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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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    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    3 days ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    3 days ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    3 days ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    3 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    3 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    4 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    4 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    4 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    4 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    4 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    5 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    5 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    5 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    6 days ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    6 days ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    6 days ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    6 days ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    6 days ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    1 week ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    1 week ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Backdown whiff in state house leasing option
    Bill English’s admission that the Government is looking at leasing large numbers of state houses to non-government providers has the whiff of a backdown, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This is an acknowledgement by Bill English that he has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis downgrade threatening banking sector
    The out of control Auckland housing market is now threatening the banking sector, with Standard and Poor’s downgrading the credit rating of our banks out of fear of the bubble bursting, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Today we have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good money after bad for failed experiment
    The National government are throwing good money after bad with their decision to pump even more funding into their failed charter school experiment, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There are already major problems with several of the first charter… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National borrows Labour’s idea on urban development
    Labour's Associate Environment spokesperson Phil Twyford says he welcomes the Government's adoption of Labour's policy for a National Policy Statement on urban development, and has called on the Government to take up Labour's offer to work together on these issues.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Toothless OIO never refused a single farmland sale
    The Overseas Investment Office has approved more than 290 consents from foreign investors to buy sensitive land in New Zealand, but has not turned down a single application says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash  “The Minister of Land information,… ...
    2 weeks ago

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