National News Brief, Tuesday October 28

Bottom-lines on display in minor parties debate; home ownership set to rise as rates fall; National outspends Labour on infrastructure; Kiwi dollar plunges; and more

  • The number of people owing their own homes is expected to rise, says the New Zealand Herald's lead story, as interest rates and house prices fall. Auckland loan specialists Cairns Lockie have calculated that people paying about $32,000 a year at last year's high interest rates of 10 per cent could be soon paying $25,000 if rates fall to 7 per cent...The affordability of buying and owning a house is improving."


  • The Kiwi dollar hit a new five and a half year low of US54.35c last night as Japanese speculators fearful for their own economy brought their cash home. The yen surged and the Australian and New Zealand dollars plunged. The dollar's drop came as economics group Infometrics predicted that New Zealand would fall into another recession in the first half of 2009. While decreasing petrol prices and interest rate cuts could see growth over the final six months of this year, the continued fall of house prices, spending and export demand could see the economy contract again next year.
  • National is promising to spend nearly twice as much on infrastructure as Labour, according to Colin Espiner writing in The Press. John Key has said his government would spend $8.5 billion over six years, adding that the Greens' opposition to building new roads means a Labour-Greens government could not make the same infrastructure investments.
  • The DominionPost front page is dominated by the headline: The Forgotten Patient. Anita McCall, 48, died in August 2006 after she was lost in the hospital system for over a year. Wellington coroner Garry Evans has found that the mother of three could have beaten her cancer had three letters of referral not been lost by the Hutt Vally health system.