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Early Edition with Kate Hawkesby

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Don't risk not knowing what's going around New Zealand and the world - catch up with interviews from Early Edition, hosted by Kate Hawkesby on Newstalk ZB.

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Anna Burns-Francis: US President Joe Biden to call for three-month suspension of gas and diesel taxes
4d ago
Anna Burns-Francis: US President Joe Biden to call for three-month suspension of gas and diesel taxes
President Joe Biden will call on Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months — an election-year move meant to ease financial pressures greeted with doubts by many lawmakers. The Democratic President will also call on states to suspend their own gas taxes or provide similar relief, the White House said. At issue is the 18.4 cents-a-gallon federal tax on gas and the 24.4 cents-a-gallon federal tax on diesel fuel. If the gas savings were fully passed along to consumers, people would save roughly 3.6 per cent at the pump when prices are averaging about $5 a gallon nationwide. It's unclear, though, if Biden could push such a proposal through Congress, where many lawmakers, including some in his own party, have expressed reservations. And even many economists view the idea of a gas tax holiday with skepticism. Barack Obama, during the 2008 presidential campaign, called the idea a "gimmick" that allowed politicians to "say that they did something". He also warned that oil companies could offset the tax relief by increasing prices. Biden energy adviser Amos Hochstein pushed back on Wednesday, saying consumers could save about 50 cents per gallon if Congress and the states heed the President's call and the oil industry doesn't pocket the savings. "That's not a gimmick," Hochstein, senior adviser for global energy security at the State Department, said on CNN. "That's a little bit of breathing room for the American people as we get into the summer driving season." It was not immediately clear if the White House has the votes in Congress to suspend the federal tax. High gas prices pose a fundamental threat to Biden's electoral and policy ambitions. They've caused confidence in the economy to slump to lows that bode poorly for defending Democratic control of the House and the Senate in November. Biden's past efforts to cut gas prices — including the release of oil from the US. strategic reserve and greater ethanol blending this summer — have done little to produce savings at the pump, a risk that carries over to the idea of a gas tax holiday. Biden has acknowledged how gas prices have been a drain on public enthusiasm when he is trying to convince people that the US can still pivot to a clean-energy future. In an interview with the Associated Press last week, Biden described a country already nursing some psychological scars from the coronavirus pandemic that is now worried about how to afford gas, food and other essentials. "If you notice, until gas prices started going up," Biden said, "things were much more, they were much more optimistic." The President can do remarkably little to fix prices that are set by global markets, profit-driven companies, consumer demand and aftershocks from Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the embargoes that followed. The underlying problem is a shortage of oil and refineries that produce gas, a challenge a tax holiday cannot necessarily fix. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, estimated that the majority of the 8.6% inflation seen over the past 12 months in the US comes from higher commodity prices due to Russia's invasion and continued disruptions from the coronavirus. "In the immediate near term, it is critical to stem the increase in oil prices," Zandi said last week, suggesting that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and a nuclear deal with Iran could help to boost supplies and lower prices. Republican lawmakers have tried to shift more blame to Biden, saying he created a hostile environment for domestic oil producers, causing their output to stay below pre-pandemic levels. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell mocked the gas tax holiday as an "ineffective stunt" in a Wednesday floor speech. "This ineffective administration's big new idea is a silly proposal that senior members of their own party have already shot down well in advance," he said. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional Democrats have long worried that suspending the gas t...
Anna Burns-Francis: US President Joe Biden to call for three-month suspension of gas and diesel taxes
4d ago
Anna Burns-Francis: US President Joe Biden to call for three-month suspension of gas and diesel taxes
President Joe Biden will call on Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months — an election-year move meant to ease financial pressures greeted with doubts by many lawmakers. The Democratic President will also call on states to suspend their own gas taxes or provide similar relief, the White House said. At issue is the 18.4 cents-a-gallon federal tax on gas and the 24.4 cents-a-gallon federal tax on diesel fuel. If the gas savings were fully passed along to consumers, people would save roughly 3.6 per cent at the pump when prices are averaging about $5 a gallon nationwide. It's unclear, though, if Biden could push such a proposal through Congress, where many lawmakers, including some in his own party, have expressed reservations. And even many economists view the idea of a gas tax holiday with skepticism. Barack Obama, during the 2008 presidential campaign, called the idea a "gimmick" that allowed politicians to "say that they did something". He also warned that oil companies could offset the tax relief by increasing prices. Biden energy adviser Amos Hochstein pushed back on Wednesday, saying consumers could save about 50 cents per gallon if Congress and the states heed the President's call and the oil industry doesn't pocket the savings. "That's not a gimmick," Hochstein, senior adviser for global energy security at the State Department, said on CNN. "That's a little bit of breathing room for the American people as we get into the summer driving season." It was not immediately clear if the White House has the votes in Congress to suspend the federal tax. High gas prices pose a fundamental threat to Biden's electoral and policy ambitions. They've caused confidence in the economy to slump to lows that bode poorly for defending Democratic control of the House and the Senate in November. Biden's past efforts to cut gas prices — including the release of oil from the US. strategic reserve and greater ethanol blending this summer — have done little to produce savings at the pump, a risk that carries over to the idea of a gas tax holiday. Biden has acknowledged how gas prices have been a drain on public enthusiasm when he is trying to convince people that the US can still pivot to a clean-energy future. In an interview with the Associated Press last week, Biden described a country already nursing some psychological scars from the coronavirus pandemic that is now worried about how to afford gas, food and other essentials. "If you notice, until gas prices started going up," Biden said, "things were much more, they were much more optimistic." The President can do remarkably little to fix prices that are set by global markets, profit-driven companies, consumer demand and aftershocks from Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the embargoes that followed. The underlying problem is a shortage of oil and refineries that produce gas, a challenge a tax holiday cannot necessarily fix. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, estimated that the majority of the 8.6% inflation seen over the past 12 months in the US comes from higher commodity prices due to Russia's invasion and continued disruptions from the coronavirus. "In the immediate near term, it is critical to stem the increase in oil prices," Zandi said last week, suggesting that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and a nuclear deal with Iran could help to boost supplies and lower prices. Republican lawmakers have tried to shift more blame to Biden, saying he created a hostile environment for domestic oil producers, causing their output to stay below pre-pandemic levels. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell mocked the gas tax holiday as an "ineffective stunt" in a Wednesday floor speech. "This ineffective administration's big new idea is a silly proposal that senior members of their own party have already shot down well in advance," he said. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional Democrats have long worried that suspending the gas t...
Sunny Kaushal: Dairy and Business Owners Group chairman says many of the problems won't be fixed until the duopoly ends
4d ago
Sunny Kaushal: Dairy and Business Owners Group chairman says many of the problems won't be fixed until the duopoly ends
Smaller grocery players are casting doubts, on the latest moves by the supermarket giants. Foodstuffs has followed its rival Woolworths, in announcing a wholesale service for smaller operators. It follows concerns about the current grocery duopoly. Dairy and Business Owners Group chairman Sunny Kaushal told Tim Dower many of the problems won't be fixed, until the duopoly ends. LISTEN ABOVE
Pat Collins: Gisborne animal control concerned over lack of action on dog attacks in the district
4d ago
Pat Collins: Gisborne animal control concerned over lack of action on dog attacks in the district
There are concerns owners of nasty dogs aren't facing the consequences of attacks by their animals. A report in Gisborne found no one has been prosecuted, despite 90 attacks in the course of a year. Pat Collins ran animal control in the district for over 20 years and joined Tim Dower. LISTEN ABOVE
Douglas Ligor: Scientist warns too many satellites are overcrowding space
4d ago
Douglas Ligor: Scientist warns too many satellites are overcrowding space
Space is unimaginably, infinitely, large but our little corner of it is getting crowded. More satellites are going up every day, and one expert is warning it's becoming a messy and dangerous place. Rand Corporation’s Douglas Ligor says more rules are needed and he joined Early Edition from the US. LISTEN ABOVE
Tim Dower: I'm not convinced wholesale will make a change in groceries competition
4d ago
Tim Dower: I'm not convinced wholesale will make a change in groceries competition
Not sure how much of a difference these new wholesale channels are going to make to competition in the grocery sector. My sense is that what it'll do, if anything, is maybe give the dairies a bit of a break and a chance to increase their margins a smidge. But when it comes to the main weekly shop, that's still going to go to one of the big chains. I slipped into one for a few tins of dog food and what have you yesterday walked out 186 bucks lighter, they've still got it pretty much sewn up. Will wholesaling address the power imbalance in the grocery sector or just allow the incumbent duopoly to tighten their grip? And will it hurt the existing cash and carry operators? Your Gilmours and the like, or cause them to focus more those 80 litre buckets of oil. There's no question the ComCom report has caused a bit of a commotion, and shaken things up. And it's also confirmed some of the sharp practices that were going on to squeeze suppliers, that we've known about anecdotally for quite a while. Ultimately though, to really shake things up we need a big and aggressive new entrant to the market. Is that Costco? Well, no, not for that crucial weekly shop it's not, it's a totally different bulk-buying business model. What's needed is a new discount chain like and Aldi, or Lidl, with big deep pockets to set up its own distribution and everything else that goes on out the back. And with a population of five million to serve over a land area larger than the UK, with 60-odd million people, neither of those chains sees a buck in New Zealand just yet.
Richard Kennedy: Country director of Randstad on research revealing the most desirable place to work
5d ago
Richard Kennedy: Country director of Randstad on research revealing the most desirable place to work
Employers are facing a desperate battle to keep their workers. People may will be surprised to hear what is considered the most attractive place to work. Randstad has been doing some research on this and they have found Evolve Education Group the most desirable place to work Country director of Randstad Richard Kennedy joined Early Edition. LISTEN ABOVE
Mike Blackburn: Combined Building Supplies Co-Op Marketing Director says Gib issue has been plaguing the industry for months now
5d ago
Mike Blackburn: Combined Building Supplies Co-Op Marketing Director says Gib issue has been plaguing the industry for months now
Some scepticism over the Government's latest move to tackle the plasterboard crisis. Minister for Building and Construction Megan Woods has set up a taskforce to troubleshoot supply shortages. Combined Building Supplies Co-Op Marketing Director Mike Blackburn says this is a problem that's been plaguing the industry for months now. He told Tim Dower some suppliers have already been looking for solutions. Blackburn says Bunnings has told him it has 150 containers of plasterboard coming in from Thailand and will continue to bring it in as fast as it can. LISTEN ABOVE
David Seymour: Act leader says the party wants to see vaccination mandates for health workers scrapped
5d ago
David Seymour: Act leader says the party wants to see vaccination mandates for health workers scrapped
The Act Party wants to see vaccination mandates for health workers scrapped. We all know hospitals are facing severe staff shortages just as the flu hit .and overseas evidence suggests another Covid surge is likely. Act leader David Seymour joined Early Edition. LISTEN ABOVE
Tim Dower: We wouldn't be able to get away with MIQ again
5d ago
Tim Dower: We wouldn't be able to get away with MIQ again
MIQ. You'll have heard calls from the Opposition for an apology to some of the New Zealanders who were locked out of the country at the height of the pandemic. And especially pregnant women who couldn't get home to have their babies here. Newstalk ZB is this morning was able to reveal that conversations were had way back in April 2020 about what to do with pregnant women, but nothing was done. This doesn't affect a huge number of people; about 250 made emergency MIQ requests. The bigger issue that MBIE is currently working through is how we operated managed isolation as a whole and how we'd do it again if, heaven forbid, we did have to do it again. Just say there is another pandemic, something we don't know how to deal with in the next five to ten years or so. Look, the response at the time was unquestionably the right thing to do. We had to shut the border, even though it meant refusing entry to New Zealanders who morally and legally had an absolute right to be here if they wanted. They were extraordinary circumstances for sure, but if we had to do it again, would we spend millions turning city centre hotels into holding pens? And planting people who could and often were carrying a dangerous virus right in the middle of our population centres? And then running a lottery for people who, as I said before, legally and morally have an absolute right to be here? I think it is acceptable to require people who might be a health risk to the rest of us, to be kept away from the rest of us until they're safe. But to prevent citizens exercising their right to be on New Zealand soil, I don't think we'll get away with that again.
Graham Le Gros: Immunologist says we are going to need all of our health workers this winter
6d ago
Graham Le Gros: Immunologist says we are going to need all of our health workers this winter
A plea for health workers to get their flu jab. Health Ministry data shows only around 54 percent of DHB staff have had the flu vaccine Nelson Marlborough DHB is the lowest at 39 percent. Immunologist Graham Le Gros told Tim Dower we're going to need all our health workers this winter. He says we haven't had a flu round for a couple of years now, so it's quite likely people are going to need hospitalisation and good health care, so we need robust health workers. When it comes to the general public, almost 990-thousand people have had the flu vaccine, including 64 percent of people aged 65 plus. LISTEN ABOVE
Oliver Mander: Shareholders Association chief says Fletchers isn't taking responsibility for their role in Gib crisis
6d ago
Oliver Mander: Shareholders Association chief says Fletchers isn't taking responsibility for their role in Gib crisis
A call for the chair of Fletcher Building to resign over the Gib crisis. KiwiSaver provider Simplicity and the Shareholders Association have written to the building giant with the request in the wake of a meeting on Friday. They're also asking for the remaining board members to put themselves up for re-election, and some independent reviews of conduct, culture and risk. Shareholders Association chief executive Oliver Mander told Tim Dower Fletchers isn't taking responsibility for what's happened. He says they haven't really seen any form of mea culpa or any substantial admittance of fault for their role in the plasterboard supply crisis. LISTEN ABOVE
Adele Saunders: St John Wellbeing Manager says every crash has a different effect on people
6d ago
Adele Saunders: St John Wellbeing Manager says every crash has a different effect on people
Support continues for first responders who attended the head on crash south of Picton. Seven people were killed in a collision between a van and a truck on State Highway 1 on Sunday morning  - two others from the van have serious and critical injuries. The Pukekohe family was on their way home after attending a funeral in Dunedin. St John Wellbeing Manager Adele Saunders told Tim Dower first responders are resilient but human emotion always comes through. She says every crash scene emergency staff go to has a different effect on people. LISTEN ABOVE
Tim Dower: Primary care is the poor cousin of our health system
6d ago
Tim Dower: Primary care is the poor cousin of our health system
It's pretty tough in the emergency departments right now. Hospitals all over the country are pleading with people to leave the ED for life and death situations only. I guess those of us who are lucky enough to enjoy pretty good health don't need to be told that; it says emergency in the name doesn't it? Unfortunately for emergency departments, their front doors are open to all and anyone who turns up asking for treatment is eventually going to get seen. And of course it's free, so it's the doctor's clinic of choice for people who either can't afford a GP, or can't get an appointment when they want, or prefer to spend the money on something else. It's the busiest time of the year right now and Counties Manukau DHB is so strapped, it's offering cash to local GPs to take patients off their hands. $250 for each Middlemore patient they see on a Friday night, or in the day on weekends. And $350 a pop on weekend nights when the ED is flooded out with drunks, and people who've got into fights with drunks. It's just crazy, isn't it? The way our system works right now, with GPs charging $30, $40 or $50 for an appointment, a lot of people can't afford to see a primary care doctor. So instead of a 15 minute consultation, a prescription and off home, people can end up in an expensive hospital bed costing upwards of a grand a night. Primary care really is the poor cousin of our health system; it's potentially the fence at the top of the cliff. GPs are undervalued and underpaid, and a properly functioning primary system, with cheap if not free access, would not only save us a fortune it would save a lot of grief too.
Elliot Smith: Black Ferns save best for last in crushing win over USA in Pacific Four series
1w ago
Elliot Smith: Black Ferns save best for last in crushing win over USA in Pacific Four series
Black Ferns 50United States 6 The Black Ferns saved their best for last. While they began their Pacific Four series with two double-digit wins, the Black Ferns' 50-6 victory over the United States in Whangārei on Saturday afternoon showed exactly what they are capable of. While they had been slow to put the foot down in their previous two matches against Australia and Canada, there was no such issue in Whangārei - which will be a beautiful sight to Wayne Smith and his coaching staff, with limited opportunities on the pitch before October's Rugby World Cup. "We've got some tough decisions coming up. There are some very good players coming back for trials, Sevens players will become available, so there's going to be some pretty tough moments for the selectors," Smith said looking ahead to the World Cup. "But there's only one group of girls at the moment who have put their form on the paddock and that's this group." Despite rain falling from start to finish – only getting heavier as the match progressed – the Black Ferns attack flowed frequently. They had no issues with moving the ball through the hands and asking questions of the US defensive line. That allowed Ayesha Leti-I'iga to put on an exhibition of speed, power and footwork, with the Black Ferns left wing often on the end of a backline move – scoring three tries and drawing a giant roar from the crowd whenever she came into the play. Any time Leti-I'iga got her hands on the ball, she caused problems for the defence – even on the multitude of occasions when the US kicked high in her direction, a tactic they continued despite Leti-I'iga showing a safe pair of hands. There were performances to catch the eye across the board for the New Zealand team. In particular, locking duo Joanah Ngan-Woo and Chelsea Bremner were impressive in the carry and both showed their offloading ability under good defensive pressure; Kendra Reynolds and Liana Mikaele-Tu'u also had a massive impact with ball in hand, while halfback Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu was terrific in her first start. performance, though. The Black Ferns welcomed pressure early in the contest by knocking on from restarts, while goal kicking remains an issue. Through the three-match series, the Black Ferns kickers converted just six of 16 tries – though Hazel Tubic was on song when she took over the goal kicking against the US. The Black Ferns took just two minutes to open the scoring. A backline move launched from a lineout about 40m out quickly saw the ball moved to the opposite side of the park, where Leti-I'iga enjoyed some space to move and didn't waste it. While the US hit back immediately with a penalty, it wasn't long before a good offload from Ngan-Woo saw Marino-Tauhinu score by the posts. The tactic from the US was clear in the first half. When they had possession, they would often kick high to the wings and play the territory game. That gave the Black Ferns a significant possession advantage, which showed in the scoreline. The Black Ferns scored five first-half tries to lead 29-6 at the break and delivered much the same in the second. Renee Holmes scores for the Black Ferns. Photo / Michael Cunningham The US were starved of possession. Even when the Black Ferns coughed up the ball through an error or kicked off, they would soon find themselves back with ball in hand as the US struggled to execute at their set pieces and had handling errors. As the Black Ferns continued to hammer away, more gaps showed in the opposition defence. They ran in another three tries in the second half – including Leti-I'iga finishing off her hat-trick – without conceding a point, saving their best for last to close out the tournament in style. "With weather like that, to put 50 points on the board – that's attacking intent," Smith said of the performance. "It wasn't perfect, obviously, but we have to be proud of that." Black Ferns 50 (Ayesha Leti-I'iga 3, Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu, Renee Holmes, Sylvia Brunt, Kendra Reynolds, Renee Wi...
Skye Kimura: Chief Executive of Tātou doesn't want Matariki to be used as an excuse for sales
1w ago
Skye Kimura: Chief Executive of Tātou doesn't want Matariki to be used as an excuse for sales
Matariki is about resetting and remembering those who have died in the past year. Chief Executive of Tātou - a Māori cultural marketing and communications agency, Skye Kimura doesn't want Matariki to be used as an excuse for sales. Matariki will be marked as a public holiday for the first time this Friday. Kimura told Tim Dower we should learn what Matariki is about. She says she sees Matariki as being different to other holidays. LISTEN ABOVE
Tim Dower: Tauranga by-election a waste of time and money
1w ago
Tim Dower: Tauranga by-election a waste of time and money
What a pointless exercise the Tauranga by-election was and what a waste of taxpayers' money. National is keeping the seat, hardly a surprise. But the turnout was awful. 40 percent, about 20,000 votes cast and cost the taxpayer - roughly $50 a vote according to the Electoral Commission's figure of about a million to run a by-election. Of course, we wouldn't have needed to go through that whole process if Simon Bridges had been a list MP, just ring up the next person on the party list. And maybe, maybe that could work in constituencies too, given we have a general election every three years. Do we really need to go through all that process just to find someone for the seat for say, half a term? Here are some of the characters who've snuck into Parliament in by-elections the last few years: David Shearer, Kris Faafoi, Jami-Lee Ross that name alone shows you what a shonky process it is. Poto Williams, Winston, the Prime Minister and a few others. Now, if we just left it to the party of the outgoing MP to pick a successor, we'd save all that money and aggravation...you'd get some continuity on the ground locally, and it wouldn't change the proportionality of Parliament. Or maybe, maybe as a way of discouraging MPs from walking out on their contracts part way through, whoever came second at the previous election could be offered the seat. That might save us a few million. In saying that, we've had about ten by-elections in the last decade, so does it really matter? To me it does, waste is waste after all.
Tim Dower: Bethlehem College can't have it both ways
Jun 16 2022
Tim Dower: Bethlehem College can't have it both ways
So who's in the right at Bethlehem College? One the one hand, the school's Statement of Beliefs is pretty up-front about matters of sexuality. Example: biological pronouns will be used for students, him and her, a student's name is expected to align with their biological sex. In other words, the school does not acknowledge such a thing as a transgender person. And to be absolutely clear, it goes on to talk about toilets, wearing a male or female uniform, and male and female sports teams. So, at the outset, it's clear what's expected of you when you enroll. Now, independent schools are to a certain extent, able to hold their own views and make their own rules. People sign their kids up to that kind of an education because they want a particular kind of schooling and providing it's not actively teaching anything illegal, that's OK, isn't it? As a private school, Bethlehem College could make pretty much whatever rules it wanted. But the thing is, it's not private any longer. Since 1999 it's been a State Integrated School, aka, a Special Character School, meaning it gets state funding for teachers. The Education Ministry, that is, the taxpayer, provides those dollars. So, when the College became an integrated school, it included a Statement of Beliefs with the caveat that changes had to be signed off by the Ministry. Problem is, the stance on same-sex marriage, trans students and the like was added in, without the Ministry's knowledge. So in essence, the school's tried to pull a fast one, and it's been called out. He who pays the piper calls the tune and we know what tune the Education Ministry wants.
Gordy Lockhart: Tauranga Pride Advocate says stance of leaked Bethlehem College document will have a negative impact on the children there
Jun 16 2022
Gordy Lockhart: Tauranga Pride Advocate says stance of leaked Bethlehem College document will have a negative impact on the children there
A leaked document from Tauranga's Bethlehem College is raising concern about its stance on gender. It includes a number of prerequisites for students, including the school using biological pronouns' for pupils,  and students needing to adhere to practices according to their birth gender. Tauranga Pride Advocate Gordy Lockhart told Tim Dower the stance the document takes will have a negative impact on the children there. He says the trauma that students will face at the school is absolutely appalling. LISTEN ABOVE
Nick Sautner: Eden Park Chief Executive confirms extra tickets to the Super Rugby Pacific final will go on sale later today
Jun 16 2022
Nick Sautner: Eden Park Chief Executive confirms extra tickets to the Super Rugby Pacific final will go on sale later today
Eden Park is making extra tickets available for tomorrow night's sold-out Super Rugby final. The Blues will take on the Crusaders in front of a home crowd. Eden Park Chief Executive Nick Sautner has confirmed to Newstalk ZB, extra tickets will be made available this afternoon, for about $120 each. He told Tim Dower it's taken some doing, but demand is extremely high. “We’ve implemented a standing room area on the field of play, something unique given that the demand for the event has been unprecedented.” LISTEN ABOVE
Patrick Gower: Newshub journalist says he did not expect to give up drinking on TV
Jun 15 2022
Patrick Gower: Newshub journalist says he did not expect to give up drinking on TV
Patrick Gower did not expect to give up drinking on TV. On Booze explores New Zealand's drinking culture through the lens of Gower's own relationship with alcohol. The Newshub National Correspondent is frank about about how much he drinks. Gower told Early Edition it required an intervention from fellow journalist Corrin Dan. He now confirms he is six months sober. LISTEN ABOVE