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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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    3 hours ago
  • Police welcome verdict in Lundy homicide re-trial
    Source: New Zealand Police – Police welcome verdict in homicide re-trial At the High Court in Wellington today Mark Lundy was convicted of murdering his wife Christine and daughter Amber at their family home in Palmerston North on 30… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    4 hours ago
  • Police Association welcomes guilty verdict in Lundy Re-Trial
    Source: New Zealand Police Association – Police Association welcomes guilty verdict Police Association president, Greg O’Connor. “The New Zealand Police Association welcomes the Lundy guilty verdict on behalf of the police teams involved in both the investigations and trials,” Police… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    4 hours ago
  • Statement on behalf of Craig (Mark Lundy’s brother) and his wife
    Source: New Zealand Police – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Statement on behalf of Craig (Mark Lundy's brother) and his wife Home » News » Statement on behalf of Craig (Mark Lundy’s brother) and his wife ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    4 hours ago
  • Surge in New Zealand’s broadband speeds
    Source: New Zealand Government – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Surge in New Zealand’s broadband speeds Latest international figures on broadband speeds have reported New Zealand’s average connection speeds have increased by almost 60 per cent in the past year, said Communications… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Politics
    4 hours ago
  • Surge in New Zealand’s broadband speeds
    Source: New Zealand Government – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Surge in New Zealand’s broadband speeds Latest international figures on broadband speeds have reported New Zealand’s average connection speeds have increased by almost 60 per cent in the past year, said Communications… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    4 hours ago
  • Spot the slightly uncomfortable looking Tory posh boy
    Who's just realised the people beside him might not have gone to Eton:Someone should have givben him a bacon sandwich to eat, that might have made him feel more relaxed. ...
    4 hours ago
  • Gun control: Water balloon edition
    How many water balloons does it take to stop a point-blank bullet from a .44 Magnum? We've all wondered for a while. Finally, an answer (the fun part starts around 1:55): Amazing, right? Everyone loves a little physics nerdery.… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    5 hours ago
  • Real changes must come from CYF review – Ardern
    Source: New Zealand Labour Party – Real changes must come from CYF review Labour MP, Jacinda Ardern. A well-overdue revamp of Child, Youth and Family cannot be just another cost cutting exercise, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Politics
    5 hours ago
  • The cost of GCSB spying
    What's the cost of the GCSB's mass-surveillance of the Pacific? "Fewer whistleblowers, more corruption, less stability", according to Public Address:Fewer whistleblowers, more corruption, less stability. That's the assessment of longtime Pacific journalist Jason Brown of the impact of the revelation… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 hours ago
  • Yet another external review the last thing CYF needs
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Minister Tolley’s announcement of a Paula Rebstock-led review into Child, Youth and Family (CYF) is the last thing needed by an organisation that has demonstrated it can assess and plan for its own needs. ...
    5 hours ago
  • VIDEO: ‘My daughter’s education is my duty,’ says Vanuatu cyclone fat...
    MIL OSI Analysis – Pacific Media Centre/Pacific Media Watch Ten-year-old Joana Bani tells her story at Black Sand near Vanuatu’s capital of Port Vila. Video: UNDP Pacific Wednesday, April 1, 2015 Item: 9189 Alice Clements PORT VILA (UNDP Pacific/Pacific… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    5 hours ago
  • WEST PAPUA: Media restrictions over simmering struggle 50 years on
    MIL OSI Analysis – Pacific Media Centre/Pacific Media Watch A rally in Jakarta for the Free Papua Movement. Image: CPJ/Reuters Wednesday, April 1, 2015 Item: 9190 Bob Dietz NEW YORK (Committee to Protect Journalists/ Pacific Media Watch): One of the… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    5 hours ago
  • $7.8m for new sustainable farming projects
    MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Government – Press Release/Statement Headline: $7.8m for new sustainable farming projects 29 new projects have been approved for $7.8 million in new funding over four years through the Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF), Primary Industries… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    5 hours ago
  • MBIE takes enforcement action for dairy farm employment law breaches
    MIL OSI - Source: New Zealand Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment MBIE – Press Release/Statement: Headline: MBIE takes enforcement action for dairy farm employment law breaches Enforcement action is being taken against 19 employers in the dairy industry for… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    5 hours ago
  • National looks after everyone but taxpayers – ACT Party
    MIL OSI – Source: ACT Party – Press Release/Statement Headline: National looks after everyone but taxpayers “National is parading its indexation of welfare payments while refusing to do the same with tax brackets,” says ACT Leader David Seymour. “Benefits were… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    5 hours ago
  • Changes to provide more support for families – Woodhouse
    Source: New Zealand Government – Changes to provide more support for families Michael Woodhouse, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister. Additional support for families through an extension to Paid Parental Leave and an increase to the minimum wage comes into… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Politics
    5 hours ago
  • No good reason for secrecy
    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee recently returned from Iraq with an impunity agreement enabling the deployment of New Zealand troops. But he's refusing to release it:Labour has attacked the degree of secrecy about the preparation of a New Zealand troop deployment… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 hours ago
  • New Zealand First’s Succession Plan
    Last time I met a New Zealand First MP, I decided to ask him about New Zealand First’s succession plan. He replied “why would we need a succession plan? Winston Peters isn’t going anywhere” “Well, Winston Peters is not as… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    6 hours ago
  • The importance of circulation workers in 21st century capitalism
    New Zealand disribution workers While the article below is about the United States, it is highly relevant to the New Zealand situation. by Joe Allen Amateurs study strategy, professionals study logistics,” US Army General Omar Bradley famously said. Bradley’s declaration was… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 hours ago
  • The cost of corporate tax cheating in Australia
    How much does corporate tax-cheating cost us? In Australia, A$25 billion a year - enough to eliminate two-thirds of the government budget deficit:Australia's biggest 900 companies claimed tax deductions and exemptions worth a total $25 billion last year – enough… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 hours ago
  • Union merger gives local government sector a stronger voice
    On 1 April 2015 the Southern Local Government Officers Union (SLGOU) and the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi (PSA) merged. Already New Zealand’s largest union, the merger brings the PSA’s membership to nearly 62,000. ...
    6 hours ago
  • March ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    There are now over 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake, or get your stats wrong).… ...
    7 hours ago
  • the stone in Winston
    The Greens made a good choice in not standing a candidate in the Northland by-election but the win from Winston and NZF is not good news for them.I like the Green Party and I'd be happy if they were dominant… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Secret squirrel
    The New Zealand Herald reports: Labour has attacked the degree of secrecy about the preparation of a New Zealand troop deployment to Iraq. The ABC in Australia revealed yesterday that New Zealand troops had begun training with the Australian Defence… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    8 hours ago
  • A victory on freshwater
    Fresh water quality is one of the big environmental battlegrounds in New Zealand, with the government hellbent on destroying it for the profit of its cronies in the dairy sector, while the public understandably wants rivers which are safe to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    8 hours ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day. And the big question is what will the parties do in expectation of the shift in the balance of power when the Northland by-election results are finalised? Will they filibuster to prevent ballots or preserve… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    9 hours ago
  • Midweek lunch break
    Sit back and relax to these soothing, beautiful Wrestlemania 31 gifs. Best. Entrance. Ever. Dean. Fucking. Ambrose. Ronda. Fucking. Rousey. Super. Ladder. Plex. RKO. Outta. Nowhere. ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    9 hours ago
  • No spy, no fly
    A really disturbing report out of the US: The United States Justice Department has moved to dismiss a lawsuit in which American Muslims allege that that twenty-five law enforcement officials, particularly FBI agents, had them placed on the No Fly… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    9 hours ago
  • Will the Govt’s new HomeStarter scheme make it easier to buy a house?
    The Government is defending a new subsidy scheme for low and middle income couple who build a new home, but the Labour Party says it will add to the housing crisis. New Zealanders on the hunt for their first home… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Invercargill to become New Zealand’s Capital City
    At a specially called press conference this morning, Prime Minister John Key announced that Invercargill was to become New Zealand's new capital. The news was unexpected as there had been no awareness that moving the capital was even being considered.Key… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Not in my backyard!
    As we have written before on Transportblog, we think that choice in housing and transport markets is really important. In particular, Aucklanders need to be able to choose not to live in apartments. Therefore we must act now to ban… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    10 hours ago
  • The Nashing Of Labour’s Teeth: Why Being Green Ain’t Getting An...
    Red In Tooth And Claw: Stuart Nash, winner of the provincial seat of Napier, clearly intends to build Labour's vote by savaging the Greens. IF THE GREENS want a glimpse of their future with Labour, then they should listen to… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Hard News: The other kind of phone tapping
    When I was a lad, we didn't have your fancy smartphones. We didn't have mobile phones at all, which meant there was much greater need for public payphones and they were consequently more numerous. The funny thing was, there was… ...
    11 hours ago
  • The Age of Sustainable Development
    It is profoundly depressing to hear pundits and politicians talking about the prospects for economic growth with no reference to either equity or environmental constraints. In the case of New Zealand a “rock star” economy can apparently develop accompanied by… ...
    Hot TopicBy Bryan Walker
    11 hours ago
  • Asbestos needs a ban and a plan – petition presented
    Workers have today presented a petition signed by over a thousand New Zealanders calling on the Government to ban the importation of asbestos and develop a comprehensive plan for the removal of all existing asbestos in New Zealand.  Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    11 hours ago
  • Genius from google
    PacMan on google maps. I'm guessing for today only. Complete genius. Sweet! Just click on the PacMan logo on the bottom left and you're off. The Courtenay Place end of Wellington is easier to play than the Parliament end.… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    11 hours ago
  • Hard News: The GCSB and the consequences of mass surveillance
    Fewer whistleblowers, more corruption, less stability.That's the assessment of longtime Pacific journalist Jason Brown of the impact of the revelation that the GCSB has been conducting "full take" collection of communications in Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands and other Pacific nations… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Paid Parental leave increases – but more work needed
    Workers are pleased that, from today, paid parental leave increases from 14 to 16 weeks, but unfortunately New Zealand is still well behind the support that other countries offer to new parents, the Council of Trade Unions said. Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy Huia.Welton
    12 hours ago
  • QOTD: snark vs smarm
    From the epic On Smarm by Tom Scocca at Gawker: Snark is often conflated with cynicism, which is a troublesome misreading. Snark may speak in cynical terms about a cynical world, but it is not cynicism itself. It is a theory of… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    12 hours ago
  • Birkenhead Transport orders triple-articulated double decker bus
    Birkenhead Transport announced today that it is planning replace its entire fleet with a single triple-articulated double decker bus. The bus is 57m long and over 4m tall. The Walfisch 57 double decker triple-bendy bus. Owner, managing director and part… ...
    12 hours ago
  • The X Factor NZ: That summer feeling
    Improvements have been made, true contenders are emerging and Dominic Bowden only grows in power.   X Factor NZ judges Shelton Woolwright, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Stan Walker and Melanie Blatt. Photo: The X Factor NZ A good X… ...
    12 hours ago
  • MPs back animal testing ban
    From left, owner of Crumpet the Rabbit Greta-Mae McDowell, Green Party MP Mojo Mathers and #BeCrueltyFree campaigner Tara Jackson. MPs have unanimously supported a ban on animal testing in New Zealand for finished cosmetic products and their… ...
    13 hours ago
  • The other missing mode
    Here at TransportBlog, we often write about “missing modes“. Auckland is shamefully underprovided with alternatives to driving, and that’s the situation that led to us developing the Congestion Free Network. The CFN calls for investment in rail, bus and potentially… ...
    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    14 hours ago
  • Why are young people in Europe joining jihadist groups?
    by Kenan Malik First it was Shamima Begum, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana, three schoolgirls from Tower Hamlets who smuggled themselves to Syria during their half term holiday. Then it was ‘Jihadi John’, the IS executioner who was unmasked by… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    21 hours ago
  • Sea Level Rise is Spiking Sharply
    Global sea level is rising because of warming from the industrial greenhouse gas emissions we humans keep pumping into the atmosphere. The expansion of seawater as it warms, and the addition of meltwater from disintegrating land-based ice, enforce a relentless rise… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the inadequate response to sexual violence prevention
    On combatting sexual violence, the government has finally begun to undo some of the problems that were of its own making. Early in March, ACC launched the Integrated Services for Sensitive Claims scheme – a package aimed at improving the… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Judgment day for Planet Key (the song, that is)
    From Darren Watson's website:News@ 30 March, 2015read more ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    24 hours ago

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  • Many regions need by-election levels of support
    Northland is not the only region struggling under the National Government, but unfortunately places like Gisborne, Whanganui and Tasman do not have by-elections on the horizon, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “A desperate National Party has thrown money… ...
    6 hours ago
  • Real changes must come from CYF review
    A well-overdue revamp of Child, Youth and Family cannot be just another cost cutting exercise, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour has been pushing for a review for some time. It was part of our policy at the election. ...
    6 hours ago
  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    1 day ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    1 day ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    1 day ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    5 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    6 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    6 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    6 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    6 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    1 week ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

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