Brian Easton

Unusually for small, advanced countries New Zealand remains heavily reliant on agricultural for its living. So is it time to take a bigger punt on technology?

My last item sparked an email from Mike Smith to discuss economic resilience with Brian Easton at a Fabian Society meeting in Wellington on Monday November 10. I made the point to Mike that I don't see the topic as a left/right issue, but have agreed to the discussion.

Brian Easton's post this week raise questions about the serious and long-term issues facing not only this new government, but several to come. Can a consensus be achieved?

Brian Easton's post on a sustainable New Zealand should invite lots of thought and discussion, but it seems many of the political class are absorbed by the Labour Party's leadership battles. It does look awfully messy at the moment, but maybe all will be forgotten if the new leader can unify the party and get momentum against the government given the challenges it faces...

To close the gap with Australia, will Brash dare to follow the Australian example? Or will it be Rogernomics: the next chapter?

So Don Brash is our new Productivity Tsar, huh? Political ironies don't come much richer. It's almost as funny as this government going on about productivity being its number one priority while at the same time cutting contributions to the Super Fund and axing R&D tax incentives.

John Key wants to cut taxes, maintain spending and not saddle future generations with debt. But no country can cut its revenue and increase expenditure at the same time, so conflicted Key faces a hard choice

So John Key's still playing it coy on 2010 and 2011's tax cuts and yet is promising to borrow a whopping $40 billion over the next three years. Amidst the Prime Minister's tentative appearance on Q+A yesterday morning were some interesting nuggets of information.

Looking at the graph the government used to claim our fiscal stimulus was the third biggest in the world prompts some surprising revelations...

I've finally gotten round to looking at Treasury's Budget Policy Statement from December. It's this document that prompted the government to claim – and keep claiming – that New Zealand has one of the world's largest fiscal stimulus packages.