The boss of chemicals firm DGL says the company has a “wonderful” work culture.
It comes after an independent review, commissioned in the wake of Simon Henry’s “Eurasian fluff” comments about entrepreneur Nadia Lim, concluded DGL had a diverse workforce and a hard-working and inclusive culture.
However, as reported by the NBR, the report also recommended DGL introduce more gender diversity into senior management positions. Tracy Swinley had since been appointed chief people officer and as a member of the company’s senior leadership team.
On the report, Henry said it was a positive outcome. “DGL, in fact, has a wonderful culture and we plan to protect that culture and hopefully see it grow in years to come.”
It’s been a fiery afternoon in parliament, with National’s Christopher Luxon once again invoking – though choosing not to sing – LunchMoney Lewis’ song “Bills”.
It comes after the government today u-turned on its plan to tax KiwiSaver fees after widespread backlash. Speaking in the general debate, Luxon said the song Bills was speaking to New Zealanders “up and down the country” at the moment. “When he says ‘I’ve got bills I’ve got to pay’… Kiwis up and down this country really know what he’s talking about,” Luxon said.
The National leader welcomed the tax backtrack and appeared to namedrop a Spinoff podcast, saying: “As LunchMoney would say, he would love anything that’s gone by lunchtime – so well done”.
Deputy prime minister Grant Robertson spoke next, though chose to ignore the tax debate. Instead, he criticised Luxon for refusing to rule out whether he would work with Brian Tamaki. “This question was so easy, David Seymour got it right,” joked Robertson. “But no, Christopher Luxon ploughed on, he doubled down. All that tells you is how out of touch and out of his depth Christopher Luxon is.”
Robertson later chose to “say something serious” to Luxon, and said that not ruling out a Tamaki coalition “gives legitimacy to the most extreme views in our community”.
He added, to applause: “I am pleading with Mr Luxon to do the right thing. Do not say to young gay New Zealanders that they don’t matter, do not say to the women of New Zealand that they don’t have a place in leadership.”
Grant Robertson to Chris Luxon: “You will be judged by the company you keep… rule out working with Brian Tamaki.” pic.twitter.com/lQHrc8HP7c
Remember the Internet Party? Kim Dotcom, the party’s founder, does.
He’s taken to Twitter with the claim that the party will be “in the Beehive” in 2024. Of course, the election is next year so if the party’s going to be in parliament in 2024 then it has to also be in parliament in 2023. But that’s just me being technical.
The government has abandoned plans to add GST to the fees paid on KiwiSaver nest eggs following swift condemnation from fund providers and the opposition.
The proposal, which the government described as closing a loophole, would have standardised the use of GST on fees and services of managed fund providers. But it was quickly criticised after it was revealed that it would lead to a $103 billion reduction across funds by 2070. In other words, someone with $100,000 in a fund that charged a 1% fee could have miss out on more than $20,000 in savings over 25 years.
Revenue minister David Parker said it was clear New Zealanders were concerned by the changes. “I am proud of Labour’s role in introducing KiwiSaver and its role in securing the future of New Zealanders. We will never do anything to undermine it,” he said.
“Because of the importance of public confidence in KiwiSaver and the need to ensure nothing unduly affects New Zealanders’ willingness to save, the government will not to go ahead with the proposal.”
“We’re not even going to bother repealing it because I think the team of five million people needs to stand up this week and say to the government ‘enough, stop’ and actually get the government to withdraw it,” he said.
Covid hospitalisations have dropped to their lowest levels since February, with 288 people being treated including just two in intensive care.
The seven-day rolling average of hospitalisations today is 326 – last Wednesday it was 436.
Both Watematā and Auckland have reported 47 hospitalisations, with 46 in Waikato.
Meanwhile, Covid-19 case numbers also remain low. There are 2,244 new cases, similar to in recent days and also one of the lowest reported since the start of the omicron outbreak.
The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers today is 2,122, down from 3,303 one week ago.
There are now a total of 1,893 deaths confirmed as attributable to Covid-19, either as the underlying cause of death or as a contributing factor. The seven-day rolling average increase in total deaths attributable to Covid-19 is now 7.
Overnight, the death toll has risen by 17. That includes nine deaths that have been linked to the virus.
The “squeezed middle” payment was meant to be a political circuit breaker, but it’s left the government on the defensive. On the new episode ofGone By Lunchtime, Annabelle Lee-Mather, Ben Thomas and Toby Manhire speak on what went wrong and the demands for an apology – does the scramble to explain adding GST on KiwiSaver fees just add to a sense that they’re not in control of the story? Plus: Slán leat to Trevor Mallard and kia ora to new speaker Adrian Rurawhe, the potential for Brian Tamaki’s new Freedom NZ political project, and Marama Davidson gets grief for use of the C-word (chocolate).
“Work from home” was the leading keyword search term on employment marketplace Seek’s website in the three months to June 2022, as businesses and employees grapple with a boom in job advertisements.
At a media showcase this morning, Seek NZ country manager Rob Clark revealed some insights into the employment landscape over the last 12 months, including the mindset of jobseekers. Hybrid working was a must-have for more people than ever before. Nearly four in 10 jobseekers said they would resign if working from home was not available, and half of information technology workers considered it essential, compared with a quarter of people in sales and business development.
The growing popularity of working from home comes at a time when unemployment is at record lows, job ad volumes are high and the regions are outpacing our biggest cities on job
“We talk about this great job boom – and it really is,” said Clark. “In the context of historical data that certainly we have, we have never seen so many jobs available in the market.”
Journalist Mitch McCann has been named the Newshub’s first ever US correspondent.
While the Discovery-owned news network has Australian and European correspondents, it has never, unlike competitor TVNZ, had a reporter based permanently in America.
McCann left New Zealand earlier this year and will commence his new role next month.
“To be Newshub’s first US Correspondent is an honour and an incredible opportunity,” McCann said in a statement. “I can’t wait to bring Kiwis the most compelling stories from across the United States, especially at a time when the social and political climate is so intriguing. I’m eager to get settled, and get started.”
The hosts of the far right online media outlet Counterspin have appeared in the Christchurch District Court this morning.
Kelvyn Alp and Hannah Spierer were arrested by police in Christchurch last week, charged with the distribution of an objectionable publication. It’s understood that relates to an overseas conspiracy “documentary” that makes false claims about the Christchurch mosque attack.
The Herald has reported on the arrival of the Counterspin duo at court this morning, and has photos showing them maskless and surrounded by supporters. Among those outside the court to back Alp and Spierer was white supremacist Philip Arps.
A small counter-protest has also arrived outside the court, holding a sign which reads: “Ka Tū Kotahi Tatou – We stand united with Aroha for Our Muslim Whanau”. They’ve faced verbal and racial abuse in response.
We’re rapidly approaching local election season and it can be, and I fully attest to this, confusing as all hell.
So big news this morning: Policy.nz, partnering with The Spinoff, is back to help. Enter your address at Policy.nz and you’ll see which elections you get to vote in, with the rival candidates’ pitches side by side. As Toby Manhire writes this morning, “the lack of competition for seats across most of the country is mirrored in a lack of voter turnout. That creates a vulnerability, which – as won’t have escaped your notice already – some are looking to exploit. More than ever, then, it’s critical (a) to vote, and (b) to have the facts in front of you when you do.”
New economic forecasts have dropped this morning from ASB economists. Grit your teeth and gird your loins for another year. ASB says New Zealand is probably just over halfway through one of the biggest drops in nominal house prices that the country has ever seen. ASB expects a 12% drop in house prices, which would be equivalent to 20% when adjusted for inflation. The bank also predicts the OCR to peak at 4% by the end of next year and then drop in 2024. Chief economist Nick Tuffley said inflation had already peaked but it could be 2024 before it dropped below 3% again.
Here’s Bernard Hickey with a reminder that a 20% drop in home equity is probably ok and you don’t need to panic.
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The government’s facing widespread criticism after it was revealed last night that fees for managed funds and KiwiSaver will face increased tax.
A new tax bill will equalise the GST take across fund fees to the standard 15%, as opposed to varied system that is currently in place. While the government says the changes will be phased in from 2026, critics have warned that it could hit KiwiSaver balances hard. As the Herald reported, it’s expected to result in a $103 billion reduction across funds by 2070.
And someone with $100,000 in a fund that charges a 1% fee could have $21,179 less over 25 years.
National Party leader Christopher Luxon told Newshub’s AM that the government was “utterly, totally” addicted to spending. “As a result they’ve got to be obsessed with dreaming up new ways to get more tax in the door – and this is now a retirement tax on top of all the other taxes that we’ve had,” he said.
“This impacts working people, it’s a big disincentive to work in New Zealand.”
According to the government, the proposed tax rule changes would simply fix the “inconsistent treatment of GST-able services”. But Luxon said it was “wasting money” and just another tax take by the government. Asked whether a National-led government repeal it, Luxon said he hoped to prevent it becoming law in the first place.
“We’re going to stop it, we’re not even going to bother repealing it because I think the team of five million people needs to stand up this week and say to the government ‘enough, stop’ and actually get the government to withdraw it,” he said. “And I think it’s possible.”
Writing for his newsletter The Kākā, business journalist Bernard Hickey described the move as “stealthy” and said it prioritised “median-voting home owners”.
“These decisions are the most damaging to the 50% of children who now live in private rentals with their parents,” said Hickey. “They and their parents are both now locked out of healthy and secure futures in Aotearoa-NZ, but are sentenced to keep paying income tax and GST for decades to come to ensure those wealthy home owners are paid unconditional basic income after the age of 65 and get free health care from the state.”