Co-operative Bank reacts first to OCR cut, slashing floating mortgage rate

The first bank to respond to the Official Cash Rate slash today says the move came as a surprise, not because of the cut but because of the timing. 

The Reserve Bank slashed the OCR by 25 basis points to a new record low of 2.25 percent.

New Zealand Currency
New Zealand currency Source: 1 NEWS

While other banks are still pondering the move, The Co-operative has dropped its floating mortgage rate from 5.7 to 5.45 per cent.

Chief Executive, Bruce McLachlan, says the surprise cut was deliberate.

"The economy is quite buyout at the moment not withstanding dairy issues, the household and business sector is quite confident and we’re seeing lots of areas to illustrate the NZ economy is going to escalate that," he said.

Mr McLachlan says the drop will further fuel the housing market driving house prices up further.

He says the real thing to watch is whether the full 25 points drop is passed on by other banks too.

Kiwibank says it is still looking into the move but will respond later in the day.

Challenges facing dairy sector

The Reserve Bank said in its statement that "further policy easing may be required to ensure that future average inflation settles near the middle of the target range".

In making its decision, Reserve Bank Governor warned the outlook for global growth had deteriorated since December, with an increase in financial market volatility.

Graeme Wheeler also noted the challenges facing the dairy sector and the fact that the New Zealand dollar was trading 4 percent higher (across a basket of currencies) that projected in December.

Mr Wheeler wasn't all doom and gloom and noted that domestic growth is expected to be supported by strong inward migration, tourism, a pipeline of construction activity and accommodative monetary policy.

However, he says while long run inflation expectations are well anchored at 2 percent there has been a material decline in a range of inflation expectation measures.

Inflation in New Zealand is currently sitting at just 0.1 percent. The Reserve Bank is tasked with keeping inflation between 1 and 3 percent. 



Trans-Atlantic rowing champ Rob Hamill out to sail around world on catamaran

Trans-Atlantic rowing champion Rob Hamill and his family have left their lives in New Zealand to set sail on an around the world journey where they hope to trace the route of his murdered brother Kerry.

But Hamill says the trip isn't as dark as it sounds.

"Just hanging out with my family and having fun and discovery and adventure and all that stuff," Hamill told 1 NEWS.

Hamill, his wife Rachel and their three boys have packed up their home in Waikato for an adventure on the high seas.

Their first destination - Fiji.

Hamill admits for the next year or two, living space will be tight.

"It's not actually that bad. We all have our own bedroom so if we do get a little claustrophobic, we can always go to our own space," he said.

They've already trialled life on board when they made a trip to the islands three years ago.

But this time, the Hamills want to follow the fatal journey Kerry took through Southeast Asia in 1978.

He was captured and killed by the Khmer Rouge when he strayed into Cambodian waters.

"Grief is a part of our Western culture that we don't deal with well.

"There's even evidence that grief can be passed on through your DNA and I guess I want to confront that head on."

It'll be an emotional trip for Hamill and his young family, retracing the steps of his murdered brother. Source: 1 NEWS


Court action could be on the cards as tensions boil over between Ngāphui leaders

Court action could be on the cards for the country's largest iwi.

Insiders say talks are stalling between opposing Ngāpuhi leadership groups, Tuhoronoku and Te Kōtahitanga after a series of "failed meetings" with the new Treaty Negotiations Minister. 

Te Kōtahitanga co-chair Pita Tipene says the seven closed meetings have left him feeling frustrated, angry and betrayed.

Mr Tipene, says Andrew Little has entered discussions with a predetermined position on how Ngāpuhi will negotiate the treaty settlement. 

The settlement, tipped to be worth upwards of $500 million, will be the largest settlement in the country, but Ngāpuhi leaders remain divided over who will lead the negotiations. 

It's been an ongoing issue for the last decade, but Mr Little's appointment brought the Ngāpuhi people fresh hope. 

Now, like the previous government, the Labour-led Government is also supporting the Tuhorunuku group as a single entity to oversee the settlement.

Opposing hapu group Te Kōtahitanga wants an individual settlement for each of the six main Ngāpuhi areas.

"We want to ensure that the sub-regions will have control over their own assets after negotiations have ended," says Mr Tipene. 

Mr Little says the problem is that most of Ngāpuhi live in Auckland. 

"Many of them don't know which hapu they affiliate to so there's issues about how the Crown, which has a duty to make sure it's doing the best for all the beneficiaries of the settlement, sets up a regime that can happen."

Tuhorounku leader, Sonny Tau, wouldn't comment on the discussion process other than to say he's pleased with the progress. 

Mr Tipene says that's not the case and if there's no change they'll have no option but to take legal action. 

"If things keep going the way they are going now there's only one way it's going to go and that's a place we don't want to go and that's in court. At the moment this Government wants it quick and dirty," he says. 

The two groups began working together after the Waitangi Tribunal ruled negations must include hapu. 

Mr Little will be travelling around Northland this weekend meeting with the Ngāpuhi people. 

The iwi remains divided over who will lead them through the treaty settlement process. Source: 1 NEWS

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Former soldier who supplied military style weapons to Whangārei double-murderer sentenced to home detention

A former soldier who supplied military style guns to Whangārei double-murderer Quinn Patterson has been sentenced to 12 months home detention.

Michael Hayes pled guilty to supplying firearms as well as unlawfully possessing military style semi-automatic weapons.

One of those weapons was used to fatally shoot Wendy Campbell and her daughter Natanya Campbell during a property inspection at Patterson's Mount Tiger Road property in rural Whangārei last year.

Natanya Campbell was shot at close range, her mother went to her aid and was shot dead too.

Contractor Jeff Pipe was also shot but managed to escape.

This morning Mr Pipe sat in court as Hayes was handed down his sentence.

Judge John McDonald said Hayes was well aware Mr Patterson wasn't a fit and proper person because he knew he was declined a firearm licence yet he helped him make the gun purchases.

Patterson was able to buy 10 firearms on Hayes' TradeMe account using his name and firearm licence. The guns included two AK-47 type weapons.

While Hayes held a gun licence it didn't permit him to own military style semi-automatic weapons either.

Judge McDonald acknowledged the good work Hayes has done saying with the exception of the current charges Hayes has been an outstanding member of the community and had served New Zealand overseas and risked his own life.

Hayes had also spent time detonating land mines in Laos and Cambodia.

Judge McDonald said it had been a very difficult sentence to come to because Hayes had spent almost his entire life servicing others.

Patterson set fire to his home following a standoff with police and his body was later recovered along with 11 firearms.

Patterson shot two women dead and injured a third man two weeks ago, and now a 61-year-old is facing charges.
Quinn Patterson. Source: 1 NEWS