Supporting construction while rectifying state housing

A commitment from the government to build an additional 9,400 state houses over the next two years would mitigate the construction sector’s downturn, helping to prevent a repeat of the massive loss of capacity that occurred following the Global Financial Crisis. It is also an opportunity for the government to make a real difference in housing outcomes for some of society’s most vulnerable people, contributing to better wellbeing in a way that KiwiBuild was never going to do.

Upending the labour market

New Zealand has exited the Level 4 lockdown and is now in the Level 3 “waiting room”. Job losses are expected to keep rising as businesses reassess economic conditions and start to downsize. The structural changes New Zealand’s labour market will experience will be significant, as will the need for government support. In this article, we highlight some of the changing trends in the labour market.

Freight outlook post COVID-19

The movement of freight around the country has changed dramatically since the Level 4 lockdown, both in terms of the content and quantity of cargo. The most notable change, of course, is that the roads are eerily quiet because most human movements have ceased. As for remaining traffic flows, what road freight services are required to allow essential services to keep functioning, and what do we expect to happen to road freight once lockdown restrictions are uplifted? In this article we try shed some light on these questions during these very uncertain times for road freight.

COVID-19 presents a steep learning curve for education

Our $5b international education sector is a New Zealand success story, and in recent years has become a poster child for our outward-looking, globally-connected economy. But the sector is facing a steep learning curve as it seeks to adapt to lower international student arrivals and a world that is struggling to contain the spread of a pandemic.

What sectors are best equipped to work from home?

New Zealand’s Level 4 lockdown has seen non-essential businesses ordered closed or to work from isolation, causing a rapid shift in how companies across the country operate. Working from home has become the new norm, so this article looks at how many workers in each industry are likely still operating from their home office.

Well, that escalated quickly!

From a few concerns about the effects on Chinese tourism in late January to a full-blown pandemic and lockdown in New Zealand, the COVID-19 crisis has evolved rapidly over the last two months. We communicate just how quickly the economic ramifications have unfolded and examine how things might play out for the economy over the next 1-2 years.

Implications of COVID-19 on international travel

New Zealand’s connections with the outside world was upended on 14 March when the Prime Minister announced a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period for all travellers arriving in New Zealand (excluding the Pacific Islands). The self-isolation requirement was a response to the escalating severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and came after the US banned European travellers for a month just days earlier. This requirement to self-isolate will be a major blow to the New Zealand economy, as the requirements will effectively halt the majority of travel in and out of New Zealand.

Assessing the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak

The emergence of a new coronavirus strand, COVID-19, has potentially upended both the global and domestic economic outlook for 2020. Although it’s still too early to fully evaluate how damaging the outbreak may be, early signs are for a much larger economic hit than first anticipated, with a growing risk that New Zealand could experience a recession in 2020.

Nothing in the KiwiBuild reset to stop the housing crisis

The long-awaited reset of KiwiBuild confirms that the government still doesn’t grasp why the policy went so spectacularly wrong. When KiwiBuild was conceived back in 2012, it was easy to blame the unaffordability of housing on a lack of supply – new dwelling consents the previous year had plunged to a 58-year low of 13,236. But with consents now at a 45-year high of 35,472, it no longer makes sense to suggest that high house prices are due to a lack of construction activity. KiwiBuild remains a policy that has been formulated to treat the symptoms of a problem that the government has failed to properly diagnose or understand.