New Zealand Election Season 2023 and Beyond

Kia ora. As the election buzz ramps up, New Zealanders have many pressing issues on their minds - from rising costs to climate impacts to faltering infrastructure. With promises flying left and right, it's tempting to pin solutions entirely on the next government. But in truth, many factors influencing voters extend far beyond politics. Our Head of Bonds and Currency weighs in with some of his thoughts.

Recent data shows the number of New Zealanders concerned is 54% of Kiwis are worried about rising interest rates, up nearly 20 percentage points in just 18 months. Rising rates hits mortgage holders hardest, with 63% concerned compared to 50% of renters. Fergus McDonald adds that “Successive OCR hikes are the Reserve Bank's response to rampant inflation, the Reserve Bank's decisions are not controlled by the government, but government spending is not helping the RBNZ to bring down inflation”.

We're also seeing healthcare strains acute in regional areas like Southland and Marlborough, where facilities have closed and residents drive hours for treatment. Long waits for overwhelmed GPs compound these access issues. Promises of new dental schemes or medical schools may be drop-in-the-bucket solutions. Fixing the system requires a major, long-term investment in staffing, infrastructure, and localized care - not a quick policy fix.

On climate, the floods and Cyclone Gabrielle delivered devastating wake-up calls, especially for youth. Over 80% of rangatahi (youth) say mental health is their top concern (2022 Youthline State of the Generation Report), with a quarter directly impacted by extreme weather. Banning gas or accelerating EV targets won't build flood-resilient infrastructure or address emissions overnight. We need collective action and societal change far beyond what any single policy can achieve.

In truth, most issues New Zealanders care about this election – the cost of living, housing unaffordability, infrastructure deficits, climate impacts - are decades in the making with no quick fixes. As much as we'd all like rapid relief, the reality is that tackling complex problems requires, multifaceted effort over a time horizon that is significantly greater than an election cycle. They require successive Governments to help solve.

“As a nation, we can’t rely on the government to provide all of the answers, otherwise we will fall short. Many answers lie within individual and corporate decisions” says Fergus McDonald, 

In these turbulent times, Kiwis are understandably searching for security - financial, health, community, climate. But resilience ultimately starts from within. While exercising our civic duty, we must also focus on what's within our control.

This means spending mindfully, shoring up savings, strengthening local ties, and living sustainably - small steps that compound. It also means tuning out noise, cultivating calm, living a balanced life, and safeguarding mental health however we can. The change we need won't happen overnight, but progress begins with us.

At Nikko AM we're here to support your personal growth and security. Our investment funds help Kiwis build wealth over time. And we know financial health intersects with holistic wellbeing. Let's connect on steps you can take today to care for yourself and the community. The future won't be built in a day, but it starts with you.

Ngā mihi.

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