Plastic bag ban provides opportunities and challenges to packaging sector

Kiwis have overwhelmingly supported the government’s plastic bag ban, which will kick in mid-2019. The ban presents the wider packaging sector of 50,000 workers with an opportunity to retool and grow itself as consumers increasingly look for more environmentally friendly options.

Chart of the month: who let the dogs out?

As we head into summer, many of us will be looking forward to spending time with friends, family, and of course ‘man’s best friend’, the pooch. This month we draw of data from the Department of Internal Affairs to look at where dogs are more concentrated in NZ. There were 560,511 registered dogs in NZ for the year ending 30 June 2018. Two-thirds (67%) of dogs are in the North Island (compared to 77% of the human population), with the remaining third (33%) in the South Island (vs 23% human).

New Zealand to invest $129b in infrastructure over next decade

The latest Infometrics Infrastructure Pipeline Profile shows that average infrastructure investment across the country is expected to be 28% higher over the next 10 years compared to the 2010-2018 period. A total of $129 billion in capital projects are estimated to be built over the 2019-2029 period.

RBNZ’s risky assumption clouds OCR outlook

The August Monetary Policy Statement was the most influential yet under new Governor Adrian Orr, even though there was no change to the official cash rate (OCR). Mr Orr pushed out expectations for a rates hike until 2020, sending the New Zealand dollar sharply lower.

But it was the Governor’s assertion that rates could and would move lower, if weak indicators persist, that is both his biggest warning and most questionable stance.

Trump’s tariffs threaten to start a trade war

Last month, US President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union, alongside tariffs on over US$34b of Chinese imports. Taking into account tariffs imposed earlier this year, about US$90b of Chinese imports to the US are now covered, with threats that all US$505b of Chinese imports could yet be hit.

Striking while the iron’s hot

Twenty-seven years after the Employment Contracts Act made union membership voluntary, the current coalition government has named Jim Bolger – the Prime Minister in 1991 – to head its Fair Pay Agreements working group. Fair Pay Agreements are meant to become the centrepiece of employment law policy, yet no one is quite sure yet what they are, or how they will alter employment relations. Among these changes, strike action by nurses, and union meetings, we thought we’d provide a primer on various aspects of the industrial relations scene.