BERL economist Dr Ganesh Nana says the budget responsibility rules are more a political ruse than an economic necessity.

Well-being budget will put pressure on budget responsibility rules

Mon 21 May

Coalition government desperate to prove its financial management credentials.

No surprises – Wellington hit hard by recession, says regional think tank

Thu 12 Jul 5

Wellington's genuine progress index report shows the local economy suffered during the recession, as did business entrepreneurship.

Hands-free calling in cars almost as dangerous

Sun 1 Nov 8

From today, drivers in New Zealand will only be allowed to use mobile phones in their cars if they use a hands-free kit or phone cradle.

The ban, and its timing, were officially confirmed in August. Mobile phones cannot be used, even while stopped at a red light, unless the phone is in a fixed cradle or a hands-free kit or headset is used. Those who break the rules face a fine of $80, and 20 demerit points.

Call for govt to ban duty-free cigarette sales

Wed 7 Oct 5

A group of University of Otago academics went scavenging for empty cigarette packs in four cities and six towns.

All told, they collected 1310 binned packs. 45% of the scavenged ciggies were from Australia, and 16.7% were from China. Brands sold in 11 other countries completed the pile.

All up, 3.2% came from outside the country - meaning lost tax revenue for New Zealand.

From his team’s street sweep, lead researcher Dr Nick Wilson extrapolates that our government misses out on at least $36 million in lost tobacco tax and GST.

NZ should target fast-growing Brazil

Sat 3 Oct 1

It’s party time in Rio de Janiero as the Brazilian city celebrates its selection, against the odds, as the venue for the 2016 Olympic Games, the first to be held in South America.

The International Olympic Committee made the decision in Copenhagen from three other contenders – Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid. The US city was the bookies’ favourite but was eliminated in the first round, followed by Tokyo and finally Madrid.

Your daily bread now contains iodine to lessen brain disease

Mon 28 Sep

While industry and public opinion mean bakers don't have to add folic acid to bread for another few years, they have started adding iodine without any fuss.

Only organic and unleavened bread are excluded from using iodised salt.


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