Low-quality honey ‘dumped’ in Japan, heads should roll at Electricity Authority, and Joyce’s first budget to stress ‘resilience’

A sneak peek at today's NBR Print Edition.

In NBR Print today: Recent trade statistics show Japan’s imports of New Zealand honey increased a whopping 58% to a record 866 tonnes last year. But there are suspicions the increase is due to New Zealand producers shedding low-quality honey before the introduction of more stringent export regulations. The “extraordinarily large” volume of a scarce variety of honey should raise red flags, one Japan-based Kiwi says. Calida Smylie investigates.

The electricity industry wants somebody to be held accountable for the failure of the Electricity Authority’s interminable transmission pricing review at the final hurdle, reports Jenny Ruth. The authority was supposed to announce its final decision on transmission pricing this week, having started work on the issue back in April 2009. Instead, it had to scrap the cost-benefit analysis it was basing its decision on because it was so fatally flawed and start again with a new analysis.

The first budget delivered by Steven Joyce – who is also National’s election campaign chairman – will be all about the buffers, writes Rob Hosking. Allowances need to be made to ensure New Zealand can absorb sudden shocks, whether they be economic, geological or meteorological.That means a tougher debt target and more infrastructure spending – with just a dash of stimulus for voters in election year.

Despite dire predictions to the contrary, it’s highly likely US President Donald Trump will complete his first 100 days in office on April 30, New Zealand time, without the world ending or fascism being reborn. Nathan Smith assesses Mr Trump's tenure so far.

The long-awaited Commerce Commission decision on the merger of the country’s two largest media companies is due next week. The periodic procrastination that has accompanied the application by NZME and Fairfax Media points, in the view of its advocates, to a reversal of the commission’s initial refusal. But the arguments in favour of the transaction look weaker by the day, if the experience of other media markets is considered. See NBR's editorial on the subject.

Tim Hunter finds the former owner of the Nosh grocery chain could still be liable for debts to suppliers. “Even if a deal has been done between the buyer and the seller such that the buyer takes on the responsibility for those debts, the debt is still owed by the seller,” one contract law specialist notes.

And this week’s NBR Special Report puts the spotlight on Canterbury.

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