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Travel insurance premiums show it's worth shopping around

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 05:00:00 +1300

If you're heading overseas, don't take the first travel insurance offer you get.

Analysis by research firm Canstar shows there is a lot of variation in the cost of travel insurance cover, and potential pitfalls to avoid.

The firm's data showed that a couple flying from Auckland to Sydney for a weekend could expect to pay anything from $42 to $82 for their travel insurance.

The $42 was available from Worldcare, while the priciest quote came from taking the cover from the Air New Zealand website.

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How Kiwi shoppers can score Black Friday and Cyber Monday bargains

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 05:00:00 +1300

United States shopping phenomenon Black Friday is catching on in New Zealand – which could be good news for Christmas shoppers.

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving Day in the United States – November 24 this year. That is followed by Cyber Monday, another big discount day.

Usually, local retailers start their Black Friday sales at the beginning of the day on Friday but international sales come online through Friday and Saturday, depending on where in the world the businesses are based. Many retailers extend their offers over the weekend.

Jonathan Elms, the Sir Stephen Tindall chair in retail management at Massey University, said it was becoming more of an event for New Zealand shoppers.

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Wishing you a lovely, ratepayer-subsidised day out with the kids

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 07:00:00 +1300

OPINION: A day out with the kids can be fun. It can also be expensive.

Fortunately for Auckland families, they often get quite a bit of help footing the bill ... from ratepayers.

We've all had now our rates "explainer" letters from Auckland Council, so we can see that in the year to the end of June 2018, "parks, community and lifestyle" will cost $578 million, while another $189m will be spent on "economic and cultural development".

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WorkSafe decision to drop case against Pike mine boss Peter Whittall 'unlawful': Supreme Court

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 07:08:44 +1300

The mother of a miner who died at Pike River hopes a Supreme Court ruling will spell the end of "chequebook justice". 

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Ignoring the Basin Reserve problem will condemn Wellington's economy

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 10:22:18 +1300

OPINION: Some silly claims have been made during the years of debate over how to solve Wellington's traffic woes between Ngauranga and the airport, but one last week takes top prize.

It was attributed to lobby groups, several city and regional councillors, and even the Associate Transport Minister, who all apparently said they were not impressed that three of the four scenarios in Let's Get Wellington Moving's report included "road changes" at the Basin Reserve.

If that's what they said, then we could be in for another big, messy argument – because what happens at the Basin is key, and these people will play a part in the solution.

The Basin is slap-bang in the middle of the problem. We can have gold-plated streets on either side, but if we don't do something at the Basin then we're wasting our money. If we want to be efficient between Ngauranga and the airport we need some sort of grade separation there.

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The region with New Zealand's biggest rates bill

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 10:01:47 +1300

Wellington homeowners have some of the biggest rates bills in the country.

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Local board backs iwi plans for Belmont housing development on Auckland's North Shore

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 08:43:04 +1300

A need for more reserves has convinced a local board on Auckland's North Shore to support a land swap that would clear the way for a 340-house development on the Devonport peninsula.

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Christchurch man extradited to Australia over alleged $1.3 million scam

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 07:39:21 +1300

Australian police are extraditing a New Zealand man wanted over an alleged million-dollar boiler room scam.

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Get Wellington moving? We need carrots and sticks

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 05:00:00 +1300

OPINION: If you were unlucky enough to live near one of the recent slips in Wellington, you'll know how bad traffic can get in this town. I have some bad news for you: this is going to become the new norm, as various Roads of National Significance come online and dump thousands of cars on to our streets.

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Ask Kevin: When moving on, should we buy or sell first?

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 05:00:00 +1300

We have outgrown our home after seven years (and three children) and we have decided to look for a bigger place. Ideally we want to stay in the same area so we don't have to move our kids out of their schools or change our commute to work. We've started looking, but we are having debates about whether we should put our house on the market first, or find something to buy. I don't want to be left high and dry if we sell our place without somewhere to go to, but my partner says it is too risky to buy a place before selling. Do you have any advice?

While buying your first home can be a nerve-racking experience, buying your second isn't much easier.

First-home buyers may face a whole bunch of barriers, but the stakes can feel equally high (if not higher) for people who are looking to upsize or downsize due to family circumstances or job changes.

In many ways, the process is the same. You need to write your wishlist – where the property is, what size it is – and think about how much you want to spend.

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Janine Starks: Put your hand out for your free money

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 05:00:00 +1300

OPINION: Turn on your hearing aids, refocus the glasses and make way for the loud hailer.

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Sir Michael Cullen to head tax working group, GST changes possible

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 21:07:33 +1300

Former Labour Finance Minister Sir Michael Cullen will chair the Government's controversial tax working group.

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Game-changing learnings: How New Zealand is all across plain English

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 21:05:46 +1300

Going forward, stakeholders in NZ Inc could be in for a game-changing, ideated and deliverable future – in plain English.

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Tampon tax break on the table in sweeping system review

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 19:40:21 +1300

Giving women a tax break on sanitary products such as tampons and sanitary pads could be part of the Government's plan to create a "better and fairer" tax system for all New Zealanders. 

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Boost for Wellington zipline plan as council approves lease of land at dump

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 17:55:05 +1300

Plans for a zipline near Wellington's dump are off to a flying start.

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'What kind of employment agreement doesn't include wages?'

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 17:46:45 +1300

An Invercargill supermarket was willing to have staff on collective agreements - as long as the agreement did not cover their wages.

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Tilt for RWC rights could mean all games shown free-to-air, says academic

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 17:39:37 +1300

A successful bid by Spark and Television New Zealand for the 2019 Rugby World Cup would mean more games would be shown free-to-air and would please the Government.

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Robotic farm could attract big business buyers and potential partners

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 17:10:47 +1300

A one-of-a-kind robotic dairy farm for sale near Timaru is being touted as a tempting proposition to both big corporates and potential equity partners.

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Napier City Council adopts plan for commercial development of civic site

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 16:30:21 +1300

Napier City Council will sell or lease its civic building site to a private developer, despite receiving almost 20 submissions against the proposal.

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Whangarei poultry farm accused of ill-treatment of hens given the all-clear by MPI

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 16:21:13 +1300

Official inspections of a Whangarei poultry farm have found no evidence of abuse or neglect.

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