National News Brief, Tuesday November 25

Banks: Interest rates may be cut by more than one percent; Key at odds with other APEC leaders; flooding in the South Island; the most popular Kiwi movie; and more

  • The Reserve Bank is expected to lower the official cash rate by more than one percent next week as it moves to stimulate the slack economy. The New Zealand Herald says Goldman Sachs JB Were and Deutsche Bank are picking a cut of 150 basis points rather than the long-predicted 100 point cut, bringing the rate down to its lowest level in five years. They believe New Zealand's OCR will fall to 3.5 percent by the middle of next year. Meanwhile, BNZ has gone below the 7 percent mark with a six month mortgage rate.
  • John Key believes the world financial crisis will drag on for more than 18 months, a view at odds with the final communique released by the APEC summit in Lima, Peru yesterday. The DominionPost says the 21 leaders at the meeting said they were "convinced that we can overcome this crisis in a period of 18 months", but the prime minister said the goal was "aspirational", adding that it's "one thing to talk; it's another thing to deliver".
  • Despite flooding in Nelson and the West Coast, the Press reports that a drought is emerging in Canterbury. Several roads were closed – including the Takaka Hill highway and State Highway 6 between Whataroa and Haast – and schools were closed in Golden Bay. But the outlook for Canterbury forecasts little rain until February.
  • Former head of the immigration service Mary Anne Thompson has been charged with three counts of fraud over claims in her CV that she held a PhD from the London School of Economics. The Herald says she will defend the charges, although the LSE has no record of her gaining a doctorate there.
  • Kangaroos coach Ricky Stuart will be investigated for reportedly haranguing match officials after the Kiwis' upset win in the rugby league World Cup final on Saturday. The Australian team are being criticised as bad losers and sooks for their comments after the game.
  • Comedy Second-Hand Wedding looks to be the most popular movie of 2008, with over 200,000 people having seen the film, double the number to have seen Eagle vs Shark. Second-Hand Wedding has almost covered its $2m cost, but the $6m horror The Ferryman has gone straight to DVD.