Don't risk not knowing what's going around New Zealand and the world - catch up with interviews from Early Edition, hosted by Kate Hawkesby on Newstalk ZB.
Mike Rudd: Tax Freedom Day raises questions about the future of tax policies
Today marks Tax Freedom Day where, essentially, everyone’s taxes are theoretically paid, and money earned for the rest of the year goes to us.
Baker Tily Staples Rodway have released their Tax Freedom Day calculations.
While our taxes show where we have been spending the most money - alcohol and driving – there are concerns about what new tax policies are going to do to our incomes.
Tax director Mike Rudd told Kate Hawkesby that the top personal tax rate has gone up, and he expects more to come during the year.
"We can expect Tax Freedom Day to move later in future years."
Paul Smith: Consumer NZ launches new phone repairability rating
When you're buying a new phone, how much attention do you pay to how easy it'll be to repair?
Consumer New Zealand's started up a repairability rating, which ranks what phones are easiest to fix when something goes wrong with it.
Consumer NZ's product test manager Paul Smith told Kate Hawkesby that the best phone they found was the latest generation of Samsung.
"Whereas the slightly older generation iPhones are the lowest scoring."
He says it's not difficult for manufacturers repairability, but some phones score better because they have the spare parts available or repair manuals.
Anna Burns-Francis: US pipeline attack and employment figures
President Joe Biden insists an unexpected slowdown in companies' hiring is clear new proof the U.S. needs the multitrillion-dollar federal boost he's pushing. But his sales effort is challenged by critics who say Friday's jobless figures show his earlier aid legislation — successfully rushed through Congress — is actually doing more harm than good.
Biden's promised economic comeback hardly stalled on Friday. But it seemed to sputter a bit with a report that found merely modest April job gains of 266,000 and complicated his new $4 trillion push for infrastructure, education and children.
The employment report failed to show that the U.S. economy was accelerating so much as stutter-stepping along as the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.1%. Economists had projected roughly one million added jobs last month, and the modest hiring indicated that the earlier $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package has provided an uneven boost so far.
The figures present Biden with a fresh challenge at a critical moment in his presidency. He is betting that an open embrace of massive government spending will help resolve the nation's public health and financial turmoil — and lift the political prospects for Democrats heading into next year's elections. But the disappointing jobs numbers could also embolden his critics and stiffen the Republican resistance to the infrastructure package Biden is trying to push through Congress.
Addressing the report, Biden sought to ease concerns.
"We knew this wouldn't be a sprint—it'd be a marathon," he said. The pandemic relief package "was designed to help us over the course of a year, not 60 days. A year. We never thought that after the first 50 or 60 days everything would be fine. Today, there's more evidence our economy is moving in the right direction. But it's clear we have a long way to go."
Biden's opponents say the legislation actually worsened problems in at least one way, with expanded unemployment benefits that gave the jobless a reason to stay at home instead of seeking work.
The president said the jobs data don't show that. And advocates for his plans argue that the report shows more spending is needed to sustain the economy.
There are also issues of supply shortages — for computer chips, lumber and more — that are holding back growth, a reminder that the world's largest economy seldom bends perfectly to the wishes of lawmakers.
The fate of the president's agenda may depend on how the public processes and understands the April jobs report in the coming weeks, said Jon Lieber, a managing director at the Eurasia Group, a political risk advisory and consulting firm.
"Are the Republicans able to seize on this as, 'This is what happens when the government gets involved in the economy and screws things up?' Or, does the public see this as the need for more government support?" Lieber said. "That's the argument for the next month."
One clear takeaway across partisan lines was a need for caution in interpretation. A single monthly report can be volatile. The three-month average of job gains is still a healthy 524,000.
Michael Strain, an economist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, noted that many businesses have said they cannot find workers to hire despite increases in hourly pay. Strain said he plans to monitor upcoming reports to see if that pattern holds in what could be a troubling sign for Biden's vision of how to generate growth through government spending.
"If we continue to hear a growing chorus of businesses complaining about worker shortages and if wages continue to rise, then it will be tempting to conclude that a lot of the 8 million jobs we are currently missing aren't coming back," Strain said.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents businesses, put the blame squarely on the relatively generous unemployment benefits that Biden extended as part of his relief p
Tim Cadogan: Central Otago relieved after more space made available in MIQ
Central Otago is feeling relieved after the news managed isolation slots are being set aside for rural workers.
Around 500 spaces will be available for skilled and critical workers every fortnight, for the next ten months.
Many of them will be seasonal workers.
Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan told Kate Hawkesby it's been a long time coming, but it's going to be a big help.
“We’re certainly not going to turn down anything that we get, and it’s going to get back to the numbers we had in 2019, so it’s certainly going to go a long way towards assisting in what has become a dire problem.”
He says some growers, especially apple orchardists, have been getting extremely desperate.
“I think when people can’t see an end to the problem they have in front of them, that’s when things get really bad, but hopefully it’s come soon enough. I haven’t heard of anyone going to the wall, and let’s hope that’s not the case.”
Kate Hawkesby: The world's opening up - will we get left behind?
As of midnight last night the government pressed go on the paused NSW bubble, which in all reality probably shouldn’t have been paused at all.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it was an overreaction - but to be honest, what more should she expect from New Zealand?
We have become so gun shy on any kind of open border that we are likely to slam the brakes at any and every opportunity.
So is that something that puts travellers off? Will an over reactionary government have a chilling effect for wannabe travellers?
I see now the UK has opened up 12 green zone counties - as in safe to travel to the UK from, without quarantine.
They open their doors to those 12 countries this time next week. We are one of them. We will be able to go to Britain - but we still have to quarantine of course on our way back into NZ.
But what this move by the UK indicates though is that the world is slowly but surely opening back up. Vaccinations are in peoples arms, border restrictions are easing, come June in fact in the UK is peeling back its other restrictions too. The world is moving on - past Covid.
Which begs the question, are we now stuck? For a country which chose an elimination strategy and got heralded for doing so, is this the part where we trip up and slam into a big fat hurdle?
A slow vaccine rollout, a minister already panicking about June saying he’s “nervous”, supply issues already being forecast, because bear in mind, though the Brits and others may be travelling, they’re not travelling here as our borders are still shut.
This malaise or caution around taking everything slowly - with “an abundance of caution” is a great sound bite - but is it in all reality going to hold us back? When people can travel but they can’t come here, how long until they find other destinations and we are no longer on their radar? How much business is being done in other places where doors are open?
The problem here I think is that many Kiwis are on board with this approach. They’ve become accustomed and acclimatised to a quiet life. They like the doors shut.
They perhaps look at tourist businesses and think, well that doesn’t directly impact me so I couldn’t care less whether Queenstown or Kaikoura is having visitors or not.
But the bigger picture is the impact on our economy affects everybody. And everything we do.
So how much longer are we happy to have the 'Closed' sign up on New Zealand for?
What level of impact are we waiting for, before we realise you have to be in to win?
If we are not proactive on getting our fingers off the pause button here, we may well find we get left behind.
Andrew Alderson: America's Cup challenge and Crusaders win
Crusaders coach Scott Robertson says his team is "disliked immensely" – but he hopes the 2021 Sky Super Rugby champions are respected.
The Crusaders - who were down to 13 men at one stage during the second half of the final - showed all of their class to overcome a spirited Chiefs side by 24–13 in the New Zealand showdown.
It was their fifth consecutive title under Robertson, who was controversially overlooked for the All Blacks job.
"I was nervous – I know how good they are," Robertson said after the final in Christchurch.
"We had to be at our best – at times we were against the ropes and all the leadership stuff we do, making the right calls and saying present, showed tonight.
"We're still hungry, we know we're not liked, teams are desperate.
"I know we're disliked immensely, but I'd like to think we're respected for what we've done.
"You have to stay hungry for so long, and put your body through it for so long and turn up every day.
"We have to get better as a team to keep winning.
"I'm really proud to coach this team – but it's only half the season done."
Robertson said the coaches' plans to stay calm during the game didn't work out. But they pulled themselves together in time to make clear calls when they were needed.
"There was a lot of emotion in the box…we were in all sorts for a bit," he said.
"I think the players were a bit calmer.
"We just couldn't finish anything, we created so much in the first half, played some great footy.
"But at the end of sets we'd turn the ball over or the ball would go out on the full, or there was a knock on. Then we just found a way.
"They (the Chiefs) are the best in the country at the break down – it feels like they've got 14 loose forwards.
"We let them back in the game…thank goodness Damian (McKenzie) was off radar (with his goalkicking)."
A pivotal moment in the match came when Richie Mo'unga fielded a deep Chiefs kick and launched a brilliant counterattack.
Robertson said: "What a play, what a player, freakish. He's special."
Robertson had no problem with the yellow card on Codie Taylor, for tackling McKenzie in the air. But he appeared to think the call on Sevu Reece for a high tackle was more marginal.
Nothing more than a biased and bigoted right wing mouthpiece for the National party.
It is not true.
Doesn’t even deserve one star
What a vile person. Horrible.