Housing NZ CEO on meth testing

The CEO of Housing NZ Andrew McKenzie is being interviewed on RNZ about meth testing of houses. It has taken a while for him to front up.


See also:

CEO’s rate ministers and party leaders

In the NZH ‘mood of the boardroom election survey’ CEO’s rate the performance of ministers and party leaders.

On a 1-5 scale where 1 = not impressive and 5 = very impressive:

  • Prime Minister Bill English: 4.13
  • Finance Minister Steven Joyce: 3.71
  • Education Minister Nikki Kaye: 3.62
  • Minister of Justice Amy Adams: 3.58
  • Paula Bennett: 3.56
  • Chris Finlayson: 3.49
  • Simon Bridges: 3.18
  • Anne Tolley: 3.11
  • Todd McClay: 3.05

I can’t find a rating for Jacinda Ardern. Odd.

Other party leaders:

  • David Seymour (ACT): 2.85
  • Winston Peters (NZ First): 2.76

Winston won’t like that.

The other leaders: James Shaw (Greens), Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox (Maori Party), Gareth Morgan (The Opportunities Party) and Peter Dunne (United Future, who bowed out before the survey was completed) all rated at less than 2.5/5.

From A strong mood for change among business leaders



CEOs rate Trump an “F”

From the annual Yale CEO Summit survey on Donald Trump’s performance”

  • 50% of the CEOs, business execs, government officials and academics surveyed give Trump an “F” for his first 130 days in office
  • 21% rated Trump a ‘D’
  • 1% rated Trump an ‘A’

The Yale findings are the latest evidence that some pockets of the business community are growing disenchanted with Trump as his administration struggles to implement its economic agenda amid scandal and missteps.

Trump is way out of step with many in business on climate change.

Earlier this month, Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord sparked an unprecedented revolt by CEOs. Business leaders led by Tesla founder Elon Musk, Disney CEO Bob Iger and JPMorgan Chase boss Jamie Dimon publicly bashed the decision.

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein even sent his first-ever tweet to slam the move as a “setback” for U.S. leadership in the world.

CEOs surveyed by Yale agree with that sentiment. Two-thirds of respondents indicated that Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord diminished America’s global standing.

Which could mean it’s not good for business.

Business leaders are not impressed with Trump’s budget either. Three-fourths of survey respondents said the administration’s budget proposal is not sound.

Politicians also – just one example: Trump’s EPA budget cuts hit strong opposition at House panel – “Members of both parties identified major problems they had with the proposed 30 percent cut to the EPA’s budget and pressed Administrator Scott Pruitt to defend them.”

The overarching message from CEOs is: “Stop the random 3 a.m. tweets and stop the needless brushfires diverting from the agenda,” said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, the Yale School of Management professor who led the summit.

A no-brainer, still ignored by Trump. Recently:

Both Trump and Clinton could do with leaving her failed bid for the presidency in the past.

But as has become common  Trump Contradicts His Own Account of Comey Firing

Trump terminated Comey on May 9. Two days later, the president revealed he was going to fire him no matter what senior Justice Department officials recommended.

“I was going to fire Comey,” Trump told NBC News in an interview taped May 11. “Regardless of the recommendation, I was going to fire Comey.”

All these distractions and a lack of consistency are not good for the US business or democracy.

Trump has plenty of time to turn things around, focus, and achieve worthwhile things but he seems too easily distracted.

US discussion

News or views or issues from the USA.

Reuters: Trump’s genial private meetings with CEOs jar with public attacks

When the bosses of some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies headed to Washington in January to meet U.S. President Donald Trump, it had all the makings of a potentially hostile meeting.

Just weeks before, Trump had sent drug stock prices plummeting after accusing the companies of “getting away with murder” by charging too much for medicines.

But the Trump who greeted chief executives on Jan. 31 was a surprisingly genial host who even gave them a personal tour of the Oval Office, according to several participants in the breakfast.

“There is no question that it was better than it could have been or we thought it could be,” said one industry insider familiar with the meeting.

Trump did not repeat his public attacks on the industry. Instead, he focused on “outdated” regulations that drive costs up for drugmakers, according to participants interviewed by Reuters. The CEOs left with Trump’s word that he would streamline regulations and reform the high U.S. corporate tax rate.

An Amgen spokeswoman said Trump made it clear that he wanted to work with the company on U.S. job creation and biotech innovation. Representatives of the other drugmakers declined to comment.


As recently as Tuesday, Trump tweeted he was working on a system to increase competition in the health industry and lower drug pricing, sending pharma shares lower.

The Reuters report shows a number of company share price fluctuations that may have been a result of Trump’s public comments.

“He said one thing for the cameras and the door shuts and then it’s like kumbaya,” said one person who was briefed on a meeting between Trump and a group of CEOs.

“He likes to be seen as engaging and buddy buddy with other big important business leaders,” said this person.

The degree he seems to want to involve himself personally in business matters is unprecedented. It could achieve some positive things but it has significant risks.

Trump’s unpredictability and his different public/private personas could easily result in unintended consequences. Financial and share markets tend to react to uncertainty.

Boardroom rates Ministers and MPs

The ‘mood of the boardroom’ survey has rated the Cabinet Ministers, scoring them out of 5. Finance Minister Bill English was rated the best, scoring a fully 5 out of 5 for 55 chief executives.

1=Not impressive to 5=Very impressive – where known the 2015 rating is shown.

  1. Bill English 4.51 (down from 4.60)
  2. John Key 4.04 (down 4.28)
  3. Steven Joyce 3.51 (down from 3.65)
  4. Amy Adams 3.47
  5. Nikki Kaye 3.36
  6. Paula Bennett 3.24 (down from 3.85)
  7. Chris Finlayson 3.23 (down from 3.41)
  8. Health Minister Jonathan Coleman 3.17 (down from 3.28)
  9. Energy Minister Simon Bridges 3.12
  10. Social Development Minister Anne Tolley 3.09
  11. Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse 3.06 (down from 3.22)
  12. Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy 2.91
  13. Trade Minister Todd McClay 2.90
  14. Education Minister Hekia Parata 2.85
  15. Police Minister Judith Collins 2.85
  16. Foreign Minister Murray McCully 2.77
  17. Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee 2.66
  18. Environment Minister Nick Smith 2.52
  19. Seniors Minister Maggie Barry 2.34 (up fromn 2.22)
  20. Local Government Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga 2.15

Opposition MP ratings – Labour:

  • Jacinda Ardern 3.37
  • Annette King 3.10
  • Phil Twyford 2.93
  • Grant Robertson 2.86
  • David Shearer 2.72
  • David Parker 2.55
  • Chris Hipkins 2.46
  • David Clark 2.35
  • Andrew Little 2.22

Not flash for the Labour leader.



  • James Shaw 3.21
  • Julie Anne Genter 2.42
  • Metiria Turei 2.37

NZ First:


  • Winston Peters 2.90
  • Ron Mark 2.13



Curious reporting on appointment of Mike Sabin

Ex-Northland MP Mike Sabin has apparently been appointed to a new job, but there are a few curious aspects.

On Thursday a number of reports were that he had been appointed chief executive of a luxury resort in Northland. Stuff:

Former MP Mike Sabin lands new job at luxury resort

Mike Sabin, the former National MP who quit earlier this year, has been appointed as the general manager of a luxury resort in Northland.

A spokeswoman for Peppers Carrington Estate confirmed that Sabin would be chief executive of Peppers Carrington Resort. It is part of a 3000-acre estate on the Karikari Peninsula in Northland, which boasts an 18-hole golf course, located on “four breathtaking kilometres of secluded white sand coastline”.

While she had not seen Sabin on Wednesday, the spokeswoman said she understood the appointment was effective immediately.

That seems as far as most media went but NBR amended their coverage on Thursday.

Sabin-linked luxury resort goes to ground over new CEO

Former National MP Mike Sabin has been appointed as chief executive officer of Magnificent Jade, which oversees the New Zealand-based assets of Chinese real estate developer Shanghai CRED.

In 2013, Shanghai CRED bought Northland’s luxurious Peppers Carrington Resort for a sum understood to be almost $29 million. It was reported on NBR ONLINE and other media earlier this week that Mr Sabin had been appointed chief executive officer of the resort.

However, the Mantra Group, which operates the resort under the Peppers luxury resort brand, has since confirmed that Mr Sabin has not or is not an employee of Peppers, and that Peppers was not consulted on the appointment.

It’s curious that a widely reported story has changed significantly.

More curious is Sabin’s appointment as chief executive officer of Magnificent Jade, a company that “oversees the New Zealand-based assets of Chinese real estate developer Shanghai CRED” (which owns Peppers Carrington Resort).

Sabin’s background:

  • Employed as a Seaman Officer in the Royal New Zealand Navy in the 1980s.
  • Worked in the dairy industry.
  • Became a police officer in the 1990s.
  • In 2006 he founded MethCon Group, a company that supplies drug education. Sold company in 2010.
  • In 2011 he was selected as a candidate by National for the (then) safe seat of Northland as was elected.
  • Resigned as an MP in January 2014 citing ‘family matters best dealt with outside Parliament’.

Why would a Chinese real estate development company and owner of a luxury Northland lodge see Sabin as suitably experienced to be their chief executive? A curious appointment.

‘Living wage’ and Dunedin City Council

I have been having a debate on the so called ‘living wage’ in the Dunedin mayoralty campaign after the incumbent mayor announced at a forum that he was advising the DCC CEO to implement a ‘living wage’ – although he said he didn’t know how much it was set at!

I have particular concerns about this being done without consulting the elected council, interested parties like the Chamber of Commerce or the public.

I requested information from the council and they have responded – detailed here: DCC acting CEO responds on ‘living wage’

I have also posted my thoughts on it, and I’ll repeat that here.

My thoughts on a ‘living wage’ at DCC

The council’s primary responsibility is to it’s ratepayers and all the people of the city. Many people have concerns about increasing costs and rates, including me.

DCC should also be a responsible employer and pay it’s employees a fair wage for the work done.

I think a one size fits all ‘living wage’  is the wrong approach. The DCC as employer should have flexibility.

If a minimum wage is set too high it can make it much harder for people, especially young people and lower skilled people, to get their first job.

Often I hear people talking of  ‘the good old days’ when we had virtually full employment and it was easy to leave school and walk straight into a job.

I started my first career job in 1973, as a trainee telephone technician with NZPO. I started on $1.00 an hour, $2080 a year. If I completed training I would have doubled that to about $4000.

There was a normal expectation to start low and work your way up.

Expecting everyone to start work on a comfortable living wage raises expectations beyond what real life delivers, and can raise costs above what employers can afford – which means they will employ less people, or no people.

I think the biggest emphasis needs to be on having more jobs, so more people can get off a benefit and earn their own income.

Then we can look at improving skills, increasing experience and improving wage rates.

Just throwing a blanket of money at problems doesn’t solve them – it often has unintended consequences and can create bigger problems – job losses and inflation being major concerns.

I’d love for everyone to live comfortably, happily, safely and healthily. I’ll do what I can to get closer to that ideal. But it’s not something that can be simply fixed by rating and taxing more and artificially forcing up wage rates.

And paramount in a DCC context is that any application of based emotionally charged ideology should be accompanied by wide and robust consultation and discussion.

It is not a decision for the mayor to promote on his own.