Goldsmith Update - September 2015
Of the economic data coming out this week, the one that caught my eye was the figure showing house construction in Auckland is strong, with more than a thousand building consents approved in July—the highest monthly total in a decade. There’s a long way to go before housing supply meets demand in this great city, but we are making progress. Housing is never going to be cheap in Auckland, so long as it continues to be a growing and successful city, but this Government is focused on doing what it can to address factors driving up the cost of housing.
The global economy, and in particular the fortunes of our two largest trading partners, Australia and China, continues to present uncertainty. One day will bring good news, the next will bring bad. Clearly, New Zealand is not immune to world events, but we’re well placed to withstand some economic ups and downs. We’re growing, the Government finances are in good shape and we still have plenty of room for manoeuvre in monetary and fiscal policy.
This week is Money Week. As Minister of Commerce I’ll be attending events organised the Commission for Financial Capability. Whether you're 18 or 80 it's more important than ever to be thinking about your savings and long term financial plan. Head to www.moneyweek.org.nz to check out all the ways you can make sure your money is fighting fit.
People often ask why Financial Capability isn’t taught in the school curriculum. In fact, it is. We have a devolved curriculum system, which means that schools have the freedom to choose which subject areas will best suit their students, and how they teach them. The Ministry of Education produces a large range of resources for teachers in this area and also invests in teacher professional development so that teachers are equipped to incorporate financial capability in lessons about other subjects.
Today I’ll be attending the Finance Festival at Massey University in Albany. The event is focused on giving students of all ages the opportunity to experience financial capability in different ways. The idea is to highlight for students that financial capability is a life skill that is valuable and relevant to many facets of their learning and working life.
In Epsom, we had the Prime Minister out and about on Tuesday. He heard from retailers and business operators at the event hosted by the Newmarket Business Association. We also visited Epsom Girls’ Grammar, where the PM debated the issues of the day with some of the senior girls and checked out maths, biology and hard materials classes. Like most schools in the Epsom area, EGGS is bursting at the seams and we need to continue to invest in new facilities and learning spaces. The girls are well equipped with fast broadband and brilliant new gym, thanks in part to fundraising efforts; the next goal is new science labs.
Much of the conversation on Tuesday with the PM turned to the flag. I haven’t made up my mind yet. What I am sure of, however, is that this is an important conversation for the country to have. I’d encourage everyone to take a look at the four options, and think carefully about which flag they want to represent New Zealand into the future.
Last week I had the opportunity to speak in General Debate in the House.
Hon Paul Goldsmith
National List MP based in Epsom
P: (09) 524 4930