With Pippa married, focus shifts to Budget on Thursday

EDITORIAL

Prime Minister Bill English has returned from his first Asian foray to find himself overshadowed at week’s end by an English society wedding and a country waiting to see what the Budget will bring on Thursday.

English’s visit to Japan and meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was a moderate success. The two committed themselves to a Trans-Pacific Partnership without the United States which, if the present timetable holds, would see the agreement start in the second half of next year.

He seemed to strike a chord with Abe, who heads one of our biggest trading partners and is a key ally in an unsettled part of the world.

Attention now will focus on Thursday’s Budget and whether the Government will be tempted to make use of surpluses to offer some gifts in an election year.

Cynics believe there is more chance for most of getting something in Lotto’s $25 million powerball draw the day before, but there have been signals there will be something for families.

Much attention as the week drew to a close was on the wedding of Pippa Middleton, whose fame escalated from her rear view at her sister Kate’s wedding. It really is a major social occasion when you have a future King of England as a page boy.

There was a lot less joy for the 370 Ashburton Silver Fern workers facing job losses less than a year since a $261m deal saw Chinese company Shanghai Maling take a half stake in the business.

It was better news for the family of Susan Burdett, with the Solicitor General applying for a stay of proceedings to be lifted allowing a murder charge against serial rapist Malcolm Rewa. This costly exercise would be largely symbolic but has wide public support.

Elsewhere things ticked along with rugby’s Highlanders and Hurricanes both cracking 50 points, leaving the Blues, along with their neighbours the Warriors, as our only perennial losers.

And you really know it is winter when the first announcement is made that the Desert Road is closed because of icy conditions.

Prime Minister Bill English has returned from his first Asian foray to find himself overshadowed at week’s end by an English society wedding and a country waiting to see what the Budget will bring on Thursday.

English’s visit to Japan and meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was a moderate success. The two committed themselves to a Trans-Pacific Partnership without the United States which, if the present timetable holds, would see the agreement start in the second half of next year.

He seemed to strike a chord with Abe, who heads one of our biggest trading partners and is a key ally in an unsettled part of the world.

Attention now will focus on Thursday’s Budget and whether the Government will be tempted to make use of surpluses to offer some gifts in an election year.

Cynics believe there is more chance for most of getting something in Lotto’s $25 million powerball draw the day before, but there have been signals there will be something for families.

Much attention as the week drew to a close was on the wedding of Pippa Middleton, whose fame escalated from her rear view at her sister Kate’s wedding. It really is a major social occasion when you have a future King of England as a page boy.

There was a lot less joy for the 370 Ashburton Silver Fern workers facing job losses less than a year since a $261m deal saw Chinese company Shanghai Maling take a half stake in the business.

It was better news for the family of Susan Burdett, with the Solicitor General applying for a stay of proceedings to be lifted allowing a murder charge against serial rapist Malcolm Rewa. This costly exercise would be largely symbolic but has wide public support.

Elsewhere things ticked along with rugby’s Highlanders and Hurricanes both cracking 50 points, leaving the Blues, along with their neighbours the Warriors, as our only perennial losers.

And you really know it is winter when the first announcement is made that the Desert Road is closed because of icy conditions.

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