Logjam at Forestlands, Z’s energetic balancing act, Cyber ransoms: just pay up

A sneak peek at today's NBR Print Edition.

In NBR Print today: With millions of dollars in limbo and potentially millions more in doubt, investors in the Forestlands group are getting frustrated, Tim Hunter writes. “It is hard not to feel emotional and angry about it,” says one investor, as a Serious Fraud Office investigation continues behind a wall of silence after a tip-off from the Financial Markets Authority. So just what was going on behind Forestland’s folksy façade?

Z Energy’s annual results presentation owed as much to politics as to the company’s financial performance, Jenny Ruth writes. In the face of an inquiry into petrol pricing ordered by Judith Collins, Z Energy is arguing competition is stronger than ever before – despite it having almost 45% of the petrol retailing market. But even as Z Energy’s management appears to be trying to fall just short of demonstrating a need for regulatory intervention, official figures show margins have nearly tripled since 2010.

For businesses hit by ransomware like WannaCry, the advice from authorities is always the same: Don’t pay the data-nappers, Chris Keall writes. But Wellington lawyer Michael Wigley says Kiwi businesses should seriously consider coughing up to the crims for business continuity purposes. Those that do will be in good company.

NZ First leader Winston Peters’ plan to become prime minister remains alive, two years after being revealed by columnist Matthew Hooton. Since then, his New Zealand First party has doubled its poll ratings, moving into third place, and Mr Peters is second in the preferred prime minister stakes.

Meanwhile, if Labour’s continuing subsidence reaches 23%, its leader Andrew Little will miss out on Parliament altogether, opening up a potential Peters prime ministership, with Jacinda Ardern as his deputy.

The rise of automation and digitisation has given – and now it’s taking away, Nathan Smith writes. One of the unintended consequences of computerisation, frets Vodafone’s Antony Welton, is that it’s robbing the younger generation of accruing the necessary experience to truly become experts in their field – whether it’s telecommunications, law or any other sector. And identifying the issue is proving much easier than solving it.

All this and more in today's NBR Print edition. Out now.