Buying Kiwi made

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, July 14th, 2010 - 22 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags:

John Armstrong reports that Clare Curran is preparing a private members bill that would see more government work going to Kiwi businesses.

I suspect this will have the free-market loonies up in arms despite the fact that procurement policies like this are pretty standard around the world and getting one in place here would be a much better move for building Kiwi businesses, creating jobs and stimulating the economy than giving tax-payer money to multinational prison firms or the joke that is the cycleway.

It is certainly a better idea than Bill English’s plan to drive the economy into the ground chasing a fictional debt monster.

If Curran’s bill is drawn from the ballot she will doubtlessly have the support of the unions that backed the calls for Kiwi Rail to build its rolling stock in NZ (calls the government quickly quashed) but she should also have the support of Business New Zealand and the Employers and Manufacturers Association and other business organisations as they have considerable sway on the Nats and such a policy would be in the interests of their members.

I would imagine she’ll be talking to BNZ and EMA CEOs Alistair Thompson and Phil O’Reilly about this as they would be critical players in making sure this members bill would go through.

I’ll be interested to see how this develops.

22 comments on “Buying Kiwi made”

  1. Bored 1

    ” procurement policies like this are pretty standard around the world ”

    Well said, I have often wondered why we dont follow the example set by our major trading partners.

    I also suggest that we change the accounting criteria to allow the true transfer costs to be allocated in procurement i.e. if we buy from X what subsidies are they giving their product, what does it cost us because we then have to shut down an industry, etc etc.

    Well done Clare Curran for challenging the sacred shibboleths, a few more in labour ought to do the same and we would have soemething to offer the electorate.

  2. michaeljsavage 2

    Good for Clare – it needs to be remembered by every NZ voter and businessperson – that John “velly lo kee” has indicated that everyone will soon be standing in line behind China and her mega companies and their underpaid zillions of workers. So NZ becomes the “lee Kee shipyard”.

    I almost sense the dead, dangling corpse-like hand of that fossilised zombie “sir” roger douglas as an adviser to Johnny boy on how to completely root a country.

  3. millsy 3

    While you are wasting your energy lobbying for KiwiRail to build EMU’s in workshops that have been run down over the past 20-25 years and are more suited to refurbishing rail vehicles than building them from scratch, KiwiRail, having been leaned on by the government, is about to chop out about about a quarter of our rail network, including the rail link to Northland.

  4. Todd 4

    How about reintroducing tariffs on to all imported goods,then we can start making box TVs again and flog them off to kiwis for a couple of grand each just like the good old days.Same goes for cars, I was always bitterly disapointed that the Treka car/truck was canned it could have put NZ on the world stage for car building expertise.

    • george 4.1

      How about not making an reductio ad absurdum argument? Could you do that? Because I don’t think you could.

      • michaeljsavage 4.1.1

        how about not being a smartass cunnus mentulatum

        quid pro quo and other nasty chinese words …

  5. Todd 5

    Thinking about this im all for it.I see a chance to make a buck here.Simply give the customer (govt) a quote and buy the product (cheap)from overseas (they cant sell it here)plaster a made in Nz tag on it and presto a nice little earner.

  6. Todd 6

    Lighten up old chap!

  7. Big Bruv 7

    Another idea that did not see the light of day under the Labour government.

  8. Todd 8

    How about not making an reductio ad absurdum argument? Could you do that? Because I don’t think you could.

    My Mother used to tell me to stop being silly.I guess you have a classier way of saying it.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    The Kiwirail fiasco shows that the “free-market” is killing us. Is it cheaper to buy rail cars made overseas? Yes, by a small amount. Is it better to make them here? Yes, by a large amount, an amount that would require that the imported cars be only 1/3rd the price being charged to get the same benefit. It’s proof positive that the price alone doesn’t cover enough variables to make an informed and rational decision.

    Time for the total economic impacts to be weighed in purchasing decisions.

  10. michaeljsavage 10

    We had the ability to make our own rollingstock etc – and potentially we still do. The technocrats want us to remain in the limbo we created by destroying our manufacturing and industrial capacity and not look any further than something called “the knowledge economy” and offer “expertise” and other paper/strawmen merchant banker bullshit.

    What a bunch of euphemisms for “bend over and get rooted up the bumhole” you broody dumb roundeyes hahahaha! (you have to imagine accent and Raymond Huo sort of facial expressions (ie im smiling – but ill screw you over when i can whitey) – i see from redalert he is over the moon one of the allwhites is joining a chinese team).

    Has anyone done the maths on the economic benefits of a country actually making things that are real, you know …. sort of tangible …. things that have and add value?? No – not good old immigrant and chinese nationalist overrun godzone … lets buy cheap chinese trailers where the axle breaks and makes the trailer a deadly weapon.

    • prism 10.1

      michaeljs – Rein in your ruder comments about people who look and come from a place different to you. This stuff doesn’t advance discussion and reasoned thought. It’s offensive and spoils your interesting ideas for me.

      • Nick C 10.1.1

        But prism if you think about it this entire bill really is motivated by a form of racist economic nationalism. Jobs have to be done somewhere, the fact that he wants New Zealanders to do the work suggests that we are somehow inherrently more deserving of wealth than a chinese worker, who likely needs it more.

        But even when you ignore the overt racism the comments lack any intelligence. He says that we need a manafacturing sector because it adds value to the economy. Manafacturing only adds value to the economy insofaras people are willing to pay for the manafactured goods (their price reflects their value). If people were willing to pay for goods manafactured in New Zealand then why isnt anybody producing them?

        • loota

          Nick C – the answer is simple – overseas producers are often more capable at producing better goods for cheaper. But you are asking the wrong question. The right question is “how can we create goods manufactured in New Zealand that New Zealanders are willing to pay top dollar for”.

          A totally different concept.

          Just like when Toyota was producing cars in the 1950’s which were ridiculously bad and of low quality.

          Their products could not compete against US and UK cars on any count. Performance, fratures, build quality, reliability, etc. It literally was Jap Crap.

          But the Japanese car industry was given every support, every incentive, and a tonne of govt money over decades and decades in order to build their skills and their capabilities.

          And today they own the market. And Lexus is one of the most powerful players in the luxury car market, toe to toe with MB and BMW.

          Do not expose your immature industries prematurely to be destroyed by powerful overseas players before they are ready to compete toe to toe on a global basis.

          • Nick C

            Loota thats a slightly more intelligent arguement than the crap coming from mjs

            I have one question though. If there is long term profitablility in running an industry at a loss in the short term in order to build it up (as demonstrated by your example from Japan) why cant the private sector run it by absorbing those costs and being rewarded with long term profit?

            The problem I have with government picking winners like that is that more often than not they get it wrong because their decisions are based on political factors not economic ones. The US has tried the exact same thing by subsidising its car industry and look where that got them.

            • felix

              Private enterprise either isn’t capable of or isn’t interested in planning that far ahead on such a scale.

              If they were, they would, but they don’t.

              (edit: obviously I’m generalising but it’s generally true.)

            • michaeljsavage

              Opinion noted Nick C – my only observation would be this …. supposedly reasoned and circumlocutory debate can simply be a meaningless, elegant minuet. Satisfies the soul but doesnt get to the heart of a matter. That type of debate and thinking is exactly (not entirely) part of the reason we’ve ended up with no industrial sector of any note producing real things and employing real people.

              Your points are taken on board … but we have adopted a national mindset that seems to say “we cant compete – we cant do it”. I wasnt only referring to selling goods in NZ – and there are all sorts of other issues that cant be taken up in a comments box – as you have stated.

              Crap my comments may be to you – but i am entitled to my opinion – and sometimes an open mind that looks beyond what makes you initially bristle can be valuable …

  11. Hateatea 11

    There is nothing new in ‘buying Kiwi made’ campaigns. There should even be something still in the Government Departmental guidelines about it. There certainly was in the past when I was a civil servant.

    Free trade agreements probably act against that ever being official government policy again and it would certainly seem to be contra John Key’s recent grovelling trip around Asia.

    I will watch with interest

  12. Hamish Gray 12

    One more time – Australia-New Zealand Government Procurement Agreement – Australian suppliers are treated as local as Kiwi suppliers and vice versa. Australia has far superior rolling stock manufacturing capabilities and would likely win any tender over a Kiwi supplier, as they are, essentially, local suppliers too. So Kiwirail would spend a ton on bidding for a project it cannot win.

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