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Two Cents' Worth
Stories that make sense of business and the economy... and how they affect your back pocket. Made by RNZ & Newsroom. Hosted by Bernard Hickey, Nikki Mandow and Peter Griffin.
Aug 13, 2020
The effort to change our wasteful food habits
We waste $1.16 billion worth of food every year. Nearly 160,000 tonnes. With more and more people needing help putting meals on tables in the wake of the coronavirus, Two Cents' Worth looks at balancing the food waste books...
Aug 6, 2020
The Suburban Solar Conundrum
The combination of solar panels, electricity storage batteries, smart household gadgets, and a boring looking black box is set to change forever how our electricity system works. But do we need subsidies?
Jul 30, 2020
Turning Tripe into Wound-healing 'Crumpet'
This week on Two Cents' Worth how tripe got the markets buzzing and what that can tell us about New Zealand's investment ecosystem.
Jul 23, 2020
Closed borders: Is the cure worse than the disease?
The closed borders protecting us from Covid-19 is keeping us healthy, but having unexpected consequences for our economy.
Jul 16, 2020
What becomes of the housing market?
In April, economists were predicting Covid could cause a 10-20 percent fall in house prices. In June, prices rose more than 9 percent - much more in some places. What is going on - and will it last?
Jul 9, 2020
RoundUp: the landmark case and what it means for our economy and our health
Glyphosate is one of the most commonly used weedkillers in the world, but there’s huge pressure to phase it out. Find out why and what that might mean for our billion dollar agricultural sector.
Jul 2, 2020
The little ventilator that could - during Covid
How two multi-millionaires, two pandemic futurists, Air NZ's former boss, a dairy executive on a break, a retired anaesthetist (and a few others) nearly saved New Zealand
Jun 25, 2020
Worth a shot? The economics of the race for a vaccine
The race is on: Two Cents' Worth investigates the economics of finding a vaccine for coronavirus.
Jun 18, 2020
The Case for a Modern Debt Jubilee
As the global economy spirals post-coronavirus and many people can no longer pay their debts or are being forced to take out new ones, is it time to wipe the slate clean? Two Cents Worth considers the feasibility of a debt jubilee.
Jun 11, 2020
Losing it all - a personal story of bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is something to be avoided - but maybe not at all costs. Two Cents' Worth follows a woman's journey into insolvency.
Jun 4, 2020
A Side Hustle Story
Forty percent of Millennials have one and increasing numbers of GenXers and Baby Boomers are getting in on the act too. Two Cents' Worth finds delves into the world of side hustles...
May 28, 2020
Rugby’s fight for survival
With million dollar losses and huge staff cutbacks, there are concerns that rugby is in its death throes. Two Cents Worth looks at the economics of our national sport.
May 21, 2020
The Last Mile
In our new germ-wary world online shopping has become more important than ever but the road for reliable home delivery has always been a bit bumpy. Andrew Patterson considers how we might improve that 'last mile'.
May 15, 2020
Two Cents on "Once in a Generation" Budget
We're bracing for a major, global economic downturn. Will the government's historic 'once in a generation' budget be enough to insulate us from it. Gyles Beckford, Jenee Tibshraney, Bernard Hickey and Nikki Mandow break it down.
May 7, 2020
Ready for the robot takeover?
Meet Bella, Jamie and Yumi. Just some of the robots taking over our jobs. But does this have to be as scary as it sounds? Peter Griffin finds out.
Apr 30, 2020
An apple harvest no one will ever forget
Apple growers have filled our fruit bowls and bolstered our export coffers, while harvesting a bumper crop and maintaining strict social distancing for their workforce. It’s been a nightmare.
Apr 23, 2020
Our giant 'Green Eggs and Ham' moment
The Covid-19 lockdown has forced a 'Green Eggs and Ham' moment on many businesses and government departments which could jumpstart our adoption of digital technology and productivity.
Apr 16, 2020
Coronavirus Recovery: Lessons From the Christchurch Quakes
New Zealand could emerge from level-4 lockdown next week and set off down the slow, uncertain road to recovery from the Covid-19 crisis. Peter Griffin looks at what we can learn from previous disasters.
Apr 8, 2020
Where Covid-19 meets tourism, taps and nanotechnology
Two Cents Worth answers two listeners’ questions around how Covid-19 might change the world.
Apr 2, 2020
Riding the share market rollercoaster in the Covid-19 era
Fortunes can be lost or made in volatile markets, Peter Griffin looks at how amateur investors are navigating these troubled waters.
Mar 27, 2020
Business leaders step up to help with Covid-19 recovery
This week on Two Cents' Worth the team look at how Covid-19 has changed the way we work and live and what business might look like after the lock down is lifted.
Mar 19, 2020
Covid-19’s silver lining
As we face very uncertain times, the Two Cents' Worth team thought to try to find the economic positives out of the COVID-19 crisis.
Mar 12, 2020
SPECIAL: Covid19 and the economy
Fiona Acheson from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise joins the Two Cents' Worth team to discuss the economic ramifications of the coronavirus, covid-19.
Mar 5, 2020
The Evolving E-commerce Wars
Trade Me has been our favourite online marketplace for nearly two decades, but serious competition is on the way. Peter Griffin looks at our e-commerce options.
Feb 27, 2020
The workplace perk aiming to put payday lenders out of business
More than a million New Zealanders live paycheck to paycheck. Feeling terror trying to buy something two days before pay day. New technology could be the solution. Nikki Mandow investigates...
Feb 21, 2020
The Chain Gang
Peter Griffin looks past the rollercoaster ride that is cryptocurrency to find out its true potential.
Feb 13, 2020
Think Big: The Sequel?
In the '80s, "Think Big” became an insult; government spend-ups became a political no-no. Until now. In light of Jacinda Ardern’s $12 billion infrastructure announcement, Nikki Mandow and Bernard Hickey revisit the original Think Big.
Feb 6, 2020
There's been a huge upswing in subscription businesses across the world and in New Zealand. Peter Griffin looks at what that means for consumers and the economy.
Jan 30, 2020
One man’s decades-long fight to deal with New Zealand’s farm effluent problems by bringing dung beetles to New Zealand.
Dec 19, 2019
The Gift of Economic Knowledge
In the spirit of giving, the Two Cents' team is answering your economic questions on Kiwisaver, property prices and mortgage rates.
Dec 12, 2019
Banking on Time
It's banking, yes, but not as we know it. A new movement is seeing the rejuvenation of an ancient economic model. Claire Crofton looks into the growing trend of time-banking.
Dec 5, 2019
Why we’re hung up and two-faced on debt
Debt – it’s deep in the heart of our society and our economy. But we have an odd relationship with it. Bernard Hickey asks why we both fear debt and love it so much.
Nov 28, 2019
The Pacific's contribution to the NZ Economy
The work of Pacific people has been noted in a Treasury report but does it go far enough? And what is the impact of this on our wider economy?
Nov 21, 2019
A Ticker Tape Tale
The New Zealand stock exchange (NZX) turns 150 this year. But the number of companies listed on it has been falling in recent times, begging the question - is still as relevant as it once was?
Nov 14, 2019
The Banks, the Swaps and the Suicide Box
The disastrous impact of banks selling risky financial derivatives to farmers is still being felt in rural communities more than a decade later. How did it happen and how can we stop banks doing it again?
Nov 7, 2019
Brentry: 48 hours in Luxembourg that changed NZ forever
New Zealand saw the UK’s ‘Brentry’ into the EEC in 1973 as an existential threat to our nation’s future. It preoccupied New Zealanders for a decade and eventually all hinged on 48 hours of negotiations in Luxembourg. Bernard Hickey recalls what it was like for a young boy on a remote dairy farm...
Oct 31, 2019
Affordable housing: a Goldilocks story
House prices are on the rise again - but is that a good thing? The Two Cents' Worth team look at the Goldilocks sweet spot for our housing market - do we want prices to go up, fall down or stay as they are?
Oct 24, 2019
What is inflation?
Gyles Beckford looks at why inflation has gone walkabouts, why central banks are still so obsessed about taming it and - hold your hats - is it time to give away inflation targeting...
Oct 17, 2019
Donald Trump’s tariff war is hitting the world economy hard, and there's no sign of a truce. Tariffs have played a major part in some serious, and often traumatic historical events - and it looks like history is repeating... Nikki Mandow reports.
Oct 10, 2019
How Technology is Changing Our Towns
Could an online bra fitting service be the final death knell for bricks and mortar stores? Claire Crofton finds out.
Oct 3, 2019
Banks on notice over 'No Paywave' dysfunction
New Zealand has fallen behind Australia and Britain in using contactless payments and retailers are revolting. The Government may have to regulate fees directly. By Bernard Hickey.
Sep 26, 2019
Two Cents' Worth turns 1
We're going back to where it all began... And finding out how far we've come. Spoiler alert: Not far
Sep 19, 2019
The Economics of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Come on a hilarious romp with some of New Zealand's best theatrical talents as Justin Gregory looks at the economics of taking a show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Sep 12, 2019
Stink Bugs: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid
Our most feared pest could be starting its journey to New Zealand. Nikki Mandow dons some over-sized steel-capped boots to discover the superhuman efforts that biosecurity officials, scientists, farmers, even used car importers, are putting in to keep them out.
Sep 5, 2019
Wringing more than silverware from RWC 2019
Win or lose, the Rugby World Cup is being seen as a great opportunity to boost our economy.
Aug 29, 2019
The economic heavyweight bout of the year
We put Kate Raworth and Arthur Grimes in the ring together to debate the value of growth. Things got tense...
Aug 22, 2019
What if money really did fall from the sky?
If the government gave everyone an extra $1000 to spend would we all be better off? Bernard Hickey looks into the theory of helicopter money.
Aug 15, 2019
Social Procurement: A match made in heaven?
Nikki Mandow tells us why social procurement is way more exciting than it sounds - and how it might change the world.
Aug 8, 2019
A conversation with Kris: the team chats with the Minister of many things
The Two Cents' Worth team is joined by the Honourable Kris Fa'afoi to discuss banks, interest rate caps and 5G.
Aug 1, 2019
Scam Scum: We're All Victims
Last year, New Zealanders lost $33 million to scams. Madison Reidy looks at how that's impacting our economy and what we're doing to stop it.
Jul 25, 2019
Green Gold: How Avocado became an underworld currency
Nikki Mandow looks at avocado economics and how this humble fruit became an underworld currency.
Jul 18, 2019
How To Pick A Winner
Small businesses, with fewer than 20 employees, make up 97 percent of our enterprises and every month 850 new businesses start up in New Zealand. But, on the flip side, 10 or so go into liquidation each day. Kim Savage finds out what separates the successes from the failures.
Jul 11, 2019
The Business of Death
The business of death is undergoing fascinating changes in New Zealand right now. Our funeral sector was recently valued at $256 million dollars. But more and more, we’re seeing big multinationals taking over the industry Claire Crofton investigates.
Jul 4, 2019
Is growth bad?
British economist Kate Raworth is garnering a big following worldwide with her message that growth isn’t always good - rather the opposite. But halting GDP and business growth is heresy for most politicians and corporates. Nikki Mandow takes a look.
Jun 27, 2019
The race for pole-position in the ride-sharing market
The cost and convenience of Uber has transformed the way we move around our cities. And the ride-sharing goliath is looking to revolutionise the way we travel even further. But it’s also beginning to look over its shoulder at a new player in the market – Ola. Mark Jennings has more.
Jun 20, 2019
Could co-housing be the answer to our housing crisis?
In a small corner of Grey Lynn, Auckland, trees are being cleared and tired old buildings are being demolished for a new development. That doesn't sound particularly unusual - but it is. Claire Crofton reports.
Jun 13, 2019
The Cookies and Cream mystery and other economic conundrums
The Two Cents' Worth team have gone in search of answers to their most burning economic questions. What happened to Tip Top Cookies and Cream ice cream? Where did all the boutique barbershops in Wellington come from? Why are there so many Priuses on our roads? Would the Reserve Bank move the OCR by 5%?
Jun 6, 2019
Business heretic recommends 4-day working week
The businessman turning the working week on its head tells Claire Crofton why he did it and why others should too.
May 30, 2019
Two Cents' on the Wellbeing Budget
The Two Cents' Worth team dedicates the entire podcast to debating the merits of the 2019 Wellbeing Budget and how it's likely to impact the New Zealand economy.
May 23, 2019
Tip-toeing around the US China trade standoff
The US/China trade war has definitely escalated this month, surprising most of the global economy. Bernard Hickey looks at how we got here and where it leaves us.
May 16, 2019
Beating domestic violence by making it a workplace issue
In April, a new law made domestic violence a workplace issue - what does that mean in practice and is it really necessary? Claire Crofton investigates.
May 9, 2019
How do I count the ways: investigating indicators
Heard of the lipstick indicator? What about the cardboard box index? Nikki Mandow grabs a Big Mac and investigates some of our more bizarre economic indicators.
May 2, 2019
WTF is a wellbeing budget
At the end of May, the government will be rolling out their new Wellbeing Budget, but what’s the big deal? Can it really make us a happier, healthier nation? Claire Crofton investigates.
Apr 25, 2019
The autism employment conundrum
Two years ago, then 18-year-old Jackson left school with NCEA level 3 in maths, economics, physics and travel/tourism. He started looking for a job in the construction sector. And he’s still looking. Nikki Mandow finds out why and looks at a major conundrum facing businesses in these times of low unemployment.
Apr 17, 2019
Disrupting the business of booze
All over the world, younger generations are drinking less. That’s got to be good for our health - but not so great for business. Claire Crofton discovers how millennials are disrupting the hospitality and alcohol industries.
Apr 15, 2019
Opening the books
Justin Gregory opens the books on book publishing in New Zealand to find out if anyone's making any money.
Apr 4, 2019
Growing a cannabis economy
Growing cannabis is something we do pretty well in parts of this country, but until now that has not been something to be proud of or even talk about. That's about to change. Russell Brown visits Hikurangi Cannabis Company, the first organisation to be granted a medical cannabis cultivation license, to see how they're helping grow New Zealand's 'green' economy.
Mar 28, 2019
Hundreds more Bryans
Tim Watkin looks at a new initiative to create a hybrid workspace – somewhere between the market economy and the volunteer sector – where people get something in return when they volunteer.
Mar 21, 2019
Raw power in the Internet era
In the last week we have discovered just how little power our Government, the law and our biggest businesses have over Google and Facebook in our own country, let alone consumers. In the wake of the Christchurch shootings, Bernard Hickey looks at whether our advertising boycott of the major social media platforms will help stop terrorist live-streams.
Mar 14, 2019
The secret battle of the CPTPP
The CPTPP was more than a decade in the making. This is a little known story about the 11th hour change that made the 11-country trade agreement what it is today.
Mar 7, 2019
The plastic ties that bind
Nikki Mandow delves into the economic mysteries behind the guilt-assuaging plastic packaging recycling bins, which mysteriously disappeared from supermarkets late last year. And she asks, should we want them to come back?
Feb 28, 2019
Refashioning New Zealand's rag trade
New Zealand's fashion industry is an increasingly volatile space. Sonia Sly joins the Two Cents' Worth team to look at some of the economic pressures facing our fashion industry
Feb 21, 2019
The Park Mews Effect
There’s this amazing apartment block in central Wellington that could teach us a lot about building affordable houses and great communities for people of all ages. It’s called Park Mews - but the locals refer to it as The Rabbit Hutches. Bernard Hickey visits the Mews to find out
Feb 14, 2019
The Secret Target
Here at Two Cents' Worth we love NPR's Planet Money and this episode which looks at New Zealand's impact on economies around the world is so good we had to share it with you.
Feb 7, 2019
Our place in the space race
The global foray into outer space is taking on new dimensions with breakthrough discoveries and successful missions to asteroids and planets. Liz Garton discovers New Zealand industry has its feet firmly planted on the ground when it comes to the space race. But we’re definitely still in with a winning chance.
Jan 31, 2019
The wedding economy: a love story
It's wedding season in New Zealand and dozens of couples are walking up the aisle - or planning to. Kim Savage is one of those planning her Big Day, so she took a look at the current state of the wedding industry in New Zealand.
Jan 24, 2019
Salmon set to surpass dairy, save the planet
New Zealand’s biggest salmon farmer has an audacious project to make aquaculture bigger than dairy. Think huge underwater salmon paddocks under the Cook Strait, and an industry with an environmental impact up to 30 times smaller than that from cows.
Dec 20, 2018
Could Christmas music make us buy less, not more? Nikki Mandow sets out on a quest to find out whether in-store holiday music really does make us more jolly and likely to open our wallets. Or could the opposite be true?
Dec 13, 2018
Wheeling in the Ride Share Revolution
Could we be on the cusp of a new way of living, a major shift in how we build our cities and where we live and whether we can stop global warming? Bernard Hickey literally puts his life on the line to highlight the ongoing growth of the sharing economy.
Dec 6, 2018
A Battle for Banking
The banking sector is facing a huge shake up as tech companies look to get in on the action. Governments around the world are keen to see more competition in the sector. Jenée Tibshraeny from Interest.co.nz explores whether the competition created by this phenomena, called open banking, will make us better or worse off.
Nov 29, 2018
Petrol price psychology 101
Nikki Mandow sends her son out to find the cheapest petrol between Wellington and Auckland, but ends up with some interesting insights into how we buy gas... and why we pay more than we have to.
Nov 22, 2018
This Year Will Be Different
New Zealand has had a recession every year ending in 8 since 1968. Apart from 1948, the other '8' years in the century since 1918 weren't great either. So is 2018 the exception? And if so, why?
Nov 15, 2018
Kaitaia's close call
The Far North town of Kaitaia has been given a reprieve, with news its wood processing plant won’t close - for now. But Kaitaia, like so many small New Zealand towns, is still at risk of “zombie” status.
Nov 8, 2018
Impress Me: How to make your first job count
In Two Cents' Worth this week, we look at the long-term economic impacts of your first job. Then the panel chats about why you should care about the happenings this week with unemployment, banking and the two big telcos.
Nov 2, 2018
Double-cab Ute Nation
In Two Cents' Worth we delve into the environmentally unfriendly obsession New Zealanders seem to have with double-cab utes as well as the latest happenings in the electricity, banking and racing sectors.