The strengthening economy

June 10th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Matthew Hooton writes in the NBR on why John Key should call a snap election. Despite my commercial self-interest in having elections occur as frequently as possible, I don’t think there is any  probability or reason for an early election. The Government needs 61 votes to govern and has 64.

I don’t believe PMs should do what Helen Clark did and call an early election of a flimsy premise.

What I wanted to focus on though was the reasons Matthew gave for going early, in terms of the :

National’s budget was overwhelmingly successful and it now luxuriates in superb economic data.  Just this week, there have been announcements of thelargest increase in residential building activity in 10 years and that wholesale trade continues to grow.

These follow other official Statistics New Zealand announcements in recent weeks of improving trade data, the best ever April visitor numbers, building consents hitting a five-year high and of course the big fall in both unemployment and youth unemployment.

For its part, the Treasury reported on Tuesday that the tax take continued to track above forecast in April, with gross company tax revenue up over 40% ahead of forecast.

After the extraordinarily strong GDP growth in the December quarter – the fourth highest in the world among OECD-monitored countries, behind only China, Russia and Luxembourg – all the recent data suggests the government can expect highly positive news when March quarter GDP data is released on June 20.

There’s still a long way to go, but the indicators are generally looking to be improving.

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24 Responses to “The strengthening economy”

  1. slightlyrighty (2,448 comments) says:

    Short of a snap election, the other possibility is a by election in Ohariu. Given that the Nats won the party vote by a huge margin in 2011, that should hold no fears for National.

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  2. Pete George (21,828 comments) says:

    An early election would be on Hooton’s interests too. Unlike DPF Hooton’s self interest seems to overwhelm any semblance of balanced commentary.

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  3. tvb (3,945 comments) says:

    Calling an opportunistic snap election could well backfire. However if the Government’s stable majority were to disappear then that could be different. I do not include the Maori Party as part of a stable majority as they have their own problems and hardly ever support the Government except on budget legislation.

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  4. toms (301 comments) says:

    Hooton must have written that column after a round of golf on planet Key.

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  5. Pete George (21,828 comments) says:

    Hooton has just been on Firstline promoting a different angle. He says that Dunne should just stay on, quietly looking after Ohariu and supporting Key’s government through to the election.

    That might be politically convenient but it defies common sense.

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  6. Ross12 (930 comments) says:

    Why is there any talk of this? A Minister has resigned from Cabinet. In the Labour led Govt’s 9 years several Ministers were sacked ( not counting reshuffles of the Cabinet) or resigned during the terms. Did not make alot of difference. Yes Dunne is not a National Party MP but for all practical purposes the kindergarten sessions will continue in Parliament as usual.

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  7. publicwatchdog (1,840 comments) says:

    Sorry David – you didn’t have ‘General Debate’ up and I’m about to dash off.
    Apologise is all I can do! :(

    FYI (In case you missed this from late last night?)

    Press Alert: Auckland mayoral Candidate Penny Bright:
    PROTEST! Against the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill , at Auckland,
    TODAY Monday 10 June from 9.30am – 11am!

    Social Services Select Committee are hearing verbal submissions IN AUCKLAND on this Bill, from 9am – 4.30pm,
    MONDAY 10 June 2013.

    WHERE? At the Ellerslie Novotel Hotel 72 – 112 Greenlane East, Ellerslie.
    http://www.novotel.com/gb/hotel-3060-novotel-auckland-ellerslie/location.shtml

    WHY? Only 13 days were allowed for submissions!

    This bill will allow government to override communities and councils if they don’t agree with decisions.

    The bill also supports non-notification and no right of appeal.

    ***PLEASE COME IF YOU OBJECT TO THESE UNDEMOCRATIC PRACTICES***

    I will be giving my submission from 4.10pm – 4.20pm, then giving EVIDENCE to support the following petition, from 4.20pm – 4.30pm.

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Presented/Petitions/5/0/5/50DBHOH_PET3157_1-Petition-of-Penelope-Mary-Bright-requesting-that.htm

    Petition of Penelope Mary Bright

    Requesting that Parliament declines to proceed with the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill until the lawfulness of the reliance of Auckland Council on the New Zealand Department of Statistics”high”population growth projections, instead of their “medium” population growth projections for the Auckland Spatial Plan, has been properly and independently investigated, taking into consideration that both Auckland Transport and Watercare Services Ltd, have relied upon “medium” population growth projections for their infrastructural asset management plans.

    Petition number: 2011/64
    Presented by: Holly Walker
    Date presented: 30 May 2013
    Referred to: Social Services Committee
    _________________________________________________________

    MORE BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

    http://www.occupyaucklandvsaucklandcouncilappeal.org.nz/?page_id=137

    Penny Bright

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

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  8. skyblue (193 comments) says:

    Are you dashing off to pay your rates Penny?

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  9. Matthew Hooton (114 comments) says:

    Pete George

    I did not have a different angle on FirstLine.

    As I wrote in the second sentence of my NBR piece: “It is to be hoped he decides to hang on in parliament, collect his salary for the next 18 months, fiddle about in his constituency and passively hand his vote to John Key.”

    You need to read more carefully.

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  10. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    “It is to be hoped he decides to hang on in parliament, collect his salary for the next 18 months, fiddle about in his constituency and passively hand his vote to John Key.”

    That’s rather stating the obvious from the rights point of view, isn’t it?
    John Key would be shitting bricks otherwise. Whilst there is good reason to believe they may win the seat if Dunne resigned, it is not a sure thing. That then puts the future squarely in Maori Party realm – something many of Key’s supporters wouldn’t like.

    Whilst I respect Key for his handling of this ‘affair’ so far – how he performs over the next few days will be interesting. Will he be able to retain that respect by doing the right thing, or will he do the ‘right thing’ and make sure Dunne is there to prop him up?

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  11. Pete George (21,828 comments) says:

    Yes, you’re right this time Matthew – about reading more carefully, not about your advice.

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  12. smttc (638 comments) says:

    Actually Judith, it doesn’t matter what would happen in a by election in Ohariu. National can’t replace Dunne’s vote by winning the seat. The last on the list would go.

    [DPF: Wrong. A common misconception]

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  13. dime (8,778 comments) says:

    Lol @ toms.

    As much as you want it to be, “planet key” isn’t a thing. It never caught on. It is only used by the most bitter, sad and desperate.

    Pg – you seem shitty this morning. Anyone would think your idol had been destroyed, along with the party you love.

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  14. OneTrack (1,977 comments) says:

    Judith, since Dunne is an electorate MP, what do you think Is the “right” thing for Key to do? Dunne isn’t an MP subject to Key agreement and he can’t be thrown out of the caucus or even the party.

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  15. David Farrar (1,811 comments) says:

    As far as I know, in a democratic country like New Zealand, the Prime Minister can not sack an MP from another party. If they could, I’d say Key would rather sack Russel Norman!

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  16. Cunningham (746 comments) says:

    “Pg – you seem shitty this morning. Anyone would think your idol had been destroyed, along with the party you love.”

    Dude alot of hard work goes into running a party, a fair amount being voluntary. People put in a huge amount of time and effort for political parties (sadly often MP’s forget this over time) and to see it go up in smoke is pretty gutting for all involved.

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  17. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    OneTrack (519) Says:
    June 10th, 2013 at 8:58 am
    ——————————

    My reference to the ‘right thing’ was a reference to the type of government we have – a Kleptocratic one.

    The right thing for Key to do would be to keep out of it and not defend Mr Dunne with pathetic statements about him being ‘reliable’ and having served 30 years etc. Long service does not mean a god damn thing if you are dishonest and avoid the responsibility of the job you are paid to do.

    I am fully aware Key cannot sack Dunne, or anyone else not in his ‘team’ – but he can refrain from involving himself further.

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  18. Cunningham (746 comments) says:

    Judith

    “The right thing for Key to do would be to keep out of it and not defend Mr Dunne with pathetic statements about him being ‘reliable’ and having served 30 years etc”

    Why shouldn’t he do that? Just because Dunne has messed up doesn’t mean we should just ignore everything he has done previously. JK has handled this well, acknowledging his past while expressing disappointment in what has happened. What else can you expect? He is not defending what he has done at all.

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  19. Paulus (2,298 comments) says:

    Judith using big words again !

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  20. Psycho Milt (1,985 comments) says:

    As spin, this is crap: …the largest increase in residential building activity in 10 years…

    In other words, more than two years after the Chch earthquake, King Gerry the First and Hopefully Last is finally getting round to a few actions more concrete than hosting receptions and receiving letters when it comes to rebuilding the place.

    Of course, that was just an obvious conclusion I jumped to, so I followed the link – which says:

    Nationally, non-residential building activity fell 0.8 percent in the March 2013 quarter, but surged ahead in the Canterbury region. Residential building work also grew strongly in Canterbury during the quarter.

    Pretty safe conclusion, then.

    The rest of Hooton’s awesome improvements in the economy can be summed up as “the negative effects of the GFC had to start wearing off sometime.”

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  21. Matthew Hooton (114 comments) says:

    PM says: “The rest of Hooton’s awesome improvements in the economy can be summed up as “the negative effects of the GFC had to start wearing off sometime.””

    But, for five years, the left has been saying that the government’s “austerity” policies (sic) would make things worse and we should adopt “stimulatory” policies like France.

    Yet, “the negative effects of the GFC” seem to be wearing off her faster than anywhere else in the world.

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  22. Mark (1,302 comments) says:

    Absolute nonsense from Hooten. Unnecessary risk at this stage for National

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  23. backster (2,000 comments) says:

    The National Government had the economy in a similar state of strengthening in 1999 yet they lost the election.

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  24. scrubone (2,971 comments) says:

    So the economy’s good and that will help the government. Granted, but Obama by that logic should have been soundly defeated.

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