As we head into 2014, it's a good time to take stock of just how much ground the New Zealand economy and New Zealanders have covered over the last few years.

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News and Updates from Bill English

16 April 2014
Genesis to list with third-largest share register

Genesis Energy will have the third-largest New Zealand share register on the NZX when it lists tomorrow, Finance Minister Bill English and State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall say.

More than 68,000 retail investors have been allocated shares in the energy company’s initial public offering – the final IPO in the Government’s share offer programme.

The sale of 49 per cent of Genesis has raised $733 million for the Future Investment Fund, bringing the total proceeds from the share offer programme to $4.7 billion. That money is being spent on other public assets and infrastructure, particularly schools and hospitals, without the need to borrow overseas.

Keen interest in the Genesis offer means scaling has been required across all investor groups including institutions. A progressive scaling policy has been applied to the general offer as part of the Government’s commitment to put New Zealanders at the front of the queue for shares.

“This will see larger applications scaled more significantly than smaller applications,” Mr English says.

“The scaling policy effectively places a cap of approximately $5,000 on all general offer applications.”

“Due to demand in the general offer, the broker firm offer was reduced by 20 per cent, with these shares re-allocated to the general offer.”

At the time of listing, Genesis will be 88 per cent New Zealand-owned.

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15 April 2014
Pre-Budget Speech to the Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce

Good afternoon. It’s a pleasure to be with you again today.

I would like to thank John and Raewyn and their team at the Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce for inviting me to speak to you again this year.

I also want to acknowledge the Chamber’s work in promoting the Wellington business community and in grappling with issues affecting businesses in the capital city.

It’s great to see measures of business confidence in Wellington rising.

I recently attended the 20th anniversary of Infratil, a Wellington-based company built on managing airports and electricity companies better than governments can.

Infratil has exported its expertise to other markets and diversified to other businesses, creating more jobs in Wellington.

Many people are unaware that Meridian Energy’s head office is in Wellington.

Today the recently-floated company is valued at $4 billion and it could develop along a similar track to another large Wellington company, Todd Energy, by diversifying offshore and creating more jobs in Wellington.

Alongside burgeoning technology-driven companies, these companies are providing a firm foundation for Wellington’s economic success.

In exactly one month, I will present the National-led Government’s sixth Budget.

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15 April 2014
Growth seen further lifting average wage by $7,500

The average annual wage is expected to increase by $7,500 to around $62,200 a year by 2018 if New Zealand achieves its economic growth forecasts over the next four years, Finance Minister Bill English says.

This follows a $3,000 increase in the average wage to $54,700 a year over the past two years.

In a pre-Budget speech to the Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce today, he notes that Treasury expects the economy to grow by between 2 per cent and 4 per cent a year out to 2018.

“Quarterly GDP or current account statistics are not, in themselves, what matter to families,” Mr English says. “Jobs, higher incomes and opportunities to get ahead are what really matter.

“Everyone’s situation is different and many families are still finding times are challenging. But the benefits of a sustainably growing economy are tangible and meaningful,” Mr English says.

Over the past two years, as economic momentum has picked up, the average full-time wage has increased from $51,700 a year to $54,700 a year – an increase of $3,000.

Looking ahead and based on its economic growth outlook, Treasury’s preliminary Budget forecasts show the average wage will rise to around $62,200 a year in four years’ time – an increase of a further $7,500 by 2018.

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13 April 2014
Interest sought for new social bonds pilot

A new and innovative alternative to the way social services are delivered has come a step closer, Minister of Finance Bill English and Health Minister Tony Ryall say.

The Government last year agreed to a social bonds pilot and people are now able to register their interest in becoming an intermediary in the pilot programme.

An intermediary is a person or group who brings investors and service providers together. The intermediary uses their skills in project management and finance to raise funds and drive performance to achieve agreed outcomes. 

“The Government does not have all the answers to our communities’ problems and social bonds are one new way to involve investors and private or not-for-profit organisations in improving social outcomes, while achieving value for taxpayers,” Mr English says. 

Mr Ryall says social bonds give service providers greater freedom and flexibility to use private capital and expertise to deliver services to their communities – with the Government paying a return depending on achievement of agreed outcomes.

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13 April 2014
Interest sought for new social bonds pilot

A new and innovative alternative to the way social services are delivered has come a step closer, Minister of Finance Bill English and Health Minister Tony Ryall say.

The Government last year agreed to a social bonds pilot and people are now able to register their interest in becoming an intermediary in the pilot programme.

An intermediary is a person or group who brings investors and service providers together. The intermediary uses their skills in project management and finance to raise funds and drive performance to achieve agreed outcomes. 

“The Government does not have all the answers to our communities’ problems and social bonds are one new way to involve investors and private or not-for-profit organisations in improving social outcomes, while achieving value for taxpayers,” Mr English says. 

Mr Ryall says social bonds give service providers greater freedom and flexibility to use private capital and expertise to deliver services to their communities – with the Government paying a return depending on achievement of agreed outcomes.

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