2020 Commentator value and website /publications of note

New Zealand Media Commentators,&  Retirement  Income books and useful websites. 2020


  1. Rich enough: A laid back Guide for every Kiwi, Mary Holm, 2018. Excellent.
  2. The Great NZ Work, Money and Retirement Puzzle and how to solve it. A Practical Guide for everyone 19-91 yrs. Alan Clarke, (2014). Unusual style but easy to read.
  3. The Essential Retirement Guide, A Contrarian’s Perspective Frederick Vettese, John Wiley& sons (2016)* American but suitable and applicable to NZ. Excellent, good examples. On the button!
  4. Retire Richer; a practical guide for everyone aged 25-85. Alan Clarke. 2010. Large font, easy to read. Very sound.
  5. The New Retirement: Smart Tips for Boomers. Bill Jamieson Shoal Bay 2007. Chatty.
  6. NZ Retirement Guide, (2013), Twenty Good Summers. Martin Hawes: A prolific writer, (over 20 books) always provides good reading and common-sense recommendations.
  7. How to retire with enough money and how to know what enough is. Teresa Ghilarduccci, (2015). Also, American, but suitable for NZ readers. 100 pages. Excellent.
  8. Your 60’s by Peter Dunn, (2015) Centage Learning. again, an American book, but completely applicable to NZ scene.
  9. The New Zealand Tax System, NZ Taxes in comparative perspective Rob Salmond, 2011. Want to know about the NZ Tax system? Easy to follow.

MEDIA COMMENTATORS? Any worth listening too!

The comments are brief,  editor opinion only, and the  names mentioned are those that provide or  give opinions or articles on either  retirement income issues, and  or New Zealand Superannuation and Kiwi  Saver. I have used the generic label of conservative, liberal or Neutral to describe my perception of their objectivity, readers should always make their own mind up on commentator bias and balance.

  • Martin Hawes: Calm, considered, common sense covering superannuation, trusts, retirement savings etc. Published Author. Neutral
  • Mary Holm: Sound and succinct. Good simple business and personal financial comment, on many of the current retirement issues. Excellent NZ Herald column each Sunday-compulsory reading! Published author . Neutral.
  • Rob Stock: Leans towards the senior’s market, writes regularly in an easy to follow manner, on topical retirement income Sound approach. Neutral.
  • Janine Starks. Financial commentator, generally sound on a range of retirement income issues. Neutral.
  • Amanda Morrell. Newstalk ZB guest on Smart Money, her comments on New Zealand Superannuation lacked depth, but informative overall. Neutral
  • Cameron Bagrie: Independent Economist. Previous Chief economist ANZ bank , now out on his own. A 2017 piece on New Zealand superannuation was poorly done, containing the usual myths and generalizations, but he is visible, and wide ranging.  Believes NZ Super is fiscally unsustainable, and age of eligibility must be raised. Conservative.
  • Helen Twose. For a long period, personal finance and Kiwi Saver columnist. Her Kiwi Saver Question and Answers column was always a must read. Neutral
  • Shamubeel Eaqub: Independent economist. Always interesting, has a view on everything, maturing in his overall approach. Neutral.
  • Matthew Hooton: A commentator, strong National party-political links. Well-connected, don’t ignore him but take him with  a grain of salt. Conservative
  • Fran O’Sullivan: Writes some good stuff, on radio frequently and been around a long time. Always proclaiming NZ Superannuation fiscal costs are too high and age of entitlement needs to be raised. Conservative.
  • Brian Fallow. Experienced economic editor e.g. the NZ Herald. Always interesting. Like Fran automatically asserts NZ Superannuation and fiscal costs are unsustainable , both leaning towards crisis rhetoric on Superannuation issues. Needs to allow for adjustment factor in his long-term trend analysis, but he writes on lots of financial topics. Conservative.
  • Brian Easton. Long time commentator on all elements of retirement income. Conservative
  • Ralph Stewart: Experienced business background, common sense approach, currently CEO Life time Income, annuities expert, surrounds himself with quality retirement income advisors. Conservative.
  • Brian Gaynor. Experienced and considered opinions particularly investment analysis, an active fund manager, with a wealth of knowledge. Conservative
  • Susan St John, Retirement Policy and Research Centre, Auckland Business School. A leading academic Susan’s substantial knowledge of the Retirement Income sector makes her a “must read”. Liberal
  • Dr Dale Clair. Research Fellow, colleague of Susan St John. Well informed and research strong point. Liberal
  • Michael Littlewood. His papers on NZ Superannuation are seminal resource papers, easy to read, clarifies the issues in a simple manner. NZ Guru on New Zealand Superannuation. Neutral.
  • Liz Koh, currently less visible but sincere , balanced approach and well researched. Neutral.
  • Mike Hosking. Newstalk ZB radio talkback host. Intelligent, zany, opinionated. Strong bias in all his comments, needs to improve his knowledge on NZ Superannuation etc. Conservative.
  • Heather du Plessis-Allan. Newstalk host. Can be over confident. Has potential, needs to develop further her knowledge on NZ Superannuation etc. Conservative.
  • Leighton Smith. Great survivor of Radio Talkback. Right wing, knows his way around the subjects, but his twist on issues while often sounding knowledgeable, merely confirms here is an orthodox conservative. Describes himself as somewhat libertarian.
  • Paul Henry: Full of opinions. Like him or hate him, he provides a view. Pops up now and then, and never dismiss. Conservative.
  • Brent Shearer. Sound on investment issues, always gives an opinion. Neutral
  • Associate Professor Claire Matthews, Massey University. Pops up frequently with comment on Tax and retirement income issues. On NZ Superannuation always defaults to fiscal sustainability and wants to raise the age of entitlement. Neutral.
  • Bernard Hickey: Diverse background. Can be provocative but well researched, maturing in his comments. Firm opinion and views. Liberal .
  • David Farrer. Kiwi Blog, co-founder of the Tax Payer Union, National party links. Firm opinions and views.
  • Alec Waugh. Chairman consumer group, Kaspanz (retirement income issues ). Public Policy and Police career background, also period of time CEO Business Information Service. Supports NZ Superannuation model, disputes those contesting fiscal sustainability. Liberal.
  • John Gascoigne.  Visible on NZ Superannuation, defender of the model and current fiscal sustainability. Conservative.
  • Tony Alexander. Included because he is very sound on housing and interest rates topics. Neutral.
  • **Jane Wrightson, recently appointed Retirement Commissioner. New appointment, first thoughts both interesting and sound.


  1. http://www.sorted.org.nz
  2. http://www.kaspanz.com
  3. http://The Happy Saver.com
  4. Moneyhub.co.nz





Posted by Alec Waugh, reviewed November 2020

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