Response to Andrew Ferrier interview
LAILA Not quite as sanguine on my part I have to say after this
week with Westpac cooperating in the redundancies at Lane Walker
Rudkin, with news about the milking of the margins between the cash
rate and the interest rates by the Aussie banks, all these banks
backed now by government guarantees, reneging on the promise they
made at the Job Summit to develop an equity fund with the
government to help bail out New Zealand companies that had a
future, I don't think they're doing nearly enough to help New
Zealand through this recession.
PAUL Quick word from you Frances are the trading banks milking us?
FRAN I think actually when you compare them line ball by line ball with what's happening in Australia there is a bit of a question about whether they could get their margins down a bit further here. Re the equity bank there's a bit of kind of blame shifting between government and also between the banks on what was happening there, but I think you know they could be doing more frankly given they've got a guarantee.
PAUL What did you make of Andrew Ferrier as one of your countrymen?
THERESE Well I thought it was interesting that he said that when you asked him how he will be judged and I think when you look at the importance of Fonterra to our economy I was pleased to hear him say that he sets pretty high goals for himself in terms of upping the impact and the importance of Fonterra for us.
PAUL How did he survive Sanlu do you think? I think he has a fundamentally decent aspect, honest, yeah?
LAILA We're not psychologists Paul.
PAUL I beg your pardon?
LAIL A We're not psychologists.
PAUL You are so, you probably have a degree in it.
THERESE It would be interesting to hear what lessons can be learned from the experience.
PAU L Yes. Very good. Fran, is Sanlu behind them in China, did you get that impression?
FRAN Yes, I think really what was happening there was a public smoothing over, both sides want to put this behind them because of course the Chinese government doesn't want any more focus on its own internal dairy industry which you know the major companies also had a bit wipe out from melamine contamination, and the consumers don't trust dairies so they've got a big rebuilding exercise. So it's in everybody's interests, all the backsides over the wire have all come together and it's let's put this behind us and move forward.
PAUL And isn't it amazing the company that was involved with Sanlu is now the company that the Chinese are coming too in their flight to quality.
Right the week ahead, what are we expecting in the week ahead in politics, Therese.
THERESE Well I think people will be taking a breath and catch up after this week, it's been an incredibly busy week politically, the House is in recess but I think now we're gearing up for the big budget, the first budget from a new government is something we always anticipate greatly and given the present economic situation I think we're actually a bit fearful of what's going to come in this budget.
PAUL This budget that we're anticipating if it's tough, if it's a black budget and it's hard to see how it won't be, will the country nevertheless understand why it has to be?
LAILA Well I think the deferral of taxcuts is going to be applauded by most people particularly given that they were going up there not down there. What the government will need to explain in this budget though is how it is going to be improving the job situation for New Zealanders. I mean we agreed at the beginning of this programme that the honeymoon is over, I think the focus is going to come hard and fast now on growing unemployment and if this government hasn't got something real to say about job creation and job replacement through this budget then I think they'll get marked down and rightly so by New Zealanders.
PAUL Quick word about the coming budget Fran.
FRAN Yes I think Laila's got a point, I mean fundamentally jobs are an issue, the government put it right up fair and square at the beginning of the year as the major issue for them, they've got to deliver on it and they haven't as far as they could.
THERESE Yeah, and it's about leadership, it's the ultimate test of leadership, doing what they need to do to help the economy to help people in terms of their jobs and then selling it, bring the public with them, explain why they've done what they've done.
PAUL But I'm sure behind the scenes there'll be some analysis going on at very senior levels in the government this week about why so many little wheels came off the trolley over the past week, and they'll be having a look at that. And of course there's going to be much discussion I'm sure about what Simon Power was saying on the programme this morning about the involvement of juries and trials, about being convicted if you don't turn up and the liquor business.
LAILA I suspect he's probably tried to take Christine Rankin off the front page and I suspect he will probably fail in that, I think that is going to be the gift that keeps on giving.
PAUL His own answer helped some more column inches.
FRAN Yes it did - a Cabinet decision.