The latest from Managing Editor Pattrick Smellie

Pattrick was judged New Zealand's best overall columnist and business columnist of the year at the Voyager 2021 Media Awards. He has more than 35 years’ experience reporting and working in New Zealand politics and the commercial sector. A former Press Gallery chairman, he is an award-winning journalist and has worked for titles including The Dominion, The Press, Sunday Star-Times and National Business Review. He was the first NZ correspondent for The Australian and co-founded BusinessDesk in 2008.

More predictable regulation for NZ's telecom backbone post-2020
Pattrick Smellie | Wed, 13 Apr 2016

By Pattrick Smellie April 14 (BusinessDesk) - The copper and fibre-optic networks used for New Zealand telecommunications services will move to a simpler, more predictable form of regulation, similar to that used for regulating the monopoly parts of the electricity system, Com...

UPDATE: Key announces major provisional tax changes for business
Pattrick Smellie | Wed, 13 Apr 2016

(Adds comments from Key, additional detail) By Pattrick Smellie April 13 (BusinessDesk) - Lumpy provisional tax payments and penalties caused by income miscalculation will become a thing of the past for small and medium-sized businesses under a business tax reform package a...

FIRST CUT: Key announces major provisional tax reforms
Pattrick Smellie | Wed, 13 Apr 2016

By Pattrick Smellie April 13 (BusinessDesk) - Lumpy provisional tax payments will become a thing of the past for small and medium sized businesses under a business tax reform package announced by Prime Minister John Key in the first major speech ahead of the May 28 Budget....

Long-awaited grid cost-sharing paper due May 17
Pattrick Smellie | Mon, 11 Apr 2016

By Pattrick Smellie April 12 (BusinessDesk) - A long-awaited recommendation on how the cost of the national electricity grid should be shared in future is due on May 17. The Electricity Authority says it will release its transmission pricing methodology paper and run an eig...

Auckland Uni sells Tamaki campus to developer Tim Edney
Pattrick Smellie | Mon, 11 Apr 2016

By Pattrick Smellie April 11 (BusinessDesk) - The University of Auckland has taken a major step towards quitting its unsuccessful experiment to relocate much of its medical school and innovation activity to its Tamaki campus, selling the site to a company controlled by propert...

Independent expert likely to probe NZ's foreign trust rules: PM
Pattrick Smellie | Sun, 10 Apr 2016

By Pattrick Smellie April 11 (BusinessDesk) - Prime Minister John Key is signalling a change of heart on the government's insistence last week that New Zealand's foreign trust rules are sound, telling RNZ's Morning Report programme the Cabinet will consider a proposal for an i...

Peters and Brash team up to attack Maori preferences in RMA reforms
Pattrick Smellie | Thu, 07 Apr 2016

By Pattrick Smellie April 7 (BusinessDesk) - One-time political rivals Winston Peters and Don Brash effectively tag-teamed at the opening hearings at Parliament of submissions on a government bill to reform the Resource Management Act which both believe has made too many conce...

Orion Health shares rise as deal announced with Queensland's Metro North
Pattrick Smellie | Wed, 06 Apr 2016

By Pattrick Smellie April 6 (BusinessDesk) - Orion Health's shares rose 3.7 percent to a five-month high of $3.63 following the announcement of the health systems software company's second large contract in a fortnight, this time with the largest health service in the Australi...

F&P Appliances to close East Tamaki factory with loss of 186 jobs
Pattrick Smellie | Tue, 05 Apr 2016

By Pattrick Smellie April 5 (BusinessDesk) - Fisher & Paykel Appliances is to close its small refrigeration appliances factory in Auckland's East Tamaki, with the loss of 186 jobs, saying the plant did not have the scale or cost-competitiveness to remain open. Currently ope...

Regulator takes issue with penalty charge for solar power
Pattrick Smellie | Mon, 04 Apr 2016

By Pattrick Smellie April 5 (BusinessDesk) - The Electricity Authority says plans by the Hawke's Bay electricity lines operator, Unison Networks, to charge a special tariff effectively penalising households that install solar power units on their rooves are out of step with it...

TPP ratification in US heading for 'lame duck' session in late 2016: Key
Pattrick Smellie | Mon, 04 Apr 2016

By Pattrick Smellie April 4 (BusinessDesk) - US lawmakers and senior officials are leaning towards the likelihood of the Trans-Pacific Partnership achieving ratification in Washington DC during the so-called "lame-duck" session of Congress expected later this year, Prime Minis...

Key faces sustained questioning on NZ presence in 'Panama Papers'
Pattrick Smellie | Mon, 04 Apr 2016

By Pattrick Smellie April 4 (BusinessDesk) - Prime Minister John Key faced sustained media questioning on the use of New Zealand-registered foreign-controlled trusts in international tax avoidance uncovered by a massive leak of documents that are being called 'the Panama Paper...

Robots will make your coffee, Labour conference hears
Pattrick Smellie | Wed, 23 Mar 2016

By Pattrick Smellie March 24 (BusinessDesk) - Robots will replace baristas in cafes as part of a coming wave of job losses in service industries that will occur "at an unprecedented rate" as a massive jump in productivity caused by digital technology takes hold in the world ec...

TPP 'atrocious', Reich tells Labour future of work conference
Pattrick Smellie | Wed, 23 Mar 2016

By Pattrick Smellie March 23 (BusinessDesk) - In comments that raised a cheer from many of the approximately 200 Labour Party members, trade unionists, economists and businesspeople attending the Labour Party's two Future of Work conference, former Clinton era US Labor Secreta...

Labour forced to clarify universal basic income 'not party policy'
Pattrick Smellie | Wed, 23 Mar 2016

By Pattrick Smellie March 23 (BusinessDesk) - The Labour Party's Future of Work conference saw the party leadership forced to insist that discussion of a universal basic income did not constitute party policy, which is "still some way away." Labour published a background pa...

Labour looks to 'limited trial' of universal basic income
Pattrick Smellie | Wed, 23 Mar 2016

By Pattrick Smellie March 23 (BusinessDesk) - The Labour Party is signalling major reform of the social welfare system that it founded, saying it will investigate "new models of income security for New Zealand, including considering a limited trial of a universal basic income....

Electric cars make more sense that solar power in NZ: new study
Pattrick Smellie | Mon, 21 Mar 2016

By Pattrick Smellie March 21 (BusinessDesk) - Electric vehicles are far more useful to New Zealand for reducing carbon emissions than rooftop solar power, says a new study by energy industry consultants Concept. The Wellington-based consultancy contains some of the electric...

Big carbon emitters to lose ETS subsidy: Bennett
Pattrick Smellie | Wed, 16 Mar 2016

By Pattrick Smellie March 16 (BusinessDesk) - Big industrial emitters of greenhouse gases will lose their right under the emissions trading scheme to offset only half of their emissions, Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett told an international energy conference in Wellingto...

Govt in no hurry to reform Holidays Act, despite employer call
Pattrick Smellie | Tue, 08 Mar 2016

By Pattrick Smellie March 9 (BusinessDesk) - Business New Zealand and the Payroll Practitioners' Association are calling for an urgent review of the Holidays Act, but Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse is in no hurry to act. The call from the country's peak busi...

NZ businesses urged to check holiday pay as Labour claims win over zero hours
Pattrick Smellie | Tue, 08 Mar 2016

By Pattrick Smellie March 8 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand businesses are being urged to check their payroll systems to ensure staff are being paid their maximum holiday pay entitlements. The warning, from peak body Business New Zealand, comes amid signs there may have been w...

Coal and dairy revenues hit KiwiRail first-half
Pattrick Smellie | Mon, 29 Feb 2016

By Pattrick Smellie Feb. 29 (BusinessDesk) - Falling revenue from the rail network and one-off restructuring costs pushed state-owned KiwiRail to a net loss for the six months to Dec. 31 of $16.2 million, compared with a $6.8 million loss for the same period last year. Reve...

Air NZ brings international expert to warn on Wellington runway extension
Pattrick Smellie | Mon, 29 Feb 2016

By Pattrick Smellie Feb. 29 (BusinessDesk) - Promoters of the Wellington airport runway extension are mistaken to expect that building it will be enough to attract airlines to establish new long-haul routes to the capital, says an international airline expert brought to New Ze...

Regulator to check aggregates market in Fletcher bid for Higgins
Pattrick Smellie | Sun, 28 Feb 2016

By Pattrick Smellie Feb. 29 (BusinessDesk) - The Commerce Commission will conduct an investigation into the national and regional markets for construction aggregates before it decides whether to clear Fletcher Building's bid for construction firm Higgins Group Holdings. The...


Articles