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EarthquakeBuilding1

Asset sales and fiscal trevails

Infrastructure financing can be tough for fast-growing councils hitting up against their debt limits. When interest payments, as a fraction of expenditures, are up against the cap, new borrowing for infrastructure has to quickly provide a return that offsets the interest costs. Auckland’s inability to lay out infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing city largely come down to problems with financing and those interest limits. Council asset sales, and central government assistance, are both worth considering. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights newsletter
19 May, 2017
Skyscraper

Natural disaster horror stories and similar breakfast reading

The past fortnight has seen more local news stories about scary sea-level rise and earthquake building risks.It seems these days the public is being constantly urged by scientists, engineers and others to take costly action to reduce the potential for loss from natural disasters.Perhaps more accurately, scientists, engineers and others are lobbying government to force costly action on the public.One point of concern is many advocates are not disinterested spectators. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
The National Business Review
12 May, 2017
Forest

Boy, do I have a deal for WCC!

George W Bush’s most famous quote is the one he got so fantastically wrong. Repeating an old Tennessee saying, he meant to say “fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”. Instead it came out a garbled mess that made the then US President look a fool. It was the Tennessee version that recently sprung to mind when I read that Wellington City Council (WCC) had bought a block of land in the dormitory suburb of... Read more

Jason Krupp
Insights Newsletter
13 April, 2017
beehive

In search of the perfect planning system

One decent policy rule is never to make the perfect the enemy of the good, but to always keep the perfect in mind anyway. But sometimes there really is the chance to aim for the perfect. The Productivity Commission’s Better Urban Planning report is due for release in two weeks. The Commission’s blue-skies remit was a thorough restructuring of the urban planning system. There is reasonable consensus now on the current system’s problems. While the RMA provides a flawed framework... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
17 March, 2017
Houses2

Time to work on my karma

Reincarnation is a tricky concept, not least because it requires we accept the idea that those experiencing terrible ordeals must have committed even more horrid deeds to deserve their fate. Read more

Jason Krupp
Insights Newsletter
2 December, 2016
The Local Manifesto launch thumbnail

Local partner, ready and willing

Local government is ready to sit down and talk with central government about improving the sector’s performance, provided policymakers in the Beehive come to the table as a partner, not as a parent. Read more

Jason Krupp
Insights Newsletter
25 November, 2016

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