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What’s in the newspapers - Nov 13

Health Minister David Clark has told the House the overall District Health Board deficit is actually almost $170 million higher than the Government had previously admitted; and the Government’s Tomorrow’s Schools plan will be the biggest shake-up to the governance of education in New Zealand since the Lange Government introduced the original Tomorrow’s Schools reforms in 1989.

* The New Zealand Herald

In the New Zealand Herald, more than 100 bush fires continued to burn in NSW and Queensland overnight, many of them out of control, as much of Australia’s east coast literally went up in smoke. At least 170 properties have been destroyed in NSW since the fires began last week. Weather conditions yesterday continued to hamper efforts to fight the fires.

In other news, Health Minister David Clark has told the House the overall District Health Board deficit is actually almost $170 million higher than the Government had previously admitted.In the Treasury's Crown account figures, released last month, the total District Health Board (DHB) deficit was reported to be more than $1 billion – $700 million higher than the Budget's expectations.

In business news, a softening outlook for inflation has boosted expectations that the Reserve Bank will cut the official cash rate (OCR) below 1 per cent tomorrow.A day before its final interest rate call of 2019 the Reserve Bank released its quarterly survey of expectations, which asks business managers about how they expect economic conditions to unfold over the next two years.

* The Dominion Post

In the Dominion Post, the Government’s Tomorrow’s Schools plan will be the biggest shake-up to the governance of education in New Zealand since the Lange Government introduced the original Tomorrow’s Schools reforms in 1989.

In other news, Wellington residents' attitude must change if the city is to progress, a developer says. Developments in both Karori and Miramar are in the firing line from concerned residents, but director of The Wellington Company, Ian Cassels says without progress, the city would be "going backwards".

In business news, Aussie visitors are helping make up for the continued slide in many Asian markets, particularly China. Statistics NZ said if all cruise ship passengers were included, total visitor arrivals had surpassed 4 million for the year to the end of September, up 94,300.

*The Press

In The Press, Christchurch schools are set to lose property control under sweeping education reforms, after years spent managing their own post-earthquake rebuilds.The Government’s biggest overhaul of the education system in 30 years, announced yesterday, will reduce the power schools have to govern over the next five to 10 years.

In other news, National could reduce class sizes to 20 students for six- and seven-year-olds as well as scrapping fees-free education if elected next year.Its rethink of the fees-free could include changing the rate at which student loans are paid back or creating new education savings accounts.The party released a new discussion document on education on Wednesday morning, featuring a series of policy promises alongside floated proposals.

In business news, Westpac has changed its mind about Wednesday's interest rate decision for a second time, reverting to its original forecast for a 25 basis-point rate cut.The change brings its forecast back into line with ASB, ANZ, BNZ and Kiwibank, which are also predicting a rate cut, though with different levels of enthusiasm and conviction.

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