When the Facts Change

Bernard Hickey’s essential weekly guide to the intersection of economics, business and politics in Aotearoa. Created by The Spinoff together with Kiwibank.

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Latest Episodes

30 July 2021

Back to the future of public transport

Bernard Hickey goes on a journey to find out how New Zealand’s fascinating public transport history can inform our future, meeting musician, historian and public transport advocate Anthonie Tonnon at Whanganui’s historic Durie Hill underground elevator.

Bernard Hickey goes on a journey to find out how New Zealand's fascinating public transport history can inform our future, meeting musician, historian and public transport advocate Anthonie Tonnon at Whanganui’s historic Durie Hill underground elevator. Built in 1919, the elevator was once part of an extensive and heavily used… Bernard Hickey goes on a journey to find out how New Zealand's fascinating public transport history can inform our future, meeting musician, historian and public transport advocate Anthonie Tonnon at Whanganui’s historic Durie Hill underground elevator. Built in 1919, the elevator was once part of an extensive and heavily used public transport network in the city – how were these networks built, why did they die off and what can they tell us about the future of public transport in this country? To find out more about the current state of public transport and what happens next, Bernard talks to transport minister Michael Wood. When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank. Follow When the Facts Change on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.

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28 July 2021

Bonus episode: SMEs with Kiwibank’s Joanna Greaves

The Spinoff business editor Michael Andrew speaks to Joanna Greaves, head of the small and medium enterprise team at Kiwibank.

The Spinoff business editor Michael Andrew speaks to Joanna Greaves, head of the small and medium enterprise team at Kiwibank. As an award-winning dairy farmer, accountant, agricultural ambassador and small business owner, Joanna has a wonderful insight into the value and the realities of SMEs in New Zealand. When the… The Spinoff business editor Michael Andrew speaks to Joanna Greaves, head of the small and medium enterprise team at Kiwibank. As an award-winning dairy farmer, accountant, agricultural ambassador and small business owner, Joanna has a wonderful insight into the value and the realities of SMEs in New Zealand. When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank. Follow When the Facts Change on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.

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23 July 2021

How do we get a vaccination rate over 80%?

Around the world, countries are seeing Covid-19 vaccination rates plateauing at around 50-60% – and it’s hurting them badly. So how will we get our Covid-19 vaccination rates up to the 80%-90% required for herd immunity?

Around the world, countries are seeing Covid-19 vaccination rates plateauing at around 50-60% – and it's hurting them badly. So how will we get our Covid-19 vaccination rates up to the 80%-90% required for herd immunity? In this episode, Bernard Hickey explains how we can nudge our way to that… Around the world, countries are seeing Covid-19 vaccination rates plateauing at around 50-60% – and it's hurting them badly. So how will we get our Covid-19 vaccination rates up to the 80%-90% required for herd immunity? In this episode, Bernard Hickey explains how we can nudge our way to that target using behavioural economics and behavioural finance to get there. To find out more, he speaks to Māori health advocate Rawiri McKree Jansen and vaccinologist Helen Petousis-Harris. When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank. Follow When the Facts Change on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.

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16 July 2021

A big money-saving solar power idea

New Zealand’s electricity market isn’t working to produce enough renewable power to get to carbon zero by 2050 – but maybe there’s a solution in solar power and batteries in everyone’s homes.

New Zealand's electricity market isn't working to produce enough renewable power to get to carbon zero by 2050 – but maybe there’s a solution in solar power and batteries in everyone’s homes. In this episode, Bernard Hickey explores an idea for how the government could shake up the electricity sector and… New Zealand's electricity market isn't working to produce enough renewable power to get to carbon zero by 2050 – but maybe there’s a solution in solar power and batteries in everyone’s homes. In this episode, Bernard Hickey explores an idea for how the government could shake up the electricity sector and return the big taxpayer-built power schemes to public ownership. Guests: Flick Electric Co CEO Steve O’Connor and Eric Pyle, the director of public affairs and policy at solarZero. Follow When the Facts Change on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.

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9 July 2021

An epic intergenerational wealth transfer

Bernard Hickey reveals an intergenerational wealth transfer worth $1 trillion, and how it could be atoned for and reversed – if only to ensure the culprits can enjoy watching their grandchildren grow up healthy, warm and in person.

Over the last 30 years, a generation of voters and politicians made a decision to stop investing in infrastructure – it’s expensive, and it means you can’t cut taxes or keep rates low. Now we’re seeing the collective catastrophe of this underinvestment landing on our heads in the form of… Over the last 30 years, a generation of voters and politicians made a decision to stop investing in infrastructure – it’s expensive, and it means you can’t cut taxes or keep rates low. Now we’re seeing the collective catastrophe of this underinvestment landing on our heads in the form of labour shortages and massive housing affordability problems. In this episode, Bernard Hickey reveals an intergenerational wealth transfer worth $1 trillion, and how it could be atoned for and reversed – if only to ensure the culprits can enjoy watching their grandchildren grow up healthy, warm and in person. Guests: Ockham Residential founder Mark Todd and Stephen Sutorius, owner of Thames Pacific. When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank. Follow When the Facts Change on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.

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2 July 2021

Looking for hope in our housing crisis

In last week’s episode, Bernard Hickey talked about how he had given up hope for affordable housing. This week, he talks to some people who still have hope to hear their ideas on how to solve New Zealand’s housing crisis.

In last week’s episode, Bernard Hickey talked about how he had given up hope for affordable housing. This week, he talks to some people who still have hope to hear their ideas on how to solve New Zealand’s housing crisis. Kay Saville-Smith is a longtime researcher and policy advisor on… In last week’s episode, Bernard Hickey talked about how he had given up hope for affordable housing. This week, he talks to some people who still have hope to hear their ideas on how to solve New Zealand’s housing crisis. Kay Saville-Smith is a longtime researcher and policy advisor on housing who still believes there are ways through – in fact, she’s more hopeful now than she has been for years. And Ronji Tanielu sees the real-world impact of the housing crisis as a policy analyst and advisor for the Salvation Army, but still has plenty of hope and ideas for change. When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank. Follow When the Facts Change on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.

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30 June 2021

Bonus episode: Digital innovation with Kiwibank’s Ranjit Jayanandhan

In this month’s bonus episode, The Spinoff’s business editor Michael Andrew talks to Ranjit Jayanandhan, general manager of Kiwibank’s foundation tech experience hub.

In this month's bonus episode, The Spinoff’s business editor Michael Andrew talks to Ranjit Jayanandhan, general manager of Kiwibank’s foundation tech experience hub. As the person leading Kiwibank’s digital innovation journey, Ranjit has a unique perspective into how banking and fintech will change in New Zealand and the increasing role… In this month's bonus episode, The Spinoff’s business editor Michael Andrew talks to Ranjit Jayanandhan, general manager of Kiwibank’s foundation tech experience hub. As the person leading Kiwibank’s digital innovation journey, Ranjit has a unique perspective into how banking and fintech will change in New Zealand and the increasing role technology plays in the customer experience. When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank. Follow When the Facts Change on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.

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25 June 2021

How home ownership became the impossible dream

This week we’re talking about the hopes of a generation, the costs of this housing inaction and the importance of Wellington’s Spatial Plan.

For a growing number of Wellingtonians, the dream of owning a home in the city is all but dead. And it's the same story in other parts of the country too – successive governments have sat on their hands afraid that doing anything to create more housing might drive down… For a growing number of Wellingtonians, the dream of owning a home in the city is all but dead. And it's the same story in other parts of the country too – successive governments have sat on their hands afraid that doing anything to create more housing might drive down prices, and as a result median rents and house prices have skyrocketed out of reach. To find out more about the costs of this housing inaction and Wellington's Spatial Plan, Bernard talks to Ashok Jacob from Renters United, Alison Anitawaru Cole from Victoria University, director of the Growing Up in New Zealand study Susan Morton and Kiwibank senior economist Jeremy Couchman. When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank. Follow When the Facts Change on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.

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18 June 2021

Why is New Zealand’s housing stock so bad?

The Climate Change Commission report released last week made it clear that we need to start building new houses that are warmer, drier and produce less carbon. How do we do that?

The Climate Change Commission report released last week made it clear that we need to start building new houses that are warmer, drier and produce less carbon. Not only that, we need to retrofit all the houses we’ve already built. How do we do this, and how are we going… The Climate Change Commission report released last week made it clear that we need to start building new houses that are warmer, drier and produce less carbon. Not only that, we need to retrofit all the houses we’ve already built. How do we do this, and how are we going to finance it? To find out more, Bernard talks to healthy housing expert Philippa Howden-Chapman and Kiwibank head of sustainability Julia Jackson. When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank. Follow When the Facts Change on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.

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10 June 2021

New Zealand’s path to carbon zero

This week, Bernard Hickey takes a deep dive into the new Climate Commission report and finds an unrealistic and inadequate prescription to get to carbon zero.

This week, Bernard Hickey takes a deep dive into the new Climate Commission report and finds an unrealistic and inadequate prescription to get to carbon zero. To find out more, he speaks to asset manager Paul Winton about how reconfiguring motorways for cycling, walking and buses could be quicker and… This week, Bernard Hickey takes a deep dive into the new Climate Commission report and finds an unrealistic and inadequate prescription to get to carbon zero. To find out more, he speaks to asset manager Paul Winton about how reconfiguring motorways for cycling, walking and buses could be quicker and more effective than building new rail networks, and associate professor Sara Walton from the University of Otago business school explains how insurers and banks are being pushed to force businesses to reduce their emissions and plan for a lower-carbon future. When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank. Follow When the Facts Change on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.

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28 May 2021

Designing a social insurance scheme that works

We’ve been hearing the phrase “social insurance” a lot since the government released the 2021 budget last week. What is it, and how do we make sure it’s implemented fairly?

We’ve been hearing the phrase “social insurance” a lot since the government released the 2021 budget last week. It’s an idea designed to deal with unemployment we’re going to see a lot more of in the years to come, but it also brings up issues of inequality and fairness. Would… We’ve been hearing the phrase “social insurance” a lot since the government released the 2021 budget last week. It’s an idea designed to deal with unemployment we’re going to see a lot more of in the years to come, but it also brings up issues of inequality and fairness. Would introducing unemployment insurance just help embed a two-tier system in which the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor? To find out how it could work in practice, Bernard Hickey speaks to Kirk Hope from BusinessNZ and NZCTU president Richard Wagstaff. When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank. Follow When the Facts Change on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.

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21 May 2021

Budget 2021: Reversing the mother of all budgets

This week’s episode is coming to you from parliament, where Bernard Hickey has been up to his elbows in the budget just released by finance minister Grant Robertson.

This week’s episode is coming to you from parliament, where Bernard Hickey has been up to his elbows in the budget just released by finance minister Grant Robertson. This year’s budget is a big one – it’s the first one after Covid, and with a parliamentary majority, a very popular… This week’s episode is coming to you from parliament, where Bernard Hickey has been up to his elbows in the budget just released by finance minister Grant Robertson. This year’s budget is a big one – it’s the first one after Covid, and with a parliamentary majority, a very popular prime minister at the helm, a strong economy and low public debt, it was a huge opportunity for the government to do some things… so what did they do? Bernard shares his impressions of Budget 2021, then speaks to Kate Prickett, director of the Roy McKenzie Centre for the Study of Families at Victoria University, and Hillmarè Schulze, chief economist at BERL, to see what they made of it. When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank. Follow When the Facts Change on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.

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14 May 2021

What have we got to lose by standing up to China?

Bernard Hickey talks to Natasha Hamilton-Hart from the University of Auckland business school and Sam Roggeveen from Australia’s Lowy Institute about why we should stop worrying about trade and stand up to China on human rights abuses.

New Zealand has made international headlines in recent weeks for deciding to take the word “genocide” out of a parliamentary motion criticising China for its treatment of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang province. Basically, we were afraid it would hurt our trade relationship. In this episode, Bernard Hickey wants to change… New Zealand has made international headlines in recent weeks for deciding to take the word “genocide” out of a parliamentary motion criticising China for its treatment of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang province. Basically, we were afraid it would hurt our trade relationship. In this episode, Bernard Hickey wants to change our minds on how New Zealand deals with China, and explain why we should follow Australia's lead and stop worrying so much about trade and start standing up for our views on human rights. To find out more, he talks to Natasha Hamilton-Hart from the department of management and international business at the University of Auckland business school, before Sam Roggeveen from the Lowy Institute offers an Australian perspective. When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank. Follow When the Facts Change on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.

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11 May 2021

Bonus episode: Sustainability with Kiwibank’s Julia Jackson

The Spinoff business editor Michael Andrew is joined by Kiwibank sustainability lead Julia Jackson to talk about the evolving concept of sustainability, its growing influence on businesses and how New Zealanders can better integrate it into their lives.

The Spinoff business editor Michael Andrew is joined by Kiwibank sustainability lead Julia Jackson to talk about the evolving concept of sustainability, its growing influence on businesses and how New Zealanders can better integrate it into their lives. When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast… The Spinoff business editor Michael Andrew is joined by Kiwibank sustainability lead Julia Jackson to talk about the evolving concept of sustainability, its growing influence on businesses and how New Zealanders can better integrate it into their lives. When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank. Follow When the Facts Change on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.

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7 May 2021

The value of investing in health and happiness

How does a government work out the best way to spend money to maximise not just GDP but the long-term health and happiness of its population?

How does a government work out the best way to spend money to maximise not just GDP but the long-term health and happiness of its population? This is something our government is trying to do, or says it’s trying to do – but when it comes to the wellbeing side… How does a government work out the best way to spend money to maximise not just GDP but the long-term health and happiness of its population? This is something our government is trying to do, or says it’s trying to do – but when it comes to the wellbeing side of the equation, is it doing a good enough job? In this episode, Bernard Hickey talks to Girol Karacaoglu, head of the school of government at Victoria University and one of the architects of the way New Zealand analyses happiness. He then talks to Susan St John, an economist at the University of Auckland’s business school who has an interesting take on what we should be spending our money on. When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank. Follow When the Facts Change on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.

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30 April 2021

What will the Reserve Bank’s decisions mean for house prices?

Bernard Hickey talks to Valocity Global CEO Carmen Vicelich and Kiwibank chief economist Jarrod Kerr about the big decisions being made by the Reserve Bank at the moment.

Imagine if the value of your house doubled overnight. Could that actually happen? In this week’s episode, Bernard Hickey explains how it could – and how the Reserve Bank and government are doing things in the next couple of weeks to make sure it doesn’t. To find out more about… Imagine if the value of your house doubled overnight. Could that actually happen? In this week’s episode, Bernard Hickey explains how it could – and how the Reserve Bank and government are doing things in the next couple of weeks to make sure it doesn’t. To find out more about how banks, lending and the housing market all operate, Bernard talks to Carmen Vicelich, CEO of Valocity Global. She knows exactly how banks decide who to lend to, when to lend to them and how much the property under the loan is worth. He then asks Kiwibank chief economist Jarrod Kerr what type of restrictions the Reserve Bank could apply in the coming weeks, and just how landlords are reacting to the government’s big changes announced last month. Spoiler alert: they’re not rushing for the exits. When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank. Subscribe and listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.

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23 April 2021

New Zealand’s temporary migration scandal

Bernard Hickey talks to economist Julie Fry and Anu Kaloti from the Migrant Workers’ Association about how New Zealand is failing to live up to its image as a kind country when it comes to temporary migration.

A new report on temporary migration in New Zealand suggests the current settings are letting down migrants and contributing to a low wage, low productivity and low wellbeing society. To find out more, in this episode Bernard talks to Julie Fry, the economist who wrote the report, and asks Anu… A new report on temporary migration in New Zealand suggests the current settings are letting down migrants and contributing to a low wage, low productivity and low wellbeing society. To find out more, in this episode Bernard talks to Julie Fry, the economist who wrote the report, and asks Anu Kaloti from the Migrant Workers’ Association about the scale of temporary migrant exploitation in New Zealand and what needs to change. Because right now, we’re not exactly living up to our image as a kind country. When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank. Subscribe and listen to When the Facts Change on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.

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16 April 2021

The real fight for climate and housing action is at council level

This week we’re talking about the political economy of housing affordability and climate change, and how the big decisions in these debates are actually being made at local government level.

You may think the big decisions around housing affordability and climate change are being made in the Beehive, and that these are national policies. But in this week’s episode, Bernard suggests these issues are actually manifesting in a series of house-to-house and street-by-street fights at council level. To find out… You may think the big decisions around housing affordability and climate change are being made in the Beehive, and that these are national policies. But in this week’s episode, Bernard suggests these issues are actually manifesting in a series of house-to-house and street-by-street fights at council level. To find out more, he speaks to Tamatha Paul from the Wellington City Council and Auckland city councillor Efeso Collins about how young renters and activists wanting higher density housing and more pedestrian and cycling friendly transport routes will have to fight the battle of their lives in next year’s local elections. When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank. Subscribe and listen to When the Facts Change on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.

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15 April 2021

Bonus episode: Shannon Te Huia, Kiwibank Local Hero of the Year

In this bonus episode of When the Facts Change, The Spinoff’s business editor Michael Andrew talks with Shannon Te Huia, the 2021 Kiwibank Local Hero of the Year

For the last 12 years, Kiwibank has supported the Local Hero Award, acknowledging the people making a difference to New Zealand communities. In this bonus episode of When the Facts Change, The Spinoff’s business editor Michael Andrew talks with Shannon Te Huia, the 2021 Kiwibank Local Hero of the Year.… For the last 12 years, Kiwibank has supported the Local Hero Award, acknowledging the people making a difference to New Zealand communities. In this bonus episode of When the Facts Change, The Spinoff’s business editor Michael Andrew talks with Shannon Te Huia, the 2021 Kiwibank Local Hero of the Year. Shannon established Pūniu River Care in 2015, a marae-based initiative designed to improve water quality and biodiversity by planting trees along the banks of the Pūniu river in the Waikato. He talks about where the idea came from, how he grew it into a viable project and what the award means to him and means for the project. When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank. Subscribe and listen to When the Facts Change on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.

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9 April 2021

Global capitalism’s ‘doom loop’ and how to stop it

Bernard Hickey talks to economists Ganesh Nana and Craig Renney about global capitalism’s ‘doom loop’ and how addressing inequality and improving productivity can help stop it.

This week we’re talking about global capitalism, and how it's in danger of destroying itself from the inside out. The concept is known as a “doom loop”: as the economy grows, those who own all the assets get more and more, those who don’t get poorer and poorer, and as… This week we’re talking about global capitalism, and how it's in danger of destroying itself from the inside out. The concept is known as a “doom loop”: as the economy grows, those who own all the assets get more and more, those who don’t get poorer and poorer, and as a result growth slows as the machine grinds to a halt. And the key to stopping this doom loop lies in addressing inequality and productivity. To explore this idea and how it affects New Zealand, Bernard Hickey talks to the Productivity Commission's Ganesh Nana and Council of Trade Unions economist Craig Renney. When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank. Subscribe and listen to When the Facts Change on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider.

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