Cover art for podcast Two Cents' Worth

Two Cents' Worth

85 EpisodesProduced by RNZWebsite

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.

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The effort to change our wasteful food habits

August 14th, 2020

26:07

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 …

The Suburban Solar Conundrum

August 7th, 2020

28:39

The combination of solar panels, electricity storage batteries, smart household gadgets, and a boring looking black box is set to change forever how …

Turning Tripe into Wound-healing 'Crumpet'

July 31st, 2020

25:50

This week on Two Cents' Worth how tripe got the markets buzzing and what that can tell us about New Zealand's investment ecosystem.

Closed borders: Is the cure worse than the disease?

July 24th, 2020

22:00

The closed borders protecting us from Covid-19 is keeping us healthy, but having unexpected consequences for our economy.

What becomes of the housing market?

July 17th, 2020

21:19

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 …

RoundUp: the landmark case and what it means for our economy and our health

July 10th, 2020

27:09

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 …

The little ventilator that could - during Covid

July 3rd, 2020

29:14

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) …

Worth a shot? The economics of the race for a vaccine

June 26th, 2020

29:35

The race is on: Two Cents' Worth investigates the economics of finding a vaccine for coronavirus.

The Case for a Modern Debt Jubilee

June 19th, 2020

20:49

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 …

Losing it all - a personal story of bankruptcy

June 12th, 2020

23:34

Bankruptcy is something to be avoided - but maybe not at all costs. Two Cents' Worth follows a woman's journey into insolvency.

A Side Hustle Story

June 5th, 2020

21:43

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...

Rugby’s fight for survival

May 29th, 2020

22:43

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 …

The Last Mile

May 22nd, 2020

23:48


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'.

Two Cents on "Once in a Generation" Budget

May 15th, 2020

20:53

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. …

Ready for the robot takeover?

May 8th, 2020

23:27

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.

An apple harvest no one will ever forget

May 1st, 2020

21:12

Apple growers have filled our fruit bowls and bolstered our export coffers, while harvesting a bumper crop and maintaining strict social distancing …

Our giant 'Green Eggs and Ham' moment

April 24th, 2020

20:47

The Covid-19 lockdown has forced a 'Green Eggs and Ham' moment on many businesses and government departments which could jumpstart our adoption of …

Coronavirus Recovery: Lessons From the Christchurch Quakes

April 17th, 2020

24:25

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 …

Where Covid-19 meets tourism, taps and nanotechnology

April 9th, 2020

24:08

Two Cents Worth answers two listeners’ questions around how Covid-19 might change the world.

Riding the share market rollercoaster in the Covid-19 era

April 3rd, 2020

26:17

Fortunes can be lost or made in volatile markets, Peter Griffin looks at how amateur investors are navigating these troubled waters.

Business leaders step up to help with Covid-19 recovery

March 27th, 2020

22:35

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.

Covid-19’s silver lining

March 20th, 2020

19:49

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.

SPECIAL: Covid19 and the economy

March 13th, 2020

20:20

Fiona Acheson from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise joins the Two Cents' Worth team to discuss the economic ramifications of the coronavirus, covid-19.

The Evolving E-commerce Wars

March 6th, 2020

23:15

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.

The workplace perk aiming to put payday lenders out of business

February 28th, 2020

20:46

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 Chain Gang

February 21st, 2020

27:52

Peter Griffin looks past the rollercoaster ride that is cryptocurrency to find out its true potential.

Think Big: The Sequel?

February 14th, 2020

22:52

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 …

Subscription Creep

February 7th, 2020

29:24

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.

Beetle Mania

January 31st, 2020

22:17

One man’s decades-long fight to deal with New Zealand’s farm effluent problems by bringing dung beetles to New Zealand.

The Gift of Economic Knowledge

December 20th, 2019

27:02

In the spirit of giving, the Two Cents' team is answering your economic questions on Kiwisaver, property prices and mortgage rates. 

Banking on Time

December 13th, 2019

19:29


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.

Why we’re hung up and two-faced on debt

December 6th, 2019

22:25

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.

The Pacific's contribution to the NZ Economy

November 29th, 2019

20:54

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? 

A Ticker Tape Tale

November 22nd, 2019

23:12

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?

The Banks, the Swaps and the Suicide Box

November 15th, 2019

26:34

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?

Brentry: 48 hours in Luxembourg that changed NZ forever

November 8th, 2019

23:15

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. …

Affordable housing: a Goldilocks story

November 1st, 2019

25:56

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 - …

What is inflation?

October 25th, 2019

19:04

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 …

Terrible Tariffs

October 18th, 2019

26:32

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 …

How Technology is Changing Our Towns

October 11th, 2019

17:39

Could an online bra fitting service be the final death knell for bricks and mortar stores?
Claire Crofton finds out.

Banks on notice over 'No Paywave' dysfunction

October 4th, 2019

20:21

New Zealand has fallen behind Australia and Britain in using contactless payments and retailers are revolting. The Government may have to regulate …

Two Cents' Worth turns 1

September 27th, 2019

21:20

We're going back to where it all began... And finding out how far we've come.
Spoiler alert: Not far

The Economics of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

September 20th, 2019

18:48

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.

Stink Bugs: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

September 13th, 2019

24:24

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 …

Wringing more than silverware from RWC 2019

September 6th, 2019

26:00

Win or lose, the Rugby World Cup is being seen as a great opportunity to boost our economy.

The economic heavyweight bout of the year

August 30th, 2019

19:23

We put Kate Raworth and Arthur Grimes in the ring together to debate the value of growth. Things got tense...

What if money really did fall from the sky?

August 23rd, 2019

25:45

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.

Social Procurement: A match made in heaven?

August 16th, 2019

27:55

Nikki Mandow tells us why social procurement is way more exciting than it sounds - and how it might change the world.

A conversation with Kris: the team chats with the Minister of many things

August 9th, 2019

27:35

The Two Cents' Worth team is joined by the Honourable Kris Fa'afoi to discuss banks, interest rate caps and 5G.
 

Scam Scum: We're All Victims

August 2nd, 2019

26:30

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.

Green Gold: How Avocado became an underworld currency

July 26th, 2019

26:10

Nikki Mandow looks at avocado economics and how this humble fruit became an underworld currency.

How To Pick A Winner

July 19th, 2019

22:04

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 …

The Business of Death

July 12th, 2019

24:00

The business of death is undergoing fascinating changes in New Zealand right now. Our funeral sector was recently valued at $256 million dollars. But …

Is growth bad?

July 5th, 2019

28:11

British economist Kate Raworth is garnering a big following worldwide with her message that growth isn’t always good - rather the opposite. But …

The race for pole-position in the ride-sharing market

June 28th, 2019

23:16

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 …

Could co-housing be the answer to our housing crisis?

June 21st, 2019

27:02

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 …

The Cookies and Cream mystery and other economic conundrums

June 14th, 2019

37:25

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 …

Business heretic recommends 4-day working week

June 7th, 2019

24:45

The businessman turning the working week on its head tells Claire Crofton why he did it and why others should too.

Two Cents' on the Wellbeing Budget

May 31st, 2019

24:37

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.

Tip-toeing around the US China trade standoff

May 24th, 2019

26:20

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.

Beating domestic violence by making it a workplace issue

May 17th, 2019

23:08

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.

How do I count the ways: investigating indicators

May 10th, 2019

20:48

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.

WTF is a wellbeing budget

May 3rd, 2019

23:03

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 …

The autism employment conundrum

April 26th, 2019

20:12

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 …

Disrupting the business of booze

April 18th, 2019

20:52

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 …

Opening the books

April 16th, 2019

21:26

Justin Gregory opens the books on book publishing in New Zealand to find out if anyone's making any money.

Growing a cannabis economy

April 5th, 2019

22:42

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 …

Hundreds more Bryans

March 29th, 2019

22:45

Tim Watkin looks at a new initiative to create a hybrid workspace – somewhere between the market economy and the volunteer sector – where people get …

Raw power in the Internet era

March 22nd, 2019

20:33

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 …

The secret battle of the CPTPP

March 15th, 2019

23:02

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.

The plastic ties that bind

March 8th, 2019

23:10

Nikki Mandow delves into the economic mysteries behind the guilt-assuaging plastic packaging recycling bins, which mysteriously disappeared from …

Refashioning New Zealand's rag trade

March 1st, 2019

23:49

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 …

The Park Mews Effect

February 21st, 2019

25:53

There’s this amazing apartment block in central Wellington that could teach us a lot about building affordable houses and great communities for …

The Secret Target

February 15th, 2019

33:28

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.

Our place in the space race

February 8th, 2019

22:22

The global foray into outer space is taking on new dimensions with breakthrough discoveries and successful missions to asteroids and planets.

Liz …

The wedding economy: a love story

February 1st, 2019

22:03

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 …

Salmon set to surpass dairy, save the planet

January 25th, 2019

22:03

New Zealand’s biggest salmon farmer has an audacious project to make aquaculture bigger than dairy. Think huge underwater salmon paddocks under the …

Jingle Hell

December 21st, 2018

22:29

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 …

Wheeling in the Ride Share Revolution

December 14th, 2018

21:52

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? …

A Battle for Banking

December 7th, 2018

25:12

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 …

Petrol price psychology 101

November 30th, 2018

24:27

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 …

This Year Will Be Different

November 23rd, 2018

24:25

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?

Kaitaia's close call

November 16th, 2018

20:01

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.

Impress Me: How to make your first job count

November 9th, 2018

23:00

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 …

Double-cab Ute Nation

November 2nd, 2018

23:25

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.

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