Event recap: Westpac Smarts – end-of-year financial focus on the Waikato region

Our latest Westpac Smarts event took place at the end of April, in the weeks following the end of the financial year, making it the ideal time for the audience to hear where the Waikato and New Zealand economies might be heading in the coming months, years and decades.

We were fortunate to have two economic experts speak to our members, one from the academic world and the other a familiar face on our TV screens: Michael Cameron, Professor of Economics at The University of Waikato, and Brad Olsen CE and Principal Economist at Infometrics.

Many topics were squeezed in to the 45-minute session, so instead of attempting to provide a summary of what was discussed, you can see in bullet point form below all the key points from the event.

You can also watch a replay of the panel discussion on our video platform, or read a summary of the event below.

Our thanks to Westpac for sponsoring the Westpac Smarts series.

  • How did Waikato’s economy perform over the last 6 months?

  • Inflation and where it’s going: overseas vs domestic-driven inflation is changing, and what we can control (domestic), is becoming more difficult to do so.

  • The minimum wage increase and its affect on inflation. And what is the goal of the minimum wage: a political tool or to support people to live based on the current cost of living?

  • Internal migration to the Waikato, particularly from Auckland. Auckland has traditionally been a ‘net donor’ to the rest of the country, but what are the expectations in the next decade?

  • Our immigration settings and Australia’s citizenship changes: who will this change make a difference for?

  • What are the net inflow/outflow figures telling us? Hint: there’s been a big switch over the last year.

  • Demographic changes in the Waikato: our region can be seen as a microcosm of the rest of the country.

  • Population ageing is the biggest trend in terms of demographics: Hamilton is still the second youngest territorial authority in the country, but issues of finding labour will only get worse as the number of people retiring from the workforce increases in the coming decade or so.

  • Is the staffing shortage a result of the start of baby boomers retiring?

  • What would our speakers do if they were in the 300 families targeted by Minister Parker in the recent tax report?

  • The speakers’ thoughts on the report: the report was a ‘beat up’ on unrealised capital gains, something that will be hard to address. Targeting realised capital gains though would put us in line with most Western economies. If we did tax capital gains, would the government decide to offset this by reducing income tax, or would this be an additional tax take?

  • What will happen following the release of the tax report: did they spend $5 million on it just to have it sit on the shelf?

  • Are we in a recession now? How do we turn down the temperature of the economy without causing too much pain?

  • What are the balance sheets of Waikato businesses looking like currently?

Check out our website for our upcoming events including future Westpac Smarts, and subscribe to our newsletter to keep updated with future events.


This product has been added to your cart