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Exporting Dunedin

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, October 11th, 2010 - 48 comments
Categories: business - Tags: , ,

Eddie: David Clark is the Labour Party’s new candidate for Dunedin North. With any luck he’ll be sending us the odd guest post — until he moves in due course to Red Alert! Welcome David.

It’s all right here! About 100 metres from where I live in fact.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with a group at Otago University’s Centre for Innovation, including The Distiller, and Pocketsmith co-founder Jason Leung. The Distiller is a group of technology entrepreneurs working collaboratively. Pocketsmith is a web-based calendar that forecasts your personal future cash position.

As a business, Pocketsmith has been set up on a shoe-string and is competing with much bigger overseas products for a fraction of the cost.

With support here and there, ICT start-ups can become big earners for New Zealand. At the moment, however, there are some frustrating barriers to success. Here are a few:

  • Not enough IT graduates coming from secondary schools. I understand steps are being taken to introduce a better curriculum in the final years of secondary school, but not enough is being done. Without proper professional development for teaching staff, the new curriculum will be a failure. The Government needs to invest more to ensure New Zealand kids develop these skills – vital to our country’s future.
  • High-speed Broadband for teaching. Videoconferencing is becoming an increasingly important teaching tool for the University of Otago with its distance students. The Key Government has shied away from real investment in getting decent internet access for people everywhere.
  • Lack of funding for testing. One of the frustrations for local entrepreneurs is the lack of funding support available for testing whether markets actually exist. Money to develop products (whether they’re needed or not) is relatively speaking – easier to come by. It seems important that once a product has been proven in its basic form, that the market be tested quickly. When our best minds could be better used elsewhere, it makes no sense to have them refining a product no-one’s going to use.

The National Government has wasted time promoting mining of National Parks, and seems to have missed the opportunity to strengthen and develop real opportunities for economic growth in New Zealand. This Government must stop exploring dead-end paths and put real effort into creating the environment for our future success. The internet can overcome our challenging distance from export markets. And New Zealand has strong potential for weight-less exports as a consequence.

On the upside, many companies are succeeding despite the National Government. But it makes you wonder how much better the local economy would be doing under Labour.

David Clark

48 comments on “Exporting Dunedin”

  1. Scarfie 1

    The ODT had a feature on Distiller here:

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/business/130699/minding-others-business

    Good luck to them.

  2. The Baron 2

    Agree with everything, apart from this:

    “The Key Government has shied away from real investment in getting decent internet access for people everywhere”

    Pardon? Have you heard of the UFB/RBI?

    • r0b 2.1

      I’ve heard about them. I’ve heard lots of promises about broadband since, after tax cuts, it was more or less the Nats only significant pre election promise. I’ve heard about it and heard about it and heard about it – so much so that I’ve stopped paying attention. So I might have missed it, but where is the government, as compared to Telecom or others, investing?

      In other news – the speed of my broadband hasn’t changed, and nor is it likely to in the foreseeable future.

    • felix 2.2

      I’ve also heard of EBTTH but I haven’t seen any evidence of its existence yet.

  3. Carol 3

    I’m for supporting improved broadband, and creative NZ enterprises that produce neccessary goods and services. But to me David’s focus on economic growth, exports etc, sounds a lot like the old neoliberal approach, which is increasingly being shown to be totally dysfunctional. How does much does David’s approach contribute to a new direction for the left?

    • Bill 3.1

      “…to me David’s focus on economic growth, exports etc, sounds a lot like the old neoliberal approach, which is increasingly being shown to be totally dysfunctional”

      Sounds that way to me too. Thing is, Labour will never be a part of any new direction for the left. They are very much a part and parcel of capitalism’s managerial culture, ie they are in the business of keeping capitalism functioning after some fashion or other. (Last managerial fashion was neo-liberalism. Next one will be whatever it is that a culture of crisis management decides might work for or prolong capitalism.)

      Should the left strike out in a new direction, I think it is fair to assume that the Labour Party will be part of any reactionary impediment. Sadly.

    • Hi Carol,

      Agree that trad neoliberal agenda has plenty of shortcomings and won’t bother rehearsing the arguments here. I think if you have a look at some of my other posts, you’ll find my view hard to conflate with trad neoliberalism, e.g. http://www.davidclark.org.nz/2010/08/killing-the-new-zealand-dream/

      That said, I am not going to apologise for a focus on exports and the economy. Trading is in good part responsible for the way Western countries have made the money that buys public services like decent hospitals and schools. It is how cancer medications and computers are afforded. I don’t think for one second that it would be good to stop trading. We need an emphasis on fair trade. Condemning most of the world to ongoing poverty through cessation of trade is not on my agenda.

      Good ideas should be shared, and currently trade is the best available mechanism to encourage both development and propagation of good ideas. Weightless exports have the additional advantage of being friendly on the environment.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        We have the resources to produce everything we need here. International trading is only needed to procure something that we don’t presently produce. The corollary is that we then need to develop a local source of those items.

        Trading is in good part responsible for the way Western countries have made the money…

        Here your making the usual mistake of confusing money for a resource. What actually makes hospitals and schools is people. Amazingly enough, people already living here from resources that are also already here (this is why foreign investment is a load of bollocks).

        I don’t think for one second that it would be good to stop trading.

        Probably not and probably impossible anyway but minimising it is certainly doable and better for us as a society.

        Condemning most of the world to ongoing poverty through cessation of trade is not on my agenda.

        We’ve already done that. There isn’t enough resources in the world for everyone to have the same level of living standards that we have. You’ll note, though, that the poor countries are the ones that exported all their raw resources rather than developing local education and industry.

        Trade doesn’t produce any more wealth – what it does is transfers it from place to another. Due to the deadweight loss of profit someone, usually the poorer, is always worse off after the trade.

        Good ideas should be shared, and currently trade is the best available mechanism to encourage both development and propagation of good ideas.

        Yes, good ideas should be shared but trade isn’t a good way to do it. Open and free discussion is with the removal of patents so that people who hear the idea can develop it locally.

        • comedy 3.2.1.1

          “What actually makes hospitals and schools is people”

          Yes without people there would be no need for either but we also need buildings, computers, capital equipment, drugs, surgical equipment etc etc etc. We cannot produce all of these ourselves the best way to get those things we need but cannot produce ourselves is via trade.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1.1

            We’ve had this conversation. The answer “Yes, we can” as I proved to you before and if we did so it would actually bring about a better society rather than the race to the bottom that we presently engage in with every other nation.

            • comedy 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Really, we can manufacture CT scanners, MRIs and Linear accelerators in NZ can we ?

              And all the joints and intraoclar lenses for our elderly ?

              And all the beta blockers, ACE inhibitors Calcium antagonists for those with high blood pressure ?

              SUs, biguanides and insulins for diabetics can we make those as well ?

              • nzfp

                Sounds like a great opportunity for technology incubation comedy!

                If I was Finance Minister I would create 10 Billion dollars to develop FREE clean de-centralised renewable energy alternatives to oil!

                I would give 5 million to each University and Polytech to come up with a plan for research and development – and then fund them another 5 million each to execute the research.

                I would then spend 1 Billion per university to implement the research in production.

                The result of research and development as well as the creation of FREE clean de-centralised renewable energy would be:

                1. Technology incubation as new materials science and engineering would be required to create FREE de-centralised energy alternatives to oil. This was the result the US experienced during the Apollo moon program.
                2. A reduction in manufacturing costs for anything produced in New Zealand
                3. A reduction in transport costs for anything or anyone – free electricity based public transport anyone?
                4. The implementation of each Universities findings would create employment for New Zealanders.
                5. The new technologies developed could be licensed or sold or outright given to other countries. If we gave FREE de-centralised renewable clean energy systems to China we would end the central Asian resource wars currently plaguing Iraq, Iran, The Central Asian -Stans as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan.

                The resulting influx of revenue to pay for the new products produced in New Zealand as a result of the technology incubation would on its own outweigh the initial 10 Billion in capital.

                The initial 10 Billion in capital would cost us nothing at all – because the Government would print the damn money from nothing at zero interest instead of borrowing it at interest payable in a foreign currency from a foreign private bank that prints the money from nothing at all!

                So yeah comedy – Draco’s right!

              • Colonial Viper

                Insulin is no problem if you have pigs. And there will be less need for high BP meds if we decide as a society that the 24/7 grind is stupid and generally fruitless.

                But yeah, some of the other stuff is not going to be able to be put together in the shed.

                • comedy

                  I don’t think the diabetics of NZ or the animal rights movement will be particularly impressed if we had to return to porcine insulin, agreed there are non pharmaceutical interventions that can help with high BP however there will always be a significant need for these type of meds.

                  NZFP sorry haven’t got the time to deconstruct your argument at present I might fisk it tonight if that’s OK.

                  • nzfp

                    Don’t worry about it comedy,
                    I covered a lot that you may find issue with. Bear in mind that my comment is meant in a light hearted manner.

                    The only thing that you should have any real issue with is the means to fund any project of this type.

                    If you can find an issue with that – raise what the issue is specifically and I’ll do my best to address it for you.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Really, we can manufacture CT scanners, MRIs and Linear accelerators in NZ can we ?

                /facepalm

                Yes, actually, we can. After all, we already do the research and development. Just a question of getting the manufacturing to go with it.

                If anything can be done we can do it here just as well. Throw in some decent R&D and we could even do it better.

                • Chris

                  sorry, but Draco, you’re crazy

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    There are two types of blind people, those who cannot see and those who will not see.

                    • The Baron

                      Draco, what are your thoughts on comparative advantage as a contrary argument?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      There’s no such thing as a factory in NZ is just as efficient as a factory in China (or anywhere else for that matter). The inputs are the same and the required skills are the same. The only difference is the cost of transport. The only reason why Chinese made goods are cheaper than NZ made ones are because the of the exchange rate which is artificially kept low through the Chinese keeping their currency low, ours through the high interest rates keeping it artificially high and the US trying to inflate it’s way out of debt.

                      Ricardo may have been right at the time (not that I think he was) but things have changed. It’s no longer more efficient to have a large factory exporting to the world than a small factory(ies) supplying only the local community. Socially, it’s always better to have the country to be self-sufficient. Trade then becomes an option rather than a necessity and the societies culture etc will develop rather than staying stuck in the same old mould (which, in NZ, seems to be farm, farm, farm).

                    • The Baron

                      Hmm, I’ll need to think about that… but it doesn’t sound entirely nuts. Pleasant surprise.

                      What about economies of scale though? Our local, domestic version of a widget factory is built for serving a market of 4.X million. The chinese one is built for a factor of 1000 greater. There will be some circumstances whereby even once transport is included, we would be net worse off from doing it ourselves – even if wages and all other factors were equal?

                    • lprent []

                      At various times I write code for widgets (like right now). Sometimes the widgets are made here. Sometimes they’re made offshore. The decision is a complex one based on a lot of factors. But in the worldwide vertical markets we’re looking at (it has been decades since I worked in company that was planning on doing more than 10% of their sales in NZ), we’re typically only selling thousands or tens of thousands of product. The production cost per unit is far far less than the development costs.

                      Both the hardware design and software design are done here. The question of economies of scale scarcely come into the type of brain powered tech that we sell.

                    • The Baron

                      Absolutely right, Lynn – it is meaningless when you are talking about “weightless” digital economy products, which is why ideas like David’s are so attractive.

                      But I get the distinct impression that Draco is also considering traditional, physical goods too – where plants, factories, manufacturing etc etc is absolutely reliant on economies of scale, and access to raw materials – both of which could render this idea pretty moot…

                    • nzfp

                      Hey Baron,
                      Consider this. German economist and environmentalist Margrit Kennedy , who’s work on ecological architecture in 1982 led her to the discovery, that it is “virtually impossible to carry out sound ecological concepts on the scale required today, without fundamentally altering the present money system or creating new complementary currencies, demonstrated in her 1987 book (free to read online) “Interest and Inflation Free Money (ISBN 0-9643025-0-0)” that all widgets produced in a debt based economy such as ours incur interest costs totaling 50% of the total cost of production for each item.

                      That means a can of L&P that costs $1.00 to the consumer, incurs $0.50 of interest throughout the chain of production to consumption.

                      Kennedy also demonstrates that we can remove the interest load of 50% of the cost of each item, by replacing a private debt based system with credit as a public utility issued by the Government.

                      If New Zealand implemented a system like this – the cost of production for anything in our Nation would drop – potentially – by 50%.

                      You can scale that as large as you like, but $500 Million USD is still less then $1 Billion USD.

                    • The Baron

                      Thanks for the link NZFP. I won’t read it now, but will come back in some other appropriate thread once I have had a look at the ideas in a bit of detail.

                    • lprent

                      Bloody hell a thread that has maxed out on depth and is still on-going…..

                      Baron: If it is hard commodity goods then there are very very few things that NZ has any significant advantage in. Apart from resource extractive industries like farming I can only really think of a few. That was a secondary reason why I dropped out of production and operations management 20 odd years ago (the primary being that programming was more fun).

                      We really have to sell brains and design skills because there are bugger all other resources (Brownlee is pretty much an idiot to think otherwise). Besides when the final ore is pulled out of the ground, the final river polluted with effluent, and the final aquifer pillaged – we still need to have an income.

                      The only reason that I stayed in NZ was because the net came along. It means that we are able to trade worldwide in high design value goods where the shipping costs essentially don’t matter.

      • Bill 3.2.2

        Jeez. I kind of despair sometimes.

        There is nothing at all wrong with trade, David.

        But there is a lot wrong with the market, ie the environment that determines terms of trade. In short, it encourages thuggery and penalises decency.

        And it wasn’t simply trade that got the anglo-saxon world ahead. It was advantageous trade arrangements ‘agreed to’ at the point of a gun, ie colonialism. For example, Indian cotton manufacturing was outlawed and weavers had their thumbs cut off as a matter of course. The exported raw material then led to Paisley and Manchester becoming world centres for cotton manufacturing.

        Which means that trade within a market environment impoverished both British workers and Indian weavers. And then it got worse, with opium being forcibly planted where rice used to grow leading to starvation in India and a nice export crop to China. It’s beyond me where you get this idea that trade necessarily enriches. More recently, we could consider SAPs in the context of trade enriching people or societies.

        On the idea that trade is a mechanism for sharing ideas, I’m tempted to simply pass. Trade is a mechanism for exchanging tradeable goods. Which means you are saying that only ideas that can be monetized are to be considered good ideas.

  4. burt 4

    So have I got this right, a lefty thinks we should be directing tax payers money to private enterprise – but not just any private enterprise, private enterprise in his local area.

    How can we implement the great socialist dream of the state being in control of giant monopolies for the production and delivery of all good and services in a perfect one size fits all model where nobody earns too much and nobody earns too little when we keep reverting to Tory tactics of encouraging innovation, competition and growth in the private sector? What sort of future is there for NZ when tax payers money is directed into the pockets of people with great ideas and vision rather than lavished on people only to win their votes every three years.

    This chap isn’t a true Labour man is he – he’s an extreme right wing plant trying to divert tax payers money to his old school mates. He should be protesting outside these organisations reminding them that their profits are unpaid wages and that their low staff numbers which give them a disgraceful level of agility is only because they are exploiting people under individual contracts.

    I bet both of these companies have people working for them that are being paid based on their value to the business rather than from a schedule of remuneration rates set in Wellington based on comparable roles in the public sector…. Shame – shut them down…. It’s not fair these people earn more than a beneficiary simply because they produce stuff the world wants – not everyone can be innovators and it’s not fair that innovators profit from things we all want…. The products these greedy capitalists are producing must be commandeered and repackaged by the state for the good of all.

    • r0b 4.1

      Feel better now Burt?

    • burt 4.2

      I’ll feel better when these companies have all their employees on a collective agreement and have massive tax hikes imposed on them to return their filthy profits to the state. There is an election next year, the unions needs funds to donate to Labour or there will be no big red billboards or pledge cards to remind people the country works best under Labour.

      • Bill 4.2.1

        Why not have all the companies set up as a single entity under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act which would allow them to explore and develop highly equitable and innovative organisational structures (eg worker collectives incorporating mixed job complexes etc) ) as well as novel renumeration systems (eg income sharing)?

        I think your harking on about the role of the state signifies a fundamental lack of understanding on the nature of socialism, Burt.

        It might please you to know that under the above scenario far more money would stay with those involved. The tax system doesn’t deal very well with returns (whose size is democratically determined by participants in the businesses after taking into account the cost of pre agreed criteria…such as reinvestment percentages etc) being paid from nominal shares as opposed to wages or salaries being paid.

  5. Hilary 5

    Testing of IT products is an area with great potential for the employment of people with high functioning autism or Aspergers syndrome. The pioneer in this work is Thorkil Sonne from Denmark who has now franchised his Specialisterne ASD employment concept internationally. He has a goal to employ 1 million people with autism in this field. It would be great if David and the LP could also pick up this idea.

    • burt 5.1

      Hilary

      What a great idea. I’m not convinced that people with Autism or Aspergers syndrome will be well placed to get a good grasp of business, user and functional requirements in a cohesive way that allows them to perform robust testing against detailed and sometimes complex real world requirements. But what a great idea – I hope Thorkil Sonne is onto something big here.

  6. nzfp 6

    […] there are some frustrating barriers to success. Here are a few […] Lack of funding for […]

    Lack of funding should never be a barrier – especially if the funding is required to create products and services that will add to the well being of the community.

    There is and has always been provision in the Public Finance Act that allows local government bodies to borrow at zero interest directly from the RBNZ. I made this point in another post HERE with regard to Len Brown and the Super City election.

    To recap, it goes like this:

    […] The Public Finance Act 1989 No 44 (as at 30 July 2010), Public Act section 65L and section 47 explicity states that the “Minister, on behalf of the Crown, may lend money to a person or organisation […] on any terms and conditions that the Minister thinks fit” […]

    To summarise, the “The Public Finance Act 1989 No 44 (as at 30 July 2010)” provides mechanisms which allow the Finance Minister, via the Reserve Bank, to lend to any institution it chooses on any terms it chooses – such as zero interest at a period of 100 years.

    Dunedin North could borrow what ever it needs to repay any outstanding debts it currently has to Private Banks that incurs an interest fee. Consequently, capital will be released from servicing interest on bebts – this newely freed capital could then be used to build high speed broadband as well as fund testing (and anyting else for that matter).

    A justification for funding of this type can be found HERE.

    Captcha: THERE – you go – no problem – no barrier – no frustration!

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    High-speed Broadband for teaching. Videoconferencing is becoming an increasingly important teaching tool for the University of Otago with its distance students. The Key Government has shied away from real investment in getting decent internet access for people everywhere.

    If we got broadband out to everyone, as is essential in today’s economy, then people shouldn’t need to enrol in a university to see, and participate, in the lectures. This could bring about all sorts of efficiencies as far as our advanced education goes and would open up even more human and social development. Would require that all universities be fully government funded though.

    Lack of funding for testing.

    Print the bloody money @ 0% interest. It’ll be a lot cheaper than borrowing (governments should never need to borrow) and then brings about the more rational affect of maintaining $$$ value by taxes rather than interest rates as presently happens.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Print the bloody money @ 0% interest.

      Yes. The Government must restore its natural right to produce money. Why should the banks be permitted to keep producing bank money out of thin air and then charge us high levels of interest on it.

    • nzfp 7.2

      Actually there is a lot of frustration – “Print the bloody money @ 0% interest” – damn right print the bloody money!!

      Afterall it explicitly states in NZ law that the NZ government can do this.

      Not doing this is costing our Nation.

      Our Government is required to implement a tender process when procuring any goods or services from any institution (public or private). Our Government should be required to implement a tender process for the cheapest system to create New Zealand dollars. It is immediately obvious that no Private Bank can create New Zealand public credit cheaper or with more stability then the Publicly Owned RBNZ!

      Capthca: restores – Credit as a public utility restores economic and social democracy!

      Even better – instead of printing themoney to lend – the Government should just print the money to spend – then there is no debt at all.

      For those people who get all caught up with the inflation fallacy – what do you think tax is for?

      If there is too much money sloshing around – a simple tax on bank trades will pull out the excess money!

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    One basic recognition is that international trade is being directed primarily for the good of corporations and other major business interests at the moment, and not for the good of the citizens of the countries involved (or their living environments). What % of oil wealth is distributed to the peoples of the Niger? What % of diamond wealth is distributed to the peoples of Angola and Sierra Leone? What % of Apple’s wealth is distributed to its contracted manufacturing workers in Shenzhen?

    Its the usual story. A few do reap most of the benefit, mainly in western developed countries (who incidentally direct organisations such as the World Bank and the IMF). And the many, often in poorer ethnic countries, get only a little if anything at all.

  9. Chris Bull 9

    I’m part of the Distiller, though I am writing this in a personal capacity and in no way does anything i write represent the group – I’m no official spokesman. We’re a completely community based effort that exists in order to help people grow technology startups in a “loving” environment, with the end goal being that the companies grow up much the same way that someone who was raised in a good, loving home would grow up – sympathetic to the environment that they exist in and aware of their responsibilities hence.

    As far as our group is concerned, we’re apolitical. Personally, I’m on the urban liberal end of the labour party spectrum, but this is in no way representative of the group as a whole, though I will comment that the extreme, cut-throat capitalists seem to go other places to further their Atlas fantasies.

    I feel very comfortable that I can be both pro-entrepreneurship and also support left-wing positions on things like health, infrastructure, culture etc. Sure, extremists like Draco will never be happy until revolution, but I don’t understand why running a community based “Incubator” is being so criticised – the quotation marks were used because we exist in someways as a reaction to the incubation system. As far as I’m concerned the Distiller is one of the most positive groups I’ve been involved with and think that, as the companies grow, we will make a good contribution to NZ society.

    In the end, businesses are an important part of our society, whether Draco likes it or not. Sure, positions around who should own natural monopolies are a different area, but in the space we work in to me it seems natural for a Labour candidate to approve of such a system. Being left wing doesn’t mean being anti-business/entrepreneurship as far as I’m concerned, maybe in 1917, but since then the world has moved on.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Hi Chris, sounds like your team have put into practice what management science has known for decades but the Right Wing constantly ignores – entrepreneurial people and innovators are typically motivated by different things, of which money is just one. Great job and best wishes for continued ‘success’ – however your organisation defines it.

      And yes, I agree with you, the Left need to be strong supporters of kiwi innovation, team work and entrepreneurship. Its the only way we will become less dependent on external factors, and the only way we will develop and keep home grown talent.

    • Carol 9.2

      Sounds good, Chris. Thanks for the explanation. All the best with it.

    • lprent 9.3

      We run this site pretty much on an “agree to disagree” basis where we constrain the trolls and anyone else who wants to disrupt debate (outlined in the policy). It means that you can get a pretty wide range of opinion, often strongly put, and frequently deliberately designed by the author or commentator to forment debate and responses like yours. Don’t bother getting upset. Just argue your viewpoint as you have done.

      There are a wide range of opinions here. Personally I support incubators, but I’m an Otago MBA who has spent the last 20 years almost entirely working in high tech startups. But I have qualms about incubators that are to do with how to move the resulting companies out into commercialization, and how to recover funds to start new incubator businesses.

    • nzfp 9.4

      Hi Chris,
      I can’t speak for Draco – but I know we share economic viewpoints.

      Something I was trying to put across was that ample funding should be made available – directly from the Government via the RBNZ as explicitly stated in the The Public Finance Act 1989 No 44 (as at 30 July 2010), Public Act section 65L and section 47 – for such things as Technology Incubators – just like the Distiller group you have described.

      Your group could/should be funded by your local body Government – via zero interest loans from the RBNZ and Treasury – or even better by a National fund specifically for the purpose.

      The benefits are many and obvious.

      Good luck to you – read “The Public Finance Act 1989 No 44 (as at 30 July 2010), Public Act section 65L and section 47″ and agitate for the new Dunedin mayor to setup a fund for you using this Act!

      Captcha: REGARDS – to you.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.5

      I don’t know why you’re mentioning me in there in the way that you do. I didn’t criticise your incubator. In fact, if I was still in Dunedin I’d consider joining it.

      In the end, businesses are an important part of our society,

      The services that businesses provide society (well, some of them are, others are just money making ponzi schemes) are important. It’s not business that I’m against – it’s the ownership and authoritarian bent of capitalism.

      Being left wing doesn’t mean being anti-business/entrepreneurship as far as I’m concerned, maybe in 1917, but since then the world has moved on.

      Go study history a bit more as it’s not that we’ve moved on but that we’ve gone backwards 2 centuries over the last 3 decades.

      Sure, extremists like Draco will never be happy until revolution,

      He who would move a mountain, starts by moving small stones.

      • Chris Bull 9.5.1

        Sorry, Draco. Reading your above posts you gave off a pretty hostile to business and trade attitude – unfairly so, in my opinion.

  10. Trevor Mallard 10

    Would have sort weightless exports such as these environmentally as well as economically good. Important we keep developing systems of keeping as much of the ownership here as is possible.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      We can’t export ourselves out of debt when everybody else is trying to do the same thing and everybody else has the same problem – excess production. It’s why there’s a global currency war heating up.

      • nzfp 10.1.1

        We can’t export ourselves out of debt when everybody else is trying to do the same thing

        Not at all – and to add to that – (to quote American economist Professor Michael Hudson):

        debts that can’t be paid won’t be paid

        That’s another reason why there is a currency war.

        The debt deflation and conditions of the currency war we are in the middle of has been mathematical modeled and demonstrated by Australian economist Steve Keen in a recent presentation to the American Monetary Institute (AMI). Keen has shown that private debt based economies – such as ours – that become financialised and parasitical – such as ours – are doomed to debt deflation and crash.

        Keens presentation shows that exports will not lead to a global recovery – especially as Draco has pointed out – every man and his dog will be attempting the same strategy – and we cannot compete with China on this.

        However, we can change our economy and monetary system and focus on technology and business incubation for internal demand and where it fits external exports. It should be noted that a fundamental change in our economy will promote a more local – business and entrpreneur friendly – economy which is sustainable and environmentally responsible anyway.

        You can read the details and watch a video of Keens presentation, as well as download the software and datasets Keen used to model the system – for yourself from his website:

        http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2010/10/04/jubilee-shares-and-the-american-monetary-act/

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    News today that Dunedin Hospital has lost orthopaedic training accreditation is a major blow and proves the Government’s prevarication is having devastating consequences, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Losing orthopaedic advanced training is serious. There is a knock on… ...
    4 days ago
  • $74,000 quarterly rise shows crisis out of control
    New figures out today showing Auckland house prices have spiked by a massive $74,000 in the past quarter is further evidence the city’s housing crisis has spiralled out of control, Labour’s “In spite of constant announcements and photo opportunities from… ...
    4 days ago
  • Democracy for Nauru now
    Murray McCully must send the strongest possible message to the Nauruan Government that New Zealand does not condone its actions given the disturbing developments there, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Right now we are seeing Nauru stripped of… ...
    4 days ago
  • Recovery needs more than a rebrand
    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    4 days ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    4 days ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    4 days ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    4 days ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    4 days ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    5 days ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    5 days ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    5 days ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    5 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    5 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    5 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    6 days ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    6 days ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    6 days ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    6 days ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    6 days ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    1 week ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    1 week ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    1 week ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    1 week ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    1 week ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    2 weeks ago

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