Grant Robertson says he has brought forward a scheduled meeting with Adrian Orr ahead of the RBNZ releasing its Monetary Policy Statement

Grant Robertson says he has brought forward a scheduled meeting with Adrian Orr ahead of the RBNZ releasing its Monetary Policy Statement
Grant Robertson

Finance Minister Grant Robertson says he has brought forward a scheduled meeting with Reserve Bank (RBNZ) Governor Adrian Orr, ahead of the Bank's Monetary Policy Statement being released on November 11. 

Robertson will meet with Orr on Monday November 9, after he’s officially sworn in as Finance Minister on Friday.

Robertson’s office told interest.co.nz the meeting was always going to take place early next week.

The conversation started when interest.co.nz asked Robertson whether he wanted the RBNZ to reinstate loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions.

Robertson responded: “I’ll have more to say about monetary policy and other matters shortly. I intend to meet with the Reserve Bank Governor within the next few days.”

Asked by another journalist, in the same line of questioning, whether the meeting was scheduled, he said it had been brought forward.

Asked why, Robertson said: “I think it’s important to get that conversation happening quickly. Again, it’s about building on the relationship that we had during Covid-19.

“We respect the independence of the Reserve Bank, but clearly monetary and fiscal policy through Covid-19 continue to have to work together.”

Robertson met with Orr and the Secretary to the Treasury Caralee McLiesh two days before the RBNZ released its last Monetary Policy Statement on August 12. His also had a quick phone call with Orr a couple of hours before the statement was made public.

Robertson has to indemnify the RBNZ for its $100 billion quantitative easing or Large-Scale Asset Purchase Programme.

Robertson wouldn’t be drawn on what he wanted to talk to Orr about.

The Monetary Policy Committee is expected to outline what the Bank’s new Funding for Lending Programme, aimed at lowering interest rates, will look like.

RBNZ observers will also be watching for an indication of whether the RBNZ will cut the Official Cash Rate (OCR) into negative territory as early as February, and they’ll be interested in any commentary around the size and pace of the quantitative easing programme.

The RBNZ will likely comment on LVRs in the press conference following the release of the statement. But this matter will be addressed in the next Financial Stability Report, out on November 25.

Asked whether he believed sky-rocketing house prices were becoming untenable, Robertson said: “I’m always concerned about financial stability in New Zealand, and that’s the role of the Bank.

“They have independence in monetary policy. But I’m keen to be talking to the Governor and make sure that in, what is a rapidly evolving environment, that we continue to have the close the communication we’ve had through Covid-19. It’s important to note that Covid-19 from an economic perspective is far from over…

“While the New Zealand economy is doing well in the short-term, in the medium to long-term, those global challenges are going to have an impact on New Zealand.

“We have a very important job to do, to lead New Zealand through its recovery and rebuild in a balanced way. Part of that is a relationship with the Reserve Bank.”

Jenée Tibshraeny's opinion

One could draw all sorts of conclusions from Robertson saying he’s bringing forward a scheduled meeting with Orr ahead of the market-sensitive, quarterly Monetary Policy Statement being published.

The most likely reason he decided to mention this was politics.

He probably wanted to be seen to be taking a keen interest in the RBNZ’s work, particularly as unemployment is set to rise and the RBNZ’s monetary policy and removal of LVR restrictions are causing house prices to shoot up and worsen inequality.

But Robertson’s comment about having “more to say about monetary policy and other matters shortly” was a bit curious.

It could lead one to draw a more dramatic, but unlikely, conclusion that Robertson is trying to influence the way the RBNZ does monetary policy or treats its financial stability mandate.

The Government is responsible for writing the law that gives the RBNZ its powers. It isn’t supposed to interfere with its decision-making.

It would be an enormous scandal if Robertson tried to sway the RBNZ - particularly days before the release of its Monetary Policy Statement.

It’s safest we note this interesting exchange, but put it down to Robertson uncharacteristically mincing his words in an attempt to tell the public he’s engaged and proactive. 

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60 Comments

31
up

Yes a 'talk' is needed. We need low interest rates for business, but home loans at 2.5% will cause a median house price in Auckland of 1 million before too long, a disaster for the next generation.

Isn't it already there? IMO the problem isn't house prices in Auckland so much, as land is more valuable. It is the knockon effects in other parts of NZ. It seems now that a new average standard house with a reasonably small bit of land (500sqm or less) is a million dollars in satellite cities in Wellington. NZ has plenty of land, it is just drip fed into the market.

Well, it's a start. Let's hope they can put a lid on it.

Interest rates have been dropping in NZ for a long time now, from what I can see, people are buying houses more or less entirely on the weekly payments, sod the principal. A house at 800k 18 months ago when rates were 4.5% would be about 750/week. Now at 2.5% you can spend 1000000 and your still better off per week at about 730. Then the LVR has been reduced and the penalty interest is very low now so you can borrow the 1 million with your deposit for 800k and still pay the same per week.... For now....

Agree. We've forgotten that markets are international and we're a financial pimple on an elephants bum. Makes the NZ public very vulnerable.

Jenée, you need to ask Robertson what happened to "Grant Robertson says we 'must not allow inequality to take hold in our recovery' as he outlines his vision for a 'reset' economy;"?
https://www.interest.co.nz/news/104552/grant-robertson-says-we-must-also...
This is exactly what the Government has done. Being allow inequality to take hold

10
up

Well at least they have a committee now, rather than Orr making all the decisions himself.

Yeah did you not see the face of committee member who was batting for rising house price.

Question : Is it to benefit Kiwi or speculators, many of whom are from........

what do you mean "see the face" and "many of whom are from"?

He was just avoiding the C word, but we were all thinking it.

I'd have more confidence in Adrian Orr than any politician - Finance Minister or not.

TTP

Almost $200 million in taxpayers' money invested through the New Zealand Superannuation Fund has been lost after the collapse of a Portuguese bank where the money was invested - supposedly as a "risk-free" loan.

https://tinyurl.com/yyd8gydk

If it were a Labour led Government imagine the uproar.

They could have a meeting about their meeting.

bw you almost called it!

See! I am an optimist after all.
But by the look of it, I am going to be wrong about one thing though. My expectation, from a few years back, of a terminal 1.99% for 2 years Fixed and 3.99% for 7 years fixed from a major player.
If The Meeting makes any sense, the bottom is in.

11
up

Mr ErrrrrOrr cannot be controllled now. He has got an excuse to experiment and has already made it clear that for him rising housing price is good and that is what he wants.

Also ego will prevent him from taking corrective step.

Won't any politically influenced kneejerk reaction potentially pis off people who made decisions to pile into the housing market? Not an easy game dictacting housing price manipulation.

15
up

People who have done a FOMO have only themselves to blame, as it is their risk. A lot came down to greed, as many see it as an easy way to get a tax free capital gain, where some can earn more than they can working.
It is similar to shares, people pile on in when they see a way to make easy money and they see everyone else doing it, fueled by the media (eg 1987). But what goes up can come down too.

They have the govt and Reserve Bank to blame as well. People are desperate because they fear it's now or never as Adrian Orr will single handedly remove their prospects of home ownership.

Orr' massive transfer of wealth from NZ's poorer, working folk to wealthy asset owners is driving the madness and FOMO. He's pushing people into desperate measures driven by fear.

Quite right.
But Adrian and his Team will have done a Risk Analysis before they charged in with their various recent measures (I hope!). The first thing I'd hope Grant says at the meeting is, "It looks like things didn't go quite according to plan, so can I see your Alternative Outcomes Analysis, and particularly the one that tells us what to do from here?"
The horror to that thought is, that 'things' went/are going exactly according to plan....

IMO everything went as planned

It looks like things didn't go quite according to plan, so can I see your Alternative Outcomes Analysis, and particularly the one that tells ....

Ego will prevent them to act for if they act now, they feel that it will be acceptance that they failed, which they have as even in Australia LVR has been removed only for FHB but not investor/speculator, so surely they have failed.

Great comment and very true

Whoopdee do

Looks like all GR will get is a lesson.

What evidence is there that GR knows how it works?
1. If he did, we wouldn't be in this situation.
2. If he did, he would have demonstrated it - written articles given speaches all demonstrating his understanding and wishes for RBNZ activity.
3. If he did, the operating framework for the RBNZ would exist.

As for the PM, she is against the neo-liberal crisis and the struggle against poverty.....
How's that going for her?...
https://youtu.be/g9rsxFaq6Ig

Neoliberalism is contemporarily used to refer to market-oriented reform policies such as "eliminating price controls, deregulating capital markets, lowering trade barriers" and reducing state influence in the economy, especially through privatization and austerity.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism#:~:text=Neoliberalism%20is....

Note: the pajamas party FaceTime chats hardly demonstrate mastery of the topic, and probably won't age well.
Although, great for gaining client constituents, unaware of themselves being home owning neo liberals.

19
up

It would be a fantastic outcome if Orr came out of this meeting with his belongings in a cardboard box. Arrogance and incompetence should be punished.

Dreams are one of the few things that are still free...

I agree 100%. Unfortunately this is not going to happen.
Orr & Co. have interpreted the independence of the RBNZ as a free license to wreck the NZ financial system under the idiotic assumption that ultra-loose monetary policy experiments, already and clearly failed in Japan and in Europe, will magically work in NZ.
If we want a stagnant, unbalanced, low-productivity, fragile and zombified economy with banks virtually nationalized and over reliant on the RBNZ for their funding, Orr is achieving this perfectly well.

There is a much bigger problem than house prices right now. Unemployment is going up. Without jobs there will be no house prices to worry about. Leave the Governor alone and let him do his job. every country in the world will be in negative zone soon. Covid has really ffd things up. Europe will have to go through major lockdowns soon and most economies will need life support from central banks and govts.

26
up

Rather be unemployed for a year than have ten years added to mortgage duration.

Well said

Brock, You sound like getting on the govt benefit gravy train is your preference over working hard and being successful. You could always just rent if you can't afford a house.

I think the bigger problem is central government has sold their soul to get into power and there are no holding taxes or a proper CGT on investors. They have left the housing problem with the reserve bank which is not really their mandate to look after.

12
up

Err...at the moment property is the govt gravy train. It's the biggest welfare scheme we have.

12
up

Correct. The amount of welfare and public money that the landlords are getting, directly or indirectly through the various subsidies, preferential tax treatment and ultra-loose monetary policy, is eye-watering.
Success is not about speculating on residential housing: success is working in the real economy, growing a real business, being involved in a real productive activity and creating real wealth. No wealth is created by purchasing a house and renting it out.

I have way too much money saved to get a benefit.

I have already worked hard and been successful. It didn't do me any favours because I didn't buy property.

The government are reprehensible in their own way. But the geniuses at the reserve bank chose to remove LVRs. This is their mess.

Brock, I hope you do have a nice family home at least. If not, I am afraid you have missed the boat. Money will keep getting printed and the govts so not willing to tax property investors, the prices will keep rising.

I will really like to see land taxes, CGT and other property taxes on investors so that the market is cooled somewhat. But no major political party is willing to touch this as it's not a election winner. Now the housing market worries have the potential to affect economic recovery plans of the central bank.

Nothing will change until the govt starts taxing property investors fairly.

Btw, interesting amount of likes you received on your comment of being unemployed for 1 year. Shows the mind set of people commenting here. Can't imagine being unemployed and using house prices as an excuse to quit my job.

You've misinterpreted what Brock said. Or just not understood it.

Nope I don't have a family home. I was unfortunately locked out of the mortgage market when it was exposed that the Chinese were committing mortgage fraud on a massive scale. The banks decided to be non-discriminatory / woke by rejecting overseas income from all other countries.

My comment was meant to be interpreted that I would rather not have the reserve bank "save us" from a period of unemployment if the price of their favours is going to be an extra ten years worth of payments on our future mortgages due to grossly inflated prices.

The only person who said anything about benefits is you, Chessmaster.
In any case, it seems concern about being on the 'government gravy train' only ever gets played when we're talking about workers and non-property owners. If we're playing the morality card, then I think we should start insisting that it's immoral for landlords to charge rent that your tenants can't pay without applying for the accommodation supplement - they're the ones that are really on the gravy train, essentially getting the government to buy them a house and pocketing all the capital gains tax free to boot in many cases.

7 years ago it was cheaper to buy than to rent, so I bought. Has that changed (short term payments)?

Not sure what you mean by this. If interest rates drop, house prices rise to take advantage of this. So the mortgage duration will likely be about the same if buying today. It only helps those who have borrowed in the past when they next renew their mortgage terms. So people buying houses today miss out, but people who purchased in the past benefit, plus they also benefit from the big capital gains cause by mortgage rate decreases. Is is a bad situation because it makes it very difficult for banks to raise rates in the future, without hurt. They have had the past 12 years to raise them, in good economic times, but couldn't.

10
up

Hooray
Someone gets it
Its Incomes / Jobs that are in trouble
You cant eat a house
All the reserve banks are doing is encouraging is leveraging the hell out of housing IN THE HOPE that it will provide INCOME & JOBS
we are seriously in the poop

As business gets cracking on this now round of cost cutting, many jobs, including tech jobs are gone.

Covid has no f##d thigs up. Covid merely sped things up.
The good part about covid is that we are being forced to confront so many issues now.
The bad thing is the pp polices of old are not being shafted to those that perpetuated the situation - mr covid is very convenient for them.

I think you mean every country dominated by white folk.
That leads about 150 that are not. Not ethnocentric or anything.
Problem, as ever, is that economic power is ever more concentrated and wealth too.
So debt is sold to plebs in place of real wages

I dont think it suggests he's wanting to influence monetary policy. But I suppose he inevitably will.

The argument that raising interest rates would increase the demand for the NZD .. and therefore increase the TWI and NZ/USD pair is myopic.

Obviously Orr and Robertson are happy with us at 0.66 cents. However as the USD is seen as a safe-haven .. in the short term it's reasonable to expect the USD to bubble up in value.

However LTV's are probably more on the agenda as Negative Interest Rate Policy is just waiting for banking systems to be updated.

A strange work.

11
up

Prices for land underlying properties within a radius of 10 kilometres of Auckland CBD are out of control
Developers are queueng up and paying knock-out prices that individual home owners can never compete with
Investors are going nuts.
Private families are grouping together and establishing partnerships to buy investment properties

6 years ago Graeme Wheeler the governor of the RBNZ proposed treating investors who owned 5 properties or more as businesses and charging them business rates of interest. (business rates today are 8%) PM of the day John Key refused. This is now coming back to bite them on the bum

Could be done today. With a threshhold of 3 properties. Lets see if Robertson and Orr have the smarts

13
up

Arguably, it should be ONE investment property. What does the number of properties involved make to the difference in classification?
Once ANY property is an Investment Property ( as determined by any claims against an IRD number for expenses, GST, Depreciation etc) then ...it's a Business. Charge Business % rates.
Anyone who wants to use THEIR money - from past work effort - to invest in property, fill your boots! Buy 1,000 properties. That's fine. But the second you require a loan to do it, it's a supported Business. Levy Business % rates.
Will that prompt 'investors' to game the system buy reallocating ownership to their family etc? Sure! But that can only run so far, and any bank that lends to a related party and doesn't do its due diligence needs to suffer new regulatory consequences.

But what really are "business % rates"? There's no reason why businesses should pay more than non-businesses, except due to higher risk of default. If the risk of default is low then the risk margin should be low.

They don't.

"PM of the day John Key refused"

How was he spose to keep his remeura golf membership and agree to this?

Even without a “business rate” the taxation system should make borrowings “NOT DEDUCTIBLE”
That step alone would incentivise landlords to reconsider their positions.

"An enormous scandal"?
Er, no sorry, it might represent an ELECTED person and government having control over what the central bank is doing. Oh dear, I forgot, due to the Bundesbank and Gordon Brown trying to be whiter than white non-Socialist smelling in late 90s, we are all monetarists now where banks are "independent." Yes they are all SO independent that they sing off one song sheet marked "more" where the box is for what to do. The great no-no of modern OECD economies: politics shall not interfere with monetary policy. Democracy only allowed a say so far and not further. Of course this limitation is never discussed, nor was central bank independence. Electorates are considered too dim to discuss and decide such matters.

True. The needs of the bank outweigh the needs of the people. As does the power, unless we find politicians with guts.

All empty talks, no actual communications. I don't have much confidence in this guy.
“While the New Zealand economy is doing well in the short-term, in the medium to long-term, those global challenges are going to have an impact on New Zealand.
“We have a very important job to do, to lead New Zealand through its recovery and rebuild in a balanced way. Part of that is a relationship with the Reserve Bank.”

Adrian Orr's QE money creation frenzy has created a residential property fiasco that we may never recover from. It would probably have been better if the newly created cash had simply been deposited into the bank accounts of ordinary New Zealanders.

100%. A stimulus cheque to every New Zealand would have been far better than what was done.
At least the bottom got a chance to get something and they would have spent their cheques.

All the above. Inflationary target band needs to be realigned, higher maybe.
LVRs for all lending bands?
Tax...