Rising fuel prices threaten to squeeze economic growth

Motorists have been incensed this week, with the price of 91 octane petrol heading over $2.30/l in some parts of the country. Increased fuel prices aren’t yet at the highest (real) levels we’ve ever seen – but they’re close. Based on the unrest in the Middle East, fuel prices might remain elevated for some time. This will hurt more than just the classic Sunday drive, with airfares, freight costs, and eventually goods prices also needing to increase to cover higher fuel bills.

Giving eradication our best shot means supporting farmers all the way

Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) is spreading fast in New Zealand and causing devastating effects for farmers. The Government this week announced an ambitious attempt to stamp out the disease, through mass culling and strict restrictions on farmers. M. bovis causes a wide range of problems in cattle, ranging from pneumonia to arthritis. The government says they have a good shot at eradication… if they act now.

Finding a cheap place to fill up just got harder

Transport funding and how much we’ll all pay at the pump has been all the (road) rage recently. In late March, the government introduced legislation to allow Auckland Council to implement a regional fuel tax, and in early April the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport was published, signalling a 3-4c/l annual increase to petrol prices nationally.

Where can we find more skilled workers?

We have heard a lot recently about the struggles to meet labour demand in the regions . With a tight labour market and low unemployment rate, stories of employers being unable to find enough workers are becoming increasingly common. This article looks at immigration, one of the key ‘cogs’ to helping address skills shortages. More specifically, we look at how the proposed ‘Regional Skills Shortage List’ could provide the necessary workers throughout the country.

How big an EV fleet can New Zealand’s grid handle?

I have been talking a lot lately (wait for it) about whether we have the infrastructure for a large electric vehicle fleet. The main worry is that countries don’t have the infrastructure to charge up an entire fleet of electric vehicles, so I thought I’d figure out exactly how many EVs the New Zealand grid can handle.

Around the country, what growth issues are on people’s minds?

We have recently conducted a survey of local councils across the country to gauge how optimistic they are about the employment outlook for their area. The survey asked people involved with economic development in councils about their perceptions of employment growth prospects in their area over the next one and four years.