Budget day 2016, what we want to see

Today is budget and while we wait to see what, if any, goodies Bill English will announce, I thought I would list some of the things I’d like to see and what we may actually see. My gut says we won’t see anything too significant as the government often now announce or at least hint at changes in advance.…
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Housing, wealth, and inequality

House prices in Auckland are high and rising, which is causing concern in many quarters. But do we know what sort of effects high house prices may have on New Zealand society, now and in the future? Politicians and commentators from all quarters have argued that they are undermining the equity of New Zealand society by making it harder for young people to buy houses and squeezing household budgets.…
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NIMBYism and Ebola

There were a number of interesting comments this week in relation to intensification in Auckland. The first came from the Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler talking about how Auckland needs to do more to enable intensification in the city and address NIMBYism to address housing shortages.…
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Bill English on Intensification vs Sprawl

Bill English has provided a fairly blunt but accurate explanation of the issues with urban development in Auckland. Interest.co.nz reports With respect to so-called urban sprawl, I think that’s a nonsense. If you’re against urban sprawl and that means lower to middle income Kiwis can’t buy a house and you can’t build an apartment in the middle of Auckland for less than NZ$600,000, then that’s too high a price to pay.…
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Julie Anne Genter and Bill English in Parliament

One of the most frustrating things about the process the CRL has gone through is not that the government is forcing it to go though extremely rigid analysis, but that it doesn’t require other projects to do the same. Bill English was questioned on this today by Julie Anne Genter but never seemed to be able to directly answer the question.…
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Transmission Gully PPP discussed in Parliament

Yesterday in Parliament Julie Anne Genter asked Bill English about the PPP that is going to be used for Transmission Gully. I think the thing I am most concerned about from the answers is just how little he appears to know about the deal, something you would think he would have a good understanding of due to being the minister of finance.…
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NZTA borrowing discussed further

A lot of discussion in parliament yesterday around the news that NZTA will be able to borrow money to a greater extent than it has been able to previously.It seems that Brownlee is playing down the impact of the proposed change – saying that it’s not much change from the status quo and perhaps even that the change is only related to changing the mechanism for funding toll roads.…
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