, and gained a number of high-profile supporters critical of the way the prosecution case was handled.
In 2015, the National government knocked back a request for a commission of inquiry into the case, with then-Justice Minister Amy Adams saying it was not the right mechanism to determine his guilt or innocence.
'Fundamentally a miscue'
Speaking at a community event in Auckland on Friday morning, Bridges was asked about his views on Ellis’ case and the broader issue of wrongful convictions.
“I say this as Simon Bridges, lawyer, not as Simon Bridges, politician: when I look at all of the convictions you see in New Zealand, people have all of these views ... there’s only one that I would say fundamentally was a miscue, and that’s the Peter Ellis one.”
Bridges told Newsroom after the event he believed Ellis had been subject to a miscarriage of justice.
“My view is if you look at it out of all the other ones, people have their different views, but you look at the evidence [for other wrongful conviction claims], there’s definitely a prosecution case there.
“The difference with the Peter Ellis one was there were things that went awry in the prosecution and the investigation, and there was something of a witch hunt about that one.”
However, Bridges stopped short of calling for an inquiry or any other action, saying he was unsure whether “all these years on there are necessarily things to be done”.
"I’m not trying to be funny with you, I just don’t know, because I haven’t looked at exactly where it is in the system - I’m simply making the point that when you look at all the cases, many high-profile, that is the one where you make the strongest case for miscarriage of justice.”
Bridges lukewarm on commission
Despite his views on Ellis, Bridges was lukewarm about Justice Minister Andrew Little’s work on a Criminal Cases Review Commission to look at apparent miscarriages of justice, telling the crowd there were “many safety valves in the system”.
“The reality is we do thousands and thousands and thousands of criminal cases every year in New Zealand, actually I can tell you as a prosecutor I had complete discretion: if I didn’t think they were guilty, if the evidence didn't stack up, I didn’t need to take a case...
“I’m not knocking this because it’s how it should be, but, many many more guilty people are acquitted than innocent people convicted.”
Bridges also criticised Helen Clark’s decision to abolish the right of appeal to the Privy Council in the United Kingdom, describing the 2003 move as “deeply unconstitutional”.
“It was a significant change, it should have had a referendum or at least 75 percent of Parliament voting for it - they just did it with the stroke of a pen, it was wrong.”
He said it was too late to reverse the decision, as the Supreme Court was operating “and that’s that”.
5. Net gigration eases, but still high
New Zealand's annual net migration dropped in June as fewer foreigners arrived and more Kiwis left, but remains high.
Annual net migration was at 65,000 in the year to June, from 72,300 in the year to June 2017, Statistics New Zealand said. A net 66,800 foreigners immigrated to New Zealand in the June year, while a net 1,800 Kiwis left the country.
The number of non-New Zealanders migrating here dipped 1.4 percent from the year earlier, at 129,500 from 131,400 in the year to June 2017, which is the first time that annual figure has been below 130,000 since April 2017, Stats NZ said. The number of non-New Zealanders leaving rose 9.2 percent to 64,500 in the year.
New Zealand has been experiencing record levels of net migration in recent years, which made rising immigration a key election issue as it strains the country's infrastructure and is partly blamed for inflating property markets. Net migration peaked at 72,400 in the July 2017 year, and Stats NZ said that migrants leaving continues to be the key factor in lowering annual net migration and "net migration still remains high by historical standards.”
Increasing numbers of migrants came on work visas in the latest year, up 3 percent to 46,400 from the previous year to June, with residence visa numbers down 17 percent to 13,900 and student visas dropping 1.8 percent to 23,600.
The United Kingdom remained the biggest source of work-visa migrants, though that number dropped 2.5 percent to 7,300 in the latest year, as did the second and third-largest sources France and Germany which respectively dropped 3.7 percent and 8.3 percent. The biggest increases in work visa arrivals came from China, which rose 22.5 percent to 2,300 in the year, and the Philippines, which was up 19 percent to 2,500.
China continued to be the biggest source of migrants on residence visas, though that dropped 22 percent to 2,700 in the year. Chinese migration remained the largest on a net basis, with 8,100 of net arrivals coming from China, though that was down 21 percent on a year earlier. India was the second-largest source at a net 6,800, though Indian net migration was also down 8 percent from a year earlier.
Short-term visitor arrivals, which includes tourists, people visiting family and friends and people travelling for work, reached 3.8 million in the June year, up 3.8 percent from a year earlier.
6. Coming up this week...
In the political economy this week:
Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor is scheduled to give a speech at the Apiculture New Zealand Conference in Blenheim at 8.30 am.
Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters is expected to hold a post-cabinet news conference this afternoon around 4 pm. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern still has two weeks to go of her six week maternity leave.
Parliament resumes for a three-week sitting session at 2 pm. The parliamentary party caucuses hold their weekly meetings around 10 am.
Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor is scheduled to give a speech at the NZ Biosecurity Institute Conference in Nelson.
Stats NZ is scheduled to publish overseas merchandise trade data for the month of June at 10.45 am.
New Zealand First is planning a party to celebrate its 25th anniversary.
Stats NZ is scheduled to publish its household living-costs price indexes for the June 2018 quarter at 10.45 am.
Health Minister David Clark is scheduled to give speeches to The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners' Conference for GPs and the Second Summit on Hepatitis C in Auckland.
Stats NZ is scheduled to publish its property transfer statistics for the June 2018 quarter at 10.45 am.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson is scheduled to give a speech at the Festival of the Future Forum in Wellington.
Saturday and Sunday
The National Party’s annual conference is at Sky City on Saturday and Sunday. Simon Bridges will give the leaders' speech on Sunday.
7. One fun thing...
For my sins, I follow 'You only had one job' on twitter for some dumb fun.
Here's today's dumb fun:
You only had one job: "Make garbage bins great again."
8. Monday's pick of the links
Here are my pick of the links to news on the political economy from other news sites on Monday.
The full list of links is available direct to email and enterprise-wide subscribers. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more detail on enterprise-wide subscriptions.
Carolyne Meng-Yee (Herald): Family of eight in 3-bed house: Massive renovations for sick 4yo’s home
Hannah Martin (Manukau Courier): New Manukau bus station could be used as homeless shelter on winter nights
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Minister says nothing ruled out after tech body voices ‘critical concerns’ over R&D
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): NZ on Air’s $700,000 experiment
Sarah Robson (RNZ): Govt looking for safer credit options to help people buy cars
Sydney Morning Herald: 'It's our version of the GFC': warning on looming interest-only crisis