Official Cash Rate remains unchanged at 1.75 per cent amid 'unprecedented' employment growth

The new Reserve Bank Governor is keeping the official cash rate at 1.75 per cent amid "unprecedented" employment growth.

This is the first OCR and Monetary Policy Statement delivered by  new Governor Adrian Orr, who now needs to take employment into account when setting the cash rate.

Mr Orr said maintaining the rate set in late 2016 was "the best contribution [the Bank] can make, at this moment, to maximising sustainable employment and maintaining low and stable inflation".

That's in line with what most industry analysts had expected.

Employment growth was "unprecedented", Mr Orr said.

However consumer price inflation was still low, hovering just above one per cent. The Bank's target mid-point for inflation is two per cent.

"The number of willing workers continues to rise, especially with more female and older workers choosing to participate. Likewise net immigration has added to the supply of labour, and the demand for goods, services, and accommodation," he said.

The Bank is picking inflation would begin to rise as capacity constraints, such as those of labour shortages, began to emerge.

And as businesses struggled to find workers, they would need to invest in other ways - in productivity, equipment, technology - to continue to grow.

Over time those capacity constraints are projected to gradually raise inflation, Mr Orr said.

As for the future of the OCR, "only time and events" would tell whether the next move would be up or down, said Mr Orr.

Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr announces that the OCR will remain unchanged at 1.75 per cent on May 10, 2018.
Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr announces that the OCR will remain unchanged at 1.75 per cent on May 10, 2018. Source: 1 NEWS



Aussie charity sends bras to support Fiji women - 'Couldn't wipe the smile off her face'

An Australian-based charity has distributed more than 2200 donated bras to women in Fiji.

Project Pasifika held their second 'Hooter Holder' even in Fiji last week, where new and used bras donated from Australia, New Zealand and even Europe were given out to women at an event in Nadi.

Women were given the chance to have a fitting at the event, and they were given two bras for free.

Project Pasifika's Tracey Johnson said she organised the event because women in Fiji had told her they simply couldn't afford to buy bras.

"I had a lady come in the the other day, she didn't want to be sized, but she said 'I haven't worn a bra for about five years. Because I haven't been able to afford it'.

"Then she started to open up and said ' yes, actually I would like to be sized'. So we fitted her up and we gave her three," Ms Johnson said.

"It was almost like she walked in with her shoulders down and walked out with her shoulders up and she couldn't wipe the smile off her face.

"She said 'I've now got three and I don't have to worry about the money'."

Ms Johnson said her initial goal was to donate 1000 bras, so she was extremely happy to be able to distribute more than double that amount.

Project Pasifika's 'Hooter Holder' event in Fiji.
Project Pasifika's 'Hooter Holder' event in Fiji. Source: Project Pasifika/Facebook

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Those testing on animals should have to care for them afterwards, advocates say

The New Zealand Anti Vivisection Society is calling for a law requiring those who experiment on animals to try to find homes for them after they are used.

Spokesperson Tara Jackson, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme, said New Zealand organisations used about 300,000 animals for research, testing and teaching in 2015, and of those about 88,000 died during or after testing.

Ms Jackson said it was a "small ask" for the government to introduce legislation requiring people testing on animals to be responsible for their welfare afterwards.

"It's in New Zealand law now that animals are sentient - it's about time we started treating them that way - not like they are disposable pieces of lab equipment," Ms Jackson said.

"Animals are used in New Zealand for such a wide variety of experiments, and yes, it may be impossible to re-home some animals because of the level of invasiveness of the research done, but what we're asking for is that facilities should have to at least try."

Ms Jackson said her organisation had consulted with non-kill animal shelter organisation Helping You Help Animals (HUHA), and that the were happy to be the first point of contact for organisations looking to be responsible for their test animals.

"We use a really wide variety of animals here," Ms Jackson said.

"The most commonly-used animal is actually cows, then mice ... we use a lot of fish, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats ... we still use dogs and cats in New Zealand as well."

"We need the government to step in."

Tara Jackson of the New Zealand Anti Vivisection Society says animals should not be treated like "disposable pieces of lab equipment". Source: Breakfast