Size of Chinese housing ‘problem,’ MBIE’s corporate welfare, secret recording ‘entraps’ accountant and milk safety-net gap

The New Zealand Initiative’s Bryce Wilkinson has distilled the size of the "problem" of foreigners buying New Zealand houses.

If estimates are correct, 117 New Zealand homes were bought by Chinese last month – out of 7315 houses and apartments sold.

In today’s National Business Review print edition, Dr Wilkinson says a small expansion in home construction could account for all overseas buyers and for New Zealand to be prosperous it should align itself more closely with Asia, and resist the proposition of becoming an Australian backwater.

Grant Thornton partner Matt Parkinson picks up on the same theme, saying any political response to housing issues should acknowledge it’s a case of supply and demand and resist the temptation to complicate things.

Meanwhile, NBR begins an investigation into what is going on within the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment – and columnist Matthew Hooton starts with the ministry’s hundreds of millions of dollars of corporate welfare and minister Steven Joyce’s micro-management.

Political editor Rob Hosking covers the curious case of Property Ventures liquidator Robert Walker, his Institute of Chartered Accountants' professional conduct body hearing and a “disgraceful” secret recording used as evidence against him.

Shoeshine tackles the recent tech correction and what it means for New Zealand technology company founders preparing to go public.

Columnist Neville Bennett picks through the history of bear markets and predicts those who ignore the present warnings will pay a high cost.

In other news, Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem is backing NBR’s complaint over the Northland Regional Council’s refusal to release the cost of an investment report.

In Heartland, Professor Jacqueline Rowarth traverses recent food safety scares hitting the headlines in recent months and why New Zealand’s problems reflect people avoiding milk processing in the misapprehension it is somehow bad.

Primary industries reporter Jamie Ball reveals a $4.28 million partnership between the Ministry of Primary Industries and the Avocado Industry Council was struck without a contract being signed and without ministerial input into its objectives.

Media reporter Victoria Young picks up on Colenso BBDO’s cost-cutting as it looks for a way out of the traditional, TV-led ad agency model.


  • Columnist Michael Coote outlines the best way for the West to halt Russia’s Ukraine grab.
  • In Media Watch, David Cohen exposes the mainstream media’s two-way bet on the royals.
  • In Initiative Matters, Professor James Allan ruminates about whether sky-high popularity should be the goal of a good prime minister.

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

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