Political & Economic week that was: RMA reforms getting unveiled

Rob Hosking breaks down the political and economic week that was on NBR Radio and on demand on MyNBR Radio.

Click the NBR Radio box for on-demand special feature audio: Rob Hosking breaks down the political and economic week that was

Economically, the most telling development of the week was continuation of the previous trend: high net migration.

Instead of tailing off, as economists, especially the Reserve Bank, had forecast, the numbers continue to surge. 

Net immigration rose 62,500 for the year to October. 

That net figure is only part of the story. Actual arrivals for the year stand at 120,100, up 12% for the year. Departures are down 3%.

That was before the atrocity in Paris last week and Prime Minister John Key says the continued terrorist attacks around the world are only going to make New Zealand look more attractive. 

That will cut both ways: for firms and individuals wanting to relocate but also for New Zealanders perhaps being less keen to travel and, at the same time, seeing more opportunities at home. 

For the government itself, the big – well, biggish event was long awaited Resource Management Act reforms finally being unveiled.

These are somewhat underwhelming compared to what National promised at the 2014 election but the Northland by-election loss robbed National of what was going to be the centrepiece of Mr Key’s third term.

Instead – as Mr Key himself put it, the reforms are “better than nothing.”  

But the changes will bring some relief to businesses, and be an opportunity to move the political debate on environmental and planning laws further on.    

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