Media Release: Wellbeing in provincial NZ still being neglected

A new report from economic consultancy Infometrics highlights the stark divide in wellbeing between urban and rural New Zealand. Regional Wellbeing marks the first attempt to comprehensively report on wellbeing at a local level around New Zealand. It covers 30 indicators and draws from Infometrics’ online Regional Wellbeing Framework.

Giving up on KiwiBuild, but housing’s affordability crisis remains

Fixing New Zealand’s housing affordability crisis was one of Labour’s key policy goals going into the last two elections. But KiwiBuild has been conspicuously absent from the government’s vocabulary in recent months, and yesterday’s Budget was no different. The government might not have given up trying to improve housing affordability, but it seems to have realised that KiwiBuild is not the answer to the problem.

Wellbeing: understanding local progress

All eyes are on wellbeing this week, as Finance Minister Grant Robertson unveils the world’s first wellbeing budget. But the Government has been quiet as to wellbeing differs across New Zealand. At Infometrics we thought this was a massive gap that needed to be filled, so we developed a Regional Wellbeing Framework. This article outlines introduces our Regional Wellbeing Framework and provides a teaser to our forthcoming regional wellbeing report that will be released on 11 June.

Sounding the alarm!

Since the Reserve Bank surprised markets with its shift towards an easing bias, the outlook for interest rates has been a constant source of speculation. But the timing of the shift in stance was curious – in our view, nothing fundamental had changed, and the Reserve Bank is sending out the entire fire brigade to rescue a kitten from a tree.

Disabled people aren’t worth less than the old

One of the true tests of a society is measured by how it treats its most vulnerable members, particularly the old, the young, the sick, and the disabled. There is a lot of good with New Zealand and New Zealand policy. However, on assisting those unable to provide for themselves, our provisions for people unable to work due to a health condition is an area where we are increasingly failing. 

Global trends add weight to NZ economy’s slowdown

New Zealand is at the mercy of international economic trends more than at any time since 2011, according to Infometrics’ latest economic forecasts. On the domestic front, net migration is slowing, the housing market has softened, and the tight labour market means that capacity pressures are inhibiting further growth.

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.

Downside risks to NZ’s growth outlook accumulate

New Zealand’s provincial economies are poised to drive growth in the economy, building on the recovery in dairy prices during 2016, according to Infometrics latest economic forecasts. Spending activity in the regions is comfortably outpacing activity in the main centres, with commodity prices for most exports holding at high levels.