Daily review 22/03/2021

Written By: - Date published: 5:30 pm, March 22nd, 2021 - 43 comments
Categories: Daily review - Tags:

Daily review is also your post.

This provides Standardistas the opportunity to review events of the day.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Don’t forget to be kind to each other …

43 comments on “Daily review 22/03/2021 ”

  1. millsy 1

    According to Bradbury and Trotter, there are rumours that Jacinda threatened to resign last week. The MSM isn't touching the story, but looks like she wants to get stuff done, but it stymied by her cabinet and the public service.

    • Sabine 1.1

      I agree she is only the PM and we can only expect to get so much stuff done.

    • David 1.2

      Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it were true and she did. Then we could all move forward and get stuff actually done.

      • Muttonbird 1.2.1

        Read what you just wrote. It is nonsense.

        If Ardern resigned because she couldn't get stuff done then those who stopped her getting stuff done are hardly likely to then get stuff done.

        • David 1.2.1.1

          Huh?

        • Anne 1.2.1.2

          That's too complicated for David.

        • alwyn 1.2.1.3

          I think that you should be the one to read what he wrote again.

          I take it to be a very subtle jab at the lack of progress on anything by the current Government.

          Whose interpretation is right David?

          • David 1.2.1.3.1

            Indeed alywn.

            I mean, who’s paid to lead this country when you have an absolute majority – the PM or some mid tier government officials? If you can’t lead, then step aside and leave the door open for someone who can.

            • alwyn 1.2.1.3.1.1

              I should have put a couple of extra words in my comment.

              It should have said "very subtle, and clever, jab". Bravo! that man.

          • Muttonbird 1.2.1.3.2

            There's nothing subtle about it. David said it would be great if Ardern resigned so stuff could get done.

            But then it's Ardern herself threatening to resign because stuff isn't getting done?

    • mikesh 1.3

      If there was anything big to be announced tomorrow I would imagine that it emanates from Robertson. Perhaps he and Jacinda are pushing some barrow together, and are opposed by the rest of cabinet, and the bureaucracy.

      • Muttonbird 1.3.1

        Heather Duplicity-Allen interviewed Robertson and spent most of the time whinging about the date for a trans-Tasman bubble.

        They turned to housing eventually and Robertson was typically curious so don't expect anything big. He was very deliberate that we shouldn't build crap for building crap's sake and I agree. That would create horrible issues in the future.

        Interestingly, Fran-O came on straight after and asked for cash only deposits for investors. Well, about fucking time the right wing said something useful having railed against such interventions for decades.

        • David 1.3.1.1

          Interesting take on the HDA interview.

          My take was she very deliberately walked through the latest list of excuses for no bubble. Remember the list from a few weeks ago which SoMo busted open later that afternoon? Then Chippy’s in Parliament last week about Aussies needing an exit visa?

          Now we get a new list today. HDA walked through them very slowly and in single syllables to make sure there was nothing complicated there. There wasn’t. Certainly nothing that shouldn’t have already been sorted since Labour started talking about a bubble over 9 months ago.

        • mikesh 1.3.1.2

          Interestingly, Fran-O came on straight after and asked for cash only deposits for investors.

          I'm inclined to think that all investment in property ought to come from the investor's own resources or savings. Borrowing from a bank, which may involve money created from nothing, may be ok when it comes to productive economic activity since the consequential increase in the money supply is met by an increase in goods and services, but seems unsatisfactory for non productive activity. Even family homes are probably better financed from building societies and/or finance companies.

  2. David 2

    At her post cabinet press conference today the PM announced there will be a housing announcement tomorrow.

    I’m not sure if the announced tomorrow will be an announcement of when the announcement will be made on housing, part of a wider policy statement announcement or, how terribly old fashioned of me, an actual announcement.

  3. Anne 3

    There's been a lot of talk about psychopaths and sociopaths recently. Thought this little clip might go down quite well here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTIfU4zMQWY

  4. KJT 4

    Queenstown should be careful what they wish for with the "bubble":.

    More than a few people, I know, who were planning on going South for the spring school holidays, changing their plans if the place is going to be full of Ozzies. Saying "May as well go to the Gold Coast".

    • Graeme 4.1

      New Zealanders have been giving giving Queenstown a wide berth since about October last year, which is really what the town's problem is. Wanaka has been doing ok, and Stewart Island had a cracker January, but the 'mainstream' tourist towns, Queenstown, Te Anau and glaciers have been bypassed by New Zealanders.

      It's Queenstown's own fault, and this is coming from a very long term business owner there, but Queenstown abandoned the New Zealand market about 10 years ago and displaced them with international markets. Even the Australian market had been pushed aside and numbers from there, and spending, had declined dramatically.

      I'm not sure the Aussie Bubble is going to be all that great, who's going to want to come over here if there's a chance of getting stuck here for a few weeks or maybe months. Heck, the Australian Government just announced a 1.2 billion package to try and get Aussies to travel interstate, good luck getting them to fly to New Zealand. They don't seem that keen to travel, even at home.

      There's a lot of people here who are about to have their treasured lifestyles fall to bits because they got a long way ahead of themselves and didn't / couldn't see a downturn coming. They've got to start paying principle on their mortgages next month and it's focusing minds a tad. Sure this is a pretty good downturn but it's not all that different to previous ones. The main difference is this time the New Zealand market is telling Queenstown to fuck off after being pushed out by the town, and wider industry, chasing the big numbers of international visitors. We're heading for a much needed rebalancing in the tourism industry.

      • Shanreagh 4.1.1

        Our family experience was that Queenstown priced itself out of the NZ market much earlier than 10 years ago. In the early 1980s we packed up and left Q'town after one day and one night after the parents felt they would not be able to afford a week there as planned. We were travelling with a caravan and this was just the cost of the meals! Spent time in Wanaka and Cromwell/Clyde which was great.

        It seems that many on the West Coast and Queenstown are still hankering for the cargo cult of yore and have not bothered to package up reasonable holidays for NZers.

        • Graeme 4.1.1.1

          Strange thing about out of town food. When I go away I find restaurant and takeaway food to be the same price and of lesser quality than what I'm used to at home. And with much less quality.

          Part of it is that I know where to go at home and don't really when I'm away, but most of it is the intense competition between food outlets in Queenstown and other tourist areas. We had nearly 1000 food licences here and good premises were keenly sought after, which pushes costs a tad. Good sites changed hands for around a million, that's for business, plant and lease, not the freehold. And it worked, until it didn't. Then the screaming ensued.

          The "Queenstown's ruined" meme is nothing new, first European to put it in print was Alfred Duncan, one of Rees' shepherds, in his book 'The Wakatians" If you dig around there is / was a free ebook online

      • weka 4.1.2

        Why is Te Anau being bypassed?

        • Graeme 4.1.2.1

          Blow back at mass tourism.

          All the 'mainstream' tourist resorts are being bypassed. Have heard through the trade that same thing is happening in Northland where Paihia and Russell are as bad or worse than Queenstown, but Hokianga and other small places are booming.

          What happens when an industry exceeds it's social license.

          • Ad 4.1.2.1.1

            Whenever they get asked by visitors what Queenstown is like, they reply "It's a bit of a foreign country".

            It would be criminal to see Queenstown as our single largest source of foreign currency and largest tourism spend be left to decline.

            I'm all for stopping property speculation in the south with new taxes, but the Queenstown economy and its society was built to serve the world first and locals second. That's the simple fact and it can't be reversed.

            Ardern looks hand-wringingly ineffectual when it comes to re-establishing international flights. This part of the economy depends on it and always will.

            • Robert Guyton 4.1.2.1.1.1

              April 6.

            • Stuart Munro 4.1.2.1.1.2

              it can't be reversed

              Sure it can – and in fact if no government action is taken, a thing at which they excel, it will reverse all by itself. Market corrections are remarkably Malthusian.

              • weka

                lol. Nature will have a say in that too. It's a matter of time. I don't get why it's so hard to look at the situation sustainably. Lack of imagination I guess. The mayor's been a possum in the headlights for the past year.

            • weka 4.1.2.1.1.3

              The Queenstown economy was built to make people rich from the gold and maintain power in the hands of the people who first grabbed it. That's still the primary driver from what I can tell.

              Rebuilding the industrial tourism structures without paying heed to sustainability *and resiliency would be a colossal stupidity. What happens with the next pandemic? How many people get what's going to happen to Queenstown when the Alpine Fault does it's big shift. When will tourism get to grips with climate change and its contribution to the greatest ecological disaster of modern history?

              Tourism should be the cream on the cake, not the plate that the cake sits on. Best we get on with adapting while we still have time.

            • Graeme 4.1.2.1.1.4

              Whakatipu. The place where you grow, or become strong.

              That is why it is a premium domestic and international resort, and why the strong and powerful want to live here, as they have done for as long as humans have been here. But sometimes that strength and energy is to much and people get ahead of themselves and can't see reality

              This has happened throughout Queenstown's tourist industry, as well as much of the country's tourist industry. The town became too cocky (Damien was totally on the button, unfortunately the truth hurts) and thought it didn't need the NewZealand market, up until the day that it did, and then it felt hard done by. A major shake up is coming this winter.

              All the major products that are marketed to international visitors in town started as domestic products, jet boats, skiing, rafting, bungy, the tracks and all the longstanding hotels. The exceptions would be tandem skydiving and Milford Sound and track in 1880's which were targeted at international visitors from the outset. Slowly those activities have been taken and sold to the highest paying, usually international punter. Of course the domestic market feels aggrieved.

              The ultimate insult was marketing the Christmas / New Year break to international visitors. Traditionally this was kept, along with Easter, as a domestic only period when New Zealanders could enjoy their holiday in their own country. Over the last 10 -15 years, but especially the last 10 under National, international inbound flows haven't eased off through Christmas, but we've noticed a very marked reduction in the traditional Christmas peak foot counts back to being similar to mid December or late January, the last couple of Christmases pre covid the footcount line was pretty much flat through Dec and Jan. Turnover sort of compensated by the internationals, but not the domestic crowd of old.

              Now the chooks have come back to roost and Queenstown, and the rest of the volume based industry is being told to fuck off. And a lot around town don't like it, but don't quite get what's going on. There's a lot of people and business that aren't going to be here much longer, some were on TV last night demanding a date. Their world has fallen apart because they couldn't or wouldn't see that eventually there was going to be a downturn and they didn't have a plan for that.

              Even once borders reopen tourist flows won't be great, it will be effectively uninsured independents and very few, if any group tours. The public liability insurance premium or the insurance waiver will put the brakes on that business model. The vision for future tourism that Nash outlined is as more a statement of reality than a vision.

              But Whakatipu will still be there with it's energy making it's people strong. and people will still visit to partake in that energy. And businesses will survive, just as they survived the previous downturns and new ones will arrive dreaming of starting that restaurant, retail or homestay and the cycle will start over again, until the next downturn.

              It will always be that special place, that little bit out of reach, it has been for as long as humans have been here, and I doubt it will change for as long as we're here.

              • weka

                the people that had a plan, were prepared, is that at the personal level eg they're ok financially if businesses fail?

                • Graeme

                  Downturns happen in tourism, you're feeding off the very peak of people's discretionary spending. The long term players have, well should have, a plan to get their business through a downturn and themselves personally as well.

                  We're seeing a lot of people who's plan appears to be 'demand government handout' jumping up and down trying to preserve their lifestyle and prestige. This might destroy a lot of businesses in Queenstown, but it won't destroy Queenstown.

                  • weka

                    Makes sense. My impression is that a lot of hospo is running on the edge all the time, hence even in smaller downturns cafes and such close. I guess my next question is how much of not having a plan is poor management vs how many businesses exist on such small margins that they're never going to have a plan anyway.

                    • Sabine

                      The problem is not that hospo – specifically the smaller ones – ran/run as micro businesses and even sustainably so (i.e. local product, low waste and such) but that currently there is nothing to 'pivot' too. So firstly it would be nice if the suits that come to town to tell them that the government is not coming to help drop that word. It is at best stupid, at worst insulting.

                      Secondly i think there is a difference between a small business by a local and an international hotel chain/restaurant chain that has income from other sources, these guys can hybernate, the cafe ran by a few local vegans, roasters, chocolatiers etc they can't.

                      Lastly, if the government is not going to help the towns, what is to happen to hte people. Or are we to assume everyone in Qt, Vegas, Taupo etc are all super rich, scamming their fellow kiwis, and not paying taxes?

                      The biggest loss of jobs in Rotoru are the low income female workers. And the government want them to pivot. i got a number yesterday from someone stating that 50 – 60 % of rotorua is underemployed. How long is that sustainable and this is just one town.

                      As for us really small ones, we will survive on our starvation margins not because we like it, but because the government has no other option for us then getting on a benefit that they most likely will try to prevent us from getting. How much unemployed people can this country have before it becomes a problem. And how many unemployed women is this progressive left leaning government to tolerate before it thinks this might be an issue.

                      And next, once these tourist businesses are gone, it will be their suppliers, their trades people, their accountants, etc etc etc. How long until this really gets to be a problem?

                      Let me put it this way Weka, Kaikoura two decades ago after much neglect from government, no investment and no jobs pivoted to whale watching and resulting tourism. What should Kaikoura pivot to now? And what should the unemployed do in the meantime?

                    • Graeme

                      There's another layer to Queenstown with a lot of businesses being owned by people who have only been here 10 years, or less. That's a factor of our growth, and the churn from people not being able to make it, and leave. The turnover of people in phenomenal and it makes for a very stratified community based around the cohort you arrived with. This can make and already small town even smaller and group think takes hold. There was a body of thought around town that a downturn wasn't going to happen a couple of years ago, those people are either screaming or gone.

                      The energy of the place doesn't help that either, people get wrapped up in the energy and think it's going to be great forever, then can't figure out how they've come a gutsa.

                      The standard of business analysis and planning skills is pretty poor too, if you are 80-90% reliant on one market you should understand you have a problem and do something to diversify your income stream.

                      And if you are in a low margin, or marginal, business then sound planning is essential, otherwise the smallest thing will tip you over. The old maxim, business don't plan to fail, they fail to plan.

  5. arkie 5

    Covid-19: Grand Millenium Hotel worker tests positive

    The Ministry of Health provided the update in a statement abotu 9.30pm.

    It said the worker was tested as part of routine surveillance testing.

    The information available indicates the worker is asymptomatic. Further investigation is being undertaken this evening.

    The managed isolation worker and their immediate household members are isolating at home in Auckland this evening.

    Additional tests and whole genome sequencing are currently being arranged.

    More to come…

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/438921/covid-19-grand-millenium-hotel-worker-tests-positive

    More to come indeed

  6. KSaysHi 6

    This sounds like they are targeting a group that shouldn't be targeted. First home buyers shouldn't be obligating themselves into exceedingly high debt levels – even a 20% pullback is not enough.

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says tomorrow's highly anticipated housing announcement will "tilt the balance" of the housing market towards first-home buyers.

    But she has also sounded a warning to property investors – saying the package will help "curb rampant speculation".

    I have zero faith that this government’s ability to understand housing, let alone solve it.

    • weka 6.1

      Same. As long as Labour believe that housing is primarily an investment rather than a home, we're screwed.

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