Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.
King Charles’ Coronation resurrects New Zealand republic debate
Events to commemorate the coronation of King Charles III were held at various sites across New Zealand, while the debate as to whether the monarchy should remain the head of state was reignited.
Free trade agreement between UK and New Zealand confirmed
The free trade deal between New Zealand and the UK will come into effect at the end of May 2023, eliminating tariffs on 97% of exports, including wine, honey and onions. New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said the deal would save New Zealand exporters around NZ$37 million per year.
New Zealand’s hot migration risks fanning inflation, forcing rates even higher
A migrant boom is helping to ease New Zealand’s labour shortages and fill vacancies, but it may risk keeping inflation high for longer. Migrant numbers are tracking at a higher rate than expected and could set new records this year, which would reignite the housing market.
Back again: Air New Zealand removes its last Boeing 777 from desert storage
The final Air New Zealand 777-300ER that was stored in the California desert is returning home, ready for flights between New Zealand and San Francisco. The airline had put three planes into deep storage at Auckland Airport and the other four into Victorville Southern California Logistics Airport.
New Zealand investment in research and development half of other leading economies
While New Zealand’s spending on research on development increased 11 percent from 2020 to 2022, to a total of $5.2 billion, it is still roughly half of that spent by other leading economies. Experts say this lack of investment could lead to stagnation.
National average house prices 13% down on a year ago – QV
House values in New Zealand continue to drop, with values down by an average of 4.5 percent throughout the first four months of 2023. On the whole, housing values are down 13 percent over a year ago, but still well above values set when the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020.
Country’s biggest tourism business event set to bring $2.5 million to Christchurch economy
More than 1500 travel delegates from around the world will be in New Zealand for a massive tourism business event. The event is expected to bring in millions of dollars to the economy and is the first in person event since 2019. It is also expected to have long-term benefits for the local tourism economy thanks to visitors sent by the travel agents who attended the event.
New Zealand to announce NZ $243 mln boost to defence spend – report
The New Zealand government is expected to announce plans to spend $NZ243 million on defence and infrastructure as part of its budget. Included in that budget would be improving two Navy frigates, upgrading armoured vehicles, and construction of a new refuelling facility.
New Zealand investors financing deforestation
A new research report suggests that KiwiSaver and managed fund investors have been increasingly directed towards companies that contribute to deforestation. In the past year, investment in the companies has almost doubled, to $68 million, with the companies involved funding deforestation of tropical forests in the Amazon basin, the Congo basin, and South East Asia.
Struggling families ‘stuck’ using buy now pay later for essentials
Struggling families are getting caught in a poverty trap by racking up their debt using buy now pay later schemes for everyday essentials such as meat and nappies. Lenders like Afterpay and Zip are being increasingly used to buy necessities, with consumers shelling out hundreds of dollars to pay off their bills.
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