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Doing what we’re best at

Written By: - Date published: 2:37 pm, September 24th, 2013 - 53 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, Economy, exports, Steven Joyce - Tags: ,

One of the oddities of looking at our export statistics in NZ is that one of the largest export sectors simply doesn’t show up. It is one that virtually didn’t exist 20 years ago when I started working in it. The amount of  hi-tech exports in 1993 was more of a mirage than any kind of reality. That isn’t the case these days.

What our people are really best at is producing goods and services for vertical micro markets sold worldwide, and in a hell of a lot of those markets. What our land is good at is producing grass, but we have now exploited that to the point that all our rivers and aquifers are drying up.

It is pleasant that the Labour caucus, or at least David Cunliffe appears to have recognized that. He appointed himself to the position of the ICT, which is at the crucial core of many of the hi-tech export companies as part of their products. For instance Fisher and Paykel’s core selling point to other countries isn’t their hardware. It is in their their intelligent software embedded in the processors that control the hardware.

For a comparison consider the dairy industry’s inexorable rise mostly in selling milk powders. These stats are a bit old, but should give the idea about where dairy is growing and how fast it is growing.

Export value ($NZm)
Product YE June 2003 YE June 2009
Milk Powders 2,602 4,950
Butter 944 1,693
 Cheese 1,052 1,612
Casein 999 1,055
Total all dairy 5,807 10,402
(Source: Statistics New Zealand)

And the picture of where dairy is growing hasn’t changed much since then. The number of different products that they produce is very limited.

That causes vulnerabilities for the whole country as a recent milk contamination food scare over milk powder demonstrated.

The 2012 total for all dairy was just over $13 billion largely from increases in milk powder. If you look at the stats departments overview of exports. It looks like this.

Exports – top 20 commodities

Commodity NZ$ millions Year end
Milk powder, butter, and cheese 12,428 31-Dec-2012
Meat and edible offal 5,167 31-Dec-2012
Logs, wood and wood articles  3,160 31-Dec-2012
Crude oil 1,790 31-Dec-2012
Mechanical machinery and equipment 1,716 31-Dec-2012
Fruit 1,563 31-Dec-2012
Fish, crustaceans and molluscs 1,382 31-Dec-2012
Wine 1,218 31-Dec-2012
Electrical machinery and equipment 1,119 31-Dec-2012
Aluminium and aluminium articles 1,042 31-Dec-2012
Casein and caseinates 890 31-Dec-2012
Iron and steel and articles 874 31-Dec-2012
Preparations of cereals, flour and starch 917 31-Dec-2012
Precious metals, jewellery and coins 807 31-Dec-2012
Miscellaneous edible preparations 747 31-Dec-2012
Optical, medical, and measuring equipment 721 31-Dec-2012
Wool 717 31-Dec-2012
Wood pulp and waste paper 589 31-Dec-2012
Raw hides, skins, and leather 567 31-Dec-2012
Textiles and textile articles 560 31-Dec-2012

Source: Statistics New Zealand

Which is pretty much what this current government tries to sell us as being to the rest of the world.

What we do the best is being an exporter of lightly processed raw materials to the rest of the world, with a light leavening of mechanical and electrical machinery. But that really isn’t the case. That is an artifact of the stats department’s rather antiquated classification system that appears to be designed for the 19th century.

Consider the revenues for our top tech companies from the TIN100 report in 2012. This restricts itself to companies that

▶ Originate in New Zealand

▶ Retain a meaningful presence here in New Zealand

▶ Operate in the high-tech manufacturing, ICT or biotechnology sectors (excluding food technology and health supplements)

▶ Have developed their own technology-based intellectual property

▶ Generate at least 10% of their revenues offshore

While these are revenues and is not just exports, this country will only make up a fraction of the revenues of these companies. With just a population of 4.4 million that is inevitable. Almost every hi-tech company gets the majority of their revenue from exports to larger markets.

The total for 2012 was revenues of about $7.28 billion of which $5.18 billion was from exports, and this was just the top 100 or even 200 companies.

The company that I’m currently working for isn’t in there. Indeed none of the firms that I’ve worked for in the last decade have been in there. But even if you only look at the top 100, you’ll find that they have a growth rather that is usually considerably faster than dairy or any other primary production. They also employ more people at higher wages than any other sector than any extractive industry like farming or mining.

So why since National got into government have they cut virtually any incentives for startups to grow? Putting minimal effort into helping tech firms offshore has paid off massively since Helen Clark’s government started it soon after coming to power in 1999. But National cut everything, leaving behind some high sounding phrases, no real incentives for smaller startup companies, and not much significiant support offshore as McCully trashed our existing systems.

Sure Steven Joyce ambles along to tech conferences and big notes with meaningless phrases, but he hasn’t provided any of the tools that government can provide for small companies trying to make that expensive and scary step to find markets offshore. As head of MOBIE, about the only economic development he seems to want to foster is extracting money from land and sea – unsustainably. So why is that?

Well in my view National are *the* party of lazy parasitical rentiers rather than producers. They lease and sell land for farming and mining because that way you have to do less work.

Rather than making an effort to foster lots of smaller firms and getting them to become bigger firms, they like to wave the big notes around that are easier to do. So we get the Fonterra welfare trade agreement that sells out local tech exporters  of intellectual property –  merely so Fonterra gets easier access to a few markets.

With the clear direction of David Cunliffe’s self-appointment in the heart of the tech sector, it looks like Labour have again chosen  to foster high wage employment over National rentiers. Another clear political difference for the election in the area of doing what we’re good at….

53 comments on “Doing what we’re best at”

  1. Chooky 1

    +100%……Very thought provoking analysis and post ….thanks!….

    • lprent 1.1

      Not particularly well researched. Mostly got done late at night a few weeks ago and I haven’t had time to dig into a better set of statistics. The best source of stats on the state of the tech industry is from TIN, and it is a bit expensive for me to pay for for a single post.

  2. Chooky 2

    …add to this we are also an exporter of images….place ,space, ecology and landscapes….which although don’t directly earn us a dollar ….they do entice in the tourist dollar

    ….if we trash our land environment and rivers and lakes by overdoing dairying and mining … in the long term we trash our image and our tourist economy ( which is usually overlooked and not costed into our economy…particularly as it comes into conflict with and is weighted up against dairying….which is a very insecure monoply on the world stage in itself)

    ….the tech sector and intellectual property, does not trash the environment…..and is the way to go imo

    • lprent 2.1

      ..tech sector and intellectual property, does not trash the environment..

      Oh it can. Anyone who has seen a tech hardware dump of old computer monitors and cases is quite aware of it. However there is enough value in the commodities that cleanup of both the production materials and the end of life hardware is a relatively small part of the purchase price. Increasingly cleanup is factored into cost of production/import.

      And it is a lot easier to fix than degradation and downstream costs of an aquifer which are almost impossible to repair once they have been destroyed as it happening in the canterbury plains and the Waikato at present. I remember taking aquifer samples for geochemistry labs out towards Cambridge back in the early 80′s and being astonished at the level of contaminants showing up in the X Ray Fluorescence analysis then. Apparently it has been getting steadily worse ever since then to the point that there is quite a discernible polluted outwash effect.

  3. Rob 3

    I think you have under estimated F&P’s core capability of production engineering alongside control systems. Also exports in our wine production from natural advantages in location and wine making ability. Another growth earner is rugby with companies building off shore and local academies for players and coaching systems.

    • just saying 3.1

      As far as I know, none of our large wineries are NZ owned.

    • lprent 3.2

      Rugby is a bit too much of a short term thing as expertise eventually evens out because there are only so many things that can make kiwis distinctive. Furthermore the people with expertise earning the revenue (and their taxes) are usually exported offshore. It also has a relatively small market size worldwide which will probably forever limit its size – probably the total “export” revenue annually would be mere 10′s of millions. We’ve been “exporting” from that sector as long as I’ve been alive and it’s growth is pitiful.

      Wine has been steadily growing for the last 30 years and we do have some distinct advantages in particular types of wines. But its export growth is simply not that fast and the wages paid just aren’t that high. Up to $1.2 billion for the whole industry.

      That was why I was showing the figures of dairy against hi-tech to give a sense of scale.

  4. bad12 4

    i don’t know a hell of a lot about the intricacies of the ‘Tech World’, making the PC work is where it starts and stops for me,

    What interests me tho is why, when there is obviously the Tech intelligence present in this country are the IT needs of our Government and all it’s departments being provided by off-shore companies,

    My view is that the next Government need either build a government owned IT company able to undertake such work or encourage the formation of a ‘silicone valley’ type campus where the whole does not necessarily all have to be working on the same contracts at the same time but the capability would be present so that an Education type payroll system might call upon all parts of such a campus to contribute,

    Obviously there would then be the capability in the one place to enable work from off-shore to be imported/exported either by such a campus in it’s parts or the campus as a whole should foreign contracts require such…

    • lprent 4.1

      It is the same issue as our exports in reverse. We have vast experience in a range of certain areas and export to micro-markets world wide. When they are world wide even a niche market is big enough to get really good at something and to see off most competitors by simply being better.

      To have the required levels of skill and accumulated experience for structuring a government system, you need to have done a lot of different government systems. Otherwise you tend to be a bit of an amatuer learning at someone elses expense. You’ll find that the structural stuff is done by specialists who do this everywhere in the world. You’ll tend to find that most kiwi companies don’t have the experience to do much more than work safely around the edges of the big-iron systems.

      That being said. Datacomm and a few other kiwi companies are starting to get pretty good at their areas of expertise. But they’re gaining a awful lot of the that expertise offshore. In a large part I suspect that is where they want to continue gaining it as well. Basically you get competitive when you work on a world stage. You don’t when you’re too cloistered inside your own small country.

      The nice thing about communications tech in these days is that we can do a hell of a lot outside the country without having to have a large local base. Which is a damn good thing considering that we have a really really small local market. In the last 15 years no company I have worked for has ever had more than 10% of their revenue from the local market.

    • NaN 4.2

      Why do we have to physically clump together?
      Why can’t we teleclump?

      Why do we have traffic jams as thousands of office workers physically commute to sit in cubicles.

      Why can’t office workers live in some of the best environments in the world with those majestic vista’s, enjoy the amazing landscapes… and work closely with others as required in teams online?

      Work nationally/globally, live locally at the beaches, lakes and mountains of NZ!

      We should be developing and applying such approaches throughout our business starting with government departments.

      We should be vigorously applying the MOOC model/ideas to the office.

  5. davejac 5

    If this is all part of a big push by DC into high tech sectors of the economy he’s shot himself in the foot by giving Innovation, Research, and Development to an unranked caucus member (Note, I think Megan Woods is a good choice for the position though)

    • lprent 5.1

      It is called mentoring. The only way to get experience in parliament is to work on it, so you usually find newbie MP’s like Woods paired up as a associate or in a coupled portfolio with a more senior and experienced politician. Happens in my industry all of the time as well for the same reason. I know very little about Woods, but her CV shows her to be bright enough to work that portfolio. The question is if she can push it to the public.

      But if you want to look at it superficially, then do so…

      • davejac 5.1.1

        She had a good stint at Crop and Food/Plant and Food- a lot of the people I know from science circles in Christchurch speak very highly about her.

        I’m not sure how I’m being superficial here- at the top of the article you talk about how David Cunliffe taking the ICT shows how important he thinks the portfolio is, I’d have liked to see them do the same thing with R&D, which I’d argue is more important to more of the companies in the top 10 than the software is.

        • lprent 5.1.1.1

          The bottleneck hasn’t been in the institutional R&D, there are more ideas around than there is marketing capital to develop them.

          The problem for several years is how to realise a profit out of the existing ideas by selling the products from them offshore. The biggest hassle is the marketing development in overseas markets. The R&D development costs are relatively small by comparison. At present the commercial time from investment to reinvestment (ie to self-funding a hi-tech startup cycle) is mostly limited by the lack of capital requiring a very slow creation of overseas beachheads or even setting up production supply chains..

          If you’re talking about pure R&D, then the Marsden fund and the like are on a shortish but not inconsiderable budget. Needs to be done, but really a lot easier than trying to kickstart a startup.

          • Harriet 5.1.1.1.1

            “…..The bottleneck hasn’t been in the institutional R&D, there are more ideas around than there is marketing capital to develop them….”

            LOL.

            ‘Rich pricks’ all left NZ have they? All foreign investment stopped coming has it?

            Or have the ‘rich pricks’ decided to abandon wealth altogether – together?

          • davejac 5.1.1.1.2

            Really? Because those ideas aren’t coming through in patents. Maybe that’s got something to do with the lack of venture capital telling them to patent it or maybe patent numbers are a bad measure of it, but still.

            Anyway, this is all based on a day’s speculation on the line up, with no policy or indication on what anyone is planning to do. David Shearer had Research, Innovation, and Development when he was leader and did exactly one fifth of fuck all, so wait and see.

            • lprent 5.1.1.1.2.1

              Why patent software? To do so you have to release your software into the public domain and techniques. It is more effective to simply not release the code. Then people have to build it from scratch, while we do more code. Software really only has a few years before the hardware changes for updates anyway.

              If you want to see nz hardware patents, then look in US or european registries…

  6. Anton 6

    I’ve always admired programmers and network engineers for their amazing imaginative capacity: the vast majority of what the do is entirely invisible, but it doesn’t stop their work from being elegant. What we see here is the extension of that.

    There have been very, very, few politicians I’ve met that have a grasp on the power and implications of ICT. One of the reasons I voted for Cunliffe is that he is reputed to be one. A few Greens I’ve interviewed over the years get it too. No Tory has ever said anything that make me think they have a clue, apart from DPF. In that case I assume its that odd space where the progressive Liberal meets the nut-job libertarian going the other way, but I’ve only heard him speak at Nethui, so I can’t assume to know his real agenda. I worked for the Conservative Party (it wasn’t my idea, I assure you) and they really didn’t naturally grok ICT, where the left (including the UK Labour Party, if the Blairites could be called ‘left’) were swimming in it right from the start of commercial internet provision.

    I suppose the point is that if you want people to communicate, if you want a more democratic model, the advantages of ICT are obvious. The uses of it as a panopticon only come later, for the use of capital and repression, and then ICT makes sense to the right.

  7. Ad 7

    Lyn great post. Sounds like you’ve been reading Get Off The Grass.
    I hope you are right; yours is the grand game of changing the entire economy of the country.

    So let me trot out what appears to be the default export development programme currently in place if I squinted my eyes and sang You Are My Sunshine over and over:

    Gradually increase the productivity per hectare in New Zealand devoted to exporting

    This requires:
    - Increrase in debt per hectare (rather than acquiring more acres for mere land area production)
    - Increase in mineral inputs per hectare (requiring higher water corridor management)
    - Increase in water useage per hectare (hence far higher storage requirements)
    - Increase in machinery and technology per hectare (hence growth of Gallaghers listed above)

    - Decrease in family-owned farms towards multiple and sometimes listed agribusiness
    - Decrease in low-capital sectors such as coarse wool and other extensive pastoral production
    - Decrease in low value-added industries eg logs, whole fruit, live cattle exports

    I think this is where National is heading us, and I think it’s working at least for the dairy and new-dairy regions. Nowhere near fast enough, and with plenty of stumbling and damage. But working.

    I sincerely want our Fonterras to turn into our Nokias. But those Fishers and Paykels emerged from an age in which industry development was not something to be afraid of. One can only imagine for example what kind of company Telecom would be now if it was still under NZPost, with Kiwibank. There are so many alternative trajectories that have been lost that I think there is little will to reinvent it.

    I’m conservative enough to believe the continued evolution of protein production and broadly the food and beverage sector will be the primary basis of our export sector for many decades. We will gradually grow the capitalisation of our land, as we are now. SHould we not simply seek to accelerate that rather than strike out afresh?

    • Ad 7.1

      There’s also a problem with timing.

      Following this impending loss to Oracle at the America’s Cup, there’s going to be a backlash against governments of any stripe backing high techology ventures with high global risk and stuff all high salary jobs in return.

      Granted Team New Zealand are a sports team – hence a marketing platform rather than an exporting manufacturer. But there will be real blowback on this degree degree of central government intervention in high tech sectors rather than “sticking to our knitting” .

      Clearly that’s a mere momentary sentiment, but it will have us all dusting off our copies of “Theory K” and other managerial paroxysms of (ewk) kiwi ingenuity for slapping down those who reach high into the value-added world.

      • lprent 7.1.1

        That has only happened about (ummm) 6 or seven times in NZ since I started working tech back in 1991. Please adjust your timescale.

        It has never stopped anything apart from a few PR people. I can’t tell you how many times this “fashion” idea has come up. Most tech firms run for 20+ years slowly winding up their markets and revenue – read the potted company histories at the TIN site. They really don’t care about such transient distractions.

        What does slow things down is lack of capital, R&D tax costs, and the varying support given by MFAT to startups making their first penetrations offshore. That is where most of them fail. Right now we’re seeing the startups from the mid-00′s growing and continuing to grow. The problem is that there are few startups since 2009.

        • Ad 7.1.1.1

          “Theory K” came out pretty close after the Michael Fay successful challenge.
          Do you remember them and their staff waving from their Fay Richwhite Tower on Queen Street as the parade came down the street?

    • Huginn 7.2

      ‘SHould we not simply seek to accelerate that rather than strike out afresh?’

      No, we should not.
      There’s no connection in NZ between being able to produce a lot of milk and being able to make profitable use of that milk.

      Dairying will become more and more capital intensive, farms will go out of family ownership and into corporate control. Many of these corporations will be based offshore where profits will be expatriated.
      Higher capitalisation will lead to efficiency gains, eg through mechanisation. These farms will employ proportionately fewer people (although those that are employed are likely to generate higher labour productivity figures).
      The corporations that will end up owning and controlling dairy production will lobby effectively to reduce taxes and environmental protection.

      We will be to milk, what Guatemala is to bananas.

      It would be nice to think that we can capture innovation to protein and food & beverage but the fact that enterprises like Fonterra have not been able to do this by now suggests that they are systematically unable to do this. Worse still, the recent contamination scare has revealed how weak our scientific/technological infrastructure is in this.

    • lprent 7.3

      I’m conservative enough to believe the continued evolution of protein production and broadly the food and beverage sector will be the primary basis of our export sector for many decades. We will gradually grow the capitalisation of our land, as we are now. SHould we not simply seek to accelerate that rather than strike out afresh?

      But we’re already seeing diminishing returns all the way through the farming sector because of the tragedy of the commons issues – especially in water. Most of the area where it is feasible to put in dairy farms they now are and the environment is being degraded in many of the more marginal areas.

      The other problem is that NZ isn’t unique in having the right environment for producing protein. Like sheep meat, wool, beef, leather, flax, lumber, gold and all of the previous extractive industries that NZ has had before – our competitive advantages will pass within decades to other places where economies of scale will operate more effectively. You don’t have to look far around the world to see where vast acres are currently being turned into dairy to satisfy the demand.

      And it is notable that Fonterra ain’t exactly the most innovative company in the world. Look at the sales figures up above and consider how much of that has come from simply increasing production rather than adding value. We still export almost all of our milk powder as bulk to industrial food plants offshore.

      Furthermore you forgot that the number of people being employed in agriculture is actually diminishing as the automation and larger farms are being created. It does bugger all for the vast majority of people as a direct or indirect income earner. You only have to look at the recent population drops in Southland rural as the mixed farms have given way to dairying.

      And in the medium term over the next few decades as the worlds population growth slows and starts to fall world demand for protein will follow the same process.

      Basically depending on these kinds of bulk extractive industries is a dangerous and risky thing to make a population to depend on, especially in the coming decades..

      • Ad 7.3.1

        You will note how hard I had to defend the current pastoral exporting direction. Fonterra is an astonishing missed opportunity that is not living up to its legislated purpose to add value to New Zealand’s milk.

        I would like to see you do more posts on economic development, please.

        How do you argue against the tyranny of the cash burn that tech companies need, that the slower-growth and lower tech agricultural companies don’t appear to have?

        This broad area needs a clear weekend for us all to sharpen our pencils and go at it. Please.
        And ideally before Labour Conference so we can get our policy thoughts in order:

        Looks like we will have a government to influence.

  8. xtasy 8

    My personal observation is that New Zealand must have one of the highest rates per population of $2 and similar discount shops and markets, of tiny “restaurants”, cafes, lunch-bars, cheap gift shops and the likes, which sadly is about the only thing that many “entrepreneurial” migrants, and naturally also locals, see as a prospective kind of “business” to start off here.

    High tech, specialised service and product retailers and wholesalers are there in niche areas, but most business and export volume is in low value added primary products, in raw commodities and the likes, as the above tables seem to imply.

    So yes, it is farming (especially dairying), horticulture, viticulture products, some forestry, fishing and oil, coal and the likes that largely go into exports, which means New Zealand is a somewhat underdeveloped country. Tourism and education of foreign students must be added, of course. Even with milk so much more higher quality products could be made, besides of blocks of butter, basic cheeses and baby formula. Do also not forget the huge “investment” ON CREDIT that is put into real estate (and speculation), and it is so clear where major structural flaws exist.

    Other countries that used to have similar economic structures, like Korea and Taiwan, even Finland, may not be the ideal examples to look at what could be done and changed, but they show that much much more can be done with not so large populations.

    Surely the National led government will not bring the needed change, as they do not even comment on criticism from the Prime Minister’s Science Advisor Peter Gluckman, on lack of application of science here and there.

    I am sure a Labour and Cunliffe led government can do better than what is happening, but that should not really be all that hard, with some bright minds setting the agenda and pace for implementing it. Investment will also be needed, and unless taking perhaps high risks, there will continue to be a high dependence on foreign investment, which should be more carefully chosen.

    People need to see the potential, but must first vote for the right alternative in late 2014.

  9. srylands 9

    How is this new?

    This thread started with a false premise. There is a limit to what a government can (or should do) to chnage an economy. The last Government launched its Economic Transformation programme (led by Jim Anderton). It had mixed results. Some successes and some abject failures. Or have you all forgotten about ET?

    But back to the real world – R&D spending is higher than ever under this government. It is mostly being driven out of services and manufacturing.

    http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/businesses/research_and_development/research-development-in-nz-2012.aspx

    You don’t need to get rid of the cows. Most New Zealanders are not employed in agriculture.

    There is no magic government wand to wave to deliver higher wages. You need skills and higher productivity. You also need investment, lots of it. That is the problem with the Greens. Their dream of the “green economy” is just that. They would lead us to a socialist nirvana of people living in villages growing organic crops.

    • Murray Olsen 9.1

      We do need to get rid of a lot of the cows. What we’re exporting is our clean water, our aquifers, and our wetlands. The eagerness with which the Tories embrace fracking means that very soon there’ll be nothing left. That’s your agrocapitalist nirvana.

      As for the Greens, you know about as much about their socialist nirvana as you do about your own home address.

    • McFlock 9.2

      Personally I think that once again it is you who is missing the point: what government policy exists is based around obsolete categorisations of the NZ export economy. However:

      There is no magic government wand to wave to deliver higher wages. You need skills and higher productivity. You also need investment, lots of it.

      Assuming that “higher wages” were the main objective for a change in the economy (rather than redistribution of wealth or lowering of prices or an increase in employment):

      skills are provided by education (from apprenticeships to phds – all of which progressed tepidly under lab5 and are less accessible or even discontinued under the tories),

      productivity is a function of “ability to perform task” (aka “technical equipment and training”) “management” (aka recruitment, training and monitoring/mentoring of staff”) and “incentive” (aka “management style and remuneration”),

      and investment can be diverted from gambling on derivatives into industry development via the handy mechanism of taxation.

      Problem sorted, without having to “cow-tow” to some of our largest and most persistent polluters.

      • Harriet 9.2.1

        “…..Assuming that “higher wages” were the main objective for a change in the economy …..education…..technical equipment and training………………….and investment can be diverted from gambling on derivatives into industry development via the handy mechanism of taxation….”

        So some technical skills are far superior then to others – where the aim is to increase incomes for individuals? – Which ones then – do you have a list?

        I trade for a living and all mechanisms and strategies used to create personal income are certainly not ‘gambles’. Yes – some people do enter the market under educated, and yes, some also do gamble in the markets, but that in itself is no reason to discredit ‘technical skills’ in the markets – or the market itself.

        I trained as a chef in NZ, hated the fact that ‘well trained staff’ were worth about 30% more than those who were untrained [minimum wage] and so, I left NZ. I was a chef in Aus for a further decade, learnt tehnical analysis, saved some capital, and entered the markets as a private trader. Someone else is now a chef in BOTH countries, learning skills, and earning an income.

        I now pay INCREASING income tax where some goes to a chef [aus wff].

        So much for the ‘relevance’ that my technical skills in wider society play a lessor role than the ‘relevance’ that trade skills are better!

        How do you suppose the skills of a chef will be ‘upgraded’ so as to provide ‘higher wages’ – more training; again?

        • McFlock 9.2.1.1

          Yep. they’re gambles.

          It’s the “risk” bit of the “risk:reward” equation. Ref:GFC.

          And what do you actually produce? Can you point to anything that would not have been created without your input? You could as a chef. You’re making good coin – nice for you.

          But depending on what you trade and how deeply you are immersed in the bullshit market, you might well contribute absolutely nothing to society. The cliche of the “deal maker” adding value by enabling basic transactions to take place efficiently loses relevance when talking about financial traders: all they do is place bets on what they think other people will bet on tomorrow. the returns to society of such gambling have diminished well and truly.

    • lprent 9.3

      ET worked (you myopic moron) – where do you think all of these hi-tech firms managed to jump into the world markets from?

      Your problem appears to be is that you have a problem with needing short-term immediate pleasures rather than having the patience required for real world economics. It takes at least a decade and often two to create new sectors in any economy. But I suspect that you’re one of those guys with no stamina and a tendency to shoot off too early…

      R&D spending isn’t particularly the issue and most of what this particular government is providing is being squandered on stuff that doesn’t provide much export returns because it is in local businesses and old industries doing “R&D” to import technology. What is of more use is assistance in the initial marketing runs into beachhead markets. That has always been the difficult bit.

      There is no “magic wand” – only the fools like yourself expect that or even talk about it. It takes a great deal of persistence to start up a new export company and make it profitable. The advantage is that they really don’t cause the country the kinds of fiscal misfortune that we have whenever a drought comes along or a financial crisis or commodity price falls. They’re usually providing a core need rather than a commodity.

      I think I pointed out that cows are only growing via production of simple milk-powder. To do that they have just about used most of the land in the country than can be made into dairy.

  10. tricledrown 10

    Rob the wine industry is primary
    Productin.
    Rugby primal production.
    Technological advanced countries got their by pumping huge amounts into R&D .
    National are a laissez faire govt?
    No they put money into pet projects that bring very little in most cases negative return.
    National have decimated research and development since they have been in power.
    Cutting funding only to find out that it was a bad mistake returning funding in adhoc fashion.
    So our best scientists are snapped up by overseas govts even third world govts that have more foresight than Nationals bimbo bean counters!
    Example one of many the worlds foremost wool researchers were
    made redundent after making huge breakthroughs it wool fireproof clothing ,loomless weaving,shrink proofing wool wash and wear etc!
    The miserly budget was cut when more needed to be spent especially on marketing!
    Nactionals excuse was that their wasn’t any money so we will cancel the whole idea.
    South Africa picked up our world class scientists and their knowledge for next to nothing.
    Natenomics= vote buying over economic sense.
    SCF Riotinto etc get more funding !

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Rob the wine industry is primary
      Productin.

      Well, you could say that exporting grapes or grape juice is primary production.

      However, crafting wines which sell for $50/L and beat the product of specialist artisans in France and from around the world – that’s a knowledge industry.

      • lprent 10.1.1

        Yep, and it’d be great if the dairy industry could get off their acre and figure out how to do the value add thing as well. So far their efforts for the last 30 years have been pretty pathetic. I’m pretty sure that the real value they get returned per KG of product is diminishing over that period compared to the costs of producing it..The only reason that dairy farmers aren’t broke is because they’ve increased the size of the production per person.

        • Saarbo 10.1.1.1

          Interesting, it wouldn’t be surprising if a whole category of exports were not being recognised. Your list of large organisation definitely suggests that a big group of exports are being missed.

          It is critical that we diversify away from Dairy, not only because of the huge impact it is having on our beautiful environment but also because as we discovered in 2008 and again in 2012, the Dairy export market is bloody volatile. The current dairy price increase (Fonterra paying a record $8.62 2013/14 season) is in part being caused by the north island drought earlier this year, if this is the case, then a very small drop in volume in the NZ market has caused quite a big movement in the international Dairy price. As you point out, many countries around the world are ramping up dairy produce including USA, refer this article http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/9090751/NZ-dairying-warned-of-US-threat

          It wont take a very big imbalance in supply over demand in the export dairy market for the dairy price to collapse, and it seems that with both North and South America working hard to get into the dairy export market, we could see the dairy price cycle head south within the next 2 to 3 years. Today Fonterra announced a 2013/14 payout of $8.62, which means that the international dairy price is incredibly attractive for other nations to chase. This is scary for NZ I reckon.

  11. tricledrown 11

    Ad you are right we have built nearly all the AC72 boats because our country has the leading edge technology in this type of boat building to ditch funding because we have lost
    would be an absolute travesty.
    Nactional have said they will not help fund another Campaign if; we loose more shortsightedness from myopic bean brained brained counters!

  12. ghostwhowalksnz 12

    Its stunning that ‘optical and medical’ category is greater than Wool !

    • Murray Olsen 12.1

      It’s also something that gives me a small flicker of hope, ghost. There is a hard limit to the amount of wool we can grow, which has been pushed downwards by the turn to diary, and is imposed by the amount of suitable land available. While there will be limits to the amount of optical and medical technology that can be sold, they’ll be more to do with markets than production.

  13. davejac 13

    If you can find a good niche you can make a fortune- have a look at how Buckley Systems have cornered the market on electromagnets for semiconductor manufacture.

  14. Sable 14

    Interesting article but I think it misses the point. National “don’t care” about this country, they care about themselves and their supporters. Most of their decisions to date have been to the detriment to the country and the majority of the population.

    Its time to acknowledge that they are really a bunch of scroungers who like most free loaders take advantage of an opportunity when its presented.

    Labour have failed to remove National because they are perceived as a similar animal by the public. If Labour wants to have a role its time to “differentiate” themselves from these creeps and start doing something that emphatically demonstrates that they actually give a damn about this country and its people.

    They also need to stop being complacent about their media presence and start to develop channels to get their message out to the majority of the population circumventing the lies told by the sleazy mainstream media.

  15. MrSmith 15

    Lets face it National is the farmers party and although growing protein may seem like a nice safe bet it has it risks, the elephant in the room is a foot&mouth outbreak, it could decimate farming here for years.

    Something that pisses me off about this lot (Farmers) is the way they unite and work together to make more profit, yet mention the word union and they will start screaming from the roof tops.

    Also farmers will continually have there hands out over the coming years due to Climate change.

    Farmers continue stealing from the environment to enrich themselves, paying little or no tax but crying as they hand over a few dollars for a hard days work, oh and how I enjoyed hearing them crying when they had to pay their way during the last labour governments term.

  16. Lefty 16

    You have to look at the banking and finance industries and the power they weild to understand why the Government makes the economic decisions it does.

    New Zealand is definitely run for a rentier class but only because they serve the purpose of the banking industry.

    For example there is huge profits in the sale and transfer of dairying land (and other farms) from one highly indebted farmer to another. Each time it happens banks get to make high interest loans that are totally guraranteed by the ever rising price of dairying land.

    On top of this further loans, often backed by the Government, are made for irrigation and new technology on farms.

    It is a perfect closed system with the same land been sold and resold over and over again and conservative farmers pumped out of our agricultural institutions convinced they are very clever with their groundbreaking farming methods when they are really just bagmen for the bankers.

    At the first sign of a drop in land value the banks kick them off their land and load someone else up with debt to take it over.

    Housing is becoming very similar.

    Before any real change can happen we need a government prepared to stand up to the finance industry.

    Banning private banking would be a good start.

  17. Not Another Sheep 17

    The input and discussions of different industries and markets for growth potential for the NZ economy have great merit. I would pose though that in any of these area’s ‘growth’ would not necessarily change lives for most New Zealanders (e.gs higher wages, better working conditions, less poverty), because it would be in the hands of the “controllers” whether benefits/profits were disseminated fairly down to the masses.
    On a global scale this growth of wealth over decades has been deliberately engineered and allowed to be captured only by a FEW as successive nations adopted, then ‘hoodwinked’ and forceably coerced its people (e.g. via engineering the ERA) into believing doctrines that shored up these glorious “free-markets”. Generations now have swallowed the sales pitch of “free- markets”, that ‘austerity’ measures are good for us as a sacrifice for the greater good (yeah right), citizens also thought that they were democratically participating, voting gullibly for a “Brighter Future” and yet the promised gold for all was just the gold foil wrapping around a piece of Shonkeyshite.
    Before ‘growth’ with benefits for all happens how does a government break down a globally entrenched (30 years??), insidious system which is overwhelmingly controlled by the few ‘rich’ with their powerful ability to manipulate, dominate, dictate, threaten or hold to ransom (Tiwai?) any government ( be it left or right now) into acting in the ‘FEW’s’ interest.
    Lefty (above) has part of the solution, banking being one industry, “Before any real change can happen we need a government prepared to stand up to the finance industry” but having evolved into a global world that is now captive and so dependent on “financiers” and rich global cooperates, how would a government do this (or want to as they are actively part of the free-market and reliant on it) without massive economic disaster for all?

    Xstasy has mooted how the core of the problem is that people don’t stand up, they’re “lazy”. I’d go with that but also with a paucity of knowledge that the majority of casualties and sufferers of the “system” seem to have about the SYSTEM and who it really does serve . Gould puts it like this “..but also from the quiescence and apathy of that much greater number who fail to understand that democracy is necessarily sidelined if the market cannot be challenged. The substance of democracy has been hollowed out, so that only the shell, the forms, remain, because we have not cherished and made a reality of what was our most valuable protection and greatest achievement.” [community].
    I am sceptical that any ‘government’ can truly change current ills, say by investing in this or that industry, to benefit the everyday majority… “Virtually the whole of the increased wealth of the last three decades has gone to the richest people in our society; poverty, even in the “rich” countries, has risen while inequality, with its attendant social ills, has widened; the rights of working people at work have been weakened; joblessness is endemic;” successive governments have all colluded in varying ways to this demise. “Myths, Politicians and Money” Gould.B. (2013).Palgrave. Launched in UK but in New Zealand soon.

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    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally and March this Saturday 26th July, Aote...
     The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    Mana | 21-07
  • NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza
    The New Zealand Government should support the United Nation's efforts to raise money to assist humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, the Green Party said today.The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has made a...
    Greens | 21-07
  • INTERNET MANA ROAD TRIP- LEG 2
      WAIKATO / TARANAKI / MANAWATU-WANGANUI  Tuesday July 29th, 6pm | RotoruaDistinction Hotel, Fenton Ballroom, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua  Wednesday July 30th 6pm | HamiltonWaikato University, Price Waterhouse Coopers Lecture Theatre, Gate 7, Hillcrest Rd Hamilton  Thursday July 31st, 6pm |...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008...
    Labour | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Universal KiwiSaver is an essential part of Labour’s...
    Labour | 20-07
  • Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds
    The Green Party today announced that its key social platform for this election will be to tackle child poverty and inequality by ensuring every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive.The Green Party will make a series of policy...
    Greens | 20-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were served with trespass orders from their  local swimming pool in new market. With no warning or explanation from the pool staff Police ordered...
    Mana | 20-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    Address notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John Minto to Economic policy launch in Kelston – 2pm, Sunday 20 July 2014. Reducing inequality and giving everyone a fair go MANA Movement’s policy prescription for a rich man’s...
    Mana | 20-07
  • One-sided reporting on the Middle East Conflict
    The following was sent to New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand, TV3, Radio Live and ZB Network. We are writing to all of you because there are well established patterns of reporting which seem to have been adopted by New Zealand...
    Mana | 20-07
  • You, Me and the GCSB Public Meetings
      The GCSB and TICS legislation rushed through Parliament by John Key represent the largest erosion of civil liberties this country has seen since the 1951 Waterfront Lockout. In the post Snowden world we now know a mass surveillance state operating...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist takedown of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday ‘Nothing to be sorry for‘ Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Ares Rolinson – New Zealand First – We’ll Be Back
    Earlier this week, Bomber penned a missive which set out in some detail why he thought my people, New Zealand First, wouldn’t be making it back into Parliament later this year. Being a pugnacious, vindictive sort who’d never let such an...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • The changes teachers DO want
    “Oh you teachers, you just want everything to stay the same – what’s wrong with choice?  Bloody teachers.  Typical that you don’t want testing – trying to hide that you’re all useless. What about our poor kids?  Gnash gnash rant rant...” That’s...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist take down of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday Nothing to be sorry for Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Selfies: Labour’s Electorate MPs are at it again
    IT’S A LITTLE TRIANGLE of grass at the corner of Rewa Street and Mt Eden Road, ideal for election hoardings. Wandering along Mt Eden Road last Saturday morning to our weekly appointment with the brunch menu at Orvieto, my family and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Well, well, well – Jonathan Coleman did know about FBI interest into Kim ...
    Last years GCSB Town Hall meeting in Auckland Oh dear, the cover up and lies are starting to fall over now aren’t they… Coleman knew of FBI interest in Dotcom pre-residency decisionGovernment minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Come on TV3 News – you are better than regurgitating Israeli propaganda
    Say it isn’t true TV3 News, you are seriously bitching about this???? The leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, has supported flag burning at a pro-Palestinian march in Auckland at the weekend. Mana Party flags can be seen in...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The brutal siege of Palestine
    70 years ago the Jews of Europe suffered as much as any people can suffer. The Nazis set about ethnic cleansing and sent 6 million to their death. Today we watch in horror as Israel, the Jewish homeland created after...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Canterbury housing crisis a moral, economic, health, education, and social ...
    Can they build it? No they can’t.  Occasionally I come across people who don’t believe me when I say there is a housing crisis in Christchurch.  Despite all the evidence to the contrary.  Even when I tell them that every...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel
    Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime a...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations The continuing bombardment of civilian homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the Israeli shelling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties fo...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties for war crimes Amnesty International called on delegates to the Central African Republic (CAR) National Reconciliation talks due to take place...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Coleman must quit or be sacked over Dotcom case
    Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. Internet Party leader Laila Harré...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors
    25 JULY 2014 Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland Councillors have voted to keep their ratepayer-funded business class travel perks, and considered new rules that would have exempted councillors from Auckland City's parking charges, Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Cunliffe Looks Dodgy Lunching with Sex Offender
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig says that David Cunliffe's social meeting with a known sex offender while on holiday "looks pretty dodgy."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – REVISITED
    Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation. They enlisted a group of 16 scientists to help them review the government’s new fresh water policy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Restoration of Post-graduate Allowances to be Key Issue
    As students prepare for the early voting that will take place on all university and many polytechnic campuses next month, the restoration of post-graduate allowances, removed by the current government in 2013, is emerging as a key election issue....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Honesty for Taxpayers
    ACT has a new proposal to make our democracy more accountable. The proposal may seem small but it could be the most significant idea in this election....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking for PM?
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is adding its voice to the many appalled at TVNZ’s choice of Mike Hosking as moderator for the upcoming political debates....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • ‘Party Party’ Hitting the Right Notes
    The “sold out” sign has gone up at the Internet Party’s concert in Christchurch tonight. A capacity crowd of 1000 will be at The Foundry for the Party Party concert, part of a major national musical tour aimed at getting...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend
    New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend More non-voters than ever before say they don't feel like their vote is worth anything, or that their opinion matters. It's a trend that concerns the Electoral Commission, and the reason for...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Umere says ‘taihoa’ on Māori Language Strategy
    A Maori Language advocacy group, Umere, is calling for a rain check on the Māori Language Strategy Bill, which is being introduced to parliament this week. "The submissions on the MLS have been released by Te Puni Kōkiri and they...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity
    ..:: For immediate release ::.. 24/07/14 David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity - (and in fact enjoy lunch with them)...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • More kids in Southland and Otago are achieving
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay says the Public Achievement Information for 2013 shows New Zealand children are doing better across the whole education system....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Flavell mistaken
    In response to Mr Flavell’s tirade this afternoon Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig advises "Mr Flavell is simply mistaken in his comments."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Lay Complaint with Speaker
    The Taxpayers’ Unio n has written to Parliament's Speaker, the Rt. Hon. David Carter, asking him to step in and investigate the claims on the WhaleOil blog that taxpayers’ money is being improperly used for Mana Party election campaign hoardings....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • MANA launches te reo Māori policy
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, said MANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Candidate welcomes award of platinum exploration permits
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay has welcomed the Government’s decision to award Lynx Platinum Limited two exploration permits in Southland. Mr Barclay said the minerals industry is an important part of New Zealand’s economy...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Pokie spending and numbers continue to drop
    Pub and club gaming machine expenditure in the year ended June 2014 fell 2.4 per cent from $826.3 million to $806.2 million. There were also fewer licence holders, gambling venues and gaming machines compared with 12 months earlier. Licence holders...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Zealand Police to assist in MH17 victim identification
    New Zealand Police is sending three Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) specialists to the Netherlands to assist in the international effort to identify victims from the MH17 tragedy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Oil Spill Response Strategy available for consultation
    Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is inviting comment on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Police response to IPCA report on Rewa investigation
    Police accept the findings of today's IPCA's report regarding its investigations into offending by Malcolm Rewa in Auckland in the 1980s and 1990s....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Well-known kiwis sign on to stop ivory trade
    Today the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee will consider a complete ban on the ivory trade in response to a petition by Auckland teacher Virginia Woolf and policy analyst Fiona Gordon....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Commonwealth Games are not being captioned in New Zealand
    As members of the Captioning Working Group, The National Foundation for the Deaf and Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand call for broadcast captioning of the 2014 Commonwealth Games...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Majority of Commonwealth countries are already republics
    The Glasgow Commonwealth Games are here and it's a common misbelief that a Kiwi republic would mean that New Zealand would have to leave the Commonwealth. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Although an Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiry has identified some faults with a series of investigations conducted by Police into offending by Malcolm Rewa, there is insufficient evidence that any of these impacted on the ability of Police...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • IPCA findings on Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Good morning everyone. I’d like to begin today by explaining that this is an informational press conference and that I will not be taking questions at its conclusion. The reason for that is the report’s findings are the result of...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Pay It Back Ms Hauiti
    Responding to the Newstalk ZB report that disgraced MP Claudette Hauiti is refusing to confirm whether or not she has reimbursed taxpayers for misuse of her Parliamentary 'P-card', Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: “Ms Hauiti...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • RSA thanks NZ for $1.7m collected during Poppy Appeal
    The RSA today announced that over $1.7 million was donated to the 2014 Poppy Appeal for the support of veterans, ex-service men and women and their families in need....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Students encouraged to be brave and never give up
    Students encouraged to be brave and never give up if they want to 'make it happen'...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • New Zealanders want to pay more to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
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