When the Facts Change

By The Spinoff

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Hosted by journalist Bernard Hickey, When the Facts Change is your essential weekly guide to the intersection of economics, business and politics in Aotearoa New Zealand. Presented by The Spinoff together with Kiwibank.


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Episode Date
The build-to-rent solution
42:31
Private rentals owned by ‘Mum and Dad’ landlords are expensive and unstable, making it difficult for tenants and their tamariki to settle into their communities and schools. As renting becomes a long-term reality for more and more of us, is there a better way? In this episode, Bernard is joined by Helen O’Sullivan, CEO of Crockers Property Group, to talk about one possible solution, and what policy tweaks the government needs to make to help it grow.

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Sep 29, 2022
The three horsemen of our housing apocalypse
51:23
It's evident to those living in Aotearoa that doing so does not come cheap, but did you know our housing and rental affordability is the worst in the world? Treasury Chief Economist Dominick Stephens went hunting with a team of Government experts for the reasons why. Revealing the three key factors driving our housing market, Stephens deep dives into conversation with Bernard Hickey on how the combination of lower interest rates, land use restrictions and our tax system has caused such an explosion. 

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Sep 22, 2022
So who 'owns' the car parks?
42:58
The great battle for walkable cities that prioritise cyclists and pedestrians over cars has only just begun. In this battle, Waka Kotahi is a key player in deciding how this battle plays out. In this week's episode, Bernard Hickey talks to Waka Kotahi's urban mobile manager Kathryn King to find out how mode shift might be allowed, or made to happen.

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Sep 15, 2022
Economics 101 for housing supply
37:16
Bernard Hickey dives deep into the demand and supply factors behind our endemic housing shortages with Kiwibank economist Jeremy Couchman, including what they might mean for house prices.

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Sep 08, 2022
What Adrian Orr just learned about the global economy
42:48
The Reserve Bank Governor has just returned from the hottest and most important annual get together of central bankers at Jackson Hole in Wyoming. He found a bunch of Governors hunkered down and under attack because inflation blew past their targets this year. He talks exclusively to Bernard Hickey about what has changed permanently in the workings of the global economy that is slowing growth and increasing inflation, and why we should care here in Aotearoa.

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Sep 04, 2022
Two epic tax fails
39:02
Revenue Minister David Parker steered the government into a political minefield this week with his extension of GST to all KiwiSaver fees that was gone by lunchtime within a day. Bernard Hickey talks with tax expert and historian Terry Baucher about why this epic fail pales in comparison to another from 33 years ago when Labour’s David Caygill failed to introduce a Capital Gains Tax to match our ‘perfect’ GST and income tax systems.

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Sep 01, 2022
The finger of blame for high house prices
39:58
The "official" economists in Wellington went hunting for the true culprit behind Aotearoa’s house prices and rents being the most expensive in the world – but perhaps the biggest culprit is the government itself. With Wellington gaslighting the councils, now the finger of blame may be turning back in its direction. In this week's episode, Bernard Hickey talks to Hamilton mayor Paula Southgate about the funding infrastructure and challenges, as well as why not enough land was opened up, to then be sold.

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Aug 25, 2022
Aotearoa's future of low battery anxiety
32:54
Electricity is something we can't live without at this stage in global growth – but with expensive renewable supply, how do users and the industry match the demand? In this week's episode, Bernard Hickey speaks with Octopus Energy's Margaret Cooney about possible solutions to shift away from expensive peaks, and how an obscure law change might unleash a surge of retail competition, all in the hopes of calming our collective low battery anxiety.

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Aug 18, 2022
Is your property a climate change hot potato?
45:16
If climate change projections make their way to Land Information Memorandums, owners of coastal properties may find themselves struggling to stay afloat long before waves start lapping at their door. Vulnerable properties will become uninsurable causing banks to withhold lending – suddenly passing on that slice of hot potato paradise will be near impossible. This week James Shaw joins Bernard Hickey to talk about the real meaning of climate change adaptation and who's responsible for funding infrastructure that will mitigate the effects of climate change.

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Aug 11, 2022
Finally, more women in construction
30:53
With unemployment now having climbed to 3.3% within the industry, builders are now crying out for workers. With this ascent and historically driven as a mostly male-dominated field, they’re getting serious about hiring the other half of the population. Bernard Hickey talks with Kiwibank economist Mary Jo Vergara about a surprise rise in employment growth for women in construction.

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Aug 04, 2022
Could full transparency solve our pay equity problems?
39:30
Imagine living in a society where details about everyone’s earnings and taxes are publicly available. With a gender pay gap of just 4%, Norway has operated under this system of pay transparency since the 1800s and some argue it’s time for a similar approach in Aotearoa. Join Bernard Hickey as he talks to AUT Professor Gail Pacheco, who heads the NZ Work Research Institute, about whether pay transparency is the answer to help address our pay equity gaps for women, Māori and Pasifika.

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Jul 28, 2022
The reality of free fares
44:02

Half-price bus and train fares are good, but wouldn’t completely free fares be even better? Bernard Hickey talks to transport and urban planning academic Jen McArthur about the economics and the politics of free public transport. He even discovers some positives that make the idea more attractive to the usual opponents.





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Jul 21, 2022
Time to pull the migration lever?
52:45
Businesses, hospitals and the opposition are pleading for a loosening of migrant worker restrictions to ease the intense labour shortages that are forcing cancellations and jury-rigged services up and down the motu. Bernard Hickey sits down to interview Productivity Commission chair Ganesh Nana to find out if a migration surge would solve our productivity problem, and why any decision to pull the migration lever must also look to pull the infrastructure investment lever.

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Jul 14, 2022
Is the housing market’s tide really turning?
42:57
For decades we've been warned of major slumps that never happened, but the Reserve Bank's new chief economist says this time, it's different. With a history of central bank governors and finance ministers making similar predictions that never came to pass, listen as Bernard Hickey challenges Paul Conway's view that the housing market’s ever-upward tide may be turning.

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Jul 07, 2022
Shy small businesses are holding the nation back
43:59
Why do so few of our small businesses make the leap to become bigger, faster-growing engine rooms for economic growth and higher wages? Curiously, Aotearoa also has a long tail of older business owners that are comfortable bumbling along with sub-scale firms that would do better with bigger and more ambitious owners. This week Bernard Hickey talks to ABC Business Sales MD Chris Small about why so many business owners won’t jump up, or out, and why it’s holding back the nation as a whole.

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Jun 30, 2022
The great resignation hits Aotearoa
48:18
The employment landscape currently favours workers, yet we’re still reluctant to ask for a pay rise and fear being sacked. Bernard Hickey is joined by AUT professor Jarrod Harr to examine how work culture, pay, conditions and the power relationships between employers and employees have been transformed by the pandemic and try to figure out why workers still feel insecure and what employers can do to combat the great resignation.

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Jun 23, 2022
Inflation everywhere, except the housing market
37:42
It’s hitting food, petrol, rent, shipping and wages, but inflation hasn’t touched the housing market. Bernard is joined by Kiwibank economist Mary-Jo Vergara to unpack the surprisingly big and long spike of inflation that is cascading into every aspect of our day-to-day lives.

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Jun 16, 2022
Budget 2022: Reaction special
24:53
Bernard Hickey (When The Facts Change; parliament studio) and Toby Manhire (Gone By Lunchtime; Auckland studio) join forces for a budget reaction crossover special.

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May 19, 2022
The rise of the inflation robots
44:16

Inflation has become the thief in our wallets for the first time in a generation and there are plenty of culprits to blame. The Ukraine War, supply chain disruptions and US$10t of money printing are the first and most obvious cabs off the rank, but there's a new and more insidious source of inflation developing: automatic inflation. These annual CPI-linked price increases from a range of companies, utilities, government departments and regulated services are fine when inflation is "normal" and stable around 2%, but this year’s 6% increases are turning into a nasty feedback loop of inflationary pressure that will hurt those on the lowest disposable incomes the hardest. Bernard Hickey goes on the hunt for these inflation robots in this last episode of this season of When The Facts Change. He asks Finance Minister Grant Robertson whether the likes of Chorus should lift its prices in line with inflation and finds out from Paul Fuge, who manages Powerswitch.org.nz for Consumer NZ, how electricity companies are pushing through increased rates amid a confusing welter of regulatory changes.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Mar 24, 2022
Bonus episode: What the new lending rules mean for mortgages
28:30
In December 2021 the government made changes to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act that were designed to protect borrowers – but had consequences that saw reports of people being rejected for lending because they had takeaways too often, had too many streaming subscriptions, and even because they made regular investments. Earlier this month, the Minister for Commerce and Consumer Affairs, David Parker announced that the Government plans to make further changes to the CCCFA to help avoid these unintended outcomes. To understand where we are at with bank lending – and what the changes are designed to achieve – Jo Kupa, Kiwibank Mortgage Area Manager and Madeleine Allen, Mobile Mortgage Manager for Kiwibank joined The Spinoff’s Simon Day on the monthly bonus episode of When The Facts Change, brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.

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Mar 22, 2022
Petrol prices and our lizard brains
1:00:50

The government’s decision to cut fuel taxes this week highlights just how hard it is for politicians and voters to deal with short sharp shocks to the system. The ‘lizard brain’ part of our body politic has evolved to recoil from a petrol price shock, but this type of ‘thinking fast’ will need to be replaced with ‘thinking slow’ if we are to engineer a just transition to carbon zero. To find out more, Bernard talks to political scientist Bronwyn Hayward, environmental sociologist and public health researcher Kirsty Wild and economist Rosie Collins about how to replace thinking fast with thinking slow in our climate change actions.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.





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Mar 17, 2022
Unpacking our supermarkets’ superprofits
47:01

Back in 2002, supermarket chains Foodtown and Woolworths were allowed to combine into the group now known as Countdown. That consolidated the market down to a duopoly of the Australian-owned Countdown and the local cooperative of Foodstuffs, which owns Pak’nSave, New World and Four Square. A new report published by the Commerce Commission this week found the duopoly has used its market power to suck profits from either side of them in the grocery supply chain to make an estimated $430m a year in superprofits. To help unpack the report’s findings, Bernard talks to Sarah Balle, the founder of online grocery startup Supie.co.nz, about how hard it is going up against such a powerful duopoly, and Food and Grocery Council CEO Katherine Rich explains the fight supermarket suppliers face to be treated fairly.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.





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Mar 10, 2022
What strawberries can teach us about NZ’s economy
41:19

New Zealand has a lot of small businesses, but relatively few of them expand into larger, more productive operations. Strawberry farms are a good example of this – many don’t invest in technology or systems to grow scale or profits, because it’s more profitable to simply wait for the farm’s land value to rise instead. But there are some interesting exceptions out there too. This week, Bernard talks to strawberry scientist Geoff Langford and Kiwibank business banking manager Wayne McEntee about the sorts of choices small businesses face around going up, going out, or just remaining stagnant.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.




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Mar 03, 2022
What the Reserve Bank's latest decision means
41:25

The Reserve Bank made its first big set piece decision of the year this week, releasing its monetary policy statement and raising the Official Cash Rate to 1.0%. So what does that mean for interest rates and house prices? In this week’s episode, Bernard Hickey asks Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr about the property price boom and wage inflation, and talks through the implications of the Reserve Bank’s decisions and outlook with Kiwibank chief economist Jarrod Kerr.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Feb 24, 2022
Bonus episode: The power of diversity and inclusion
27:14

This year marks 50 years of the gay liberation movement in New Zealand – 50 years of fight, advocacy, celebration, progress and frustration in the Rainbow community’s struggle for equality and equity. In recognition of the Pride festival this month, Liz Knight, chief risk officer at Kiwibank and a proud member of the Rainbow community, and Jess Segal, senior manager of Leadership, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Kiwibank, joined The Spinoff's Simon Day to discuss how far New Zealand has come – and the work that still needs to be done.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Feb 22, 2022
Aluminium prices vs our climate plans
53:37

The price of aluminium has exploded in the last six months – so much so that Rio Tinto now wants to delay the closure of the aluminium smelter it owns at Tiwai Point beyond the planned end date of 2024. But this decision has thrown a big spanner into the works of climate change planners, investors and politicians, who had been working under the assumption that, come 2024, the 13% of the nation’s power supply that Tiwai Point uses would become available to help cities decarbonise their transport fleets. To find out more about what Tiwai Point staying would do for our climate plans, Bernard talks to climate change minister James Shaw and renewable energy expert Rebecca Peer.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.





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Feb 17, 2022
Light rail’s heavy carbon footprint
42:23

Building a light rail line between Auckland’s CBD and the airport sounds like a good thing for the climate and reducing transport emissions. But the new plan to dig a long tunnel and lay a new railway line will actually generate an extra 400,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in its first 10 years, and take until 2040 before it starts being carbon negative. Still sound like a good idea? In this episode, Bernard Hickey talks to transport minister Michael Wood and economist Andrew Schoultz about how the government’s light rail plans fit with their climate targets, and how business and government planners are incorporating things like emissions forecasts, shadow carbon prices and discount rates into their planning.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.




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Feb 10, 2022
Why is everything getting more expensive?
51:23

Who or what is responsible for all the price inflation we’ve been seeing lately? And how do we know when we’re paying too much? Bernard Hickey talks to economic consultant Donal Curtin (previously of the New Zealand Commerce Commission) and Kiwibank chief economist Jarrod Kerr.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Feb 03, 2022
A big year for local politics
42:32

All the political roads in housing and climate change lead to council chambers rather than parliament these days. This week, we look ahead to the high stakes local elections in October, which will decide whether much progress is made in the next decade to deal with our twin emergencies. Bernard talks to Wellington mayoral candidate Tory Whanau about how tough 2021 was in local politics, and the massive year ahead.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Jan 27, 2022
A big year for the economy
32:39

Against all expectations a year ago, the global economy ended 2021 wracked by inflation and a debate about whether it’s transitory (and so can be ignored by central banks) or bedding in (and should be beaten down with higher interest rates). Bernard talks with Kiwibank’s Jarrod Kerr about what’s happening in our housing market and how well our exporters have done to offset the collapses of international tourism and education exports.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Jan 20, 2022
Bonus episode: The dangers of debt
30:49

Natalie Vincent is the chief executive of Ngā Tangata Microfinance Trust, which works with New Zealanders experiencing financial hardship to provide them with small, safe, interest-free loans and mentorship to help them get – and stay – out of debt. The last two years have been the busiest in the organisation’s history, and December 2021 brought the most referrals for support yet. Natalie tells Simon Day how easy it can be for people to get into financial difficulty when one crisis puts them into debt, how hard it can be to get out and the importance of building financial capability and wellbeing.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Jan 18, 2022
A big year for housing
28:49

Bernard Hickey is joined by Ockham founder Mark Todd to dig through a massive year for housing. They talk about the record high number of houses being built despite all sorts of supply chain grief and skills shortages, plus whether the ‘Townhouse Nation’ law changes rammed through Parliament will actually make a difference, or leave us regretting the prescriptive legislation in years to come.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Jan 13, 2022
Summer reissue: An epic intergenerational wealth transfer
40:26

When the Facts Change is taking a short break over summer. We'll be back with new episodes soon, but until then here's one of our most popular episodes of 2021.

From July: Over the last 30 years, a generation of voters and politicians made a decision to stop investing in infrastructure – it’s expensive, and it means you can’t cut taxes or keep rates low. Now we’re seeing the collective catastrophe of this underinvestment landing on our heads in the form of labour shortages and massive housing affordability problems. In this episode, Bernard Hickey reveals an intergenerational wealth transfer worth $1 trillion, and how it could be atoned for and reversed – if only to ensure the culprits can enjoy watching their grandchildren grow up healthy, warm and in person. Guests: Ockham Residential founder Mark Todd and Stephen Sutorius, owner of Thames Pacific.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Jan 06, 2022
Summer reissue: The impossible dream of home ownership
59:21

When the Facts Change is taking a short break over summer. We'll be back with new episodes soon, but until then here's one of our most popular episodes of 2021.

From June: For a growing number of Wellingtonians, the dream of owning a home in the city is all but dead. And it's the same story in other parts of the country too – successive governments have sat on their hands afraid that doing anything to create more housing might drive down prices, and as a result median rents and house prices have skyrocketed out of reach. To find out more about the costs of this housing inaction and Wellington's Spatial Plan, Bernard talks to Ashok Jacob from Renters United, Alison Anitawaru Cole from Victoria University, director of the Growing Up in New Zealand study Susan Morton and Kiwibank senior economist Jeremy Couchman.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Dec 30, 2021
Eight years to carbon zero
51:20

The UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow earlier this year removed all doubt about how fast we need to cut climate emissions. If we’re to keep warming below 1.5 degrees, we need to make big changes by 2030 – two or three decades to build rail lines and wait for Tiwai Point to close won’t cut it any more. So what needs to be done to rapidly engineer a just transition to zero carbon in less than a decade? Bernard Hickey talks to Our Energy CEO John Campbell about how virtual energy trading of distributed solar energy generation could help, and climate activist Paul Winton explains why we have to reconfigure our existing roads for cycling, walking and buses ASAP.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Dec 23, 2021
Our discounted future
43:53

The social discount rate is one of the tools the government uses to calculate the cost benefit analysis on long-term investments. And according to a report released earlier this week, our social discount rate has been too high for more than 30 years. In this episode, Bernard Hickey looks at the way the government makes decisions around intergenerational issues like climate change, child poverty and housing affordability, and how things like discount rates have disadvantaged future generations. To find out more, he talks to parliamentary commissioner for the environment Simon Upton, who’s calling on Treasury to lower New Zealand’s discount rate, and public sector analyst Jess Berentson-Shaw from The Workshop, who has seen how the use of high discount rates has frozen the public service in time.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Dec 16, 2021
The shipping forecast
45:14

Like the rest of the world, Aotearoa’s ports are clogged with containers, trucks, ships and growing shipping bills. But it’s not all because of Covid worker shortages and lockdowns. In this episode, Bernard Hickey looks at how the many weird economic effects of Covid are playing out through the world’s logistics chains, from frantic factories to empty store shelves and even Adele’s new album. Guests: Chris Edwards, president of the Custom Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation, and professor Tava Olsen, director of the Centre of Supply Chain Management at the University of Auckland Business School.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Dec 09, 2021
Bonus episode: A new way of banking, with Steve Jurkovich
43:29

Steve Jurkovich has been CEO of Kiwibank for three years, during which time he has introduced a raft of changes – from embracing te ao Māori to registering as a B Corp. He tells The Spinoff's Duncan Greive what's driven this reimagining of the organisation.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Dec 07, 2021
Can we make housing affordable without crashing the market?
56:36

This week new National leader Chris Luxon was asked a question that was posed to Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins before last year’s election: Do you want house prices to fall? It’s a curly one for politicians to answer – how do they make housing more affordable while at the same time preventing the market from collapsing? In this episode Bernard Hickey attempts to figure out how it could be done, and how long it might take to happen. He talks to Sense Partners economist Kirdan Lees, who co-wrote the ground-breaking analysis of the bipartisan ‘Townhouse Nation’ accord, architect and urban design writer Jade Kake and Green MP for Auckland Central Chlöe Swarbrick.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Dec 02, 2021
You deserve a raise
43:59

New Zealand’s Labour Cost Index showed a 2.4% wage increase last year. But when you set that against an inflation increase of 4.9% over the same period, in real terms the average New Zealander took a 2.5% pay cut. In a tight labour market, we should in theory all be marching into our boss’s office and asking for a raise – so why isn’t this happening? To find out, Bernard Hickey talks to CTU chief economist Craig Renney and Kiwibank economist Mary Jo Vergara.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Nov 25, 2021
What’s behind the booming art market?
52:32

Back in March, a virtually unheard-of digital artist called Mike Winkelmann, aka Beeple, made a collage of 5,000 pieces of his digital art into an NFT and sold it via auction house Christie’s. When the hammer finally fell, bids had reached over US$69million. In just the last couple of weeks, some similarly eye-watering prices have been fetched in New Zealand’s fine art market, with Michael Parekowhai’s sculpture 'A Peak In Darien' selling at auction for a record-breaking NZ$2.05million. In this episode, Bernard Hickey looks at how the rise of NFT art and the state of the world’s art markets in general have a direct connection to what’s happening in financial markets and the monetary system globally, and where it’s all headed. 

Guests: Independent art consultant and founder of auction house Art+Object Hamish Coney, formerly of auction house Art+Object, EasyCrypto co-founder and CEO Janine Grainger and New Zealand-based NFT digital artist Richard Parry.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Nov 18, 2021
Bonus episode: The rise and rise of cyber fraud
39:07

Recorded during Fraud Awareness Week, Simon Day speaks to Neil Hallett, the New Zealand Operations Manager for IDCARE Australia and New Zealand’s national identity and cyber support service. Kiwibank is a key partner of IDCARE, and the bank refers its customers who have been victims of cyber crime to the charity’s support services. IDCARE offers victims a trained case management officer to guide them through the practical steps for what they need to do to respond to the fraud. Neil discussed why Covid-19 has created fertile ground for cyber crime, what makes people vulnerable to scams, and what you need to do to protect yourself.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.





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Nov 16, 2021
The KiwiSaver provider and developer teaming up on housing
38:20

Back in 2008 New Zealand's property development sector went bust, and it scarred people for over a decade. How do we move past that now that we’ve got all this KiwiSaver money which could be used to build houses much more affordably? Simplicity managing director Sam Stubbs and NZ Living director Shane Brealey join Bernard Hickey to talk about their big plans.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.




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Nov 11, 2021
Climate change and house prices
54:52

Last month the Reserve Bank of New Zealand released its 2021 Climate Change Report, the first significant report it has released on the topic since launching its Climate Change Strategy in 2018. In this episode, Bernard takes a deep dive into what climate change means for monetary policy, and the one thing that dominates not just New Zealand’s economy but our society in general – house prices. With Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr and Victoria University economist Belinda Storey.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Nov 04, 2021
Bonus episode: Covid and our economy
32:55

Kiwibank economist Mary Jo Vergara joins Simon Day to talk about how Covid-19 has affected the local economy over the last two years. What has the pandemic revealed about the country’s economic strengths and weaknesses, and what does the forecast for the future look like? Mary Jo also speaks to the financial position of women in Aotearoa and how they have been among the worst affected by the economic fallout from the pandemic.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Nov 02, 2021
How would a central bank digital currency work?
46:51

Central banks all over the world have been looking at building their own digital currencies – and in the last couple of months, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand has issued a discussion paper about how one might work here. To find out more, Bernard talks to Ian Woolford, the head of money and cash at the RBNZ, and Janine Grainger, the CEO of NZ-based exchange Easy Crypto.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Oct 28, 2021
Three storeys high and rising
52:14

A big new bipartisan deal on housing was announced this week that could change the face of our cities and allow more medium-density housing to be built. But is there a piece of the puzzle missing? To discuss the new RMA changes and the issues they raise, Bernard is joined by Wellington City Councillor Tamatha Paul, Wellington Regional Councillor Thomas Nash, National Party housing spokesperson Nicola Willis and Kiwibank economist Jeremy Couchman.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Oct 21, 2021
Joining the dots to solve the housing crisis
49:48

There’s no shortage of cash piled up in New Zealand’s banks and pension funds – but what we do have a shortage of is affordable housing. So how do we connect all the money in the institutional funding sector with the housing projects that would begin to solve the housing crisis? To find out more, Bernard talks to Community Finance GM Paul Gilberd, Forever Affordable Housing founder Imogen Schoots and Community Housing Aotearoa CEO Victoria Crockford. 

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Oct 14, 2021
What we've learned about working from home
56:43

Over the last 18 months Covid-19 has changed the way many of us work and put real pressures on how we organise our lives. To find out more about how the culture of work has changed, the rise of burnout and the inequities the pandemic has exposed, Bernard Hickey talks to tech leader Rowan Simpson and clinical psychologist Jacqui Maguire.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Oct 07, 2021
The B Corp moment
46:29

More and more companies are committing to doing sustainable and ethical business by becoming B Corporation accredited. Bernard Hickey talks to Kiwibank CEO Steve Jurkovich about what B Corp certification means and why they’ve done it, and B Corp ambassador Tim Jones from Grow Good explains what companies have to do to become accredited.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Sep 30, 2021
How sustainable is your supply chain?
50:58

Over the last 30 years, we’ve built an incredibly complex supply chain to give us stuff really cheap. But is it really? Or have the costs just been pushed onto the environment and other workers? How do we find out which products are produced cleanly and don’t impose those unseen costs? 

On this week’s episode, Bernard speaks to John Holt, who’s launching All Things Considered – a global directory that collates, organises and fact checks the sustainability claims of companies and organisations. He also talks to Sam Jones, founder of apparel company Little Yellow Bird, about how she’s using this information to do business in a sustainable, transparent way. 

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Sep 23, 2021
Cleaning up capitalism from the inside out
41:26

ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) investing is a movement that has arisen over the last decade or so, where big fund managers invest only in companies with sustainable, socially responsible policies. It turns out this is often also the most profitable approach in the long run. One of the leading players in this movement has been the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, and its CEO Matt Whineray joins Bernard Hickey in this episode to talk about how the fund operates its ESG policy. Bernard also talks to Barry Coates, founder and CEO of individual ethical investment tool Mindful Money, about how to tell if a company is really as ethical as they say they are. 

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Sep 16, 2021
Bonus episode: Why Kiwibank is embracing te ao Māori
40:14

In recognition of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori and what the language means to the fabric of Aotearoa, The Spinoff’s commercial editorial director Simon Day speaks to Teahooterangi Pihama, head of Māori advisory, and Keita Te Ngoungou, Kiwibank Māori advisor. They’ve been given a mandate to steer the Kiwibank waka on it’s journey into te ao Māori, and talk about why te reo Māori is important for all New Zealanders, and how lifting the cultural competency at Kiwibank can improve outcomes for Māori staff and customers, support the growth of the Māori economy and raise the financial capabilities of Māori.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Sep 13, 2021
The future of capitalism, with Luigi Zingales
49:11

Gordon Gekko’s “Greed is Good” era of shareholder-driven global capitalism is ending, but what and who will replace it? Bernard Hickey interviews renowned Chicago School economist, author and podcaster Luigi Zingales (Capitalisn't) about what went wrong with corporate capitalism and how it could be fixed.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Sep 09, 2021
The case for mandatory vaccines in the workplace
49:14

Businesses face a big task and some big decisions in the months ahead. They need to ensure as many staff as possible get vaccinated, without breaking the law or alienating their workforces. They’ll have to look at their own vaccination programmes, their own testing policies and their employment policies. Should they adopt a “no jab no job” policy? Can they? To discuss where these lines will be drawn and who should be doing that drawing – businesses or government – Bernard Hickey talks to BusinessNZ CEO Kirk Hope and Frances Hughes from Oceania Healthcare.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Sep 02, 2021
Bonus episode: How businesses are responding to the return of Covid-19
24:17

When New Zealand’s second national level four lockdown was announced in August, it was a situation many New Zealand business owners were already familiar with and prepared for. The Spinoff’s commercial editorial director Simon Day speaks to Quentin Quin, chief customer officer – business banking at Kiwibank, about what businesses have learned from the last 18 months and how that’s changed their response to the most recent outbreak. Before joining Kiwibank, Quentin worked in ​​a number of post conflict countries, emerging economies and unregulated unstable business environments, and he compares that experience to the economic uncertainty of Covid-19.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Aug 31, 2021
Who's taking advantage of the wage subsidy scheme?
46:43

Last year the government paid out $14 billion in wage subsidies to businesses as part of the Covid-19 response. This included a number of large companies who went on to deliver big annual profits and dividends to shareholders – and very few of those companies have repaid it. In this week’s episode, Bernard Hickey looks at the ethics of the wage subsidy scheme and asks: where is the accountability? And is the social license that was there for wage subsidies in March 2020 still there now? Guests: Professor Jilnaught Wong from the University of Auckland and Peter Vial of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Aug 26, 2021
How should we plan our population?
1:03:02

How big do we want Aotearoa to be? How fast do we want it to grow, and where? And are we still a classless society, or are we becoming a country of owners and servants? In this episode, Bernard Hickey looks at the need for an actual population policy alongside new migration settings. To find out more he talks to demographers Paul Spoonley and Tahu Kukutai, the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission's Geoff Cooper and geographer Francis Collins.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.





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Aug 19, 2021
The political economy of the climate crisis
59:02

How is it that democracies can only make big, politically difficult changes when faced with an emergency? We did it last year with Covid-19 – so could we do it again with the climate emergency that is in our faces right now? New reports released this week all point to the fact we can’t really afford to wait any longer – we need to take some political and economic pain to reduce emissions, and do it fast. To explore the political economy issues of dealing with climate change as an emergency, Bernard talks to Stephen Mills from UMR, researcher Jess Berentson-Shaw and the 1point5 Project’s Paul Winton.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.




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Aug 12, 2021
How do we fix our unkind migration system?
44:22

What does the way we treat our migrant population say about who we are as a country? With around 200,000 people living and working in New Zealand on temporary visas, pressure is mounting on the government to make sweeping policy changes to address the limbo these migrants are being left in – an already Kafkaesque situation which has only been exacerbated by Covid. To look at how we ended up in this situation and what needs to be done to tackle the problems that have arisen as a result, Bernard talks to National’s immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford, The New Zealand Initiative's Eric Crampton and Dr Oliver Hartwich, along with immigration lawyer Alistair McClymont.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Aug 05, 2021
Back to the future of public transport
1:08:49

Bernard Hickey goes on a journey to find out how New Zealand's fascinating public transport history can inform our future, meeting musician, historian and public transport advocate Anthonie Tonnon at Whanganui’s historic Durie Hill underground elevator. Built in 1919, the elevator was once part of an extensive and heavily used public transport network in the city – how were these networks built, why did they die off and what can they tell us about the future of public transport in this country? To find out more about the current state of public transport and what happens next, Bernard talks to transport minister Michael Wood.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Jul 29, 2021
Bonus episode: SMEs with Kiwibank’s Joanna Greaves
35:24

The Spinoff business editor Michael Andrew speaks to Joanna Greaves, head of the small and medium enterprise team at Kiwibank. As an award-winning dairy farmer, accountant, agricultural ambassador and small business owner, Joanna has a wonderful insight into the value and the realities of SMEs in New Zealand.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Jul 27, 2021
How do we get a vaccination rate over 80%?
40:58

Around the world, countries are seeing Covid-19 vaccination rates plateauing at around 50-60% – and it's hurting them badly. So how will we get our Covid-19 vaccination rates up to the 80%-90% required for herd immunity? In this episode, Bernard Hickey explains how we can nudge our way to that target using behavioural economics and behavioural finance to get there. To find out more, he speaks to Māori health advocate Rawiri McKree Jansen and vaccinologist Helen Petousis-Harris.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Jul 22, 2021
A big money-saving solar power idea
51:48

New Zealand's electricity market isn't working to produce enough renewable power to get to carbon zero by 2050 – but maybe there’s a solution in solar power and batteries in everyone’s homes. In this episode, Bernard Hickey explores an idea for how the government could shake up the electricity sector and return the big taxpayer-built power schemes to public ownership. Guests: Flick Electric Co CEO Steve O’Connor and Eric Pyle, the director of public affairs and policy at solarZero.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Jul 15, 2021
An epic intergenerational wealth transfer
39:02

Over the last 30 years, a generation of voters and politicians made a decision to stop investing in infrastructure – it’s expensive, and it means you can’t cut taxes or keep rates low. Now we’re seeing the collective catastrophe of this underinvestment landing on our heads in the form of labour shortages and massive housing affordability problems. In this episode, Bernard Hickey reveals an intergenerational wealth transfer worth $1 trillion, and how it could be atoned for and reversed – if only to ensure the culprits can enjoy watching their grandchildren grow up healthy, warm and in person. Guests: Ockham Residential founder Mark Todd and Stephen Sutorius, owner of Thames Pacific.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Jul 08, 2021
Looking for hope in our housing crisis
55:21

In last week’s episode, Bernard Hickey talked about how he had given up hope for affordable housing. This week, he talks to some people who still have hope to hear their ideas on how to solve New Zealand’s housing crisis. Kay Saville-Smith is a longtime researcher and policy advisor on housing who still believes there are ways through – in fact, she’s more hopeful now than she has been for years. And Ronji Tanielu sees the real-world impact of the housing crisis as a policy analyst and advisor for the Salvation Army, but still has plenty of ideas and hope for change.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Jul 01, 2021
Bonus episode: Digital innovation with Kiwibank's Ranjit Jayanandhan
25:08

In this month's bonus episode, The Spinoff’s business editor Michael Andrew is joined by Ranjit Jayanandhan, general manager of Kiwibank’s foundation tech experience hub. As the person leading Kiwibank’s digital innovation journey, Ranjit has a unique perspective into how banking and fintech will change in New Zealand and the increasing role technology plays in the customer experience.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Jun 29, 2021
How home ownership became the impossible dream
58:14

For a growing number of Wellingtonians, the dream of owning a home in the city is all but dead. And it's the same story in other parts of the country too – successive governments have sat on their hands afraid that doing anything to create more housing might drive down prices, and as a result median rents and house prices have skyrocketed out of reach. To find out more about the costs of this housing inaction and if Wellington's Spatial Plan can change anything, Bernard talks to Ashok Jacob from Renters United, Alison Anitawaru Cole from Victoria University, director of the Growing Up in New Zealand study Susan Morton and Kiwibank senior economist Jeremy Couchman.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Jun 24, 2021
Why is New Zealand’s housing stock so bad?
42:40

The Climate Change Commission report released last week made it clear that we need to start building new houses that are warmer, drier and produce less carbon. Not only that, we need to retrofit all the houses we’ve already built. How do we do this, and how are we going to finance it? To find out more, Bernard talks to healthy housing expert Philippa Howden-Chapman and Kiwibank head of sustainability Julia Jackson.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.




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Jun 17, 2021
New Zealand's path to carbon zero
40:36

This week, Bernard Hickey takes a deep dive into the new Climate Commission report and finds an unrealistic and inadequate prescription to get to carbon zero. To find out more, he speaks to asset manager Paul Winton about how reconfiguring motorways for cycling, walking and buses could be quicker and more effective than building new rail networks, and associate professor Sara Walton from the University of Otago business school explains how insurers and banks are being pushed to force businesses to reduce their emissions and plan for a lower-carbon future. 

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.




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Jun 10, 2021
The future of currency
48:50

Have you ever thought about what money really is, and what it might look like in the future? With central banks now considering launching digital currencies to take on the rise of big tech and cryptocurrency, our currency systems could be in for some big changes – so who should we trust to create and run the digital currency or currencies that will define the world’s financial and economic landscapes for decades to come? To find out more, Bernard Hickey speaks with Dave Corbett, CEO of New Zealand fintech company P^werFinance, and Chris Berg, co-director and co-founder of the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub in Australia.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Jun 03, 2021
Designing a social insurance scheme that works
38:56

We’ve been hearing the phrase “social insurance” a lot since the government released the 2021 budget last week. It’s an idea designed to deal with unemployment we’re going to see a lot more of in the years to come, but it also brings up issues of inequality and fairness. Would introducing unemployment insurance just help embed a two-tier system in which the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor? To find out how it could work in practice, Bernard Hickey speaks to Kirk Hope from BusinessNZ and NZCTU president Richard Wagstaff.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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May 27, 2021
Budget 2021: Reversing the mother of all budgets
34:15

This week’s episode is coming to you from parliament, where Bernard Hickey has been up to his elbows in the budget just released by finance minister Grant Robertson. This year’s budget is a big one – it’s the first one after Covid, and with a parliamentary majority, a very popular prime minister at the helm, a strong economy and low public debt, it was a huge opportunity for the government to do some things… so what did they do? Bernard shares his impressions of Budget 2021, then speaks to Kate Prickett, director of the Roy McKenzie Centre for the Study of Families at Victoria University, and Hillmarè Schulze, chief economist at BERL, to see what they made of it.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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May 20, 2021
What have we got to lose by standing up to China?
47:06

New Zealand has made international headlines in recent weeks for deciding to take the word “genocide” out of a parliamentary motion criticising China for its treatment of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang province. Basically, we were afraid it would hurt our trade relationship. In this episode, Bernard Hickey wants to change our minds on how New Zealand deals with China, and explain why we should follow Australia's lead and stop worrying so much about trade and start standing up for our views on human rights. To find out more, he talks to Natasha Hamilton-Hart from the department of management and international business at the University of Auckland business school, before Sam Roggeveen from the Lowy Institute offers an Australian perspective.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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May 13, 2021
Bonus episode: Sustainability with Kiwibank's Julia Jackson
27:20

The Spinoff business editor Michael Andrew is joined by Kiwibank sustainability lead Julia Jackson to talk about the evolving concept of sustainability, its growing influence on businesses and how New Zealanders can better integrate it into their lives.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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May 10, 2021
The value of investing in health and happiness
47:12

How does a government work out the best way to spend money to maximise not just GDP but the long-term health and happiness of its population? This is something our government is trying to do, or says it’s trying to do – but when it comes to the wellbeing side of the equation, is it doing a good enough job? 

In this episode, Bernard Hickey talks to Girol Karacaoglu, head of the school of government at Victoria University and one of the architects of the way New Zealand analyses happiness. He then talks to Susan St John, an economist at the University of Auckland’s business school who has an interesting take on what we should be spending our money on.

When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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May 06, 2021
What will the Reserve Bank’s decisions mean for house prices?
45:06

Imagine if the value of your house doubled overnight. Could that actually happen? In this week’s episode, Bernard Hickey explains how it could – and how the Reserve Bank and government are doing things in the next couple of weeks to make sure it doesn’t. To find out more about how banks, lending and the housing market all operate, Bernard talks to Carmen Vicelich, CEO of Valocity Global. She knows exactly how banks decide who to lend to, when to lend to them and how much the property under the loan is worth. He then asks Kiwibank chief economist Jarrod Kerr what type of restrictions the Reserve Bank could apply in the coming weeks, and just how landlords are reacting to the government’s big changes announced last month. Spoiler alert: they’re not rushing for the exits. 


When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Apr 29, 2021
New Zealand’s temporary migration scandal
43:49

A new report on temporary migration in New Zealand suggests the current settings are letting down migrants and contributing to a low wage, low productivity and low wellbeing society. To find out more, in this episode Bernard talks to Julie Fry, the economist who wrote the report, and asks Anu Kaloti from the Migrant Workers’ Association about the scale of temporary migrant exploitation in New Zealand and what needs to change. Because right now, we’re not exactly living up to our image as a kind country.


When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Apr 22, 2021
The real fight for climate and housing action is at council level
49:26

You may think the big decisions around housing affordability and climate change are being made in the Beehive, and that these are national policies. But in this week’s episode, Bernard suggests these issues are actually manifesting in a series of house-to-house and street-by-street fights at council level. To find out more, he speaks to Tamatha Paul from the Wellington City Council and Auckland city councillor Efeso Collins about how young renters and activists wanting higher density housing and more pedestrian and cycling friendly transport routes will have to fight the battle of their lives in next year’s local elections.


When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Apr 15, 2021
Bonus episode: Shannon Te Huia, Kiwibank Local Hero of the Year
35:06

For the last 12 years, Kiwibank has supported the Local Hero Award, acknowledging the people making a difference to New Zealand communities. In this bonus episode of When the Facts Change, The Spinoff’s business editor Michael Andrew talks with Shannon Te Huia, the 2021 Kiwibank Local Hero of the Year. 


Shannon established Pūniu River Care in 2015, a marae-based initiative designed to improve water quality and biodiversity by planting trees along the banks of the Pūniu river in the Waikato. He talks about where the idea came from, how he grew it into a viable project and what the award means to him and means for the project.


Read more: https://thespinoff.co.nz/business/01-04-2021/kaitiakitanga-in-action-how-one-man-saved-his-awa/


When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Apr 13, 2021
Global capitalism’s 'doom loop' and how to stop it
36:50

This week we’re talking about global capitalism, and how it's in danger of destroying itself from the inside out. The concept is known as a “doom loop”: as the economy grows, those who own all the assets get more and more, those who don’t get poorer and poorer, and as a result growth slows as the machine grinds to a halt. And the key to stopping this doom loop lies in addressing inequality and productivity. To explore this idea and how it affects New Zealand, Bernard Hickey talks to the Productivity Commission's Ganesh Nana and Council of Trade Unions economist Craig Renney.


When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Apr 08, 2021
The rise of the work from home economy
42:43

This week we're looking at the rise of the work from home economy that has grown out of global lockdowns. Bernard talks to Dr Paula O’Kane of Otago University about the encouraging evidence around productivity and flexibility as well as the negative effects of disconnection, Zoom fatigue and the blurring of work and home boundaries. He also speaks with Kiwibank’s Chief People Officer Charlotte Ward about how large organisations managed sudden remote working conditions and the long term changes being made as a result. 


In addition, Bernard takes a moment to reflect on the dust that has settled since last week’s housing package announcement, and he challenges the government to set a clear target for housing affordability.


When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Mar 31, 2021
Unpacking Labour’s new housing package
40:58

The facts changed earlier this week when the government announced a major new housing package. In this episode, we’ll work out what it all means for buyers and renters with Kiwibank chief economist Jarrod Kerr, before talking to architectural designer, writer and housing advocate Jade Kake (Ngāti Hau, Te Parawhau, Ngāpuhi, Te Whakatōhea, Te Arawa) about a part of the market that didn’t get a lot of attention.


When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Mar 25, 2021
Can NZ's housing affordability problem ever be solved?
45:16

Welcome to When the Facts Change, a new podcast from The Spinoff together with Kiwibank. Each week host Bernard Hickey and guests will be peeling back the layers of New Zealand’s economy to reveal how it’s changing our lives and our society.


This week, we’re talking about housing. Bernard is joined by Kiwibank chief economist Jarrod Kerr to discuss what’s going on with interest rates and whether more high-density housing will help solve our affordability issues. He then speaks with National housing spokesperson Nicola Willis about how she wants to improve the number of apartments being built, and Helen O’Sullivan, an expert on managing and developing these apartments.


When the Facts Change is brought to you by The Spinoff Podcast Network together with Kiwibank.



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Mar 18, 2021
Coming soon – When the Facts Change with Bernard Hickey
1:08

Created by The Spinoff together with Kiwibank, When the Facts Change with Bernard Hickey is your essential weekly guide to the intersection of economics, business and politics in Aotearoa.


Every Friday, Bernard will be joined by expert and industry-leading guests, including a range of Kiwibank specialists, to peel back the layers of our economy and reveal how it’s changing our lives and our society.


This series is for anyone curious about what changes in technology, the global economy, finance, housing and politics will mean for them, their jobs, lives, communities and futures.



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Mar 15, 2021