In the new Listener, on sale from 30.09.12

by Toby Manhire / 28 September, 2012
What the soaring NZ dollar is doing to business, Alan Bollard's parting words, and a meeting with Maanu Paul.
The runaway dollar leads the new Listener.

As the NZ dollar continues to grow in value, and control – or lack of control – of the exchange rate becomes an increasingly hot political potato, Rebecca Macfie meets some of the people who have felt its impact hardest.

Here’s a chunk of her feature:

The battles faced by innovative exporters like Wyma and A-Ward seldom make the news. Their stories don’t carry the high drama and human tragedy of mass layoffs, such as those seen recently at Norske Skog’s Kawerau paper mill, Solid Energy’s West Coast and Huntly coal mines, and Rio Tinto’s Tiwai Point aluminium smelter – all of which blame the soaring New Zealand dollar and falling commodity prices for their woes.


But with the currency persistently overvalued and talk that it could go much higher still – Economic Development and Associate Finance Minister Steven Joyce has speculated it could reach parity with the weak US dollar – manufacturers’ pleas for a rethink of exchange rate and monetary policy are gaining traction.


Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens are advocating reform of the Reserve Bank Act to broaden its focus away from purely inflation targeting, and requiring it to consider other factors affecting the economy, including the exchange rate and jobs. They are joined by the voluble boss of the Manufacturers & Exporters Association, John Walley, who has long railed that current policy settings overvalue the dollar, drive investment into real estate instead of productive industry, encourage consumption in imported gadgets and overseas holidays, and harm exporters.


Walley claims that every 1% increase in the value of the New Zealand dollar wipes $200 million off exporters’ annual earnings, and that the soaring dollar has cost the export sector $10.4 billion over the past three-and-a-half years.


In a related interview, Ruth Laugesen talks to the outgoing Reserve Bank Governor, Alan Bollard. We don’t know how lucky we are, he says.

Facing two minutes of questions is Charlotte Grimshaw.

Guyon Espiner meets Maori Council co-chairman Maanu Paul, man who has gone for the jugular with his claims that Maori own not only the fresh water but all the country’s natural resources.

Karl du Fresne profiles Peter Hubscher. When Hubscher left Montana Wines, he and his wife set up a school music programme that is helping to change the world, one child at a time.

Leading the country’s best and biggest arts section, Guy Somerset writes about a new book about tourism advertising that locates a missing piece in the New Zealand art history jigsaw

New books From Christopher Hitchens, Tom Lubbock, Sydney Smith, Peter Robinson, Zane Lovitt and Kathy Reichs. In classical, The Bartered Bride by NZ Opera. In dance, a farewell to dynamo Deirdre Tarrant, who is retiring from Footnote Dance Company.

Plus the usual line-up of columnists, television and radio picks, crosswords, quizzes, and the mighty Noticeboard. Don’t forget the Noticeboard.
MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

Donna Chisholm: Defending David Dougherty
Teeks: The soul singer whose voice will give you goosebumps
71775 2017-04-29 00:00:00Z Music

Teeks: The soul singer whose voice will give you g…

by Lydia Jenkin

Growing up immersed in waiata (and the sounds of Bob Marley and Elvis Presley), soul singer Teeks has a voice that gives people shivers.

Read more
Book review: Human Acts by Han Kang
Port in a storm: How long will it take to rebuild Wellington's quake-hit docks?
71836 2017-04-29 00:00:00Z Business

Port in a storm: How long will it take to rebuild …

by Tina Morrison

Wellington’s CentrePort’s “marathon” quake rebuild is led by a chief executive who has lived through the experience before.

Read more
Hardcore exercise could be harming your sex drive
71590 2017-04-29 00:00:00Z Health

Hardcore exercise could be harming your sex drive

by Nicky Pellegrino

According to new research, pushing your exercising to the limits can have dire consequences for health, libido and fertility.

Read more
The power of an electric cargo bike in Auckland
71804 2017-04-29 00:00:00Z Urbanism

The power of an electric cargo bike in Auckland

by Paperboy

"It’s a way back to the freedom of youth, when kicking around on a bike with friends was one of life’s great joys."

Read more
Politicians aren’t talking to us this election year, but to Winston Peters
71902 2017-04-28 14:08:09Z Politics

Politicians aren’t talking to us this election yea…

by Jane Clifton

We don't want any David Cunliffe cod-bogan attempts to get down with the peeps, but MPs seem to be going way too far in the other direction this year.

Read more
9th Floor: Jenny Shipley on how 'middle class welfare' is morally bankrupt
71856 2017-04-28 09:53:00Z Politics

9th Floor: Jenny Shipley on how 'middle class welf…

by Guyon Espiner

Dame Jenny Shipley on being the first woman Prime Minister, plus coups and coalitions, welfare reform and Winston Peters.

Read more