13 December 2002
The Auckland Regional Council has extended the period for submissions on variations 2-6 of the proposed Auckland regional coastal plan to 31 January. The variations, notified on 29 October, are to define aquaculture marine areas and develop a policy framework to manage development in those areas.
11 December 2002
Port of Tauranga Ltd said today it would be the North Island port of call for the Mediterranean Shipping Co’s new service. Auckland cargo will move through the Tauranga company’s Metroport inland port in Manukau.
ASB Bank Ltd accepted $50 million of oversubscriptions for its $150 million perpetual preference share issue when it closed on Monday. Total subscriptions were well above $200 million, so scaling applied. The bank said 4500 investors had taken up the offer, which gives them 7.4% in the 1st year (1.3% above 1-year interest rates). The bank was happy to tell of the oversubscriptions, but you have to wonder about a financial system where a primary lender sees the need to offer over the odds to attract investors.
9 December 2002
Merchandise imports topped imports by $696 million in October (imports $3.177 billion, exports $2.481 billion). Statistics NZ said that as a percentage of exports, this October’s 28% was the biggest October deficit since 1989.
Retail sales rose 8.6% in October, compared to a year earlier, totalling $4.247 billion. The rises in car retailing (6.9% to $593 million) & vehicle services (6.8% to $619 million) were lower than the overall increase. Excluding them, sales rose 9.3% to just over $3 billion. Furniture & floor coverings continued to show the biggest increase, 14.2%. Food was up 7.5%, footwear 11.3%, takeaways/eating out 12%, department stores 11.9%, according to Statistics NZ figures.
Are we going to have a merry Christmas? Merrily down the gurgler, according to Act’s latest Message from Wellington: “The latest financial update from Statistics NZ reveals in the year to March, households spent $2.5 billion more than they earned, leading to a household savings deficit of 3.7%. Central government spending rose 7%, local government spending by 5%. The economy under Labour is experiencing record transfers of money away from working households to government & the â€˜non-productive’ sector. Living standards & consumer spending are being sustained by record credit card & household mortgage debt. The banks are financing this by overseas borrowing. It is not sustainable.”