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National’s exports – how to lose value and jobs

Written By: - Date published: 10:54 am, April 30th, 2014 - 77 comments
Categories: Economy, exports, farming, jobs, manufacturing, national, same old national - Tags: ,

It is always interesting reading David Farrar’s pitifully shallow analysis on most things as he parrots the National spin line. It is an exercise in how to spin the bad into a virtue. However Farrar did reach a new low when looking at our exports yesterday because he trumpeted the very flaw in our economy as being of value. As usual his analysis was a shallow as the press release from Statistics..

Look more closely and manufacturing is continuing its downward spiral, overall manufacturing is down 3.3% by value for the March year. Dairy exports are up massively. The problem is that dairy exports provide us with minimal jobs directly and indirectly and manufacturing provides a lot of jobs directly and indirectly. The nett effect is that we have a economy that is continuing to be completely moribund because people aren’t earning and there are few wage increases.

If you look more closely at the Table 10 in the Stats department Overseas Merchandise Trade that the press release came from this gives the gross figures on the international code basis. I’ve extracted from that table to give a better idea of what is growing and falling.

Exports and imports by Standard International Trade Classification. March results for 2014 are provisional.

Exports (fob)
 Type  March 2013($million)  March 2014 ($million) Month%change Quarter %change  Year %change
Food and live animals 2,286 2,866 25.4 28.1 16.0
Beverages and tobacco 124 159 27.9 19.3 7.0
Crude materials (inedible, except fuels) 584 617 5.6 9.6 14.1
Mineral fuels (lubricants and related materials) 167 143 -14.1 -12.5 -19.0
Animal and vegetable oils (fats and waxes) 37 27 -27.2 1.0 -18.9
Chemicals and related products 206 219 6.7 11.2 -0.4
Manufactured goods (classified chiefly by material) 378 316 -16.5 -6.1 -3.1
Machinery and transport equipment 317 330 4.3 0.2 -9.3
Miscellaneous manufactured articles 161 181 12.2 7.3 3.7
Other 147 221 49.6 9.6 4.1
           
Total:  4,408 5,079 15.2 17.4 8.5
           
Total manufactures: 1,062 1,046 -1.5 1.6 -3.3

 

So even after we look at the massive gains in dairy exports, the gains almost entirely from milk powder sold to China, we had a nett gain of 8.2% over the year in exports. However it was almost entirely in extracting resources, doing minimal processing on them, and shipping them off to other countries to add value. There are few jobs in doing that.

Anything that uses our local skills is falling because this government doesn’t give a damn about it. Instead of concentrating on things that will make all of us wealthy, they’re concentrating on the things that make themselves wealthy. Selling raw commodities offshore and having cheap imports. That is a get rich quick for a few strategy.

We have had these booms in raw and near raw commodities before. They always turn to a big bust when the prices plummet. Whatever jobs that they create disappear and the nett effect afterwards is that the country is worse off. But National’s MPs really don’t care. So many of them either own dairy land or have their noses stuffed into the trough of dairy companies that they really couldn’t give a damn about other kiwis or even their own kids. They’re just making money while the pigs trough is full.

 

National has had more than five years to show that they really aren’t interested in jobs in the economy. It shows in the export statistics that they really don’t care. They’re just after what makes them wealthy and to the hell with everyone else.

77 comments on “National’s exports – how to lose value and jobs”

  1. srylands 1

    The entire premise of this article is wrong. In a developed country we would expect to see a relative decline in manufacturing. That is a GOOD and expected trend if we want to become prosperous. It has happened all over the OECD. It has happened in Australia, which despite the recent downturn is arguably the richest country in the world. The only mistake Australian governments made was to fight the trend.

    The attached paper sets out the issues well.

    http://www.pc.gov.au/research/commission/manufacturing/keypoints

    So in summary, you are dead wrong, on the wrong side of history, and totally muddled in your thinking.

    • lprent 1.1

      sigh Perhaps you could learn to read your own links rather than being a mindless cut’n’paste drone. Reading my post would be useful as well.

      The key words were “exports” and “value” not just “manufacturing”. I focused on manufacturing because in NZ that is where the jobs come from directly and indirectly.

      But lets have a look at your link.

      The fastest growing activities have been those with links to Australia’s natural endowments and products that are more differentiated, with higher skill levels and R&D intensities.

      Manufacturing is increasingly globally oriented:

      exports increased from just over 15 per cent of manufacturing output in 1989-90 to around 24 per cent in 1999-2000, with import shares also rising.

      In contrast to the output story, manufacturing employment has declined somewhat both in relative and absolute terms over the long term, although stabilising since the early 1990s.

      In Australia as has happened here, manufacturing switched from being largely focused on the internal market and is increasingly focused on the world markets. There are two strands to it. One is adding extra processing to locally sourced raw materials, and the other is adding local intelligence and skills to products.

      If you dug around further into the NZ and Australian markets over the past decades, you’d have also found that many of the service industries with their large numbers of jobs are growing because they are supplying buy-in skills for the design and distribution sides of manufacturing. As your linked report states

      some service activities once categorised as part of manufacturing have been outsourced, though this effect is relatively modest;

      This is part of the slow disintegration of vertical integration manufacturing. But in the R&D based industries it is an especially significiant contributor to job creation.

      Problem is that in NZ over the last 5 years, the government has neither been focusing on adding value to our raw materials nor has it been supporting the growth of new export industries. So we have a job growth that is less than the growth of population, a ever increasing household underemployment, and the growth of a minimal processing of raw materials (ie milk powder) as our only major growth industry.

      BTW: Perhaps you could learn to think before wasting my time explaining the basis of your own links to you.

    • Colonial Viper 1.2

      Hey Shitlands.

      Of course the 0.1% become richer when manufacturing is outsourced to China, Bangladesh and Vietnam. Wages in those countries are so low compared to ours, and the 0.l% scoop up the difference and pocket it for themselves.

      It’s called wage arbitrage.

      Of course, the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs decimates the NZ working class and eventually the rot reaches the middle class as well (USA and UK being prime examples).

      But I wouldn’t expect a foreigner like you to give a damn.

      • srylands 1.2.1

        Stop being so rude.

        It is good that manufacturing is outsourced to Bangladesh.

        Unlike you I promote policies that are in the interests of all New Zealanders. I want a modern economy. Not an agrarian green economy with a few alternative medicine providers and basket weavers. Parasites in other words.

        Get real. And I repeat – stop being such a rude bastard.

        I have no idea what the “foreigner” thing is about.

        • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1

          Rude lol, you don’t deserve anything else Shitlands.

          Why don’t you leave the political economics of NZers to NZers you paid foreign hack.

          It is good that manufacturing is outsourced to Bangladesh.

          Yep it’s good for the 0.1% who then pick up the wage difference that NZ workers lose, and then pocket it for themselves. It’s called wage arbitrage, Shitlands.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.2

          Unlike you I promote policies that are in the interests of all New Zealanders.

          No you don’t, you promote policies that are good for the 0.1%.

          You really haven’t been keeping up with the research that’s been coming out lately have you? You know, all the research that proves you completely, totally and utterly wrong.

        • felix 1.2.1.3

          The “foreigner” thing is about this being a NZ blog and you having never been here.

    • Naki Man 1.3

      “The problem is that dairy exports provide us with minimal jobs directly and indirectly”

      There are approximately 17,000 employees working for Fonterra, the average factory employee
      salary is about $80,000 per annum. Fonterra contributes about $20 billion to the economy per annum.

      • Tracey 1.3.1

        what is the median salary naki man?

        given how well fonterra is doing, is anyone on the minimum wage.

        tia

      • Molly 1.3.2

        … and the tax given to government by each farmer… apparently $1506 in 2011.

        A mere drop in the bucket to help offset the cost of dairying to our waterways I would think.

        And before you state that Fonterra pays a lot in company taxes, they have rebates and other methods of reducing net profit earnings.

        I have no doubt that there are farmers out there who love the land, the water and try to farm responsibly. Unfortunately, when Fonterra was created their autonomy was lost, and their values and decision making no longer provide the local restraints on water protection and conservation that otherwise might have prevailed.

    • miravox 1.4

      ” In a developed country we would expect to see a relative decline in manufacturing. “

      Tell that to Germany, if you like

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel was once asked by then-British prime minister Tony Blair what the secret of her country’s impressive success was. She famously replied, “Mr Blair, we still make things.” In Germany, manufacturing still dominates finance, not the other way around, as Germany has continued to emphasize manufacturing and exports over the financial industry.

      [my bold]

  2. greywarbler 2

    Meanwhile back in the process, a little barrier to progress. A double rainbow – what can it mean?? A double whammy to our direy industry. This from Radionz News.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/242869/new-rules-threaten-formula-exporters

    Perhaps someone wiser than me can explain what this new Chinese requirement means? Perhaps they noticed, after the botulism scare that firms and entities like Fonterra can lose track of what their distant sub-companies are doing and want to get better oversight and less trouser-sitting, meeting and conferring and finger-tapping skills displayed in the management of the produce.

    Synlait presumably has good direct lines between NZ production and Chinese retail.

    New Zealand’s infant formula manufacturers could be stopped from sending fresh product to the Chinese market from Thursday and the Government doesn’t know how long that could continue.
    All companies wanting to export formula produced from 1 May will need to be registered with authorities in China and some manufacturers warn the process could take months.
    Roger Smith of the Ministry for Primary Industries said one of the new rules was that brands and manufacturers must be closely associated…..

    Mr Smith said the situation is the same for every country exporting to China. “Everybody’s working through the same process,” he said….

    The Labour Party says the Government needs to demand answers from China on how New Zealand manufacturers can get approval to export infant formula there.

    (From Synlait with large Chinese ownership.)
    A large manufacturer, Canterbury-based dairy company Synlait Milk, said it needed to make some minor changes to its processes, that could take two to three months, to regain export approval for product manufactured after 1 May.

    However managing director John Penno said it would not be too disruptive long term. “China is an important market – it’s the biggest infant formula market in the world and we’ve been able to position the business for these changes.”

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      I’m pretty sure that Chinese owned Synlait will have a smooth and expedited approval process.

  3. Wayne 3

    Iprent,

    I assume from this that the manufactures are defined to be essentially machines, tools and other metallic and plastic elaborating transformed manufactures.

    Therefore this definition does not include any food or beverage items, no matter how transformed they are. For instance there is a big difference between a meat cut, which is essentially not modified from the animal as it was killed in the freezing works, and an expensive bottle of wine or a packaged and processed food item. In the latter case there has been quite a degree of transformation. In short our food exports are progressively moving up the value chain. They require more staff and factories, which at least in part will explain the increased workforce in this area.

    I also note your list does not include export of services, including IT. I understand that this sector continues to make gains.

    These figures might therefore primarily suggest where our competitive advantage lies. And thus a shift in the economy to these sectors.

    You will be well aware of Sir Paul Callaghan’s work which showed the dairy sector in all its aspects had virtually the highest revenue per person working in it.

    • McFlock 3.1

      there is a big difference between a meat cut,[…] and an expensive bottle of wine

      I am sceptical of your suggestion that a winery employs more people than a meatworks for a given export dollar value. Expensive wine might take a bit of craftwork, but most wine is basically similar to milk processing – maybe even less.

      • cricklewood 3.1.1

        There is a lot of low value labour in vineyards picking and pruning etc so man hours wise it is possible certainly way more labour intensive than milk…

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          And those damn meatworkers are all unionised! We actually have to pay them properly, unlike the cheap compliant immigrant labour in vineyards!

        • McFlock 3.1.1.2

          like apples, then

        • Naturesong 3.1.1.3

          This.

          If you’re around Marlborough, Gisbourne, Nelson, or any other area known for wine making, go and talk to the folks that prune and pick and clean and bottle.
          The ones that ensure that the vines and grapes are top notch so the wine maker can do their magic.

          I’ve known a couple of people who have done this work. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
          It’s hard, hard work, tough on your body and tough on your mind.
          It’ll make you age quickly, and for that you get minimum wage, you’ll be casual, no holidays and be living day to day.
          And you’ll be out in all weather, day in, day out.

    • greywarbler 3.2

      These figures might therefore primarily suggest where our competitive advantage lies. And thus a shift in the economy to these sectors….

      You will be well aware of Sir Paul Callaghan’s work which showed the dairy sector in all its aspects had virtually the highest revenue per person working in it.

      I question that those employed in dairying are very well off from wages. There are some and then there are the larger group of others, working long hours without much return per hour.

      Dairy should not be our main event full stop. The economy being wrapped around this industry is ignoring the rest of the country and those who aren’t and shouldn’t be part of this sector-heavy investment. Just think, while the athletes in the Olympic games compete in the events that suit their competitive advantage, the rest of the country goes about its business. Some people are involved in running the Games and catering for its needs, the others have other ongoing jobs and business.

      This excerpt from the headings page on google explains in business terms how we in NZ are making a mistake in concentrating mainly on dairy business. This comes from business – so why do our smart government business operators not follow their own best practice? They should just take up this excellent advice available to even the meanest intellect – on google.
      Simulator How-To Guide: Diversified Portfolio | Investopedia
      http://www.investopedia.com/university/simulator/diversified-portfolio.asp‎
      Simply put, it is foolish to invest all your money in one investment. … nature of diversification, which is actually more common sense than you might expect. … do need to purchase at least 8 more stocks, around one from the remaining 8 sectors.

      • greywarbler 3.2.1

        The idea that our competitive advantage is with IT and elaborately changed food processes sounds good but? Food would require factory workers, infrastructure etc. I think of Hubbard muesli – a success. Yet our big customer has been Australia and for food, over there it is dominated by oppressive supermarkets. To produce any new item and sell it successfully for a length of time is difficult because of price gouging by them from suppliers. If popular, soon the supers muscle in and take it over with their brand name.

        IT – there are a lot of positions filled by overseas people. Here it could be that the firms these days have a lack of commitment to training people and want someone who has had good experience from somewhere else, they want to get the fruit ripe off the tree, not climate control it till it’s sweet. We hear all the time that employers can’t get the right people. They should look at themselves and their narrow little minds, probably most operating on rote rules and fitting the Peter Principle. Shades of the Office.

        And they have to fight over IT jobs that often are impossible to fulfil within the time specified and encompassing the add-ons that dreamers from the employing firm or department include. Often they will be beyond the capacity of the program machine that is being designed. we have all heard about massive fails. Police INCIS, Novopay, hospital ones, today a report that a Justice Department employee is blaming the Judges themselves. I don’t have confidence in the capacity of IT firms in NZ to be a big sector offering large employment opportunities and long career paths. lprent could shed light on this.

        But past competitive advantage came from developing our own industries here, then exporting good established products. We had a deep bank of jobs and business providing a vibrant economy, now we have a few remaining like the rare bits of native bush in the countryside which have to be nurtured to ensure that they can hold out against the predators from overseas.

        We must buy local, we must have work here, done as efficiently as possible but allowed to make a profit by protective tariffs set at a reasonable level. Lots of other countries do, and we trade with many of them. We should not just be buyers of remaindered goods from vast factories, buyers of the marginal product of volume producers overseas. We are becoming a nation that goes for cheapness all the time, and it produces the second half of the saying, the nasty results that we can see all around us.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1

          I don’t have confidence in the capacity of IT firms in NZ to be a big sector offering large employment opportunities and long career paths. lprent could shed light on this.

          You should do because we’re actually very good at it. The failures you here about are just part of the overall industry and in many cases, like in the case of Novopay, done overseas because the government department pretty much ignored the NZ talent.

        • lprent 3.2.1.2

          IT – there are a lot of positions filled by overseas people. Here it could be that the firms these days have a lack of commitment to training people and want someone who has had good experience from somewhere else, they want to get the fruit ripe off the tree, not climate control it till it’s sweet.

          What you are describing is what happens in the small to medium export enterprises in startup or near startup phase. Larger companies are much more likely to take on apprentice level people straight out of academic or vocational training.

          But you are mistaking where the bottleneck usually is. Companies would probably like to train more people. It is the experienced people who could train them that don’t want to.

          It takes at least a year before most inexperienced people in IT stop requiring a having someone more experienced hand (and expensive) holding them. They irritate the hell out of their mentors with the questions that they ask, and if they don’t ask those questions then they take forever to be useful.

          I’ve trained quite a lot of “apprentice” IT over time because we used to get them out of the end of university courses. I can testify that training anyone while you are trying to code is like being pestered by a small child while you are trying play high level chess. It doesn’t work well. The productivity drop is immense and without the brain chemistry changes that parents get, after a while you want to take another job to get away from the pests.

          That makes it a hell of a large investment for any company and tends to drive people like me spare.

          The usual problem in most companies is that they don’t have enough experienced people willing to put up with hand-holding the novices, so they’re very picky about who they inflict on those who are willing to “mentor”.

          Incidentally, that is why in IT ads these days for both experienced and junior people the word “mentor” features so highly.

          I don’t have confidence in the capacity of IT firms in NZ to be a big sector offering large employment opportunities and long career paths. lprent could shed light on this.

          You are confusing the suppliers of local IT with those providing export based IT. Just to give you a hint on how separated those two industries are, the last time I worked for someone providing for the local industry was 1995. Most people I know work for one or the other of those two industries, but the seldom travel back and forth between them.

          Almost all of the big failures you are talking about are in local IT the government/corporate area and mostly where an overseas supplier has tried to develop something unique for NZ or adapt an overseas package. More often than not the actual issue has been with the client being incapable of knowing what they are asking for (the INCIS project being a prime example) and changing their mind in a way that prevents projects going to fruition.

          But I personally suspect that the government and its subsidiaries would be a hell of lot better off if they started using local suppliers. Problem is as the old saying goes from the heyday of big iron IT – “You don’t get fired for using IBM”

          • greywarbler 3.2.1.2.1

            @lprent
            Builders hate clients who accept a quote and then want to make this and that change of a window or door added, perhaps a serving hatch! I guess that IT designers feel the same. But the person at the business end who screws up the program generally seems to find a soft landing.

            These days IT designers may have to accustom themselves to working with others overseas such as in China, perhaps both working on different parts of the same program.

            How could new chums get more experience? Perhaps there is money in a NZ company designing a programming simulator teaching them how to fly a new program and test it well so the bugs show up.

            • Tracey 3.2.1.2.1.1

              builders also hate writing out exclusions… and those that do hate explaining them.

              • dave

                changes =more money that part they dont understand only when its time to pay !

            • lprent 3.2.1.2.1.2

              How could new chums get more experience? Perhaps there is money in a NZ company designing a programming simulator teaching them how to fly a new program and test it well so the bugs show up.

              I reckon that my usual learning curve per year is in the order of 20-30% per year. That is how much time you have to dedicate to staying close to the top of the game. I’ve also built a lot of training simulations mostly for management training. I think that a simulator to teach people to code has a very short lifespan. But you could find them on the net.

              Problem is that mostly what you have to teach is not the mechanics, but is the attitude towards how to approach problems.

              These days IT designers may have to accustom themselves to working with others overseas such as in China, perhaps both working on different parts of the same program.

              Outsourcing is fine for corporate programs where the solution space is known. But in our export industries that is seldom the case.

              In those you are almost by definition working in areas where there is no good definition of solutions to problems. The advantage that we have here is that where somewhere in the US or the UK will require a team of a hundred employees to do something, we will do it with a handful.

              Working remotely is something that gets done everywhere in IT to one degree or another. I spent 7 years coding (and training people) remotely from home back in the 90s and early 00s. Source control systems and remote access makes that kind of thing trivial to do.

              The real problem is when you’re bouncing ideas around to figure out solutions to unsolved issues. Then you need a whiteboard and a huddle.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.2

        I question that those employed in dairying are very well off from wages.

        He said highest revenue not highest wages. Big difference.

        And IIRC, it was actually the tech sector that returned the highest revenue and wages per person.

        EDIT:
        Found it
        It appears that Fonterra does have the highest revenue per employee but the high tech sector has more potential.

        • lprent 3.2.2.1

          I can’t find it, but there was this interesting comparison I read a year or so ago about capital investment on tech vs farming.

          If you go profit or revenue/capital for a rate of return rather than profit or revenue/wages then dairy looks rather sick. The problem of course is the extremely high (and ever rising) cost of the land sucking up vast amounts of capital.

          The difference of course is to do with risk. However when you consider that we’re looking at a largely commodity industry in dairy, completely exposed to world prices and demand, and to a large extent in a fashion area like milk powder – the risks in sinking the amount of money that NZ has into dairying is pretty damn risky.

    • lprent 3.3

      Therefore this definition does not include any food or beverage items, no matter how transformed they are.

      It’d be nice if that was in fact the case. That would be adding value to the local raw materials.

      I used table 10 because it was a summary easy to put on to a post page.

      But look at the more detailed table 2 in the spread sheet. The effect you are describing isn’t really noticeable

      For instance in the two examples you used, the exports of

      • Beverages, spirits, and vinegar *declined* by 8.8% over the year and was only $20 million anyway
      • Miscellaneous edible preparations where a lot of processed meats live *declined* by -5.3 and was only $64 million
      • Other animal originated products *declined* by -2.0% to $55 million

      There are a number of different categories where processed foods live in. But if you look closely at them the smaller ones by value the overall trends are downward or static over time. It is certainly bloody hard to point to any actual instances of extra value being exported in quantity.

      In any case they are dwarfed by these two largely unprocessed or minimal processing categories that are the export sectors that are actually increasing.

      • Milk powder, butter, and cheese *increased* by 30.5% to $1,527 million – it is now about 30% of the exports of this country
      • Logs, wood, and wood articles increased by 23.6% to $385 million

      You will be well aware of Sir Paul Callaghan’s work which showed the dairy sector in all its aspects had virtually the highest revenue per person working in it.

      Sure but productivity is almost irrelevant when it isn’t jobs and wages and therefore doesn’t reflect well back into the economy. It just makes investors with dairy investments (including many National MP’s) richer.

      Just to give you an idea of the scale of jobs:- the last time that I looked, the direct jobs in the entire dairy industry were about 68 thousand including on the farms and in the processing plants. The number of jobs in the tech industries I work in were about the same but with a much lower capital and export value. But it also reflected far more money indirectly back into the economy.

      Try finding the productivity increases being reflected back into the wages of dairy processing workers for instance. They have been getting minimal increases even during this boom in their industry. Which is why the rural regions in this country are depopulating rapidly and their economies are near moribund even with a dairying boom going on around them.

      I also note your list does not include export of services, including IT. I understand that this sector continues to make gains.

      Sure. I work around that area. The problem there as I have pointed out before is that there are very few new businesses being formed. The growth we are getting now comes from businesses that were formed in the middle of last decade when there were flood of those types of businesses being set up. As the survivors move out of startup phase they expand into their overseas markets and grow.

      Problem is that there are virtually none of them being setup here now. The main reason for that is that almost all of the environmental and economic incentives put in by the Clark government to encourage the formation for IT and tech based businesses were dropped. They largely haven’t been replaced. The replacements that have been begrudgingly put in place are pretty useless. So those companies aren’t forming.

      To grow a sector like tech and IT you need to have a continuous replacement of smaller companies being formed because it is a world with an immense pressure in innovate and change. Even large companies will die in it. And in NZ of course we have the issue that eventually many of these companies will move/be sold offshore when they become mature and no longer need the innovation that we are good at producing.

      Essentially National is strip-mining the resource in a unsustainable way put in by previous governments for credit while not sustaining an industry that produces jobs rather than capital gains. Just as they usually do.

      The problem with relying entirely on the dairy and other raw material exports is that they do virtually nothing to much of the economy in terms of real job growth. This is directly reflected in the tax returns that are bedevilling this government’s ability to stop their rising debt levels.

      [lprent: Drat. Had to go into the database to set the correct comment I was replying to. ]

    • geoff 3.4

      You will be well aware of Sir Paul Callaghan’s work which showed the dairy sector in all its aspects had virtually the highest revenue per person working in it.

      Is that some kind of average? Link? Because the latest news regarding employment in the dairying sector doesn’t gel with the rosy picture you are painting, Wayne.

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/rural/242872/farmers-told-to-keep-up-paperwork

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/rural/242777/dairy-farmers-breach-labour-laws

      • Colonial Viper 3.4.1

        Wayne is obfuscating.

        From memory, although revenue per person from dairy is reasonable (and ignoring that farm workers get a tiny share of that revenue), it is still significantly under what serious advanced countries get from industries like biotech and pharmaceuticals, electronics, and software.

        Wayne is basically saying that dairying does better in this one measure than say fishing or forestry. Whoop dee doo.

        • Colonial Viper 3.4.1.1

          So let’s refer to Prof Callaghan’s presentation directly

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhCAyIllnXY

          At 6:10 it is clear that our GDP per capita is total shite compared to Australia. (NB China is no longer going to be Australia’s economic growth magic charm for the next decade, so Australia is fucked).

          At 7:20 it is clear that NZ is the second hardest working OECD country by labour hours, but the value of our output per hour is total shite.

          At 9:10 you can see that Fonterra has a high level of revenue per employee – but of course Fonterra relies on the production of a hell of a lot of farmworkers who are not their employees, and they ain’t counted.

          Then at 9:20 it becomes clear where Fonterra’s stats of $350K per employee actually stand. Apple produces $1300K per employee. Nokia $1100K per employee. Sony $646K per employee.

          At 9:50 it is clear that NZ’s biggest export earner is manufacturing. Not dairy, not tourism. Yet we continuously treat our manufacturing sector with such disdain. (Fuck that Shitlands character).

          At 13:10 it becomes clear that the things NZ are good at exporting are things people do not expect. Frequency oscillators, radios, payroll software etc. And politicians are shite because like Wayne they like to oversimplify things down into meaninglessness, or worse, sheer disinformation.

          Our top 10 high tech companies have $3.9B in revenues. Fonterra is pretty average in this crowd.

          One of Prof Callaghan’s last points – NZ needs to be the country where great, motivated, talented people want to live and want to enjoy their lives and raise their families.

          Not a dug up mined out hole overflowing with cow shit.

          • Wayne 3.4.1.1.1

            CV,

            Broadly I agree with Sir Paul. His book from memory covered all the people in the dairy industry, not just those directly employed by Fonterra. Yes, I have noted the point about low paid farm workers as raised by Josie Pagani yesterday. But I know this since my brother in law actually is an employee on a large dairy farm.

            I consulted Sir Paul a lot, along with Neville Jordan, when I was Minister of Science and Innovation. On of the initiatives that I introduced was a big increase in grant money for those firms who had the highest levels of innovation in manufacturing and IT. Companies like Tait Electronics, Gallaghers, F & P Healthcare, Weta Digital, Pacific Aerospace, Orion, etc.

            This is now the Growth Grant, which is 20% of R & D expenditure with a grant value up to $5 million per year. New Zealand needs 30 more companies like these, but it is a hard business growing them, as in fact Iprent can testify.

            • lprent 3.4.1.1.1.1

              I try pretty hard not to get involved in growing them directly. I write code to solve awkward and hard problems because that is what I like doing.

              But I got into coding to get out of management because managing other people is a damn sight less fun than building things yourself.

              This is now the Growth Grant, which is 20% of R & D expenditure with a grant value up to $5 million per year. New Zealand needs 30 more companies like these, but it is a hard business growing them, as in fact Iprent can testify.

              The problem is that with technological and market attrition you need to keep creating 30 companies with a year with only a few employees and a dream to maintain having 30 companies at that level. The effects of the changes in 2009/10 was to make it a damn sight harder to get the initial R&D and first test marketing offshore done. The effect is that it makes fewer nascent companies to be created and more of them to fail early.

              Also an awful lot of the growth fund is tied up in funding graduate students often with some pretty dubious results in terms of getting anything to market for smaller companies. It is a good effort for larger firms where they need new ideas, but it is usually just a damn distraction for smaller firms who are mostly concerned with how to bring their idea to a marketable stage.

              • Wayne

                There are two main types of grants (1) project grants which are usually for smaller firms and (2) the growth grants which are for the larger, but highly innovative firms. The growth grants do not relate to any specific project. There is also much smaller grants for firms to employ graduate students.

                It is all set out on the Callaghan website. And Callaghan now has real momentum, after a bit of a rocky start. They are now fully staffed up in the grant part of the organisation, with some very bright and canny people. In fact I am sure quite a few of them will leave to head start ups. That will be healthy since there will need to be an active interchange of people between Callaghan, universities and private business.

                The growth grants are a high trust model and have relatively low compliance checking once a firm has qualified for the grant. If a company has a high level of innovation, a growth grant to boost innovation is likely to lead to more innovation because that is the culture of the firm.

                A firm qualifies for growth grants if they have a track record for innovation and typically have more than $20 million annual revenue.

                It was considered that backing these firms would produce greater growth than concentrating all the innovation money on start ups and smaller firms. But it is a question of balance.

                My prediction for government election policy. Currently the grants administered by Callaghan Innovation stands at $140 million per year. I reckon this will grow to $250 million per anum over next three years. This is not based on any inside knowledge, just my perception of what will happen.

                • Ad

                  Great to see a former Minister mixing it here.

                  I was at MoRST when we were developing the Fast Forward Fund.

                  Have you or Labour policy people started considering alternatives to this fund that would generate a deep and enduring compact between the pastoral industries (but especially dairy) and the Crown eg with the CRI’s?

                  I have never really forgiven National for axeing my project; I wanted some measure and discipline to the state and the dairy industry become basically an uneven binary system. The growing proportion of dairy in export receipts was even in the last years of Clark’s government quite amazing to track. I recall one analyst referring to the New Zealand economy in 2008 as “a dairy play.”

                • lprent

                  It was considered that backing these firms would produce greater growth than concentrating all the innovation money on start ups and smaller firms. But it is a question of balance.

                  That is going to be an interesting question isn’t it. Will those types of firms take up growth grants or will they simply sell ownership stakes in the markets that they want to penetrate into. Usually the latter is what usually happens. It allows startup investors to get out with cash in hand before their holdings get diluted by demands for expansion money. It allows the companies to get into markets where they can get real finance to expand with. A lot of the time they descale locally after that.

                  I don’t think that having a bit of R&D money available here will break that pattern (R&D tax credits might). Just trying to explain a business targeting micro-niche markets to people from outside of those markets is bad enough. The reality is that it doesn’t matter how smart they are and much they research it, the eventual decision is made mostly on a gut feel and a one way bet on the people. It gets even worse when you get to trying to explain how the technical aspects of the design operate and integrate.

                  However I can tell that with the gutting of MFAT’s trade side supporting first steps outside the country and effectively excluding most startups until after they have a track record of sales slowed and in my opinion largely stopped the formation of smaller companies after 2008.

                  They’re starting up again these days, but mostly with overseas investment (and often these days with net campaigns for investment) and frequently moving overseas at the onset. There is literally nothing to make them want to startup here.

                  They are now fully staffed up in the grant part of the organisation, with some very bright and canny people. In fact I am sure quite a few of them will leave to head start ups.

                  That wouldn’t surprise me. However the track record of aid ‘insiders’ in doing tech startups is (to put it mildly) piss-poor. I’ve avoided them for quite a few years. They tend to spend their time on getting aid rather than getting sustainable product and markets.

          • greywarbler 3.4.1.1.2

            Yes CV I have started reading up about Norway, etc. Sweden as someone the other day noted, has had a RW govt and is getting prepared to extract defeat from the jaws of victory or something. I don’t think that the World Health Org has caught up with the TINA disease but it sounds as if Sweden has got this debilitating fever. Instead of bringing down the top tax from over 90% to say 60% and striking a ‘Being fair’ pose, they seem to have started on the tinkering with the system approach.

            But generally I despair of down here. We’ve only got Australia near us, and with friends like them who needs enemies. The Asian people are perhaps more straightforward and understandable, once known. We are very isolated with throwbacks from early colonial days running the country in a similar fashion to 100 years ago. If we can’t break the cycle it will be necessary to seek virtuous circle clans working together in small communities as we would have to give up on the zombies.

    • Tracey 3.5

      interestingly agriculture is about 8% of gdp but banking and finance sector is 28%

      bother you at all?

      • Colonial Viper 3.5.1

        Banking and finance produce only intermediate goods, no final goods. And should be kept at around 10% of the economy, max.

        • Tracey 3.5.1.1

          yup.

          and is central to every economic collapse since 1980.

        • srylands 3.5.1.2

          That is crazy. The services sector, including finance, will continue to grow. In Australia the services share of the economy is over 75% of the economy, with the finance sector a major wealth generator. We can’t match that but we should expect to see the finance sector hit 40% of the economy. Manufacturing will continue to decline towards 10%, which we should applaud. Why the author of the post is worried about a decline in manufacturing I have no idea.

          This is a result of our international linkages which Phil Goff deserves a lot of credit for.

          There is no alternative to promoting policies that accelerate these trends.

          • Tracey 3.5.1.2.1

            god slylands. not the services sector. the finance and banking sector. try to follow the grown ups or go play outside.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.5.1.2.2

            Why the author of the post is worried about a decline in manufacturing I have no idea.

            I’d say it’s because, unlike you, he’s not fucking insane.

          • Colonial Viper 3.5.1.2.3

            There is no alternative to promoting policies that accelerate these trends.

            Cheap oil is going away Shitlands, and with it the global economy. Every kid in highschool today is going to see this occur before they hit middle age.

            So in terms of alternatives – yours doesn’t even register as sane and must be discounted.

          • ropata 3.5.1.2.4

            slyrandian has gone off the deep end this time.

            why the hell would we want foreign banks getting their greedy mitts on 40% of the economy?

            all banks and insurers ought to be nationalised, or at least reviewed every year by the commerce commission and the serious fraud office

            • Draco T Bastard 3.5.1.2.4.1

              Country only needs one bank and a state bank can out compete the private banks.

  4. blue leopard 4

    It seems to me sensible for us to diversify in how we, as a country, generate wealth.

    This seems especially important when we appear to depend on a sector that is polluting our environment – water supplies – when word gets out how filthy this country is becoming – we might just find any ‘competitive advantage’ in farming has withered to nothing.

    What a pity that Nats take such an unreasonable and frothing-at-the-mouth line toward the Greens; it seems to me that what the Greens promote would go a long way toward protecting the farming sector, for example, from the above disastrous outcome.

    Diversification also avoids monopolistic effects, which is when power gets concentrated and starts to sway the political agenda – like Amy Adams appears to have done with the RMA – having a few people having undue influence leading to them making arbitrary decisions on the entire country and leads to poorly thought out decisions – which can already be seen, in farming, to be threatening the very industry that the self-interested monopolistic elements in that sector are trying to profit from.

  5. geoff 5

    Nice analysis, lprent.
    According this: http://www.dcanz.com/about-nz-dairy-industry/dairying-today

    29% of our export dollars are from dairying. All entirely dependent on the milk solid commodity price?

    • lprent 5.1

      Pretty much. I’ll have to dig around. But last time I looked last year all of the other export products inside the dairy industry were largely static or tiny, and only milk powder was growing.

      • Ad 5.1.1

        If I squint hard and cross my fingers and toes I can imagine the dairy industry as a transition industry from a really low-value, low-productivity, low capital intensity, low-wage agrarian economy to a high value food specialist economy.

        The one big thing that holds it back in my view is Fonterra failing to live up to the reasons it was set up in the first place: to to add value to milk. Fonterra needs its original legislation reviewed – they have to be forced into higher value products. I know it’s taking the higher and harder and more risky route. farmers will otherwise realise too late they cannot remain addicted to the favours of a great dragon.

        • lprent 5.1.1.1

          That is definitely a problem. I haven’t looked recently at what else Fonterra have been producing. But looking at the numbers, the milk powder to China appears to drown out all other growth.

          Part of the problem is their governance. I really don’t detect much sign of thought. Just look at how late it was before they realised that dropping crap into their waterways that they depend on was not the way to build a sustainable industry. It is going to take decades at the best possible rate to clean up the damage they already caused to themselves.

          The other problem of course is that a base growth factor for Fonterra has been purely population growth, fading out in about 30 years. The other growth factor of markets growing into affluence like China is right now – but I can’t see that much opportunity for that to carry on without the environment fallout from using cheap fossil energy stifling that. Looks like the green movement in China is going to come from the more affluent who don’t want London smogs blighting their lives.

          Kind of an interesting example for other nations looking to grow fast. I’ve been catching up on The Economist back issues today as well.

          • Ad 5.1.1.1.1

            If only we could see Fonterra’s CE strategise beyond China – he is increasingly tempted to drive milk protein marketing through his drying plant Asset Management Plans, as if it were a bulk utility.

            It amazes me that Key doesn’t register that Fonterra executives are more powerful than most Ministers. In the midst of the botulism crisis we saw much of cabinet shown running around in full media scrutiny of most of China’s tv channels and many other global outlets. And failing. Would even a Foot and Mouth event require the Prime Minister to personally do an apology tour to China?

            Forcing diversification of Fonterra would decrease the massive exposure any future government has to dairy in particular to Fonterra.

            A start would be if the MPI Minister was required to be on the Board, and the Landcorp Chair were required to be on the Shareholders’ Council.

  6. “The problem is that dairy exports provide us with minimal jobs directly and indirectly and manufacturing provides a lot of jobs directly and indirectly.”

    vi) Number of Direct jobs in the Dairy Industry

    Over 26,000 people were employed as dairy farmers and dairy farm workers
    Over 11,000 people employed in New Zealand by Dairy Companies
    Over 37,000 direct jobs in the New Zealand Dairy Industry

    http://www.globaldairyalliance.org/english/2/newzealand/statistics.shtml

    That’s not minimal and that’s just directly.

    On top of that there’s major support industries with stock feed, irrigation, buildings, milking equipment, fertiliser, stock firms, vehicle supply and service, transport etc etc.

    Without the dairy industry a big chunk of New Zealand would become ghost towns and villages.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      That’s about 2% of workers and so, yeah, very minor.

      • Pete George 6.1.1

        Yeah, right. And it’s growing.

        The dairy sector is especially short of workers. It’s estimated that at least 2,000 more workers are needed every year to cater for growth in the sector.

        http://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/working-in-nz/great-job-opportunities/agriculture-forestry-jobs

        Multiply that for the service industries – in some areas of New Zealand a quarter of jobs are related to dairy. Try telling Waikato, Taranaki or Southland they’re ‘very minor’.

        • lprent 6.1.1.1

          See my comment in 6.3 about the effect of modern dairying on rural depopulation.

          Generally you’ll find farming areas with a mixed farming style like used to exist in the Canterbury and Southland plains supported a lot more people with work than dairying does.

          Older dairy areas like Waikato, the Thame plains and Taranaki have effectively managed to massively increase production without a corresponding increase in the number of people employed directly or indirectly. Much of the money from the increased production hasn’t been going into wages or even the farmers pockets. It has been going into interest payments and profits to investors

          This is what it means when people concentrate on productivity. You create deserts where the number of people diminishes and where the industry has less and less beneficial effects for the whole economy.

          • Pete George 6.1.1.1.1

            Rural depopulation occurred on a major scale long before dairy came to dominate.

            You need to also take into account a much more mobile workforce and industry. For example sheep and cattle farming used local trucking companies, dairy transport can be more factory based, they go and get the milk whereas other farms deliver with local transport.

            Has rural depopulation occurred significantly more this century? I’d have thought dairy would have intensified labour needs.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1.1.1.1

              “…thought…” – well there’s your problem. What goes on in your head is too distorted by self-regard and bias to be considered thinking.

            • lprent 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Has rural depopulation occurred significantly more this century? I’d have thought dairy would have intensified labour needs

              You’d have thought so yes. But only if they remained on the same kind of tech as they had previously. When I was milking back in the late 1970’s we had a large herd of about 280 cows with a couple of us milking and on the farm. As at 2011/12 it was nearly 400 cows as an average herd.

              Herd sizes

              They will still be doing that with just a couple of people.

              Depending on what was being farmed in a particular area before, you will usually find that the rural population will either remain static or decline after the dairy conversions are done. That is what we are seeing happen particularly in areas that converted from mixed farming to dairy. You will get increases in population in areas that have a conversion from hill sheep and beef to valley dairy using the hills as a runoff. But there aren’t that many of those.

          • Pete George 6.1.1.1.2

            Actually this is surprising:

            In 1881, the rural population of New Zealand numbered 291,237 (excluding Mäori). While the rural population had increased to 532,740 in 2001, it was 501,258 in 1916, so the population of rural areas has increased very little since the early twentieth century.

            Instead of depopulation there is probably a change in the location and composition of the rural population. Counties near urban areas, where, either coincidentally or not there are a number of small holdings, tend to have increasing populations.

            http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/people_and_communities/Geographic-areas/urban-rural-profile/historical-context.aspx

            That’s just up to 2001 but the rural population has changed rather than shrunk up to then.

            And this table seems to support static rather than depopulation since then (I only had a quick look).
            http://www.stats.govt.nz/~/media/Statistics/browse-categories/people-and-communities/geographic-areas/urban-rural-profile-update/people.xls

            • lprent 6.1.1.1.2.1

              As I said in another comment, it is variable what happens depending on what the existing tech was compared to the encroaching tech. You also have lag effects because of the retired and those who remain unemployed or under employed in an area.

              The most effective way to look is usually to look at the population in the 20-30 age band. When employment drops away, they are the “fast responders” who move away. Conversely they are the people who move into new demand areas.

              BTW: You’d need to look at the 2013 population statistics to see the changes from dairying. Most of the conversions happened after 2005 when the FTA talks with China were started. It’d been happening from the early 00’s but at a less marked rate than it achieved just before and after the time that the FTA with China was signed in April 2008.

              It was the FTA that really supercharged the international market for exported dairy products because we started sending a hell of a lot of product that way rather than into the previously rather moribund international trade.

            • Ad 6.1.1.1.2.2

              Almost all local authorities outside the cities are losing people. The stats professor at Waikato can give you chapter and verse on this. Local Government New Zealand will also fill you in.

              The dairy sector has been a major increase in capital intensity, and in productivity per hectare. And that’s excellent – a massive step up from low density and low capital farms from the days of Footrot Flats mythology.

              But it’s not enough. We’re not going to reach those high salary jobs when the farm staff are still largely on minimum wage or close to it. Any hick can hose down the shit.

              And any dumbass exec in a dairy company can keep treating dairy factories with the same value-add as a dam-based electricity generator does to storing water: it’s simply a bulk commodity being sold in units like electricity.

              We should expect more.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.2.3

              500,000 in 1916 – half of the population
              500,000 in 2001 – about an eighth of the population

              Looking at absolute numbers can give a dreadfully inaccurate picture.

        • lprent 6.1.1.2

          BTW: You should look at the numbers.

          Last year the dairy had at about a $500 million increase in revenue. But they only need about 2000 new workers? That means that every dairy worker generates something like $250,000 of export revenue annually. Needless to say this isn’t reflected in their wage packets as they are not exactly overpaid – which is the main reason they aren’t inundated with eager recruits.

          As I say, this is an industry that poses a problem for NZ. Especially since it is in a commodity market that is dominated more by fashion than need, it can easily lose it’s recent stellar export prices at any time.

          It is much the same issue that we had with the wool industry, the beef industry, the venison/velvet industry, the kiwifruit industry, etc etc.

          As far as I remember, none of those got anywhere near being 30% of our total exports by value. That is a ludicrously risky position for this country to be in.

          • Wayne 6.1.1.2.1

            “That means every dairy worker generates something like $250,000 of export revenue annually.”

            Well, that is exactly the case and was well illustrated by Paul Callaghan. It is why investment is flowing into diary production. It pays off, even if it is capital intensive.

            Sure, it feels like we are putting an awful lot of eggs into one basket, but my sense is that diary does not feel like other boom and bust agricultural businesses such as deer, kiwifriut, lamas and blue berries, et al.

            And I personally believe the environmental issues will be manageable as the industry expands, though it will take a lot more effort and leadership by Fonterra than they currently show.

            Diary products are much more ubiquitious in daily diets, and as Asia grows, demand will continue upward.

            After all diary has been the basis of much of New Zealand’s prosperity for 140 years, and for the vast majority of that time has been a very good bet for our country. It has dipped significantly only during the the late 1970’s and 1980’s when the UK joined the EU (and I guess in the 1930’s).

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.3

          Until we run out of land and considering the water shortages and general pollution of our waterways I’d say that we did that years ago. And no amount of increased intensification and productivity is going to substitute the needed resources to support more cows.

          From Callaghan that I linked to up thread:

          But looking at largely brain-based business, it does seem, overall, that high technology companies come out quite well. Indeed there are several companies, in the US
          especially, where $1 million US revenue per employee is not uncommon. Of course large revenue will be most interesting, from a wealth generation perspective, when it arises from the lowest raw materials input value, or supplier product input value (and least capital asset base). In this regard, Samsung, which makes its own chips and consumer electronic products, could be close to that ideal. The point is that Samsung produces about half New Zealand’s GDP with 123,000 employees. That’s a sobering thought.

          We could easily put 123,000 employees into high-tech and match that and yet there’s absolutely no way that farming will ever be able to do it. It would, though, need a lot of backing from government both in R&D (direct government through universities and other government research institutes and government funding of small private firms) and building fabrication plants. Basically, the same way that the US does it.

    • geoff 6.2

      @PG

      Did you not read Lynn’s comment above??
      http://thestandard.org.nz/nationals-exports-how-to-lose-value-and-jobs/#comment-806793

      he said…
      “Just to give you an idea of the scale of jobs:- the last time that I looked, the direct jobs in the entire dairy industry were about 68 thousand including on the farms and in the processing plants. The number of jobs in the tech industries I work in were about the same but with a much lower capital and export value. But it also reflected far more money indirectly back into the economy.”

    • lprent 6.3

      That’s not minimal and that’s just directly.

      You should probably read the sources in your links. Decade old sources are pretty useless.

      Information Source: Livestock Improvement Corporation “Dairy Statistics 2003-2004″.

      It is somewhat higher than total direct 37 thousand jobs now. As I said last time I looked it was about 68k

      On top of that there’s major support industries with stock feed, irrigation, buildings, milking equipment, fertiliser, stock firms, vehicle supply and service, transport etc etc.

      That is the interesting thing. Go and have a look at the population in areas like the Southland plains where there has been intense conversion to dairy over the past decade from a more mixed farming style. What you will find is a depopulation going on in the towns and even out in the farmland. Dairying on large farms is quite intensive and once it is past the conversion stage is intensely productive at a labour and supply chain level.

      They spend a lot on initial equipment but it doesn’t need much maintenance or replacement. They also don’t need as many people in the supply chain. Which is why intensive large scale dairy areas often look like people deserts

      So no, you are wrong on this as well.

  7. greywarbler 7

    Something that ‘someone’ here doesn’t get is that employment from dairying isn’t great. That’s on the one hand, but then on the other, if dairying started providing lots and lots of jobs in particular areas or all over the country, then that isn’t great either.

    Because we have become too ‘exposed’ to the one industry. If dairy is our main industry and anything goes wrong in it, here or in the world that buys our milk, then we are stuffed. We could then form a rabble and go round smashing everything down in anger which would be the type of thing we humans do. But that would be as foolish as putting all our economic eggs in one basket as the wiseguys and girls now are doing. Stop and think, look left and right, before taking any more steps forward you morons.

  8. Philj 8

    xox
    I remember reading “a hundred year ago ” reference in the newspaper and it was all about government and industry leaders talking about adding value to our commodities. Nothing really has changed in this
    respect. Maybe worse. Now we have legions of workers from the Pacific and Asia working on slave ships, vineyards, rest homes ,and increasingly plastering and painting houses in Auckland. Not so evident in Christchurch,yet.

  9. Steve Bradley 9

    Bang on regarding the politics of the ‘NZ dairy export economy’. Reminds me of the National party in government during the 1970’s when Holyoake and then Muldoon rode the sheep industry and its rural seats into the ground after Britain joined the Common Market rather than make necessary incremental changes to the benefit of all New Zealanders. That death grip ended with Rogernomics and Ruthanasia as workers, particularly Maori, were made to pay the costs. Their decendents fill today’s jails. Up to a point the dairy industry can be useful, but now its excessive growth is becoming an ecological disaster as well. Not only with continuing consumption and pollution of limited water resources. But also with the sheer waste of fossil fuels as we burn our precious natural gas supplies to evaporate water from milk. Perhaps some of it is justified in providing milk powder as an emergency food supply in case of natural disaster; but just to make money is an economic negative. Manufacturing (including agricultural processing) still occurs in New Zealand, but for a couple of decades it has been seen as less sexy than than other activities such as film making, IT, money massaging. These can all be positive too. But there is a growing realisation that manufacturing requires skilled operational staff, substantial research staff, and can make decent profits as goods are produced that people around the world actually need and are prepared to pay for. More analysis of the data will help a Labour-led government facilitate increases in productive capacity.

  10. mike 10

    do what you like with the stats but everything is rosy. Get over it

    • felix 10.1

      Ooh, a plea to ignore facts and focus on the slogans.

      Night shift is here. :roll:

    • lprent 10.2

      Ah right. You divined this from what? How your navel hair and dandruff looks when you scoop it out and inspect it?

      There is a reason why we go to the considerable expense of collecting and publishing statistics. It so that we have a moderately objective base from which to examine what is actually happening. It so we don’t have to waste time some pinhead like yourself practice your black magic powers of divination.

      Of course we know that is just a cover for your illiteracy with numbers. But hey, we won’t harp on about that or your next claim of having an 18″ dick and that “many” women love your grafted on horse member…

      There is always a dickhead from the nomadic warrior clans around. Grunting to them in their own language usually works wonders

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  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    6 days ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    7 days ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    7 days ago
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    7 days ago
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    7 days ago
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its… ...
    1 week ago
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says.… ...
    1 week ago
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems… ...
    GreensBy James Shaw MP
    2 weeks ago
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago

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