A review of things you need to know before you go home on Tuesday; more retail rate cuts, RBNZ starts a move to unwind the LVR caps, eyes on the next dairy auction, swaps fall & flatten, NZD holds, & more

A review of things you need to know before you go home on Tuesday; more retail rate cuts, RBNZ starts a move to unwind the LVR caps, eyes on the next dairy auction, swaps fall & flatten, NZD holds, & more
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Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.

MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
The Police Credit Union cut its one year fixed rate to 3.29%

TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
BNZ cut its 2,3,4 and 5 months TD rates. We changed our tables for Asset Finance rate cuts of a few days ago. Update: The Co-operative Bank has also made a -5 bps cut for its 9 and 12 month TD offers.

SHOULD LVR RESTRICTIONS GO?
The RBNZ looks to remove all loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions for at least a year in response to COVID-19 economic downturn. Not everyone thinks that is a good idea.

BANK LENDING TO BUSINESS RAMPS UP
Data released by the New Zealand Bankers' Association shows banks have lent $6.3 billion to businesses since March 26. This does not include new lending by banks under the Government's Business Finance Guarantee Scheme (BFGS), which has a $6.25 billion lending limit. Lending via the BFGS has just got going and will be added to daily NZBA data, probably from next week.

COMMODITY WATCH
There is another dairy auction tomorrow morning which will be closely watched. Demand out of China will be the real story here. In the iron ore markets, prices have held up as they have for cocking coal. But in a worrying indicator, both have seen demand volumes fall sharply even if prices haven't yet. However for food items, demand volumes may not be the same issue. The worldwide price of wheat is rising on climate issues. But the worldwide price of corm and soybean have been falling recently. The situation is so bad in the US that huge subsidies are being promised to farmers.

LOCAL UPDATE
There are now 1445 Covid-19 cases identified in New Zealand, with another +5 new cases today and less than yesterday's +9 increase. The number of clusters is still at 16 and there are 569 people in those clusters and 349 have recovered. 4 of the five new cases are in two of these clusters. Thirteen people have died here now, one more than yesterday, all geriatric patients. There are now 12 people in hospital with the disease today, with three in ICU. Our recovery rate is now up to 70% and rising.

GLOBAL UPDATE
Worldwide, the latest compilation of Covid-19 data is here. The global tally is now 2,475,800 and up +73,000 this time yesterday which is an unchanged rate from yesterday. Now, just under 32% of all cases globally are in the US, which is unchanged in a day, and they are up +28,000 since this time yesterday to 786,600. This is a slower rate of increase. Just over 9% of all US cases have recovered so far, which is no improvement. Infection rates in Russia are rising very quickly. Australia has now over 6500 cases and little-changed over the past week; their recovery rate to 63% and also unchanged in almost a week. Global deaths are now at 170,000, up +50% in a week, with very variable reporting across jurisdictions. Countries like the US, the UK and Australia only report hospital deaths. Countries like China include community deaths as well (as does New Zealand).

EQUITY UPDATE
The S&P500 fell -1.5% earlier today with very little reaction to the oil price collapse. That may yet come. The NZX50 Capital Index is down -1.7% in afternoon trade. The ASX200 is down -1.7% in mid-day trade. Shanghai has opened today down -1.4%, Hong Kong down -2.3%, and Tokyo has opened down -2.0%.

LABOUR MARKETS RAVAGED
Official Australian data
monitoring their labour market shows that now nearly 800,000 people have lost jobs there in three weeks. Young people are the first to go.

OIL PRICE UPDATE
The US crude oil price fell to -US$40.32 at one point today (yes, drillers would pay that for you to take delivery). It wasn't down there very long, but just long enough for them to turn their wells off. Now the US oil price is US$1.15/bbl, up from 50c earlier. Yesterday it was US$18/bbl. The Brent price has fallen hard too, now down to US$25.50/bbl but that isn't subject to the American storage problem. However, at the heart of this collapse is tanking demand.

CRASH LANDING
Virgin Australia has been placed into "Voluntary Administration", threatening 16,000 airline jobs. There is debate about how likely and how many will be lost and who will buy the airline, if anyone. The Administrators (Deloitte) are talking it up.

IT'S TOUGH BEING A CONSULTANT NOW
The economic crisis is crimping the demand for consulting services worldwide. Some sections of this 'industry' are facing up to -40% falls in demand. The mainline consulting firms, born out of accounting auditors, are seeing sharp drops in consulting "utilisation", down so far by as much as -30%. It seems likely that these two benchmarks will be tested in coming months. Architecture is another profession in serious jeopardy, along with dentistry. Locally, the big law and accounting firms are filling their boots on the public wage subsidy, and 'asking' their employees to take pay cuts.

DIRTY TACTICS
We should also note that Beijing is using the cover of the coronavirus emergency to arrest Hong Kong democracy activists, and pushing China's "basic law" over the top of the protections Hong Kong citizens currently enjoy. The plan seems to be to imprison them in a group more likely to contract the disease, and at a time group assembly to protest is unwise on a health basis.

SWAP RATES UPDATE
Yesterday, swap rates fell and flattened and the whole curve is now at record lows. We don't have wholesale swap rates movement details today yet. We will update this later in the day if they show a significant change. They probably fell again; everything else has. The 90-day bank bill rate is down another -3 bps at 0.35%. The Aussie Govt 10yr is unchanged at 0.84%. The China Govt 10yr is also unchanged at 2.58%. The NZ Govt 10 yr yield is down -2 bps at 0.90%. The UST 10yr is also down -4 bps today to just on 0.60%.

NZ DOLLAR HOLDS
The Kiwi dollar has hovered little-changed at 60 USc if marginally softer. Against the Aussie we are marginally firmer at 95.2 AUc. Against the euro we are unchanged to 54.4 euro cents. That means the TWI-5 is still at 66.3.

BITCOIN LOWER
The price of Bitcoin is down to US$6,884 and a -4% fall from this time yesterday. The bitcoin price is charted in the currency set below.

This soil moisture chart is animated here.

The easiest place to stay up with event risk today is by following our Economic Calendar here ».

Our exchange rate chart (including bitcoin) is here.

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79 Comments

29
up

Cant believe the removal of LVRs. The banks will be reluctant and conservative in any case I think.

20
up

I cant see any bank relaxing its credit policy at the moment either but LTV limits are more often used as a tool to prevent imprudent lending and all the nasty stuff that happens when banks get into trouble.

For me this RBNZ announcement is poorly advised. NZ doesn't have a deposit insurance scheme and yet the central bank is removing one of the core pillars of a stable financial system.

It's an astonishing example of a bad idea being not being killed before it hit the public domain.

It hasn't started to drop yet and they throw the kitchen sink at it.

They probably read Interest's comment section predicting a massive drop

Or they have grown a brain.

Or they have grown a brain.

I think the RBNZ thinks house prices are going to fall. There's no other reason why they'd do that. They do this to protect the banks, who are going to feel the pain the most, as banks are the real asset holders of a lot of housing in NZ. It may not stop how far it falls, but how fast. In this light we can view the move as a positive one, as a slow fall is better than a fast one right.

(Please note I am not taking the banks side in this. We all lose if the banks get in trouble. But they hold their share of blame for this mess.)

12
up

It's maths. They're looking at the numbers going - damn we need an expansion of credit in the housing sector by 6+% a year for prices to hold. We're out of clients bringing in overseas illicit funds to keep it going (Foreign Buyer Ban haha the plebs were sold that dummy), and we know damn well the slaves of Aotearoa can't afford a house. So, we'll drop this LVR to defend the maths. If that doesn't work we'll come out and say we'll buy distressed mortgages outright from the banks.
There are 2 rules: 1. Banks don't take a hit. 2. Taxpayers are there to pick up the cheque after the party.

They could always revoke the foreign buyer ban

15
up

NO!!! In fact tighten it up.

Do you think they could politically? I mean they know they got voted in on an immigration/housing broken promise. I don't think they'll be able to revoke it.

Yes they could easily, the feeling has changed fast around the place.
And if they start bleating about skills etc they need reminded they are busy telling us about all these kiwis coming home with their skill sets....

I encourage everyone to make a submission to the RB on this at: rbnz-info@rbnz.govt.nz, according to this page: https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2020/04/reserve-bank-proposes-to-remove-lv...

You may also want to reference this 2017 stress test: https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/-/media/ReserveBank/Files/Publications/Bulletin...

In this stress test they test whether the banks can stand unemployment of 13.2%, a drop in GDP of 5.5%, a 40% decline in Residential housing values along with a 35% decline in the Commercial Property values. The result of the stress test is stated as: "Overall, these outcomes suggest that, as a group, the large New Zealand banks could absorb material losses in a downturn event while remaining solvent."

These numbers used in the test are much worse than those being predicted. So we were either lied to about the solvency of our big banks, or we are being lied to about how bad the numbers are going to get. Either way, we should all be very angry and express our displeasure with as many articulate arguments as we can muster.

In addition, you may want to read this: https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/-/media/reservebank/files/publications/analytic...

In this you may note: "We find that the LVR restrictions have significantly improved the resilience of the banking system. The LVR policy has reduced the scale of mortgage defaults and credit losses that would occur in a housing downturn, due to a reduction in risky loans on bank balance sheets and the mitigation of a potential house price decline."

Removing the LVR restrictions will make the financial system less resilient, not more.

Here's my submission, if anyone wants to use it, feel free!

The suggestion put forward today to remove LVR limits to encourage lending set's a dangerous precedent that retail banks in NZ can lend to anyone, without thought of moral hazard while simultaneously increasing the risk of future bank failures and potentially further institutionalising housing inequality by favouring property owners over potential home owners.

The introduction of the LVR limits to try and dampen an already overvalued property market have been reasonably successful in their original goals. They have stopped the housing market from running away (although it is still in bubble territory by almost all objective measures), while ensuring banks are lending responsibly. The Reserve Bank itself has noted in it's stress tests that this policy has ensured banks are available to withstand a significant downturn.

Now that we are facing such a crisis, we must ask if these stress test results were imaginary or whether they were accurate? The RB stress test results available here, test whether our retail banks can survive a downturn where unemployment rises to 13.2%, GDP drops 5.5%, there is a 40% decline in Residential housing values along with a 35% decline in the Commercial Property values. The result of the stress test is stated as: "Overall, these outcomes suggest that, as a group, the large New Zealand banks could absorb material losses in a downturn event while remaining solvent.". Was this information correct? Because we are currently facing a downturn which is predicted to not be as bad as these numbers state, however the banking system suddenly requires the loosening of monetary policy by the RB. How is that possible?

I would refer you to another document produced just last year available here. This study examines if the LVRs have improved the resilience of the retail banks. In it they state unequivocally "We find that the LVR restrictions have significantly improved the resilience of the bankingsystem. The LVR policy has reduced the scale of mortgage defaults and credit losses thatwould occur in a housing downturn, due to a reduction in risky loans on bank balancesheets and the mitigation of a potential house price decline." The study shows the LVRs have been highly effective at improving financial system resiliency. This resilience is required in times of stress and uncertainty, times very much like we are in today.  To remove these LVR restrictions now is likely to undo all of the resilience built up by this policy in the previous 7 years, right at a time when the resilience of the financial system is most critical. Frankly, it beggars belief that such a change would even be thought of while we are at the start of a crisis and it sounds very much like the RB is abandoning it's mandate to ensure long term financial system resilience. Is this the case?

If the LVR limits are removed it is likely it will also institutionalise housing inequality as those that currently hold capital and property will be able to obtain lending against it with no restrictions.  The LVR policy has been set up well, with investors, requiring significantly more equity than potential home owners looking to enter the market. This progressive policy approach has ensured the competition for housing is more even, those with less property or equity currently do not have to compete on the same playing field as investors who already own potentially multiple properties and who have benefited from the significant growth in house prices over the previous two decades.  By abandoning the LVR policy the RB will be forcing those without capital to compete against investors who hold more property and capital.  The results will be obvious, a further deterioration in housing equality, exacerbating inter-generational anger and potentially leading to social and political instability. None of these are good for a country's financial system, so it seems the RB is again abandoning it's mandate to ensure long term financial system stability. In addition this policy seems contrary to the Finance Ministers goal to use this crisis as an oppourtunity to address long standing inequality issues, which are most obvious in housing.  This submission will also be forwarded to his office.

In summary, the removal of the LVR policy will be disastrous from multiple angles in New Zealand. It appears to be an ill thought out, ill informed, rushed change. There appears to be no modelling work or research papers to back up the change, it appears to simply be a policy to cater to banks who do not need the support (as evidenced by stress testing) and will lead to a less resilient financial system. It will also negatively affect housing equality, further heightening tensions in NZ society between land owners and renters, which could lead to social and political revolt.

It appears more that the RB is no longer acting in the best interests of the NZ public with such policy changes, but is working for the shareholders of banks and over leveraged property owners.  Such bias should not be tolerated by a government intent on resolving long term inequality and will not be tolerated by a public who is becoming increasingly disadvantaged as financial mistakes become socialised in the bad times, while profits are privatised in the good times. 

Add the big engineering or 'multidisciplinary' consultancies to the mix. Beca, AECOM, Aurecon, GHD, WSP Opus, Stantec, Jacobs. They are big employers.
They will be praying for big infrastructure projects. The problem is, the government wants to implement shovel ready (hate that phrase) projects. The big business for these firms is in the design that leads up to being 'shovel ready'. It's also ultra competitive.

I can only speak for one of those firms, who admittedly did apply for the wage subsidy, but only for less than 10% of staff, and seemingly on a technicality (some staff have a 30% fluctuation in utilisation month to month anyway, others are primarily site based, so more legitimate cause there). But our biggest concern is not how we will stay afloat, it is where are we going to poach the resources from to do all this work after lock down. Most of us are still flat out in lock down. And we are generally all of a muchness across the industry in that if one is busy we are all busy, unless we are doing something wrong. So appreciate the sentiment but my guess is this is one area where people are going to weather the storm just fine.

Hong Kong
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handover_of_Hong_Kong

In accordance with the "One country, two systems" principle agreed between the United Kingdom and the People's Republic of China, the socialist system of the People's Republic of China would not be practised in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), and Hong Kong's previous capitalist system and its way of life would remain unchanged for a period of 50 years. This would have left Hong Kong unchanged until 2047.

And
Melissa Chen & ccp chat.
https://youtu.be/lLvW3_OgGUs
Triggernometry
From Nov 2019, about the time corona was 1st bubbling.

" This would have left Hong Kong unchanged until 2047."
The item missing was "And if you don't stick to your end of the bargain then.........."
There is no deterrent; punishment if you like for China if it decides to rip up the Agreement.
So it can, and will, do as it pleases.

Exactly - the UK leased Hong Kong from mainland China - Britain to this day acts and behaves if it still remains an empire, when clearly it is not.

Hong Kong was ceded to Britain in perpetuity by Qing China. The New Territories was leased for 99 years in 1898.

Anyone know how to go about withdrawing all your cash from a bank? I assume you can just phone them ahead of time so they can have the cash on hand. All I can find online is ATM limits which would take months to get everything out.

Not 100% but think you can only get 10,000 a day now.

I assume you mean all your money is already in cash, and not term deposits? TDs, as far as I know, require a month's notice to withdraw the money.

What for?
A million dollars in $100 notes isn't very big when you see it, and then what do you do with it?
You can stick it in the safe at home or work; look at it from time to time; spend small amounts of it ( anti-laundering surveillance will hamper any large purchases); but you'll get sick of a stuffed wallet being in your jacket pocket - worried about losing it - when a piece of plastic will do the trick at the shop.
Having cash is a pointless exercise, given that if it looks like there'll be a run on banks/ cash, Treasury can 'outlaw' notes at short notice; revoke their legal tender and replace them with another set. (NB: Notice how supermarket aren't taking cash at the moment? That could be applied - everywhere; at any point in time)
If you want to go to a poker game; fine! But otherwise - what's the point?

I haven't made up my mind yet, but my thinking is that there is no longer a good reason to have my savings in a bank. It's not earning any interest. The way things are going, it could get much harder to get access to cash in the future so better to be prepared now. I can always deposit it again later but could be safer for now buried in a safe somewhere.

Invest it wisely is the idea
Welcome to the real world grasshopper

Send some to an Australian account if you can?

I dont honestly think you need to worry about a bank run. They have plenty of capital and an implicit government gtee. The NZ govt had a pre crisis Debt to GDP below 30% which is exceptionally low.

There is a lot of dry powder left, your mattress however could burn or be stolen.

2 weeks before the lockdown you could walk in and walk out with 100's of 1000's and we were told many did, there were no restrictions. 1 week before the lockdown different banks applied different restrictions, including filling in applications for large withdrawals (that took several days) and others applied withdrawal limits. The bank tellers were all also trying to dissuade customers from these withdrawals verbally, to no avail of course. Cash machines have also been taking heavy hits and I know of some people having to walk around hitting up several machines to try and maximise withdrawals over a day.

There has been next to no reporting on it. But people are taking their cash out of the banks.

Make of that what you will.

There has been next to no reporting on it. But people are taking their cash out of the banks.

Yes there has - RBNZ - liabilities - currency in circulation
Didn't Adrian Orr confirm the RBNZ would endorse such a policy to accommodate those without bank facilities?

Currently we are talking NZD100 per person for Christmas expenses or NZD200 per person of withdrawal in March. Now is the time to hold some of your cash assets in hard currency, but don't get carried away, if too many people try and protect their wealth this way, putting it back into the system may be harder than pulling it out.

This economy is a car being driven hard without oil and water, a bit of smoke and noise here and there but it's still running for now.

No problem, it's an electric car

Even electric cars need lubrication and cooling, otherwise they go bang in an even bigger way than ICE cars.

its a bubble car

channeling PDK ?

DP

the aussie RBA is on the news and he is picking unemployment in aussie of 10% by june

they have purchased 47 billion of aussie bonds

Wasn't it only 5 new cases today? Seems to be working so far.

Long term is going to be a bit more difficult to maintain, but throwing the foreign tourism sector under the bus for a year or so to save the rest of the economy is fine by me, and the rest of us will have to make out the best we can with the inconveniences that comes with the border controls.

Yes, AJ. "there is only one overall strategy that can be followed. Control the spread to avoid overwhelming the NHS. This has never been made explicit, but the Government has, albeit indirectly, told us that this is exactly what they are doing."
Exactly.
Just what many doctors think here too.
Note , today that JA has stated "Elimination" is not "Eradication".
We have been duped from the beginning.

Elimade. That's how it's pronounced, get it right!

"there is only one overall strategy that can be followed. Control the spread to avoid overwhelming the NHS." - in the UK , yes.
Less obvious it is the only strategy here...

Worrying!.

Chilling. She would have thought raising the unskilled workers tax was helping. The great unproductive are about to get a rude shock.

interesting background, trained bean counter and tax expert, so now i understand where she is coming from.
most bean counters are conservative and most small business owners take risks, polar opposites.
her comment about going into business under capitalized is a typical accoundant statement, if you didnt put it on the line most small businesses in NZ would not get up and running and quite often early on cashflow is the only thing keeping them in business until they can build it up the business and that can take a long time on low margins
the comment about low wage model is true but that is because of the way the governments of the day allowed that model to become the normal in NZ so if you want to compete you need to keep your costs down otherwise you wont be in business very long
as an aside to that there is now a massive problem in Queenstown with people on workers permits with no income and no help or support
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/414785/covid-19-lockdown-migrant-wor...

It's about now that some of the worlds most overpaid politicians are realising the real cost of their health risk actions. Most politicians wouldn't have a clue how the money systems operate anyway so weren't expected to understand the consequences of their noble actions to save the planet from the dreaded virus. However, the first rays of a new dawn have suggested themselves & the smart young advisors behind every fine politician have been advised by their very reliable friends in the banking sector that the money has stopped flowing. So? says the politician, We'll just make more of it. No, no replies the young advisor, Not that sort of money, the real money!

Listening to friends in the Mid-west who think the oil problems are going to happen to soft commodities too. They are really starting to worry about making a dollar for the next few years.

Yes. Corn. Soy. Sugar. They are all about to fall off a cliff.

not to worry, they can go into beef and dairy.

I thought the beef situation in the US was dire currently?

maybe, but you need to do something , perhaps it's better than Soy, farmers have to grow something.

Labour and an election.. they will let it rain cash.

I have little faith Labour can get economy going again.
They failed even to get kiwibuild going which should have been straight forward but some how they screwed it up.
On the news the other night I saw Rob Fyfe saying he helped them order PPE ??? WTF that should be something the ministry of health should be doing back JAN/FEB even I bought some masks last week of JAN when virus was still just starting.
Lets see what they do next to help with jobs being created.

19
up

I'd have even less faith in having Bridges at the helm. The man's only clear policy is to sell out to China.

But I take your points well. Labour need a few experienced business folks in cabinet now more than ever.

The same as ACT. That combination should scare people.

11
up

The lack of real political choice at the next election should scare people

Very low voting rate...

the lack has been around for at least twenty years, one year i voted for the bill and ben party the choice was that bad

ICYMI: An urgent plea from the NZ Dental Association: "There have been no government initiatives to address the significant crises facing dental practices and the NZDA has been unable to get positive outcomes from the current Minister. It is imperative that those responsible for health management in this country reassess their interactions, which seem to lack empathy and border on dismissive, with the oral health professions". https://www.nzda.org.nz/assets/files/Email_Campaigns/Opinion_Piece_by_Er...

24
up

While oral health is very important, dentists have long thumbed their nose at being publically funded, and milked this cow for a long long time. Dental care is horrendously expensive in NZ. And now they want Government help....!!!!?

10
up

Contrary to popular belief dental practices are often highly geared with thin profit margins and have little scope to develop significant capital reserves.

They've chosen to become highly geared, they should go bust like everyone else and let new businesses start up that have a more sensible business model. No sympathy.

Perhaps after the reset they'll be able to beat their suppliers down in price so a trip up to SE asia for dental work is no longer a sane option if its anything more serious thana couple of fillings.

"architecture is another profession in trouble, along with dentistry"

Mr T, murray 86, scarfie and Pragmatist: As far as dentists are concerned I've seen it all from the time at primary school when"Toastie" Cook and his stupid friend with the constant guilty smirk on his face pulled the seat away just when I was about to sit down and I broke off half my front tooth when it hit the top of the seat. That and my sweet-tooth and teeth that were small and close together meant that the remainder of my life would involve many trips to many dentists over the next 50 odd years, and I'm still going. I have only 19 teeth remaining and one implant. My broken tooth was replaced with a gold filling by our neighbour dentist. His fingers were too big for my small mouth but after many attempts he managed to attach it with a couple of pins set into the gold filling. During a highschool rugby match against Papakura Highschool I suddenly found my gold tooth had gone missing so I told the referee and he stopped the game and told all the players to get down on their hands and knees and look for it and someone did find it. This was the beginning of my lifelong odyssey to dental clinics. So, I am in a good position to tell you how they have changed over the years.
Up until the 1980s or so a visit entailed getting the plaque scraped of by the actual dentist as he poked and scraped and prodded your teeth for 5 or so minutes. Today, there is a separate 'professional', a hygienist, who takes somewhat longer than what the dentist used to do in 5 to 10 minutes himself, but you are expected to pay $165 to $230 dollars a 'clean', not once but up to 3 times a year!! Even if you've only got far less than the full complement of teeth.
The last broken filling or broken chip of tooth I had repaired cost me $330 plus the 'required x-ray' of $115. I got him to look at another tooth that I thought might need capping and he quoted me 'about' $1600 dollars which was cheaper than another dentist quoted: $2500.
I had just switched dentists from that other dentist because his female business partner had just charged me $560 for a broken filling repair.
Of course, if you change dentists the first thing the new dentist will ask you is 'how did you find out about us'....it's very important for them to know this apparently. This is because they ALL charge these high prices and the only way to increase their revenue is to obtain new customers whose teeth obviously need a lot of work like mine.
And another recent habit I have noticed in recent times is that when they have finished the work on your teeth the dentist ensures that I am all but frog-marched by himself or an assistant straight to the cash register and in one case told to sit down on a chair in front of it, and 2 or 3 of them hang around eyeing me expectantly until I produce my wallet.
So,anyway, I was very surprised when this last dentist texted me DURING THIS LEVEL 4 LOCKDOWN to say that I should come in and get that capping done!!
One dentist a few decades ago broke off the tip of one of his tools in my tooth and left it embedded in my tooth and covered it with a filling without telling me. A subsequent dentist from the old school discovered this and told me. This dentist went ahead and built a bridge to replace my front tooth with the gold filling which was an excellent job and worth the high price but he surprised me by saying he was very worried that once he had done the bridge I wouldn't return. This spoilt my opinion of him and I didn't return.
One dentist near me has expanded by literally having a corridor with many separate clinics on either side to accommodate the huge demand for under-18-year-olds' free dental treatment the government brought in some time ago. I gave that clinic a go to have another opinion on the state of my teeth (which I paid $165 for); I paid up and they gave me a bag with a tube of toothpaste and a few tiny plastic things for flossing my teeth which I thought were freebies. When I got to my car I read the bill and discovered that they had charged me $30 for the toothpaste without even asking me if I wanted it; I went straight back and gave them a piece of my mind and told them I didn't want the toothpaste and got my $30 refund. I have no doubt that all those kids under 18 years also have the $30 tube of toothpaste foisted upon them but of course in their case it would be paid for by the tax payer.
As a good turn I took a Maori chap under the mental health to two different dentists to obtain a Winz quote for extracting a painful molar. As both quotes were well over $1000 dollars I was shocked; both dentists had taken it upon themselves to include a few other things in the quote that we hadn't asked for, but, and this is what really shocked me, one dentist's 'a few other things' were for completely different teeth and procedures from the other dentist's 'a few other things' In the end I found out that the chap was eligible for the dental clinic at Middlemore Hospital where I took him and I gladly paid $40 to have the tooth pulled. They also had a quick look at his other teeth an said that they looked to be ok! So, I can't help but think that this is a scam employed by some dentists on poor beneficiaries who ultimately have to pay the amount back by weekly deductions from their meagre benefits. I have noticed in the past in front of another dental clinic near where I live ( there must be over a dozen within a square mile) there were always two shiny Porsche cars ostentatiously parked outside.....can't be doing that badly!
I remember that tucked away on an inside page of the NZHerald some years ago a journalist who had had his teeth examined by an honest dentist whom he knew went around a few city dentists and got itemised quotes for work they deemed needed to be done: what had to be done and costs varied extensively between the dentists thus 'surveyed', and quite a few quoted for work that did not need doing.
In summary, I do think there are dentists out there, more than there used to be, that are noticeably ethically-challenged shall we say.
(I have other 'experiences' that I haven't mentioned.)
So, I'm looking forward to the new world order when such entitlement isn't the norm, and dentists concentrate on doing a good professional job for a fair and reasonable reward instead of so conspicuously, unashamedly and unprofessionally chasing the dollar.

lol as the kids say. enjoyed that monologue

Africa getting raped by Asia. I've a few associates working in this space. https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/second-12-tonne-haul-of-pangolin-...

When weren't poor areas of significant wealth not pillaged by empires? Global banks have refused to capitalise African wealth for many decades because the US said so.

Maybe that's connected with the 'cocking coal'....

Dr Norman Swan
Comparing covid19 measures Aust v NZ.
Plus Prof Baker too.
Highlights the importance of contact tracing is to NZ.

https://youtu.be/C8MU624bk00

Here is a discussion of Sweden's response.

https://youtu.be/bfN2JWifLCY
UnHerd.
Prof. Johan Giesecke.

I am underwhelmed by the business leadership in this crises. Good on Rob Fife for rolling his sleeves up. Now is the time for business to step up as it has been for our politicians. Instead the messages are carping, plaintive and incoherent. Part of the problem not the solution. Where is the leadership from the top levels?

What area do you feel needs focus.
Is it business supporting the covid response team, or leadership in some other area?

It is a sense that what is government doing or not doing for business, rather than where are the voices from business about what it perceives it can do.
I think the covid health response has to a qualified success from the Health Ministry.

Trace & track AAP data issue.

This is from William Hague.

Data: Most suddenly of all, the immense questions about who owns data about each of us, and what use the state can make of it, are coming in weeks instead of over many years.

Once we are all carrying around an app on our phones to show where we have been and who we have met, pressure will grow to use that information for other purposes.

Do we use it to stop a terrorist attack? To solve a murder? To detect a spy?
If the answers are yes, what is the new boundary between the state and the individual?

https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/coronavirus-is-accelerating-eight-di...

Singapore going for tight for 2 and then 4 more weeks of circuit breaker.

Community transmission an issue.

PM Lee says they are making more tracing and taking Apps.

they had under control but it got back in through the immigrant worker dorms.
its a valuable lesson for us to make sure our borders are tight and the people we are bring back in now from overseas, philippines today, India flight tomorrow are put into controlled quarantine for 14 days and tested before they are let out,
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/04/21/singapore-went-leading-globa...