Next year's outlook for the New Zealand and Australian economies is the same as this year's - we are expected to outperform our Tasman neighbours once again.
The downturn in dairy prices is a concern in New Zealand, but it doesn't match the gloom in Australia over plunging resource prices, a huge government deficit and shrinking consumer confidence.
This year has been a good one for New Zealand with economic growth of 3.2 per cent compared with 2.7 per cent in Australia.
But the real progress in New Zealand has been in people terms. Our unemployment rate has fallen from 6.2 per cent to 5.4 per cent, while Australia's unemployment rate has risen from 5.8 per cent to 6.3 per cent.
New Zealand has one of the lowest unemployment levels in the OECD, against the average of 7.2 per cent.
There was a net migration outflow from New Zealand to Australia of only 4542 in the year to last month, compared with a net outflow of 22,081 a year earlier and 38,846 in the November 2012 year.
Economies need people who understand how business operates at the helm, especially during times of financial stress, but frankly at any time. Prudence is an underestimated virtue.
The world is still reeling from the repercussions of that crisis and has not really come out of it. Europe is facing deflation and high youth unemployment, Russia is a basketcase with the rouble falling through the floor, the USA has suffered from creeping Socialism under Obama, and China has caught a cold. It is greatly to the credit of Bill English that he has navigated the country through the rough seas of international financial whirlpools. It is also greatly to the credit of the electorate that they have seen fit to grant National team a third term.
There are elements of this National government I don’t like: their failure to defend democracy against a tribal separatist agenda being uppermost, but their handling of the New Zealand economy has been excellent and as Gaynor says we enter the Festive Season and 2015 as happy little campers.
On that high note I am taking a break from blogging until the 19th January unless some stupidity from NightMayor Brown or the Walden Grinch (no Christmas events delivered by the Waiheke Local Board this year) needs to be exposed. However, I have been promised a festive story for the next few nights to take you up to Christmas Eve. I think you’ll enjoy it.
I wish all my readers, even the abusive ones, a very Merry Christmas and hope that we all enjoy a prosperous and happy 2015.