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    Letter No.33
    10 February, 1996

    29 January 1996

    Amidst the Australian election campaign which is unsettling investors over the Tasman, the NZ dollar is rising steadily. The Kiwi dollar is presently A90.4c, and it is predicted to rise to A92c before the election on March 1st.

    Property investor Sir Robert Jones believes that the Reserve Bank Act will be "... dead in two years", and is publishing an (as-yet-unamed) critique of its policies: "You can't believe in price stability policies and simultaneously believe in the market economy..."

    30 January 1996

    British media reports the story of an unemployed Londoner who walked more than 250km for a job interview, after his local employment office refused to pay his $NZ25 bus fare.

    NZ manufacturers and exporters are worried about the rise in the NZ dollar, as Australia is NZ's biggest single export market, taking about a fifth of all exports. The Manufacturers Federation says its exporters will have to cut costs and possibly jobs if the value of the dollar continues to rise.

    31 January 1996

    Bill Birch confirms details of his tax cuts which " will give a family with three children up to $89 more a week." In a speech to the Waikato Enterprise Agency, Birch says that "over time, the programme is designed to encourage employment, training, private savings and investment and to strengthen families."

    1 February 1996

    New Zealand's credit rating is upgraded to AA+ by the Standard & Poors credit agency. This is also the first time NZ has outranked Australia on the credit rating scale.

    The Harrah's Sky City Casino has its gala opening night in Auckland.

    Labour's social welfare spokeswoman Annette King says that Social Welfare policy staff are having to work out the economic costs of an abused child so that a case can be made to Government for more money for the Children and Young Persons Service.

    2 February 1996

    The Alliance launches its election campaign with Jim Anderton saying they were more interested in a AA rating for the quality of life in NZ, than for the NZ economy.

    3 February 1996

    Mountain Clubs president Hugh Barr says that important facilities in our national parks and other DOC lands are being allowed to run down, closed or not replaced because of lack of staff and funds.

    4 February 1996

    The Prison Service has launched a major review of prisoner employment, as part of its plans to `normalise' the prisoner day as much as possible.

    6 February 1996

    Waitangi Day

    7 February 1996

    The Ministry of Youth Affairs approves more than 70 conservation and community service corps projects for the first half of 1996. The contracts will involve nearly 800 young people in projects ranging from pohutukawa regeneration, establishing harakeke (flax) beds and wildlife monitoring, to historic restoration work and maintaining tracks and walkways.

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