Last updated: 08 Jul 2018

New Zealand Investment Update

New Zealand investment update, with a focus on energy and telecommunications:

  • Broadband Internet is widely available in NZ, including fiber and public hotspots. Speeds of 10+ Mbps are common.
  • NZ ISPs stopped charging for data transfer in 2015 or so
  • Vodafone and Spark are the two largest ISPs, but they are by no means the only ones. Spark is a renamed division of Telecom, the former monopoly.
  • A significant portion of NZ's electrical power on the South Island comes from hydroelectric sources
  • NZ gets much of their own natural gas from the offshore Maui fields. The Labour government elected in 2017 has announced their intention to prevent new offshore exploration.
  • Many NZ homes north of Canterbury (the region around Christchurch) and outside of the mountain regions don't have central heat. A few electric space heaters work just fine for most people, and at a fraction of the cost. In older homes, insulation is relatively uncommon. (Kiwis are a fairly hardy bunch). However, energy-efficient heat pumps continue to gain in popularity.
  • NZ has some interesting tax advantages: no taxes on capital gains (for anything from the sale of a house to the sale of stocks, etc), no inheritance taxes and low property taxes. The government has been running a surplus in recent years.
  • The NZ central bank runs independently of government, and has a mandate to fight inflation. They don't base financial policy on jobs, as some countries do (including the US).
  • NZ has a no-nuclear policy. They are proud of their "clean and green" image; rightfully so, I think.
  • NZ has a lot of farmers, millions of sheep, and a big and powerful dairy industry. It's also fairly rich in other commodities, including lumber, coal, etc. In a SHTF scenario, that could be considered a good thing.
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