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Key hints over KiwiSaver, GFC enters new phase, NZX50’s social media lag and TVNZ’s sponsorship push

Prime Minister John Key says the government may drop its compulsory KiwiSaver policy.

The government’s plan to auto-enrol every employee not already in the scheme was to start this year but was pushed out to 2015.

In today’s National Business Review print edition, Mr Key says the Treasury advises there is limited benefit to auto-enrolment, and he adds most people who want to be in KiwiSaver are already members.

Mr Key also talks election issues and unfinished business with political editor Rob Hosking, and why National is taking a more “sophisticated” approach to New Zealand’s long-term issues.

In Economically Speaking, Neville Bennett warns the GFC is not over yet. He says it has moved through several phases and asset bubbles are developing – particularly involving those who chase yields in entities such as Chinese wealth management products.

Research involving Summerset Group chairman Rob Campbell’s company Tutanekai Investments reveals how New Zealand’s top companies are lagging in social media use, with only 20 of NZX50 companies using Facebook effectively and only three – Air New Zealand, Telecom and TradeMe – using Twitter actively (although you could surely add Xero to that list.)

In other news, media reporter Victoria Young details TVNZ’s push to make sponsorship a stronger revenue stream, with 14 sponsored shows already on the air.

This week, NBR begins Lobby Watch, a series of articles examining the presence, role and influence of lobbying in the lead-up to the general election. Reporter Jamie Ball lobs curly questions at PR folk over their use of Google and Wikipedia.

Business reporter David Williams traverses the various fortunes of fish oils manufacturer SeaDragon and Auckland Council-owned Ports of Auckland – and why the taxman isn’t likely to bother the latter any time soon.

Michael Coote, writing in On The Money, says there may be lessons for New Zealand in Australia’s experience of a high currency exchange rate driven by its booming export sector.

Briefly:

  • In Tray unveils a new political scandal sweeping TVNZ, as – shock, horror – a “senior figure” is overheard speaking enthusiastically about the current state of the economy, and, further, suggesting such improvement was thanks to the current government.
  • In Foreign Affairs, Nathan Smith argues the US could be the world’s next emerging economy.
  • In Initiative Matters, Bryce Wilkinson tackles the tax churn money-go-round and the high cost on society.

All this and more in today’s National Business Review. Out now.

Comments and questions
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Question for Foreign Affairs: With a potential free trade agreement with Russia looming, what is our position on Ukraine, and by implication Russia, if there is military or other "assistance" provided by Russia to Ukrainian authorities now that EU has imposed sanctions?