Is the year ahead a year for big changes, calamities, or rising prosperity? We want your opinion about what is likely to happen, on anything that affects our economy

It is that time of the year again when we look forward to a New Year and imagine what is in store for us.

2018 will be a year with an activist new Government. Ambition and reality will bump up against each other.

But New Zealand will start the year in a very strong economic position, underpinned by that strong Q3 GDP result, and the Q4 result is likely to be similar.

And almost all our trading partners are in a healthy state as well. In fact world trade is booming, a fact that few of last year's commenters foresaw.

2017 was tame climate-wise. Global insurance losses were mostly concentrated in one American storm system. Global insurance claims in 2005 and 2011 were higher. New Zealand had a few climate events, but in reality, extreme weather is 'news' because of its relative rarity factor, not its regular recurrence. This is not to say climate change is not occurring, just that we seem to be handling the minor impacts so far with relative ease and adaption. For example, the current La Nina dry conditions finds those regions that have adequate water storage (like Auckland = 90% full, Canterbury with its irrigation schemes) in much better shape than those without such capacity (Hawkes Bay, Taranaki, Manawatu). As a consequence, the reduced forecast from Fonterra is much less significant that it could have been.

So, what do you think will happen in 2018? (Please focus on the economic aspects.)

Were you brave enough to record your guess last year? You can find it here and check out how good a forecaster you were.

We love bagging economists and their forecasts, but it seems to me many/most of us who had a crack at what will happen in 2017 got it materially wrong - and in major ways. There were also some flukes that came in but that "accuracy" didn't seem to extend to other wild guesses, even from the same commenters.

Can you do better for 2018?

This story is to encourage you to record your 2018 predictions.

They can be on any topic that has an impact on the New Zealand economy: anything, including property, interest rates, exchange rates, insurance, rural issues, the dairy payout, our migration issues, our relationship with China, the big international economic influences, even the shifting international power balance. But please try to ground them in the economy. (For example fashion or celebrity comments are not relevant, but climate change issues are.)

You will need to be logged in to comment and respect our commenting policies (and respond to others' differing views in a respectful and civil way).

Over to you.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment or click on the "Register" link below a comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current Comment policy is here.


By March it will be raining blood and spiders, and pestilence will stalk the land.


Some random noncents.

1. Fonterra will announce a payout at the start of the year only to see it revise downwards every quarter for the rest of the year. They will then make a massive profit at the direct expense of the farmers.

2. Inflation will stay static, yet cost of living will increase markedly.

3. Wages will also stay static, except Minimum wage - which will eventually catch up and include everyone.

4. Bitcoin will go up and down, (and maybe even sideways) but in the end will be nothing more than a crazy investment that the latecomers missed out on.

5. Property in NZ will stay stable, the "crash" won't happen, but it will be debated endlessly here.

6. The big 4 banks will all make record profits.

7. Insurance will cost more, exclude more, and cover less.

8. RBNZ will make all sorts of predictions, but the only action they take will be wrong.

9. Major international conflicts will continue, with no real end in site, and very little coverage in MSM (unless Trump tweets something about them)
- North Korean posturing
- Middle east mayhem
- Russian influence just about everywhere
- Chinese influence just about everywhere
- Spratleys
- Greece and the EU

10. Weather will be weather. Those next to bodies of water will blame Global Warming on the flooding they get. Those miles from water will also blame it for the droughts they get. In fact man-made climate change will continue to be the scapegoat for poor planning, and decision making by mankind on where they choose to reside.

11. Scientists, economists, and politicians, will all blat on about something important. But most (if not all) things will prove incorrect, wrong, or just plain silly - MSM will not follow up on these, but rather move to the next "Fake news" Headline.

12. People will continue to abhor invasions into their privacy but will happily share every aspect of their life on line. They will also fail to see the irony. "Hey Google, post a status update to Facebook about my new $100k Diamond Ring that I have bought off Amazon that is sitting just inside my door, because I am in the Maldives having a great holiday."

13-a) All major public services will continue to lose money, provide less, and screw up what they do actually manage to do - all while publicly stating they need more money.
13-b) The self proclaimed "Smarter than thou" will say we need to re-balance taxes and/or charge more taxes (but only to the individual) to get this money - They will never question if it is actually needed, how it is spent, or whether it could be spent more effectively.

14. We will continue to compare ourselves to first world countries such as Finland, Norway, and Singapore. All the while ignoring the blatant cultural differences that see those 3 nations become more successful while we become less.

15. Petrol will continue to be overpriced. Nothing will be done about it.

Thanks, contains gems and prejudice and it is fun deciding which is which.

I am prejudice equally - i.e. prejudice against everyone that is not me ;-)

Bravo Noncents. Good ring to the NY. Scary thing is though, imagine didn’t take you that long to compose!

Left a lot out too.

fantastic post.

14. We will continue to compare ourselves to first world countries such as Finland, Norway, and Singapore. All the while ignoring the blatant cultural differences that see those 3 nations become more successful while we become less.

Some Finns are not so sure.

So this is how the entire Finnish nation is frozen by fear, blindly hoping they can have the best of both worlds and keep their comfy, conformist, uneventful, egalitarian state while virtue-signalling about multiculturalism.

But as they are discovering, the Third World, if given the chance, will always consume the First. Read more

NZ will continue to be viewed as a safe place on the globe to park money
The new government will inject some alternative perspectives into NZ which undoubtedly will upset the status quoers
NZs house prices will stubbornly resist anything like a catastrophic drop but inventory will reach record highs as sellers refuse to budge on their asking prices
Some catalyst either domestic or foreign must eventuate to trigger any serious reduction in Auckland house prices otherwise there will merely be a mild price reduction in some areas.

15 Knuts in a shell

Here's my predictions for 2018 but I hope somehow the good times keep rolling and I'm proved wrong!

1/ September quarter shows negative growth driven by drought and weaker consumer spending, backdrop of lower interest rates but much tighter lending conditions.
2/ NZX-50 falls to 6100 by December.
3/ Auckland property prices fall another -5% by December, nationwide -2%. Provinces following Auckland - down.
4/ total Auckland listings at 16,200 by November 30.
5/ NZ Government deficit -3% GDP on increased spending, tax take projections weaken.
6/ September quarter CPI comes in at 0%, evil word “deflation” is again uttered. RBNZ will have lowered OCR rate to 1.50% by years end.
7/ Official unemployment rate rises steadily to stand at 6.75% by December. Unofficial rate double that.
8/ US 10-year bond at 2.50, 30-year 2.25% by December
9/ US Dow plunges from new August high 27000 to 18000 in October, US looks to be again entering recession by December. Officials at pains to say this is a “healthy” correction……
10/ Trump still president, US warships visible from North Korea beaches - its a blockade. China distracted with its invasion of Taiwan.

Seriously, retirement hasn’t done you many favours!
Go and have a stiff drink to make youmin a better mood,instead of sucking on lemons!
NZ is a great place to live in.
Yes we have a pretty average Govt. But life is what you make it!

THE MAN 2, are you on the sauce? Thanks for the timely reminder that I left one out ;-)

11/ Christchurch house prices will not rise throughout 2018. By Dec, THE MAN 2 will predict Christchurch house prices will rise throughout 2019.

You need to be able to think outside the square to make predictions RP. Auckland and Christchurch house prices to continue to drop in 2018.


We have an average government, but it's 10 times better than the previous one

But were you not predicting the economy will collapse with the current government.

Are you sure you aren’t on Opium Poppy ?

The Tax Working Group will come out in September with report recommendations, some of which will be A LOT more radical changes than anything anyone foresaw, despite sticking to what they said they wouldn't touch.

The OCR will be at or above 2%.

The Commerce Commission will take on more than that Retailers, and do something to assist fairer income distribution.

The Unions will undertake a renaissance of some sort.

Mortgage interest rates will decrease in order to keep home buyers buying, and to keep house values from falling.


and just for fun and because we all think we will be right the top 10 being

1. House prices in Auckland drop 15% before stablising as demand pressures finally kick in

2. The structural surpluses will turn to deficits by the end of the year - as tax little and spend lots kicks in

3. There will be widespread industrial action - as the Unions attempt to capitalise on having a love in with the new PM

4. Unemployment will stop falling and begin rising again - as despite the rhetoric of getting people off the dole and in to work - there will be no penalties for not taking a job - and the impact of higher wage settlements will lead to lay offs in low paid service industries

5. America will boom - leading to inflation pressure and FED interest rate rises

6. Bitcoin will endure a major collapse below 10K before becoming slightly less volatile as speculators think twice

7. The drought will worsen - leading to poor returns from Fontera and the farming sector in general -

8. the NZ dollar will drop further as America surges -and monetary policy loosens - leading to significant NZ inflation pressures as fuel and imports rises

9. Interest rates will go up by the end of the year - and further rises will be factored in fixed rates - FHB's will suddenly realise that a 15% drop in prices in no way compensates for a 2.5% increase in interest rates and long for the good old days :)

10. If you do the following things - you will be better off not just this year but every year to come

Improve your education and skill sets - Study for better employment options
Spend wisely - based on needs not wants
Save as much as practical - invest your savings with the long term future in mind
Work Smarter - negotiate harder
Invest in your family and loved ones

thanks to all you regular commentators who make life on here interesting -!

I agree with 1, 5, 8 - with the added benefit of improved trade competitive, the part of 9 about interest rates but not the bit about disadvantaging FHBS, the parts of 10 about saving, learning and cutting spending.

I also see significant wage inflation building in 2018 to take off in future years. Some action will need to be taken to address pressures around teachers, police, nurses, etc. This combined with flat to slowly declining house prices will start the path towards sensible house prices.

NZD/USD will lose value. Maybe as low as $0.63 at some point.

I predict rising prosperity = rising Auckland property prices. This will give all new home owners like Jacinda, Shamubeel Eaqub and my nephew a small capital gain of around 5-8% from a year ago.

Best of luck.

Happy new year

First you have to find a bigger fool.....

Happy New Year NZ 2018
May continue to prosperity

One thing I wonder about next year is the mid term elections in the USA. Are the incumbent Republican members who are up for re-election going to look at the Alabama result and realise that they have a high chance of not being re-elected because the public reaction to Trump. Will this prompt them to make moves to get rid of Trump?

Republicans only have a one seat majority in the House of Representatives. Trump will lose control there. His Tax Bill is him for the rest of this term. They lost Virginia in the House.

The Democratics may not need Republicans to start impeachment.

Trump will remain as President over his term despite all the odds against him. Just as he won the election and nomination against all normal rational likelihood.

You can't stump the Trump!

That’s not true, they have a majority in the 20s-30s. Although it is difficult because of the freedom caucus who often buck the leadership forcing deals with dems.

And almost all our trading partners are in a healthy state as well. In fact world trade is booming, a fact that few of last year's commenters foresaw. [emphasis added]

Are they? Those in possession of global eurodollar reserve currency credit creation status demanding US Treasury collateral in exchange for credit has severely cramped it's creation for those dependent on "dollars" for mercantile activities outside the domestic USD financial system. Read more

I predict

(a) the water level in the swamp will rise regardless of fake-promises to drain the swamp.

(b) the swamp drainer in chief will continue to pollute the twitter-ways

Rp and Gordon, you must be twins I would say.
NZ will continue to be the best country In the world to live in harmony.
Opportunities will continue for those that wish to take advantage of them.
Christchurch will continue to be rebuilt and more young ones from around the country will move into it.
House prices in Chch to increase due to the Govt. Introducing new measures for first home buyers and the gradual fall off of the number of As Is Where Is houses that has given the average house price lower than it actually is.
The Man continue to try and advise people on Interest.Co that investing in property providing they get advice is worthwhile.
The Man continues to be able to enjoy life due to profitable investing and have several overseas holidays!
Life is what you make it but you need the right mindset!!

RP as I said The Boy cannot think outside the square. His predictions are all about his beloved Christchurch, a town getting smaller by the day and getting more and more behind house values in North Island provincial centres. Even a hole like Palmy is beating it. New Zealand is a great place to live but in the last four years I have visited some lovely parts of the world where basic costs such as food power and transport are much cheaper than here. Labour will make us a better country though.

I suggest Christchurch has a bright future. The population is going to keep growing, people have to live somewhere, Auckland and Wellington can’t absorb the extra people, therefore Christchurch will. The other option is growth around Hamilton and South of Auckland. If you are a business like a contact centre that can operate at a distance from its customers you’d be foolish not to move to Christchurch.

Why would you put a new business in a location that could have another major earthquake?

Why build a business in Wellington then? Or Auckland? Or anywhere in NZ by that logic. Christchurch went at least 150 years with no problems, for all we know the next 150 years will be as equally earthquake free. Plus, Christchurch’s buildings are now tested. A similar quake in the future would therefore be likely to have a much lesser impact. I’m not saying it’s not a risk but by your logic nobody should live in California.

But in that 150 years Christchurch had a reason to exist - the Canterbury Plains; the produce ( lamb, mainly) from it; a reliable water supply and proximity to a port. What does it have today that can't and isn't being done elsewhere in New Zealand? Those that left aren't about to 'up sticks' again and go back now that they've re-established ( we are one of them!). So why go to Christchurch? Seriously. I know 'it's safe now' - compared to Wellington - but if the Government isn't going to relocate ( that actually made sense!) then why would anyone else? What is needed is a raison d'etre, and Christchurch lost its some time before the 'quakes....

Unless it's cheaper, much cheaper, to relocate there and do 'whatever' then I don't see it going anywhere fast. And we all know what the most expensive aspect of any regional hub in New Zealand is, don't we? So that means lower......

I would not put a new business in Wellington either. Too much risk like Christchurch. I would consider Auckland and other parts of the golden triangle. Good weather and plenty of people to work in the business. I can understand why most immigrants go to Auckland.

Gordon, yes Auckland is great.
Traffic, crime, rain, expensive housing, unemployment etc. etc.
You live in a cocoon Gordon.
Open your eyes to where the opportunities and quality lifestyle is!

But Auckland has the jobs and opportunities. Just like Sydney and Melbourne if you want to get ahead in your chosen profession you have to move to the bigger city's of the world. I frequently read the the enterprise networking pages on Reddit - most of the technology that they are discussing will never be deployed in New Zealand - we are just not big enough to warrant that type of technology. The company that I do work for means I am exposed to some of that technology but that is because it is used in the backbone of the network and some of our larger customers. Christchurch does not have the requirements for that technology.

Don't get me wrong Christchurch is a great city in some ways - it is essentially flat , has heaps of trees and Hagley park but it also has a lot of down sides. The central city while improving, has lost something - the quaint s/h bookshops and other businesses that gave the city atmosphere. While you can get the basics, I find diversity in shopping is lacking and have turned to on-line shopping to get what I really want. I can go shopping and quickly get disappointed for not being able to find what I want. Perhaps I expect to much..

Look full disclosure I don’t actually like Christchurch, but you have to think long term. The recovery will continue. Smart people get in at the bottom not at the top. As an employee I wouldn’t move to Christchurch but as I said, if I ran a call centre or a software development company or was in manufacturing, or.....

I like CHCH but its the weather for me and beaches up North. Aucklands coldest month is 11 degrees. CHCH has one month at 12 degrees and 5 more months below this. With and average high of 18 degrees in CHCH. After living in UK I cant stand the cold once it gets below 8-9 degrees. In fairness to CHCh the days can be nice and crisp not dreary and raining like UK.

Tauranga would be good and maybe Hawkes Bay.

If Auckland house prices are going to be 2x Christchurch house prices. If the cost of ownership is $500,000x7% in CHCH = $35,000 versus 1,000,000*7% in Auckland = $70,000, then Christchurch has a huge advantage. Smart businesses would move to Christchurch because their cost of labour will be significantly lower in the long term, and they won’t have to bear the costs of traffic. I agree that Hamilton is an alternative but let’s not pretend Hamilton is a preferable place to live compared to Christchurch. What is needed is a fast (fastish) train ~150km per hour from Hamilton to Auckland to enable commuting from there and Pukekohe etc.

the chances of christchurch having another BIG earthquake are now much smaller, the tension in the plate has moved up the country, the next major quake will happen further up
as for Auckland whilst the chances off a BIG earthquake are near zero (no major faultline ) they still have a couple of non dormant volcano's, there only advantage they have over below taupo is warning time before a major disaster may strike.
NZ is a very active country so we will always have some quakes and eruptions happening somewhere

Rangitoto is long overdue to erupt
When it does it’s hot ash dust clouds will engulf large parts of Auckland the air unbreathable
As for ChCh it’s no better than Florida where rising waters will eventually eliminate thousands of homes.
ChCh will still have its liquefaction issues regardless of what standard of building code now
To make the bold claim no more earthquakes in ChCh for decades is fanciful at best reckless at worst
Buildings are built with a useful life of 50 yrs minimum so why the necessity to build for earthquakes if as some claim here there won’t be any more ChCh earthquakes for 150yrs again ?

Gordon - we all hold different opinions about things but the one of yours that has dumbfounded me for some time, since you keep repeating it, is the one about Chch. Have you actually been down there lately and seen what's going on. I am there alot and frankly if I was younger I'd moving moving there like a shot. House values may be down very modestly but I would see that as a plus, as its a house not an investment God help us ! The NZ mind set dumbfounds me.

A small ultra modern city with growing job opportunities, cheap urban housing for a modern NZ city for FHBs, the sporting province of NZ whether we like it or not, and Canterbury surrounding it with all its activities within 20 mins of town.

But then, your'e a Labour supporter so I guess the obvious isn't always obvious.....

Grant A, you are a very wise fellah!
We welcome people to Chch with attitudes like yours, unlike Gordon’s stupidness!

is “The Man 2” on Netflix ?

I travel to Christchurch for work frequently and I cannot wait to leave each time, it is most definitely not an ‘ultra modern city’. I cannot see the attraction. There is limted opportunity, the people are incredibly closed minded (and dare I say it...racist), and the surrounding areas are full of cow shit. Please, someone describe to me what the appeal is.

Your stupid comment in that statement doesn’t warrant anyone responding mate

1. Lower cost of living (house prices approx 1/2 of Auckland)
2. Salary on par with Auckland for certain industries
3. Free commuting to work (30 minutes by bike)
4. Good weather. Yes it's cold on a winters morning, but many wither days are sunny and delightful.
5. Quality tertiary study options
6. Close to everything I want:
6a. Within 10 minute walk I have a gym, cafe, petrol station, sports field, play ground, pre-school, primary and intermediate schools, takeaway shops, dairy, working 'mans' club
6b Within 10 minutes drive we have a mall, cinema, supermarket, high school, international airport, recreation lakes, hardware store, garden supplies, restaurants, bar, farm fresh vege retailers, the best icecream retailer in town, wildlife park, swimming pools.
6c Within 30 minutes drive we have a more restaurants, two more malls, central city, rivers, estuaries, beaches, parks, zoo, sports stadium, events arena, forests and hills for hiking and mountain biking.
6d. Within an hour we have ski fields, more rivers, more beaches, more forests, quaint villages and towns

The one thing I miss from living in the north island is the quality of beaches doesn't match those from Northland, but they're on par with Auckland beaches.

I still think property prices should be lower. The earthquakes really fucked up the supply demand curve and drove prices up. I see the rebalancing continue over the next five years.

But did you not predict some months ago that the economy will collapse with the current government.

Love ChCh
Landed there once in the ⛄️snow
Sadly it was a touch n go
Wellington is my preferred NZ town albeit on sunny days only


As I have better things to do with my time-examining the contents of my nose for example-this the the only post of yours I will comment on this year.
On what evidence do you make the claim that "NZ will continue to be the best country in the world to live in harmony"? Apart from the poor English-you need to live in harmony with something like nature,or one's neighbours,it demonstrates your narrow-minded 'little Englander' view of the world. I have heard people from many countries make precisely the same claim,so what makes you right and them wrong?
You go on to pile banality upon banality,when you are not boasting of your success in life-that reminds me of someone-do you have orange/blond hair and spend a lot of time on Twitter?

Linklater, NZ is very high up in the list of countries with "very high human development" in the UN's Human Development Report 2016:

Check page 198 for the list of countries. NZ comes in at #13. We also have advantages over many of the very few countries ahead of us in the list in that we have a British heritage (I love little Englanders), have nice weather and are not over populated.We should be #1 I feel when you take into account all other factors.

NZ is high on the list of all surveys. For example:

A Muslim Pakistani colleague of mine told me that he had worked in many countries and that NZ was definitely the best.

NZ economy will be steady (circa 2.0 - 2.5% gdp growth).

Median house prices will fall another 3-5% in Auckland. By year's end prices will start falling significantly in regions.

Private residential development sector will weaken, especially apartment sector.

My predictions for the following year are:-

1) Auckland's property prices will continue to deflate from their peak prices from early 2017. They're likely to drop by at least -20% overall by the end of 2018 and in to 2019. Though the ones that will mostly feel the effects of this will be the Paper Millionaires in the expensive areas because there are no top end buyers to hold up those extreme prices any more, we're already seeing this in the property auction results or lack of them. Though I'm sure the RE's will claim that the boom is just around the corner.

Remember Auckland's property market decline over the last year has mostly been attributed to China's clamping down on capital flight and the Ozzy banks turning off the lending tap to local Speculative Investors since the top end buyers are gone and lending to NZ property speculators is too high risk for them.

Better Dwelling article: China’s Massive International Real Estate Buying Spree Is Officially Dead

2) Surrounding areas that were pushed up by Auckland Boomers / Property Investors cashing up and moving to places such as Queenstown, Tauranga and Hamilton. Will also gradually deflate in their property prices since not many Aucklanders will be able to cash up to the extent as they did in the previous last few years.

3) When the Foreign Buyers ban comes in to effect in January 2018, this will help to reduce Auckland's property prices to more affordable levels for both citizens and actual residents. It will also provide a big eye opener as to how much foreign buying (Non residents) was actually happening especially in Auckland property market causing a false economy that National did nothing about.

4) Immigration will reduce a bit further due to the Foreign Buyers ban over the next year or so.

5) On a more positive note; NZ will become a more affordable place to live, there may be a slight recession due to a readjusting and strengthening of real economies, moving away from on a false economy driver creating a dependency on property prices.

6) New Zealand's export and tourism industries will stay buoyant. Our technology industry will increase since it will be much more affordable for international companies to invest in NZ innovation and creativity. Due to a lower NZD and more affordable living costs for staff in our larger cities.
Example of why high cost of living is bad for real economies:

7) China; a hard one to predict but something is going to come to the boil over their rapid accumulation of debt especially with unregulated lending Shadow Banking and liar loans.

Reuters article: China's leader fret of debs lurking in shadow banking system:

China's Mortgage fraud :

8) Labour may also be proactive about Auckland's empty homes once it becomes apparent that the number of non resident buyers was far greater than the 3% figure spun by National. Most overseas speculators tend to leave their properties empty to restrict the market. This is why a lot of international cities have recently brought in Empty Homes taxes to free up properties or at least gain some revenue from them.

9) In the US, anything could happen. I wouldn't be surprised if the Fed increased interest rates only to drop them again soon after. Their economy is in just as much in a muddle as the rest of the global economy.

10) The UK will start to fully realize that Brexit was a very bad idea when most of the larger banking investors up stakes and gradually moves outside of London.
On a plus note, London will be more affordable. :)

CJ, can you please post your predictions of last year

I think there is still good demand for good top end property. The rich are getting richer by the day. The median property price will continue to fall as people continue to buy smaller homes(after existing plots have been sub divided).

Robert Mueller will dig up some serious dirt on Trump and his administration.

Trump will resign and use the 'Witch Hunt' and 'Fake News' as his excuses.


Trump will refuse to resign and the Republican House etc will have no choice but to Impeach him as they scramble to save their own backsides because of growing rust-belt anger at being deceived and lied to.

NZ banks will be flatout brainstorming as they try to stop their mortgage books' growth continuing to decline.

Macro economic performance for NZ will be similar to slightly lower to 2016.

The US and China will enter into a trade war. Trump will push reform of US steel industry.

Just so you don't feel bad about it, people are spectacularly bad at predictions and there are just so many it is surprising. Often the very people who are most expert in their field make the very worst predictions. No wonder Central Planning doesn't work as wonderfully as you think it should.

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

"Everyone acquainted with the subject will recognize it as a conspicuous failure." - -Henry Morton, president of the Stevens Institute of Technology, on Edison's light bulb, 1880

"Television won't last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night." - -Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox, 1946

"No one will pay good money to get from Berlin to Potsdam in one hour when he can ride his horse there in one day for free." - King William I of Prussia, on trains, 1864

"If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one." - -W.C. Heuper, National Cancer Institute, 1954

"No, it will make war impossible." - -Hiram Maxim, inventor of the machine gun, in response to the question "Will this gun not make war more terrible?" from Havelock Ellis, an English scientist, 1893

"We will never make a 32-bit operating system." – Bill Gates, 1989

"I don't think there will be a woman Prime Minister in my lifetime. " Mrs. Thatcher 1973

The list goes on.

Roger, a spectacular point, thank you!

Although, we should add to this, that these predictions may not even have been a honest reflection of the individuals belief at the time either, some people chose to purposefully say something contrary to what they actual believe for some political or other invested interest.

For instance, i'm sure Maggie said there would be no female Prime Minister as to downplay her own ambition. Others could be simply spin. Human beings are often either a deluded or a deeply manipulative species.

Nassim Taleb of Black Swan fame actually deals with that of which you speak. After the fact, it seems easy to predict, but at the time it is not. I don't think Mrs T had even considered the possibility at the time

There are hundreds of these amazing quotes out there and I can't find the ones I'm after. For instance, a video of Mrs T would be good.

Anyone else found any good ones? For instance I think Muldoon said he could see a time when New Zealand might have as many as 5 licensed restaurants, or something like that.

Roger, oh I totally agree with you, and the fallibility of prediction in general. I was just meaning to highlight that at least some of the predictions made are not even based on genuine belief, but an attempt to manipulate or persuade others as to preferred future outcomes. Obviously the biggest clanger is the bias inherent in most forecasting based on the wants and fears of the forecaster.

After obtaining very expensive reports from 4 of the worlds most respected consulting companies who all agreed oil would never be less than US $ 80 bbl again - Muldoon's government signed the Synfuels contract against the advice of just one economist ( Fired him ) with oil near US $ 100 bbl.

The day Synfuels opened oil was less than US $ 10 bbl.

The lone dissenter now occupies a very senior position in Government.

Hardly, you are talking sense!
ChCh is going to be the city of choice for many large companies and young ones in the next few years.
Once the CBD is rebuilt and convention centre etc. is built watch the tourism no.s rise.
You would have to be pretty narrow minded if you can’t see the rosey future for Chch.
Buy now or you will miss the boat.
Chch stood up to 15000 shakes and Is safer now than ever!!!

You still won’t get them there. Bad weather, too far from rest of NZ and the market you are selling to, dropping population , high crime figures, useless sports teams and risk of another major quake. Auckland offers so much more as proved by its population which dwarfs dwindling Christchurch.

Sadly the Chch CBD has stopped being rebuilt because TC3 foundations's are too expensive for multi level buildings because no company can afford to pay the rent required to make it financially viable. Its a real tragedy.

Yes it is very sad to see what has happened to Christchurch. You cannot experience such violent shakes and ever be the same again. No wonder you go all over our lovely country and meet so many who have left for a better life. We can only hope a Wellington never experiences such a serious shake as being our capital city the ramifications are huge.

Gordon, you are so far off the mark it is not funny!
Population is increasing.
Auckland is where the crime is, and they solve very few!
Useless sports teams? You are a lost cause!
Another major quake? Could happen anywhere Gordon and people do very well out of,insurance!
Yes Auckland does do very well with the population growth!
Just walk thru the centre of Auckland and it will tell you where the population growth is!

Auckland is a fantastic city hence people want to live there. Plenty of jobs and lovely weather and beaches. Several times the population of poor old Christchurch says it all. And for the record I live in a provincial capital in the North Island not Auckland.

I agree with you on Auckland's beaches Gordon but certainly not the weather. Auckland winters are horrible.

Nothing ruins a beach more than it being overpopulated

Nothing ruins a beach more than sewage.

Auckland's a shithole (40+ years of living there entitles me to my opinion).

I predict that this current crop of doomers will get even poorer in the comming year, as their negative attitude translates into self destructive behaviour. Eventually watching others get ahead will cause them to descend into silent despondency, only to be replaced by a new crop of doomers, hoping for a crash or some other calamity, so they can justify their own inaction and mockery of those who actually take risks and get ahead.
In other words, nothing will change.

Bitcoin touched 20k, today its 12.5 k. .. so if prices go only in one direction this should not rather than being Doomers I would rephrase the term pragmatist.

On the contrary, speculators such as you, will eventually face reality..

Good luck

Ah Bitcoin - a fiat currency, purchased with another fiat currency but people are only interested in the value of the Bitcoin against in the fiat currency that they used to purchase Bitcoin. It has no real use or value. Pure speculation.

Just as people have been speculating in property

IMO a lot of comment on bitcoin ignores the much wider context that has given birth to the bitcoin boom.

There is very little mention of the relationship between electricity and processing power, for instance.

Back in the day (2012) when we were mining bitcoin, it was mostly for fun, using some code on a USB stick sized bit of kit. However, now there are entire bitcoin farms using vast quantities of energy, most notably in Venezuela where electricity is FREE. Electricity is free in Venezuela because they have invested in mass solar and produce an energy surplus. Obviously using the free energy to mine bitcoin is illegal, but yeah, good luck policing that.

So bitcoin is now inherently linked to production cost, and the production cost is based on two factors... energy and the cost of computer processing power. I would wager that there is more super computing ability currently going in to bitcoin mining than any scientific or technology based purpose.

ENERGY + PROCESSING POWER. Gee... wait... aren't they two of the most valuable things in modern existence? And isn't that how a currency is always eventually created?

Looking at the history of currency. Didn't currency often represent something of status value rather than always inherent value and usefulness? What inherent value did gold, silver, gem stones ever have? None (until more recently obviously). Historically, they weren't useful metals or crystals generally other than having a perceived beauty and being hard to come by. They represented value originally only as a status symbol, rare and pretty. But as we move forward as a species what will ultimately be the perceived conveyor of value? I would suggest that electricity and computer processing power might not be such a crazy notion.

Don't get me wrong, bitcoin is clearly volatile and problematic. We sold ours 2 weeks ago. But they were never bitcoin that we bought, they were bitcoin that we mined. Nonetheless, cryptocurrencies may have value beyond our current shallow conception of tangible value (gold, shares, houses, commodities) because rare and high status items have always been a source of stored wealth in human history and one day, energy and computer processing power may come to be how we reflect value.

Mining bitcoin seems like such a waste of resources. Non-renewable resources as well as renewable resources will be used to generate the electricity. This is not good for the environment. Theoretically could cut out the energy use, by saying you have X computing power and intend to use X amount of electricity to mine bitcoins. Leave the machine off, send us a cheque equivalent to what the power bill would have been and you can have the bitcoin you would have mined.

Unfortunately Bitcoin is only one of many and the many have much better technology development and future development potential. That being said stilling holding a wallet for a bit but in reality while Bitcoin can hold the title first it does not hold IP, or technical success. The exchanges though have been cashing in and supporting the network along with the greater pools. They will not want a sudden drop in value even once they bring in other alts, the money for fees and services is too enticing. So even with the high volatility it is not going to bottom out for a while, more like a long protracted constipated revaluing.
What is more interesting is the social shift. The US has many bills coming in to reintroduce critical thinking and media literacy. Strangely we make see the same in part with introductions of more technical syllabuses and overseas companies being called to moderate illegal, false & harmful content more. It would mean there may be a shift in media delivered. Not likely to be a huge shift but even minor ones can really affect the world. Remember that one failed expelled vaccines cause autism article If only a few mainstream media houses increase reporting standards and more younger readers question the results more then the next generation can be more skilled in filtering, researching and more sceptical.
Then we come to another area with a major country shifting weight, China's restrictions on importing waste for recycling will have larger effects on those nations not set up yet to recycle plastics en masse, which means there may be another set of baby steps in consumer products along with switching to another country to ship to. Saw my first set of headphones advertising being fully recyclable with wood and more metal components in NZ (mostly for fashion), and recyclable packaging, (failing to mention that most will still end up in landfill). While it is a fashion and higher cost in buying "green" the end goal of most consumer electronics is still resigned to a rubbish dump. The technical approaches to adapt may move beyond just the fashionable virtue signalling features this year, (but given the biannual cycle more likely next year). As multiple companies while they could design for longer lifecycles often would prefer customers just to keep to a biannual upgrade cycle with old products going to waste. Even in electric vehicles this would be interesting as developments in battery technology has been going in leaps and bounds but existing owners rarely get to see upgrades compatible for their models (deprecation being one of the biggest drivers for new purchases).
I believe the argument for right to repair and design for durability & sustainability will become more vocal, and companies caught with fingers in the cookie jar will be called out more often. Creating a hilarious dissonance when those same customers who buy the extremely wasteful products for status also wanting to signal being fashionably "green". Many would never give up a upgraded mobile phone & fashionable drink regardless of the waste and lifecycle. Even plastic bags do not have a dissonance in it's users as much as this. Much like the polluting freedom campers wanting to be more one with nature but refusing to responsibly dispose of waste, sewage or to stop harming the environment on public land.
It will be a while before minor changes sink to NZ, even changes by China still have a while to come in. However the legal changes normally go a bit quicker, perhaps because of the higher value in the stakeholders.

Happy New Year to all. May there be many positive outcomes.

We sold ours 2 weeks ago. ... Nice. I suspect you've timed that bubble to perfection.

I predict SKUDIV will attain some humility in the coming year. However, I thought that one of my grandchildren buying a house when the GFC was taking place was foolish.

i predict 2018 will be much like 2017 with increasing militarisation of the borders with china and russia and regime change in Iran by you know who.
Followed by an oil shock which should nicely line the pockets of you can guess and place the rest in recession yet again.
Its all been done before.

My prefictions ofa year ago:
Submitted by Yvil on Sun, 01/01/2017 - 16:23
In 2017:
- The Feds won't be able to lift rates 3 x
- Trump will only carry through few of his election promises
- Europe will continue to struggle in a paralysis of status quo
- Auckland house prices will stagnate (0% growth, no crash, no price appreciation)
- There will be a continued shift to the right worldwide
- There will be no clear winner in the NZ election hence Peters will be kingmaker again

What grade do I get David Chaston?

I'd give you and A+ and tell you to stop skiting now :)

Yvil, well done you!

Your predictions for 2018 are.....

Thanks R P.
I think 2018 will be "more of the same" and less different to 2017 than many think. I.e, NZ property prices will still be flat (but I know you have a different view)

Yvil, hope your prediction is spot on because long term stability with an element of sanity would be the ideal outcome given the folly of recent times!

All the best for you in 2018 :)

Thanks R P, all the best to you too for 2018

Thanks Davo

Yes, I read yours earlier today and thought you took the prize for last year!

Kate, given your American heritage I thought of you when I visited the Kapiti Coast recently, but I’m sure you are too well informed to violate NZ rules on flag flying, if you have a flag. Next time I go down there I’ll take printouts of the rules and remind those foreigners that this is New Zealand and our flag shouldn’t fly lower than a foreign flag.

Was the offending patriot living in a property on the Raumati beachfront?

No, it was further North in Waikanae Beach.

Yanks everywhere, eh? Must be a cousin of the Raumati patriots.

Canadians as well, plus some kiwis that have kept the alternate flag longer than did on its search bar.

Thanks Kate

Russians cut the internet sea cables. A dead cert. All the cheap bank money in the world won't save monopoly Tech Giants.

In the next 6 months – US launches pre-emptive strike on N Korea.
Strike is limited to missile / launch sites and associated military hardware.
Possible use of MOAB – just to ram the point home.
Much perfunctory anger and outrage from China and Russia – however, all keep powder dry for another day.

If anyone has made money on Bitcoin, cash out before it is worth next to nothing!
It is based on nothing and there won’t be enough suckers to keep trading it except the ones that hold it!
“The Man” advises everyone that Chch property will be a great earner for those that take their chances.
Guaranteed good buying as the population increases!
Happy and Prosperous New Year to everyone even my big knockers!

"Happy and Prosperous New Year to everyone even my big knockers!"

Ummm - I'm not quite sure where you're going with your last sentence - perhaps try "detractors".

Perhaps its an obscure reference to the fact that chch property prices are starting to sag like big knockers tend to after a couple of decades?

The Labour Government will phaff about the edges - example some minimum wage rules.
Meanwhile all New Zealand individuals and medium business will continue to be royally screwed by big corporates in energy, banking and communications.

All those that picked no to Brexit, Trump, and a labour Govt sure got it wrong. So 2018...

Property flat in Akl as the long breath start (how long you can hold on before you have to refinance).

We will continue to export our brightest to Queensland because of stupid house prices. Specuvestors will finally wake up when they need medical operations and all the doctors speak english as a second or third language.

Labour kills overseas ownership and forces intensification and lower priced housing. Otherwise they are gone burger before they start.

Chch has started its 20 year revitalisation. Return to normal will take time. I wish it all the best and hope HSOB can buy their clubrooms back.

I pray the quakes are over but you couldnt pay me enough to rolocate to Wellington.

China and Trump continue to build preasure. Trump will feature in a new Tom Clancy novel...not as the hero.

Global debt ponzi will continue.

Bitcoin will continue to be a mathmatical indicator of debt based banking gobal enslavement and control. Banking masters will continue to struggle with controlling it but fail.

All Blacks loose to England. Just what we need pre 2019.

Crusaders back up super title. Talk of Scott Rob being next AB coach.

Tech stocks will be hammered when they are forced to pay tax globaly.

Chocolate will still be awesome. Beer will be too. They will still not mix that well.

In comparison, exercise will still be " Kind of OK".

Crime will continue to decline.

Premature deaths for the world’s four biggest noncommunicable diseases­ — cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory — will continue to decline.

The measles vaccine will continue to save lives.

China will continue it's green efforts by doing things like: Not building more coal plants, building sh*tloads of solar panels, curbing emissions and re-greening large areas.

More countries will ban plastic bags.

And so on. The point being that actually, a lot of good is happening in the world.

I can confirm beer is still tasting pretty good with only 1.5 hours until 2018

I predict..

1, Aussie Banks will continue to screw the system.

2. Those screwed will love it, until they do not. What a bummer.

3. Money will be refunded and enable people to meet their debts, but not their maker. Coffins go up in smoke in California and other over Heated Climate Denied Weather Patterns. Insurance costs rise..World-wide. INSPITE.

4. Cash was king, but Johnny died and now the rellies rely on Royalties.
(Prince Harry relies on Megan and the Great British Public, but then so do Queen, top down Royalties notwithstanding).

5. Interest will never bear fruit. But may always be a fraction of what the profit could have been, if invested in Cherries. Melons and Dried Fruit for sale at Christmas. Kumera, did not bear fruit, but beat Potatoes, it pays to have skin in the game. Buy up dried fruit...put it on the House...ya saw it here on 31st December...ya Christmas Fruit Cakes. 2018 tomorrow...may be too late.

6. Being in debt is fashionable. May the New Year bring on more. Houses are all one desires to dress up smart.. Flip-flops are Chinese made for yaun, American produced, dollar cost averaging, then passed the buck to NZ...Go figure....We is so loaded..though strangely cost 1.4083 US for us Twits in NZ to BUY....their Printed on Plastic/Paper...Dollar.
Sorry Chinese was the economy...Stupid. 3%...nah, not really...2017.......Jesus wept. XI wants it all back...Boxing Day Sales..extended to China New Year.

7. Trump will quit whilst a head. Will he be the prick, that bursts the whole Bubble...economy. If he Twitters any more, twitters will become a fully paid up trillionaire debt collection .but no one will buy what He says...but only by being in default., if paid in Bit-coin. ...or any other crypto,ipsofacto,chain driven entity.

Watch this is out of this World...Money Flies...Santa Smiles.

8. Crypto currencies may not be worth the electric bill, but they beat Christmas Paper Money, demanded by Apple a Once a weak....Batteries descend from $79-$29-Yaun2018. Now who is in charge. Ya Fruit Cakes..

9. A fool and his crypto are soon parted.

10. Russia buys North Korea for a boat load of OIL. Trump hardly notices his counter part, cos we can all add up... Putin on the agony is just a is all about...OIL. Invest, before it blows up in yer face. BOOM...
PS..Buy land in N may go through the roof, land banking...going Nuclear...over there...I hear.

Happy and Safe New Year everyone ...
Wish you all the best for 2018.

1. The drought will hit hard, depressing the regions.

2. The actual tax take won’t come anywhere near Labour’s forecasts. Rather than trim their spending, they will borrow.

3. NZ First will find its billion dollar pork barrel fund isn’t enough, yet Robertson will be eyeing it up to cut the deficit.

4. The PM will announce her pregnancy. Peters will salivate at being interim PM, but then realise he has to front the media. NZ First support will go to 4%, making him resort to captains calls while in the power seat.

5. The affordable houses won’t eventuate. Twyford will blame the greedy boomers for not dying as quickly as projected and will propose a Rose and Lawn tax. Faux plant gardens will flourish. Palmers and Kings plant barn will close down in Auckland.

6. Wellington will have a major earthquake and the All Blacks will lose to England. Labour will get the blame.

7. We will find out what really happened in that car park before the 2014 election ;)

8. Trump will give NK a surprise tickle up.

9. Interest rates will stay down and house prices will remain firm, especially in 1071

10. The end of year report on government performance will say “could do better”.

Having a quick look at the 7 day forecast might suggest prediction 1. could struggle – which would not be a bad thing.

Agree, albeit it will take a lot more than a week of good rain to put the season back on track. Once the stock has been sent to the works it’s too late.

Hang in there – warm sea surface temperatures abound – we’ve just pushed ourselves a bit closer to the tropics for summer – more rain than you may want, in the north anyway.

It is not difficult to estimate that our weather will become increasingly more volatile and primarily warmer.

No 4 has proven correct for the first part. Is there a prize?

A UBI will be tested in Kataia.
Starting 2018 all taxes will be gradually eliminated and a tax on all Bank deposits will be gradually introduced.
But I can dream.....

In 2018 there will be almost $1 trillion less global QE than in 2017. What does that mean? We don’t know – and by we I mean you and (me) and all of our central bankers. I don’t much care what their models say, because their models have been continually, disastrously wrong. They create those models in order to give themselves excuses to do what they want to do, and then they conduct massive monetary experiments on economies to sees what happens. Sometimes everything works out. Sometimes it doesn’t.....Current Fed policy is punishing debtors without helping savers....but the Fed’s tightening may have a more deflationary impact than it expects..... If we get into a real fear-based market that thinks a recession is coming, I think we’ll see 15% yields in the junk bond segment. They’ll get even (higher ones) if recession actually appears

(John Mauldin)

Last year I predicted a boring year. The only thing I got wrong was local interest rates continuing to increase and they've stayed flat for the year.

The Fed interest rate increases I anticipated last year will happen this year. They have a determination to increase rates. This is still going to take 1-2 years to have an impact. The real impact being on those that need to refinance. In the US existing mortgages do not need to be refinanced as they are fixed on a 15 or 30 year basis typically. It will be the zombie companies that have piled on debt that will be affected where any interest rate increase will trigger a failure due to lack of real cash flow or profit.

I expect the ECB will keep buying 30b euros of bad debt per month. In part to bail out Italy and the European banks that are in trouble (most or all of them).

There will probably be some sort of debt emergency in the US in the coming year. With Trump's promises of tax cuts people (who will most likely not be a recipient) have already spent up bigly accumulating debt. Of course the same will happen again this year as people won't realise how small their tax refund will be until 2019. When the bond market snaps back to reality we may see a functioning debt market again.

Only two predictions, both testable.
1 - the May budget will be a shock to the system. Revenue will be static to mild decline, expenses especially in votes Health (wages...), Justice ( wages...), Education (allowances. Revenue replacement, staff wages...), will all need much more than the November rush job budget thought.
2 - NZ will start to see an influx of rich US immigrants, driven out by Trump Derangement Syndrome, the effect of the SALT deductions caps, and a Labour gubmint that needs their Munny (and throws the Nasty Furriner meme under the bus to acquire it). Call it Thiel Act II ...

What fun. Will there be strikes and stoppages and work to rule? What about demarcation and union rights? Wild cat strikes, industrial sabotage, nationalisation, currency crises, balance of payments crises, closed shops and all the other glorious and wondrous stupidity of the seventies, coupled with Oil Embargos leading to Rampant Inflation and petrol rationing and three day weeks and electricity cuts? Hopefully not, but you never know...

I predict ... a period of quiet stagnation with a Lot of Earnest Discussion.

Borrowing rates have fallen to their lowest level for 62 years....Westpac Group is now offering a 3.59 per cent variable rate for (Australian) owner-occupier loans

Westpac NZ variable rate is 5.95% yet the Cash Rate in Australia is just 0.25% lower. Something's going to break; either the bond market ( interest rates) or the asset market ( property). Take your pick....and neither is good.....

The NZ floating mortgage rate is currently very high, and can only decrease in 2018.

If the US long bond goes to historical long run 7% levels I doubt this will occur.

Happy new year all, my ideas below. Looking forward to reflecting on them!

- Auckland to drop 6% overall
- The first quartile houses to drop 6%, median 10%, and upper quartile no movement
- Other main centres to hold up well, finishing where they started
- Regions that have boomed lately without underlying wage growth locally to pull back

Sharemarket NZ
- First few months up
- Big blip on the radar before june, leading to a 7-12% drop
- Everyone to foresee doom, but it will blow over
- Finish the year 1% above where we started

Sharemarket Globally
- The big Digital players to keep growing at double digits
- China to grow 5%, but below growth expectations, which will still cause shivers elsewhere
- AU 4% growth over the year, US to continue surging for a period but hit bumps late year and finish near where it started
- Nothing major up or down overall

- Labour to push ahead agressively with social policies
- NZF to make lots of noise and thankfully achieve nothing
- A growing acceptance that the 2019 Greens referendum to legalise marijuana will be successful
- Trump and Kim to keep talking and doing nothing
- World to become increasingly wary of China, shadow market etc

Monetary policy/Interest Rates
- 1.75% OCR for the whole year
- Banks to find another 0.2% spread between TD and mortgage rates to meet capital requirements in Australia
- Fed to progress with planned increases
- China making noises about curtailing debt growth, and tightening monetary policy, then doing opposite when low growth becomes apparent

- Bitcoin to become slightly more commoditised, and the very small piece of the very big pie of managed funds that will go into it will see it end the year about $20k, with decreasing but still relatively high volatility
- A bunch of other currencies to be 'the next big thing', some will make money, some will never be heard of again
- Lots of talk about how Blockchain will change everything, little to actually happen by EOY 18.

Hi All ... I read this today and thought I might share it with everyone here as I expect most will be interested ... sorry, these are not my predictions but are related to what the future may hold for us all:

" An interesting talk by the Head of Daimler Benz.
A bit mind blowing to say the least! He predicted an interesting concept of what could lie ahead.

In a recent interview, the Head of Daimler Benz (Mercedes Benz) said their competitors are no longer other car companies, but Tesla (obviously), and now, Google, Apple, Amazon 'et al' are……

Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years

Uber is just a software tool, they don't own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world.

Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don't own any properties.

Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected.

In the U.S., young lawyers already can't get jobs. Because of IBM Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans.

So, if you study law, stop immediately. There will be 90% less lawyers in the future, only specialists will remain.

Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, 4 times more accurately than human nurses. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.

Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self-driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don't want to own a car anymore. You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and you can be productive while driving. Our kids will never get a driver's license and will never own a car.

It will change the cities, because we will need 90-95% less cars for that. We can transform former parking spaces into parks.

1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 60,000 miles (100,000 km), with autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 6 million miles (10 million km). That will save a million lives each year.

Most car companies will probably go bankrupt. Traditional car companies will try the traditional approach and try to build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will take the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels.

Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi are completely terrified of Tesla.

Auto Insurance companies will have massive trouble because without accidents, car insurance will become much cheaper. Their car insurance business model will slowly disappear.

Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood.

Electric cars will become mainstream about 2020. Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity. Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean: Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, and now you can now see the burgeoning impact.

Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. Energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that can't last. Technology will take care of that strategy.

With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination of salt water now only needs 2kwh per cubic meter (@ 0.25 cents). We don't have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost.

Health innovations: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the "Tricorder" from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample, and you can breathe into it.

It then analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any disease. It will be cheap, so in a few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medical analysis, nearly for free. Goodbye, medical establishment.

3D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years. In the same time, it became 100 times faster. All major shoe companies have already started 3D printing shoes.

Some common spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large amount of spare parts they used to keep in the past.

At the end of this year, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You can then 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoes at home.

In China, they already 3D printed and built a complete 6-storey office building.. By 2027, 10% of everything that's being produced will be 3D printed.

Business opportunities: If you think of a niche you want to go in, ask yourself: "In the future, do you think we will have that?", and if the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner?

If it doesn't work with your phone, forget the idea. And any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed to failure in the 21st century.

Work: 70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but it is not clear if there will be enough new jobs in such a small time.

Agriculture: There will be a $100 agricultural robot in the future. Farmers in 3rd world countries can then become managers of their field instead of working all day on their fields.

Aeroponics will need much less water. The first Petri dish that produced veal is now available and will be cheaper than cow produced veal in 2018. Right now, 30% of all agricultural surfaces is used for cows.. Imagine if we don't need that space anymore.

There are several start-ups who will bring insect protein to the market shortly. It contains more protein than meat. It will be labeled as "alternative protein source" (because most people still reject the idea of eating insects).

There is an app called "moodies" which can already tell in which mood you're in. By 2020 there will be apps that can tell by your facial expressions, if you are lying. Imagine a political debate where it's being displayed when they're telling the truth and when they're not.

Bitcoin may even become the default reserve currency .... Of the world!

Longevity: Right now, the average life span increases by 3 months per year. Four years ago, the life span used to be 79 years, now it's 80 years. The increase itself is increasing and by 2036, there will be more than one year increase per year. So, we all might live for a long time, probably way more than 100.

Education: The cheapest smart phones are already at $10 in Africa and Asia. By 2020, 70% of all humans will own a smart phone. That means, everyone has the same access to world class education.

Every child can use Khan academy for everything a child needs to learn at school in First World countries. There have already been releases of software in Indonesia and soon there will be releases in Arabic, Swahili, and Chinese this summer. I can see enormous potential if we give the English app for free, so that children in Africa and everywhere else can become fluent in English. And that could happen within half a year.....Are you ready for all this?!?!? "

Enjoy your holidays ..

And in order for anyone to access all of this technology, a universal basic income will be required and ownership of all of the robotics and technology that produces will have to be considered. Taxation will come in the form of a financial transactions tax as there will be no income to tax. Capitalism will expire. People will still have the desire to be in wild places, we will be lucky if there are any left for us to do that, unless we make a concerted effort to see to it there are.
Creativity will be valued highly as it will be pretty much all that will be left for people to actually do with themselves or else people will become purposeless slugs who while they might not live to a 100, life will certainly feel like they have.
I pretty much see this future as well, but I am actually really glad I will not have to live it, imagine 100 years of sheer boredom

These technological changes will probably effect migration. Employers will not want more workers, but will our elites want more consumers or perhaps cannon fodder.

"Electric cars will become mainstream about 2020. Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity"

This also has me wondering what will the fate of traffic police will be. Assuming there will be no speeding cars or dangerous driving/drunk driving, there won't be a much of a job left for them. The odd accident is about all they'll be required for.

Electric cars have no show of being mainsteam by 2020 unless mainstrean means 1 out of every 100 families has one.

Electric cars will _start_ becoming mainstream (overseas in wealthy countries) by 2020. But this is not the same as self driving cars. Those are still 10years away from mainstream, and 15years from fully self driving (no steering wheel). Add 8 years after that for NZ to reach any significant level of adoption.

Thanks for sharing Ecobird, very interesting indeed.
In my opinion, the pace at which the world changes is no longer defined by technological/computing advance but rather by the pace at which humans are/aren't willing to change their own habits.

That's right, technological advancement has always been ahead of us and its release was only constrained by the ability of the majority of people accepting and dealing with it --
usually it was orchestrated to provide a continuous stream of business too - this time, the quantum leap seems to be bigger and technology makers and implementers are less patient than previous ones... maybe they think we are ready for it and more educated than ever to take on new challenges and digest the new changes. Or maybe they have a a lot in store for us in the next decade or two ... Space or rocket travelling ?

" In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans."

Ha, humans aren't as intelligent as they think they are. Is computer intelligence limited by human input? If humans don't have wisdom how do they program the same into computers?

All too true, too often AI is constrained by the development and methods for obtaining semantic knowledge, even going so far as to pick up human biases and racism.

But the bots and malware will be bigger and better (after all we are still far from a push to properly secure IoT devices so we have a lot of ground to catch up on).

.....humans elected trump. I'm sure a computer wouldn't have. Most humans have been surpassed already.

I think if a computer was able to choose a candidate unencumbered by silly human biases and was able to analyze all the data over all of human history then Trump would have been the obvious choice. Keeping in mind that the task was to choose someone who would be best for the USA. After all the alternative was hardly plausible. It would have been calculated in nanoseconds.

At least two volcanic vents with pyroclastic flows will decimate large areas of the double grammar zones of Auckland.

70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years

Possible. And how will that happen? The next 20 years will 'see out' the Boomers. As they retire or die their jobs will be subsumed; not replaced by the next in line, and one has to wonder "How will people be able to afford to live or buy anything?!". UBI? Maybe, but who will fund that? The very people that can't afford to 'live' in the first place. Many ( most?) people aren't technicians, no matter how much they are educated to be. Most people are practicians, and as practical - manual - jobs disappear how do 'most people' earn a living?
Answer: A much lower standard of living to that which we see about us today.
They're building robots to take any remaining jobs you might find, and you will have to fight fifty other people to get it at lower rates and fewer hours than you could imagine. This won’t be a case of “get a job or starve”, but rather “get a job and starve”.

I'm sorry bw but I cannot agree with your terribly pessimistic view of the future. We live better today than we did 100 years ago and still much better than 200 years ago. Īm convinced this trend will continue in the future because the vast majority of people strive for betterment.

200 years ago; 100 years ago, there were fewer people. There are 3 times as many people on the planet today than when I was born! Trends ALWAYS change, always. That's what makes them trends. And yes, people do strive for betterment' but what is betterment? It's different for each of us, and when too many of us 'buck the betterment trend' - it changes...

Same can hardly be said for a great many of the other species we share this planet with. What a selfish argument.


I did not vote for Labour however I can now see they will in 2018 make New Zealand a much fairer and better country for more New Zealanders than National ever did. Not everyone was born with the same amount of brain matter or ability. Not everyone was born in the same lucky generation as myself. As a national community we have a moral obligation to look after those who are less fortunate than us who were born before 1965, had a free tertiary obligation, great job opportunities, cheap assets to buy such as shares and property, plenty of good food and a carefree and safe outdoor lifestyle. I am personally happy to pay lots of tax to assist those who were born in circumstances less than myself. I had sensible parents who put us first. They were not into drugs, they drank moderately, my father who was a professional worked hard for the family and my mother clothed and fed us daily. In some ways the world has progressed and in some ways it has regressed. When I was young life was simple. Money has become a new religion, some people who say they have it put down those who do not have it and in doing that they forget not everyone is born equal.

I can't believe you didn't vote for labour

Purely and simply Labour will never be able to govern alone and therefore we were always going to get Winston as part of the deal. He is the most selfish and shallow politician New Zealand has ever had. His height is typical of world wide politicians who love power and who attack first in order to kid themselves they are six foot tall.

In your comments above Gordon you omit to mention that too many persons strive for evermore wealth to compensate for their feelings of inferiority. Neoliberal policies have encouraged the greedy for decades now.

I wouldn't disagree about WP. . But couldn't accept the hyenas coming back for the 4th term

The Gini co-efficient hasn't changed in NZ for some 30 years - hardly indicative of growing inequality - so unlikely to be any significant change in the next few years.

NZ is already a very fair country by any standard.

Perhaps someone has been rubbing the wrong lamp?

Yes Gordon everyone isn't born equally, but then everyone doesn't perform and contribute equally to society either, including those that were indeed born equally - there will always be those with considerably more money than others, and in many cases, rightfully so.

Didge. A sense of inferiority motivates some but for many the building of great businesses or investment portfolios is much more about the simple satisfaction of taking on the challenge and having a go, with wealth the bye product. After the bach, boat and BMW phase has passed, too many kiwi business people give it away, which is negatively impacting on this country's economic wellbeing.

Socialist sniping at ambitious wealth accumulators is fashionable in a sizeable chunk of NZ society but the same people pay little thought as to how the glass of chardonnay in their hand got to be there. While I too inwardly smirk at the grotesque wealth symbols that some people seem to derive their sense of meaning from, I also remind myself that the same ostentatious tool who owns it, probably created significant wealth and jobs for the ordinary people of this great little country.

Didn't do super well last year with my four predictions:
1. Vancouver house prices down 20%, Melbourne down 10%, Auckland basically flat.
Nope on Vancouver unless one cherry picks 4+ bedroom detached houses:
Definitely nope on Melbourne although sales are down:
OK, on Auckland but didn't expect the upswing at the beginning of the year.

I think I'll just repeat these predictions for this year, but perhaps Auckland up to 5% down.

2. Australia will go into recession.
Not unless the negative fourth quarter continues to be a negative first quarter this year.

3. Trump and China will butt heads - outcome unpredictable.
I guess.

4. Too early to predict election.
Well I was correct on that given all the twists and turns.

So what for this year:
Probability of China having a 2007-type event: 30%
If not, probably mostly same-old same-old.

Looks like the Swiss may be voting on their sovereign money initiative this year:
which would disallow the creation of money by commercial banks. Their government doesn't support it so it probably won't pass (their UBI initiative a couple of years ago failed), but if it does it will be a fascinating experiment to watch. I expect we will find such a situation exists in NZ.

RNZ will launch a new Current Affairs "TV" program. Restoring some intellectual respectability in general. Public broadcasting will take viewers off the major chanels. New Zealander's will wake up to the interesting times this Labour government is taking us into. Its Always, always a Labour government who shakes things up., If it wasn't for the 3rd Labour Government Stephen Joyce would have been setting the interests.

optimistic predictions from a permabear

1. In NZ the effect of drought, fewer Chinese house speculators and a dip in domestic private borrowing will have a noticeable negative impact on GDP but this will be counter balanced by increased government spending on infrastructure and health care. CPI inflation will rise a little as new progressive taxation policies are implemented and put more money in peoples pockets. We may even see cigarette excise reduced as the negative social impacts of the current policy are reviewed. The effect of lower GDP, an unstable Auckland housing market, and higher CPI inflation will create a conundrum for the RBNZ.
2. by the end of 2018 gold up to 62K NZD, bitcoin down to 8K, will also drag other cryptos down with the exception of perhaps ripple. Upper quartile Auckland (yes including 1071) down 4% on ultra thin volume. Real-estate agents will have to relocate or find other jobs. Upper quartile BOP (and other retirement destinations) up 4% on healthy volumes. Nationally real-estate prices static or slightly negative.
3. Labour/Green/NZF will introduce some surprise policy to prop up the flagging housing market but it will be targeted towards FHB's. Similar to what Australia has done in the past, perhaps 10K first home buyer grants.
4. The fed will make a token rate change, but the other central banks will continue to pump liquidity so that global liquidity injections from all the central banks will remain as they currently are.
5. The golden run of US shares will come to an end and European shares will start to shine. European ETFs will see +7% in NZD terms.
6. Much turmoil in Venezuela and Iran will push the oil price up a bit.

Buying lots of gold then? -or does that prediction need double checking?

Just humble predictions. No way to verify the correctness until next year. I'm happy with my asset allocations. Re gold there's a minimum 6% round trip cost so based on my prediction and the current price it wouldn't make sense. But hey, to each their own.

Transaction costs are expensive with gold, but there’s a special feeling holding ounce coins in your hands and it’s easily transportable. There’s a good reason why Dutch woman ex Indonesia wear so much gold jewellery. It was the only thing of value they could take out when the Japanese arrived during WW2

I see, that's 62K Per Kilo for the gold. About time we moved away form the imperial measures I guess.

War, Black Swan and GFC.
Dec 2018 house prices in NZ 10% less than Dec 2017.

Here's a simple prediction: NZ will be the first country to have an expected PM.

Surely we expect to have a PM at every election, as does every country that has one. I expect there are quite likely a number of PMs whose families have increased while they are in office, in case that is what you meant.

The problem with Bitcoin is nobody needs it.
My prediction is we will see the beginning of the end for the USD as the worlds "base" currency.

as Yogi Berra once said,though he may have been echoing Nils Bohr, "Predictions are always difficult,especially about the future". Wise words,but despite that,I will make a couple.
After another stellar year,in which the NZX 50 with a gain of 22%,substantially outperformed the major indices,it will finally fall this year. I see the Index some 10% lower,though with little knock-on effect on dividends.In that event,I will be a cautious buyer.
China will continue to gain both regional and global influence at America's expense. It will continue its military buildup in the S. China Sea and this will profoundly affect its relationships with the Asian bloc.

1) 80% chance House prices continue to decline in areas where rental yield is <5%. In some cases, this means a 20% adjustment but that will likely take >12 months

2) 70% chance Trump out by end of year either through resigning/health, impeachment or assassination. Personally, I think it is better he stays in and is ineffective as any impeachment etc will only increase the chance those indoctrinated supporters elect another nutcase next time.

3) NZD/USD ~0.75

4) 50% chance of further increase in inequality as capital becomes a more important factor of production than labour, and as wealth accumulates in the 1%. Labour resuming payments to super fund a good start but we need build a sovereign wealth fund to help more evenly distribute wealth as automation takes hold. Only a 50% chance as the 1% will experience some decrease in property prices.

5) 60% chance unemployment increases and people become disgruntled by union action and increasing minimum wage. I am a support of increased minimum wage but it will come at small cost to employment. Increase in strength of unions may increase industrial action and increase cost of labour therefore decreasing employment. To get real sustainable growth in income we need wealth distribution and increased productivity.

6) 90% chance Bitcoin will be lower. 70% chance it will have crashed. It is useless as a medium of exchange, and has no other real value, therefore it is a tulip bubble ready to wilt.

7) 100% chance of further incremental changes to the environment but nothing serious enough for the world to take the action required to look after planet long term. The frog will be boiled but not this year

8) 70% the dowjones ends below 25,000

9) 100% I get one year older and no wiser but celebrate with a nice trip to Bali

Can you hurry #3 along please.. off to the US in a month and would prefer a cheaper trip :)

Agree with #1 and #4-7. Hooray for #9.. well, the trip to Bali part anyway.

-national resendential property average prices to decline 20% from their peak driven mainly by an over supply of new houses (Stillwater, Huapai, Papamoa, Hamilton, Christchurch)

-National farm average prices to drop 5% by end of q3 but accelerate into the end of the year as it become apparent that lab made protein is going to be a reality.

-Global equities to rise 10% as central banks do everything possible to maintain growth levels. QE4 is a possibility

-inflation to race ahead. Skilled workers to get 5% pay rises and significantly more in 2019.

Interest rates will rise on the back of moves by the Fed, increases in minimum wage and oil and a drop in the dollar. Leading to a correction in the stock market. House prices will come of another 5% in Auckland and as much as 15% in the region's.