Around the traps

I do need to keep note of what is happening locally. There are plenty of people noting what is happening elsewhere.

Monetarism and Quantitative Easy

Our reserve bank system is set up to with the aim of slow inflation -- one to two percent a year -- and stable prices. We had very high rates of inflation and mortgages after the 1987 crash. The current depression is not reflected with deflation of goods, which is what you would expect.

This is because the reserve bank is creating money ex nihilo by the mechanism of buying many if not most of the government bonds at close to zero interest rates. This is starting to bite.

Jarrod Kerr's explanation of the impact of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's (RBNZ) Covid-19 measures comes as Finance Minister Grant Robertson defends his letter to the central bank asking it to consider house prices as part of its mandate.

Kerr told Morning Report: "I think that what we are seeing is a reaction to what we didn't expect. We've seen a central bank and a government do everything they can to address a Covid pandemic and then also at the recovery and we have found ourselves in a highly unusual position where the economy has gone through a really severe recession and house prices have taken off.

"So the potency of monetary policy is still there, it's still alive, and what the central bank has done is inflated house prices. And they would argue that is much better than house prices falling."

"What the central bank has done is inflated house prices" - Kiwibank chief economist Jarrod Kerr

Kerr said the step of the government telling the "fiercely independent" RBNZ what to do - which Robertson rejects he was doing - was dangerous.

Robertson told Morning Report his letter was "designed to make sure that the Reserve Bank is aware of the government's view that the economic objectives that are part of the remit that we agreed with them in 2019 include ensuring that reduce inequality and produce more in a sector that's going forward.

"We are concerned that rapidly escalating house prices are putting that objective at some risk. So we are asking the Reserve Bank to consider what it can do to support the government in the overall object of sustained moderation of house prices.

"The final decision about what they do still remains theirs under our independent monetary policy.

I want housing prices to collapse. That would mean my kids will be able to afford to have only a 15 year mortgage.

Local Interfaith Lies

When I hear interfaith I read Muslim. It's worth nothing that the hospital chapel (winch was not built by anyone but Christians) is now under pressure to be an interfaith prayer room.

This is in the library. I suggest libraries are not for virtue signals, but for books. Your rates dollars at work.

The original vision for an interfaith prayer area at Dunedin City Library — with a separate Muslim space — could be revamped.

Prominence given to the Islamic faith may be dropped.

Even as construction of the area on the first floor of the library continues, the final format is far from determined.

The Dunedin City Council has received mixed feedback since it announced plans to create an interfaith or interdenominational prayer room and separate Muslim space, and council staff have signalled they are open to changing the concept.

Community services general manager Simon Pickford said two rooms were being set up as a quiet, reflective space, but the detail was always going to come later.

The aim was to create an inclusive, interfaith space that met the needs of an increasingly diverse community.

His comments — not quite the same as the council’s initial publicity, which proposed a Muslim room featuring a curtain that could be drawn to separate men from women — followed a member of the public suggesting an alternative concept at a Dunedin City Council meeting yesterday.

Paul Gourlie suggested having an interfaith room and another room where women could meet separately.

He said the council initiative was laudable but he was not comfortable about drawing attention to one particular faith group.

Mr Gourlie is the Dunedin Abrahamic Interfaith Group chairman and a Muslim, but said he was speaking as an individual or as a representative of the AoNZ Peace Embassy.

He understood the prayer area was partly a result of the Christchurch mosque shootings last year and recognition of the need to foster an inclusive society.

He thought the idea was well intended but was not sure the original concept achieved the aim of being inclusive.

Consider what would have happened if a Christian, particularly an icky conservative postnatal, and said that the library should not have a room that caters for the Muslim heresy. The peal clutching would be felt in Oulu.

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Will S.
8 months ago