US & Canadian data positive; China reserves grow; Japan & EU PMIs weaker; Aussie factories in good shape but retail sales slip; carmakers raise prices; UST 10yr at 1.09%; oil and gold lower; NZ$1 = 71.8 USc; TWI-5 = 73.1

US & Canadian data positive; China reserves grow; Japan & EU PMIs weaker; Aussie factories in good shape but retail sales slip; carmakers raise prices; UST 10yr at 1.09%; oil and gold lower; NZ$1 = 71.8 USc; TWI-5 = 73.1
Riverton, Southland

Here's our summary of key economic events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news we have had some encouraging economic data even if the pandemic news isn't great.

American existing home sales rose more than expected in December. Another -2% fall was expected (like November), but in fact sales rose +0.7% to their highest level in 14 years.

American factory activity picked up too in January built on higher new orders. Service sector activity improved sharply as well. All this is despite more reports of supply-chain disruption. And a feature is rising producer inflation.

Overnight, data for Canadian retail sales in November was released and it was surprisingly upbeat. However, the early numbers for December aren't great.

China said its foreign exchange reserves rose to US$3.217 trillion at the end of last year, +3.5% more than at the same time in 2019.

In Japan, their January PMIs aren't showing any real improvement even if there are some positives. They record a faster deterioration in business activity in January. Demand conditions weakened further, as new business inflows contracted for the twelfth successive month, weighed down by a further fall in export sales. That said, new orders in manufacturing recorded an expansion for the first time in two years.

Things are not positive for EU or UK businesses in January. In the EU business activity fell at an accelerated rate as companies continued to struggle amid the pandemic restrictions. The rate of factory output growth weakened to the slowest since the recovery began and the service sector saw output fall at the second-fastest rate since May. Even by those dour standards, it is worse in the UK.

The internationally benchmarked PMI for Australia recorded a continuing healthy expansion.

And the Aussie rural sector is having a bumper season, especially for wheat and beef. They have been aided on the price front by growing season struggles in other parts of the world. And China's attempt to pressure them with trade restrictions seems to be coming to nought.

But the Aussie retail sales data for December was actually disappointing, down -4.2% pa on a seasonally-adjusted basis from November. However, despite that dip it is still more than +9% higher than for December 2019. Like New Zealand, these retail gains are coming from the closed borders with the locals unable to holiday overseas - that spending is happening locally now.

And big tech is flexing its power in Australia. Google said it would have "no real choice" but to shut down its search engine there if a proposed law requiring tech giants to pay publishers for news isn’t abandoned. There is irony here; Google has just agreed to pay French publishers when they use/scrape their news.

From China, to Japan, to India, to the US, carmakers are raising prices as electronic chip makers do the same to them as a worldwide shortage spreads of these items at the heart of almost every machine now. Spreading tech may have been the basis of low inflation in the past decade or so, but surprisingly it may now kick off a new round of inflation in this next decade.

Wall Street is down -0.2 in midday trade today after the S&P500 hit a record high capitalisation of $32.5 tln midweek and it is closing in on a +2.1% gain for the week. Overnight European markets were lower by about -0.3%. Yesterday, Shanghai ended its session down -0.4%, Hong Kong was down -1.6%, and Tokyo ended its day also down -0.4%. These Friday results capped a week where Shanghai was up +1.1%, Hong Kong was up +3.0% and Tokyo was up +0.4%. The ASX200 ended yesterday with a daily dip of -0.3% for a weekly gain of +1.3%. The NZX50 Capital Index was up a strong +1.7% on Friday to cap a week which rose by +2.4%.

The latest global compilation of COVID-19 data is here. The global tally is rising faster, now at 97,783,000 and up +721,000 in one day. We are heading for 100 mln probably on Tuesday next week mainly because the UK variant is increasing its grip, and other variants are emerging too. It is still very grim everywhere except in our region. Global deaths reported now exceed 2,098,000 and +18,000 since this time yesterday as death rates rise everywhere. Nowhere yet are vaccines turning the tide. And the British are warning that their new variant is actually more deadly as well as being a faster spreader.

But the largest number of reported cases globally are still in the US, which rose +193,000 for their tally to reach 25,225,000. The US remains the global epicentre of the virus. The number of active cases rose overnight and is now just on 9,700,000 and +56,000 more than yesterday, so more new infections than recoveries. Their death total is up to 421,000 however (+5000 and a new daily high). The US now has a COVID death rate of 1267/mln, awful but made to look 'good' by the disastrous UK level (1410) where deaths are still surging.

In Australia, their community outbreak is back well under control. That takes their all-time cases reported to 28,755, and only +5 more cases yesterday, all new arrivals and all in managed isolation. 157 of these cases are 'active' (-13). Reported deaths are unchanged at 909.

The UST 10yr yield will start today soft at 1.09%. Their 2-10 rate curve is unchanged at +97 bps, their 1-5 curve is still at +34 bps, and their 3m-10 year curve is flatter by -2 bps at +102 bps. The Australian Govt 10 year yield is unchanged at 1.07%. The China Govt 10 year yield is down -2 bps at 3.15%, while the New Zealand Govt 10 year yield is up +6 bps at 1.09%.

The price of gold has slipped -US$10 today in New York and now at US$1854/oz.

Oil prices are just a little softer, down by less than +US$1 at just over US$52/bbl in the US while the international price is now just over US$55/bbl.

And the Kiwi dollar is marginally softer today from this time yesterday at just under 71.8 USc. Against the Australian dollar we are firmer at 93 AUc. Against the euro we are softer at 59 euro cents. That means our TWI-5 is now up at 73.1.

The bitcoin price has recovered somewhat or at least stopped falling this morning. It is now at US$32,339 and up +2.4% from this time yesterday. It actually got down to as low as US$28,845 in the past 24 hours. Volatility is still high at +/- 6.8% in between. The bitcoin rate is charted in the exchange rate set below.

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

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90 Comments

Mostly good news, we are getting closer to a correction, which IMO will happen this year, started by the US stockmarket plunge

Come now Yvil... youve turned DGM

A lot of the stock.mkt moves are solely the dominant stocks driving the index while smaller companies are not being
overpriced. Lower PEs and profit upgrades positive on both counts.

Forget about politics and business for a bit and enjoy the racing out on the harbour we might see you there.

Investing Legend Sees "Spectacular" Crash In "The Next Few Months". Listen to him on the vid link

https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/investing-legend-sees-spectacular-cras...

Oh well milk receipts are on the rise ;) and Trumps vitriol is extinct...

Lifes good

Very interesting video thanks.

Thanks for the video Andrew, despite sharing the opinion that a correction is coming, I struggle to agree with Grantham's reason. He's a value investor, I agree stocks and many other assets are overvalued in relation to fundamentals, the reason being the governments and central banks are skewing markets. He states it can't go on anymore (see 11:00 min in the video), well I think as long as governments and central banks keep doing whatever is needed, and I believe they will, the party can and will continue

The US is basically doing MMT, the problem I see is when the payouts stop it crashes , this present bailout is % 24.7 of GDP, how often can they repeat it? We have been on life support with Covid coming up one year, will we go another year, eventually someone will blink and I don't want to be on the same side of the boat as them.

https://www.epsilontheory.com/uk-variant-sars-cov-2-update/

How long can QE continue you ask? Well Biden has just authorised another $1,9 Trillion !!! Is been going on since 2009, why would it stop now?

Yvil from Fridays nz sharemarket report "Market heavyweights fisher and paykel Healthcare climbing more than 5 percent and mercury energy both indicated they will book improved earnings for the present financial year and along with contact and meridian they drove the market forward. Most of the listed companies will deliver their latest results next month."

The market is up because of higher earnings, off the back of the business cycle. Is that an imminent collapse scenario or a case of sour grapes from you if you missed out on the gigantic 2020 recovery back

FH.... because the NZX50 is so over weighted with a few big cap stocks, when one of them such as F & P surges it (artificially) drives the whole NZX50 number up. This often means that when the market is up (or down) it is simply a reflection of one or two big caps, rather than being an indicator of most companies in the NZX50.
I would say that you are right that "the market is up because of higher earnings, off the back of the business cycle" but it might be prudent to try to understand why earnings are high. To steal a word from Mark Hubbard: STIMULUNACY. (that creates an artificial economy and cannot continue forever). And when the flow through to our economy stops......

"so over weighted with a few big cap stocks" yes and has been this way for as long as i can remember in the 90s index was dominated by telecom and fletcher (before the breakup). Likewise the nasdaq dominated google apple microsoft and now tesla

"STIMULUNACY" totally, and almost everyone is benefitting bar intl tourism and airline stocks to name a few even the retirement chains are benefitting indirectly with several retirement companies in the top broker picks for 2021 I am sure you know that. I am just stunned by the about turn from Yvil. You might agree with him though I think you've done well so you might not 2020 has been a difficult year for some.

I am a bit confused by your position Yvil. You think a correction is coming yet you say the party will keep going?

I can understand, it's been going on since the last crash and there has been a lot of money made out of assets, one thing I have learnt turning up at parties way too early, things can go on a lot longer than logic would dictate.

Agreed!

Fair comment Fritz, I have to admit I am confused

Fair enough

Andrewj,

Do you think he is right? if so, what steps have you taken to protect yourself from the imminent crash?

At almost 76, i am increasingly risk averse and have grradually taken money off the top of my portfolio for over 2 years now. Thus, i have a lot of cash earning nothing in Kiwibonds and short-term TDs. However, over 50% of my total portfolio; shares, bonds, cash and property(excl my home) is still invested in the stockmarket and will remain so. When a major correction/crash occurs, then i will absorb the 'pain' and wait it out. If i were much younger, i would be eager to start buying good quality shares, as i did after the GFC and in previous crashes.

Being honest, Im finding i know a lot less than I thought I did. I'm a farmer so will probably invest back in land at hopefully the right time, even now my farm is earning more than the money would in the bank.

I am getting sick of these dry seasons, it's easy to make a loss at present, I need to diversify, I will ask my banking mate in the UK what he is doing, he's retired but a big fan of Grantham and successful to boot

linklater... I think Grantham is right but nobody, including him, has any idea when it will happen. I have pretty much positioned myself the same way you have with half my wealth (excl home) in shares. The problem with taking it all from the market is that if there is no crash for a year or so the cost of doing so would be high. Just like Grantham I thought the big crash had begun in May last year and sold quite a few shares at the worst possible time. To have sold them all back then, (or God forbid, shorted the market), would have been a complete disaster. I also agree that as most people get older they should be reducing their stock portfolio.

Karl, you say "I think Grantham is right but nobody, including him, has any idea when it will happen." Well you don't need to be an "investing legend" to predict "the market will go down at some time" we all know that. To his credit Grantham puts a date on the crash "within a few few weeks may a couple of months" that's brave. We shall know by May if he was right

Yvil....to be fair Grantham is saying there will be a spectacular crash so I am inferring from that he is predicting an unusual one in a century type crash of epic proportions rather than just that it will go down. I have to also strongly disagree with you saying "to his credit Grantham puts a date on the crash". I am a strong believer that the more specific (and certain) anybody is with their predictions the less likely it is that they fully understand risk, this being my biggest issue with TA and Ashley Mosque.
IMO the very best risk analysts are annoyingly vague and non-committal, especially in relation to time frames. Grantham got it wrong last May (as did I) and odds on he will get it wrong (in terms of timing) this year as well. With a significant share portfolio, I sure hope he is wrong.

Sorry Karl but a prediction without a timeframe attached to it, is completely useless to anyone. I can categorically predict that there will be a collapse and I can also predict that there will be a massive bull run and I'll be right on both counts… at some time.
What good is it to predict that the market will crash, be right in 5 years time but miss out on 5 years of gains? It's useless

I think the best way to approach it is to have a handful of scenarios, and to ensure as far as possible that your investment portfolio is resilient to those scenarios occurring.
The best way of doing this is to have a diverse portfolio.

Yvil.... I kind of agree and I guess that is why the very best risk analysts say that short term financial predictions are useless ie short term predictions by so called experts are no more accurate than the guesses of a taxi driver. The usefulness comes in knowing that we are unable to predict and must position ourselves accordingly unless we are comfortable taking reckless gambles.

Im a cattle farmer, with cattle self reinforcing behaviour can take over, cattle get a good auction due to some big orders, everyone thinks cattle are doing well, so they go to the next auction and push it higher , thats until reality bites down the track.

No one wants to buy cheap cattle but auction rooms are full 'when times are good', ie expensive cattle.

Investing Legend Sees "Spectacular" Crash In "The Next Few Months"

Did you listen to the interview until completion? Grantham talks about the futility of asset bubbles like NZ housing as effectively the compounding wealth effect disappears as yield falls (Audaxes does a great job of illustrating this). Rich get richer (kind of) but poor and young get poorer.

Good idea for Ardern, Robertson, and Orr to listen to this interview. Ardern and Robertson may not really understand it. Orr will just go red-faced.

Just to put things into perspective: 10 US Mega-cap growth stocks – ~30% of S&P 500 – propelling market in recent years. Other 490 only just ahead of Stoxx 600 over the last 6 years. (via DB) Link

Brave call. Reserve Banks have way more headroom to use yet given their inflation targets.

True re RB but I think the trouble will come from overseas

…Yellen to Congress: act Big !....

Spending plans $5,300 billion, % 24.7 of US GPD

Our son in the US keeps an eye on MIQ bookings here. No places available until mid May as at today.

That's stunning Kate. I see on Twitter economist Eric Crampton has noticed MIQ places (total) have gone down by 1,000 from before Xmas to now - from memory from around 4,600 rooms to 4,500 rooms - and he can't figure out why. Someone in government needs to be asked: I can't see any issue with creating thousands of more rooms: there is plenty of free hotel space available and surely people can be trained. The current situation is absurd: waiting until May is a disaster from everyone's point of view, including our economy.

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Lots to have issue with it Mark. Have you not noticed in the last month covid has stepped up to a white hot intensity worldwide. Makes 2020 look mild.
There might even be reason shortly to close MIQ indefinitely.

A properly managed MIQ protects us. We are a small trading nation, we cannot afford to seal ourselves from the world like a hermit crab, that's a solution to nothing, and all Kiwis have a right to come home.

"A mystery cluster stemming from a managed isolation hotel in Brisbane has put New Zealand’s MIQ system under the spotlight. Amid concerns about whether hotels are up to the job, specialist facilities are being built overseas to help in the fight against Covid-19."
Do some research Mark before such bland comments..

Bland?

We're capable of learning the lessons from Brisbane and applying them here. Okay, we can't build houses at a government level but perhaps they could at least try specialist facilities.

Wrapping ourselves up in a cocoon is no answer. We simply can't do that. And every kiwi has a right to come back to their homeland.

So what you are saying is that you are happy to risk going back into a lock down so that every Kiwi can can home immediately?

That is not the trade off here. I'm happy for a decent MIQ border program to keep us safe so that kiwis can return home, and to some limited extent we can go about trade and business.

Wikipedia: Why was Ellis Island quarantine?
"In an act to prevent the bringing in and spreading of infectious distempers in the colony, and stipulated that vessels having small-pox, yellow fever or other contagious diseases aboard should stop on their way to the city at these Island and there be quarantined, under heavy penalties for disobedience".
NZ could use Waiheke.

How many more years will it take for all the “kiwis” to come home?!
Is 12 months not long enough to plan your travel ‘home’?

Not if there's so few MIQ openings you have to try and book plus juggle expensive plane flights out to five and six months. I'm reading from some of the affected it's an almost Herculean task, and immensely expensive planning to get back to NZ, especially with having to also now schedule a Covid test 72 hours before getting on the plane. We are failing with our current MIQ. And you do realise we're a folk who like to travel and have a huge diaspora around the world, bit like the Irish. There are an awful lot of us overseas.

Mark, the 'awful lot of us overseas' are there voluntarily, no-one forced them. I have a young nephew stuck in the UK who recently contracted C19 and had an awful time. Getting home is for him just too hard as you outline so he will ride it out and return when he can. Things will be very tough for him meantime and we are of course anxious but he was having a ball beforehand and even had he known the C19 risk would still have gone. Reality is that only a tiny ppn of NZs diaspora will be able to return so the question should be 'what is the maximum number we can accept that will maintain high levels of transmission security' and not 'our sacred mission is to accept the high risks from opening the door as wide as we possibly can'. Even with the latter approach we'd still not satisfy more than a fraction of the demand. It's a tough message but also time the 'suck it up' reality is accepted.

Or the army bases.

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Mark, you're supposed to be numbed by fear by now. Stop thinking for yourself and let the competent authorities deal with it

They've had 12 months. Virus mutation too risky.

NZ already living in rainbow unicorn glitter fantasy land tiny population all selling each other overpriced houses.

Can't risk another lockdown. I actually think the people will revolt the second time round and they'll need to get defence involved to enforce a lockdown.

Rights frequently change

that difference is 100, not 1000
And yes i believe that given whats happening elsewhere a period of zero imported possible cases would be appropriate given the change in the risk profile, in other words, close the border completely for a period of time in order to re-assess and in order for the vaccines to come on-line here

Mark Hubbard "The current situation is absurd: waiting until May is a disaster from everyone's point of view, including our economy.l'"
- Really? - the economy seems to be doing quite well and our current COVID free status is just fine. Plus the cost current 3 million per day - you prepared to pay more for more spaces?

... and you believe Kiwis have no right to come home to their families? Put yourself in their shoes. They have a right to come home. And no, swathes of our economy are seriously impaired: I see a lot in social media along this line, but it's often from people, teachers, etc, in secure government jobs who are facing no ruin: go ask motel owners including my sister who now is only surviving by a thread on WINZ placements; go ask laid off hospo workers; go ask the small businesses in our former tourist towns. There's a lot of pain out there and it will be this year that many of those businesses go under. Fiscal stimulus has given everyone in safe jobs a false sense of security.

I think he last checked mid December and it was booked through to mid February - a 2 month backlog/waitlist. If it is now booked to mid May, that's almost a doubling of backlog/waitlist. Check it out here;

https://allocation.miq.govt.nz/portal/

It does need some follow up from media with the government. We're a bit stupid not to be capitalising on our COVID-free status by having a much greater capacity in MIQ facilities in order to get this country back up and running.

Well we don't agree on rents but we can agree on this :) Cheers for that link as well.

Kate, I rang them last week & was told they only release 3 months bookings at a time.

I was also told lots of rooms go empty as they didn't link to visas, only to passport numbers. Lots of people not getting their visa but not cancelling their booking.

In other words, we can expect a permanent 3-month backlog because of 'no-shows' - primarily non-NZ tourist and/or student visa wannabes?

If so, sheesh.

Family re-unions
350 Rarotongans yesterday, another 350 early next week. Two flights per week
Oops - On second thoughts - I dont think they have to quarantine

13
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Yep Kiwis have no right to come home with a virus. You have to draw a line somewhere. This thing is mutating, what if it was an incurable virus with a huge mortality rate ? Bottom line is that you chose to go overseas so you can suck it up and stay there. No people cannot just pour back in here with no regard to those living here virus free. The biggest problem is that we still have no dedicated isolation facility and are still trying to use hotels, these are totally unsuitable for anything serious. If this new strain gets out here its going to cost us billions.

You have to consider that many NZ citizens and permanent residents overseas are living there - not necessarily by personal preference - but through specific circumstances (i.e., int'l job transfers, int'l/non-NZ partners, specialist qualifications, care-givers for an end-of-life parent/relative, etc.). The circumstance they now find themselves in is, in many cases, akin to that of a refugee, i.e., they have lost jobs, lost health insurance, recovered from COVID but have long-COVID symptoms/complications, unable to meet the costs-of-living in the overseas country, and so on and so forth.

The government has now had months and months to plan the expansion and improvement of MIQ facilities. Their plans should include the likelihood that vaccines will not slow the desire of citizens to return, not to mention visitors who bring with them relief for our tourism industry.

My guess is if nothing is done to expand and improve our MIQ facilities, the 4 month waitlist will have expanded to a 6 month waitlist by mid-February and a 12 month waitlist with the next three months.

A bit like the housing crisis - they will act too late for many.

Many are residents, not citizens

True - edited the comment accordingly.

Kate. There are always multiple risks in voluntarily travelling or relocating offshore. Being temporarily unable to return home for a variety of reasons is one of them. It might not have been the preference of some to move away but they still made the decision to go. For better or worse. Those who remained in the country have no moral obligation to fully underwrite that risk. I like exploring remote places and while grateful for the possible availability of a kerosene taxi to rescue me should I get into trouble, I also accept the risk that one day I could die a lonely death in the hills.

Shut the borders now.

Failure to do so requires Jacinda to step down.

Finally 3 days into the Biden administration, the USA has admitted that Covid came from a lab. Gain of function research was outlawed in the West because it was considered too dangerous, so they set up an international research institute in Wuhan.
I think thats why the panic by Western governments to get a vaccine, they know too much about gain-of -function.

https://www.zerohedge.com/covid-19/it-was-all-lie-biden-linked-who-advis...

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26320212/

https://www.express.co.uk/news/weird/1253135/coronavirus-genetically-eng...

Thats not really a surprise Andrew that information has been in the public arena since almost the start of this, be it without any official confirmation. The real question is WHY were they even doing this gain of function in the first place ? I cannot see any medical benefits and to me it just look's like another unit 731 setup for biochemical warfare. My next question is was it deliberately released, this to me if far more likely than some sort of accidental release.

Mark. MIQ will fail. It's not a matter of 'if' - it's a matter of 'when'. Despite the best efforts and hard work.
And then if covid starts to roar here as it has overseas in the last month then the economic damage will be huge.
You are concerned re the economy and fair enough. But realise active covid will ravage our economy much more than the lockdown.

'matter of when not if' - the recent Russian/ukranian fishermen experience in ChCh supports your point where it was only the personal diligence of a MIQ staffer who isolated them selves at home when they felt a bit 'off', this despite having had a clear C19 swab test only a day or two before. We avoided national catastrophe by sheer good fortune. Terrifyingly, this worker practised exemplary PPE disciplines when interacting with the infected fishermen including full visor and each time the ruskies were also wearing masks. It's significant the Aussies have slashed the quota they allow in with bigger pop QL taking fewer than us. The current ramping up of govt tracer app use propaganda probably indicates they accept these latest more virulent C19 variants will escape into the community. The bleeding heart brigade whines that any citizen who wants to come back should be accommodated but with every planeload of 'returning kiwis' delivering a potentially devastating threat to lives and our way of living the most effective way to mitigate this risk is to even more tightly restrict entry.

I agree. For the greater good it is time to think about closing the borders. Citizens have had almost 10 months to get home already.

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Citizens have the lawful right to return, no matter what.

What we should be doing is stopping all the visa holders. Permanent residents, work, student They are taking up spaces a NZ citizen could be using.

Fair comment

Mark H,

i beg to disagree. With the virus becoming more transmissable and possibly, more deadly, we need to significantly reduce the numbers coming here-now. Try to imagine the cost of another full lockdown?

Have the government changed the entry criteria?

My view, looking at the data, is most OECD countries get the first round of vaccination 'completed' by end of Q3 at latest. The bubble will have to be burst at some point for New Zealand.

We won't be waiting that long. The research, science and technology Minister Megan Woods categorically assured us late last year that New Zealand would be at 'the front of the queue' in getting our C19 vaccine. Given many other countries are already well underway in rolling their programs out I'd make an appointment with your doctor to get the jab early next week.

Isn’t a bit of inflation a healthy thing indicating demand for products & services?

The research.... suggests the variant, known as 501Y.V2, can escape antibodies developed in response to vaccination or infection with the original version of the virus. That may mean existing vaccines won't provide as much protection, and people who have already been infected with the original version of the virus could get reinfected with the new strain.

https://tinyurl.com/y2z6kwac

Re the various 'how hard can it (managing MIQ to achieve close to 100% occupancy) be' comments; I suggest think about the logistical complexities of weeks in advance manual ( there is no electronic interface with the airlines) matching of rooms with flight schedules that are in practical terms only provisional and subject to late change, finding room configurations in MIQ hotels to accommodate multiple variances in family structures, dietary requirements, multiple booking of MIQ spots for the same person (dual passports not uncommon), checking eligibility criteria of applicants, assessing professionally prepared sob story applications for priority treatment, etc. Not as easy as it first appears.

Yes. Given the challenges they should be congratulated for getting the occupancy rate as high as they have.

Of course it's easy - just listen to the armchair experts!

Seems to me the Air NZ booking system is the kind of online booking system that could be reconfigured for just this purpose. If instead we are operating a manual booking system I can't understand why.

I think the problem is more complex. I'm fairly certain Air NZ doesn't fly to UK/Europe without a partner airline and the partner airline booking schedule will also be at the partners whim.
Air NZ has flys to West coast USA without the need for partners but to connect to UK/Europe requires partner airlines.

My meaning was that it would be independent of the Air NZ booking system - just a re-use/re-configuration of the software, tailored for the specific MIQ booking system purpose.

I understand (but cannot verify) that when we urgently needed to improve our track and trace system in the early stages of COVID - it was an MPI animal/agricultural tracing system that was reconfigured for that particular purpose.

Kate. The "why" is that it's not needed. Occupancy is very very high so what improvement could be gained.
No fancy pants IT system is going to change that some people just don't get on the plane, despite even making it to the airport. Etc.
MIQ could overbook which might lift occupancy a few percent. But even louder winge would happen

Inflation could start to get a foothold due to the increases in the cost to move product and huge supply disruption due to the global shipping & local port problems. Hearing of big price increases starting to feed through the supply chains plus labour shortages pushing up labour costs. My bet is the chumps at the RB will realise their bazooka tactics have created a mess that they can't unwind smoothly as they fumble around with the idea of rate hikes while trying to find less painful alternatives.
https://www.ft.com/content/ad5e1a80-cecf-4b18-9035-ee50be9adfc6

Ahhhh, Bring back the Datsun 1200. No power steering. No power brakes. No apple car play etc, autonomous emergency braking, lane keep, adaptive cruise control, stability control ABS etc.
Because it didn't need all that cra#. Because there were no distractions and it was small and handled very well. The 180B was even better....

And both would get a -5 star rating for safety, fuel economy and reliability these days. Better to go back to the horse and cart. A horse is on par with Tesla self-driving as they currently have it.

Ah yes, let's go back to the glory days of an 800+ road toll.

I hope the MoH and DHBs have made sure they have a robust supply of ppe gear. A farmer I know, went to get milking gloves for staff - gloves are part of their H&S regime, at milking time, which is not uncommon in the industry. Got a couple of packs but was told they are in short supply. Was speaking to a H&S gear supplier and they said some importers are now limiting the number of glove cartons they can order.

With some machinery parts now scarce, if not unavailable, what is the governments plan to ensure industry in NZ will be able to continue to operate? Not being able to get non essential items from retail stores is minor compared to not being able to keep industry running. A lot of rose coloured glasses being worn in NZ at the moment.

I've predicted this play, & acted it on it also. I've got critical supplies/consumables unstick for bicycle & car. Both need brake pads, my thinking was far enough ahead perhaps 10 years ago that I ordered 5 sets for my MTB. That was my earliest play, I've made others. Something that small & that simple is all it takes to disable machinery.

"Both need brake pads, my thinking was far enough ahead perhaps 10 years ago that I ordered 5 sets"

So practical that its not lol ... dont you think its better to plan 10 years ahead for a wealthy future, then you have cash galore (just in case you need it)

Sometimes I wonder why NZ worries about the pandemic when everyone there is already a semi-dead zombie, staggering about while moaning “huzzuzzzzzzzz!”, “runtull yuldzzzzzz!”, “muggudge untrust ruttzzzzzzzz!” and the like.

Maybe read another website if it upsets you so much.

It makes me laugh.