Archive | July 2013

Global Economy

Economy Update

Economy Update

The Australia RBA has reviewed their cash rate in view of the slowing economy. It is now becoming apparent that this country has mismanaged its biggest resources investment boom in decades and is now potentially looking towards a new government to change this situation.

China’s weak data has been a concern to the markets and a reduction in projected growth is forecast for this year. China’s reduced projected demand of coal and iron ore is directly affecting the Australian markets. However, business confidence still remains unchanged in a recent BNZ Business Confidence survey in New Zealand.

This is having a positive flow on effect on migrant flow between NZ and Australia reducing NZ net loss significantly over the last months of data. The net loss a year ago was 39,622, while the current net loss is 32,862.


Burn survivor inspires First National to help future patients

Photo caption: [From left] The National Burn Centre co-ordinator Tracey Perrett and Christine Selwyn with one of the new iPads.

[From left] The National Burn Centre co-ordinator Tracey Perrett and Christine Selwyn with one of the new iPads.

Christine Selwyn was 17 when 44 per cent of her body was severely burnt in a house fire. She was staying in her grandmother’s Northland garage to celebrate a cousin’s 21st birthday when an unattended candle caused the blaze.

Christine has endured 27 operations and 17 stays in hospital since the accident in April 2001. When first injured, she wore face masks, neck, leg and finger splits and spent two years wearing pressure garments.

Christine had to learn to walk, talk and feed herself again.

It was during the 29-year-old’s most recent stay in the National Burn Centre, which offers treatment and rehabilitation to the most severe burn patients from across the country, that she inspired staff and aided future patients. Christine explained how isolated she felt living in a hospital unit without social media and Internet accessibility for months on end.

“I love coming to the National Burn Centre because everyone has got something in common,” says Christine. “People don’t look at me strangely because they are either patients or staff.

“But last March I was in for a neck release operation, which was a two month stay and that was harder than when the accident first happened. I was completely over it, frustrated, bored and lonely.”

While Christine remembers feeling isolated in 2001, she was in the Intensive Care Unit for one month and too unwell to do much at the time.

Christine uses social media and email to connect with the majority of her extended family and friends who live in Northland and Australia. She finds being unable to update them about her treatment and rehabilitation hard.

The National Burn Centre had one computer in a family room with very limited Internet access, including no Facebook or Trade Me. Until, First National Real Estate donated to the First National Charitable Foundation, which donated four new iPads with ongoing connectivity. The iPads are now used by the victims of burns that are separated from their family and friends for weeks and sometimes months.

“It’s great,” Christine says. “When I was first injured I had difficulty talking on the phone because my vocal chords were damaged, so I had to whisper. If the iPads were there I could have just emailed if I felt up to it.”

Christine has another major reconstruction surgery next year and is already feeling more positive knowing she can keep engaged via social media.

“Our patients tend to stay for longer periods while receiving treatment and the iPads are a fantastic tool of interaction and entertainment for them,” says the National Burn Centre co-ordinator Tracey Perrett.

“They also help patients and their family manage life’s ongoing demands that don’t stop in spite of a major family trauma, such as finding new accommodation if a house is fire damaged or paying bills.

“The iPads are also useful as a distraction therapy during long procedures, like dressing changes. We are extremely thankful to First National Group for the donation.”

Make sure to install smoke alarms in your home, including sleep outs and garages and routinely check they work, adds Christine.

When you buy a house from First National Real Estate* you will receive a gift of compassion with your family’s safety in mind. A Home Safe Kit comes with fire extinguisher, fire blanket and smoke alarm. From the purchase of each kit $5 will go directly to the First National Charitable Foundation, which is in partnership with the National Burn Centre.

In March, the First National Charitable Foundation donated new Freeview flat screens to the National Burn Centre in time for the digital switchover.

*Participating offices only.




For further comment, please contact:


Colleen Milne                                                          Rebecca Reid

General Manager                                                            Director

First National Group NZ Ltd                                        BOOM! PR

029 771 0750                                                                    027 519 4994





About the National Burn Centre

The National Burn Centre (NBC) offers treatment and rehabilitation to the most severe burns patients from across the country, both adults and children. While the government provides funding for healthcare, NBC also relies on financial support from generous individuals and corporates to help update and equip this country’s dedicated burn treatment unit.

About the First National Charitable Foundation

The First National Charitable Foundation is a registered New Zealand charity purposely founded with philanthropic objectives. Through the Foundation, First National’s 60+ offices around the country are able to provide significant benefits to various educational and humanitarian work in New Zealand.

Changes to Home Insurance

By now you have probably seen the adverts with the talking letter boxes warning us about sweeping changes within the insurance industry in New Zealand. The aim of the campaign is to help inform and educate home owners about the move from unspecified open end replacement insurances, based on size (sqm), to maximum specified sum insurance policies, commonly known as Sum Insured policies.

In order for you to have protection in the event of your home being destroyed, it is important that you are aware of these changes and know exactly what the cost of rebuilding your home would be.

How should you calculate the Sum Insured?

There are a number of online calculators from most insurers which will assist in determining the cost of rebuilding your home; alternatively, some home owners are using professional services to determine rebuild costs.


The TV adverts direct you to visit which is brought to you by New Zealand’s largest general insurer, IAG New Zealand Limited (the owner of the State, NZI and Lantern Insurance brands and underwriter for most of the home insurance offered by ASB, BNZ and the Co-operative Bank, and many New Zealand insurance brokers) and by AMI. Your own insuracne company will also have details on their own website

Gap Widens between Auckland and Regional New Zealand Property Prices

The NZ Herald (Monday 4th June) printed significant data and statistics which reveals that Auckland property boom is causing a widening gap from the rest of the country. They go on to state that many provincial towns have not fully recovered from the national housing boom in 2007, before the global financial crisis hit.

This is backed up by reports from regional First National offices that some provincial towns are still struggling to achieve the ‘boom’ prices. Prices were pushed up during this time and many vendors still have these expectations. Provincial towns such as Tauranga, Rotorua and Taupo are still down on the prices received during 2007 between 10-13 %.

Median house pricing across the country does not provide an indication of where the market is for many regional and provincial towns and cities. However, with a general shortage of listings at the moment, you have an opportunity to achieve a better sale price.

"bach tax"

Never a better time to sell

JuneHouse Balance

Don’t wait for spring, because you will be competing with many other sellers who are also waiting to bring their property onto the market.

List your property ‘now’ when the stock of unsold homes on the market tightened to an all-time low of 25 weeks,  based on the rate of sales, well down on the  long term average of 38.1 weeks. The number of new listings in June represents an 18% fall and it is the lowest number of June listings for 7 years.

The housing market remains in favour of the sellers. This is driven by a shortage of listings for sale and low inventory across many regions which include Canterbury, Waikato and Central Otago. Wellington’s stock has fallen to 15.4 weeks, the lowest since 2009.

It remains a sellers’ market across 15 regions of the country. With supply of stock so low in many regions, the economics of supply and demand influences property prices upwards.

The asking price fell in June to $450,178 down 1% on the previous month lead by Auckland experiencing a slight fall; however, this was tempered by Wellington and Canterbury where the asking price rose.

First National Chairman meets John Key to Talk Housing

Bob Brereton (First National Chairman) had the opportunity to attend lunch with the PM when he visited Motueka.

John Key

John Key’s speech was focused on the economy and the state of the nation, but also touched upon “a topic close to our heart, the housing market” said Bob.

“I spoke to Mr Key about the housing issue, that the Auckland market buoyancy misrepresents the median price for the country. Mr Key is mindful that a rampant Auckland market would have an adverse effect on the country and the Reserve Bank may want to intervene.”

John Key acknowledged that there needed to be further high level, meaningful engagement between the government and leaders in the real estate industry, which may encourage an industry wide discussion rather than a sledgehammer to our economy as proposed by the Reserve Bank.