Written By: - Date published: 7:34 am, November 7th, 2012 - 81 comments
Yesterday, 60 highly paid jobs at Rakon where lost and we learned 5,700 manufacturing jobs had been lost in the past year. The reason, the high dollar made manufacturing here untenable. Steve Joyce shrugged his shoulders like it was nothing to do with him. But it’s his government’s failures that are forcing Kiwi manufacturers overseas.
Written By: - Date published: 8:03 am, October 14th, 2012 - 132 comments
There is ample evidence of a deep and lasting crisis, but in the delusional world of Planet Key it doesn’t exist. The EPMU Job Crisis Summit opened a much needed conversation. Russel Norman likened the New Zealand economy to a rudderless sailing ship In Stormy Seas. Will the summit be the start of a sea change for NZ?
Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, October 11th, 2012 - 18 comments
Why is John Key backing the flagging tourist industry as a major export earner for NZ’s future? His trip to Hollywood was partly about using the Hobbit to promote NZ as a tourist destination. Why is the government so fixated on attracting more US tourists?
Written By: - Date published: 9:51 am, October 7th, 2012 - 327 comments
40,000 manufacturing jobs gone in four years. Manufactured exports in free-fall. Tourism revenue collapsing. If that’s not a crisis, what is? Why is the government going to do? Nothing. Nothing. On Q+A, Russel Norman put forward a solid proposal: lower the OCR, new tools to stop housing booms, and quantitative easing to pay for Christchurch […]
Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, September 21st, 2012 - 16 comments
The ever forward looking and even-handed Herald devotes its editorial to attacking Labour for supporting Winston Peters’ Bill to make some small changes to the Reserve Banks’ objectives to bring them more in line with Australia’s. Leaving aside the fact that the Herald hasn’t attacked NZF or the 3 other parties who support this, only Labour, isn’t it time Granny got with the programme?
Written By: - Date published: 11:27 am, September 11th, 2012 - 15 comments
Talk fast, shoot the messenger, and spin like a top. That’s Joyce’s style, trying to defend the indefensible; National’s neglect of New Zealand’s manufacturing industry.
Written By: - Date published: 9:34 pm, August 23rd, 2012 - 11 comments
On The Nation last weekend Joyce insisted he was busy talking to business about export growth; he obviously wasn’t listening, as exporters’ number one problem is our over-valued and highly speculated exchange rate. He called Labour’s fresh approach to this problem “voodoo economics.” Switzerland, Singapore and Denmark? This week David Cunliffe will be on the Nation showing that the Labour economic team are alive to new ideas needed.
Written By: - Date published: 9:51 pm, August 16th, 2012 - 31 comments
Fresh ideas to grow a stronger manufacturing sector, on top of the major changes Labour has already signalled featured in a speech given today by David Parker to a union audience in Wellington. David Cunliffe was there too, and I particularly liked the discussion afterwards. The key players are receptive to good ideas and it looks like Labour will have a real alternative to offer at the next election.
Written By: - Date published: 10:42 pm, July 1st, 2012 - 13 comments
SST Business Editor Rob O’Neill said today: “There is a great deal of lip-service paid to “innovation” in business. What is not often acknowledged is how embedded innovation can be in manufacturing. Making stuff, or being able to talk freely with the people who do, can be a source of inspiration and great ideas for companies.” I got a lot of inspiration from Swedish Academic Goran Roos on this topic in Auckland on Friday. South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has asked him to head up their manufacturing strategy next year. We could do with someone like him too.
Written By: - Date published: 7:29 am, June 19th, 2012 - 8 comments
Key’s ditched the surplus target that was so important a month ago – yet another casualty on the way to the brighter future. The Queen may have asked him why he didn’t see European contagion coming. Shearer is right – Europe is an excuse for a government that has run out of ideas. Labour does have a fresh approach – we need to hear more.
Written By: - Date published: 5:33 pm, June 5th, 2012 - 80 comments
The news out of Europe, China and Australia is looking worse by the day. What’s coming at us doesn’t look pretty. I was about to do a post saying I hoped someone in Labour was doing some scenario planning and was very pleased to see today that Parker’s eyes are open.
Written By: - Date published: 1:11 pm, May 21st, 2012 - 68 comments
The Greens launched their Budget alternative this morning. Titled “Smart Green Economics” it lived up to the billing. Extra heft was provided by BERL economist Dr Ganesh Nana paper arguing that the Government’s asset sales programme leaves the government accounts permanently worse off. It was also good to hear about opportunities and their alternatives. We’ve had enough of TINA.
Written By: - Date published: 9:10 am, April 23rd, 2012 - 57 comments
John Key likes to trade on his experience as a, well, trader. You know, he’s the deal maker. The one to steer us through tough economic times, to get our exports growing. He understands the markets and that knowledge will benefit New Zealand. But, how well has he really done? Let’s start this series close to home for Key: the exchange rate.
Written By: - Date published: 11:09 am, April 4th, 2012 - 31 comments
Against the will of the Fonterra farmer Shareholder’s Association, National is trying to destroy Fonterra’s cooperative model on vague grounds about access to capital. The end result will be the one world-leading, world-scale company we have, which brings in 20% of our export earnings, will start sending it profits offshore. David Cunliffe makes the case passionately and eloquently.
Written By: - Date published: 10:14 am, March 27th, 2012 - 6 comments
Mediation broke down in the Port dispute again yesterday with the PoAL management still refusing to make any concessions. So it’s back to court for a ruling on PoAL’s lockout without notice. Hopefully, the Court will side with reason, force the Port to allow the workers back and impose compensation for lost wages along with hefty fines.
Written By: - Date published: 9:51 pm, March 13th, 2012 - 16 comments
The trailers for John Key’s Thursday speech are calling it for a ” new super-Ministry” under the command of Steven Joyce. Merger isn’t the issue – the policy direction is. If Joyce just stays focussed on roads of national significance, mines and oil wells of national significance, and casinos of national significance it will be another waste of time reshuffle. If it becomes genuinely high quality export focussed, then it may prove worthwhile. Fingers crossed.
Written By: - Date published: 8:49 am, February 5th, 2012 - 129 comments
While the rest of the world is moving away from the ‘hands off’ monetary policy that became fashionable in the 80s, our government insists on playing by the outmoded neoliberal ‘rules’ of a clean float. Well, what happens when everyone else ‘cheats’ by printing free money to drive their currencies lower and we sit on our hands? We lose our assets and our exporters.
Written By: - Date published: 10:19 am, January 13th, 2012 - 5 comments
The Productivity Commission reports that freight costs are 25% higher here than in Australia and freight costs as a % of cargo value has risen in recent years. Their solution? Make the public and port workers poorer by privatisation and casualisation. Of course, those are ideological goals, not solutions to the freight cost issue, which has nothing to do with ports.
Written By: - Date published: 9:01 am, November 2nd, 2011 - 9 comments
National have a rubbish short-term plan for Government debt: Asset Sales.
But they have no plan at all for the private debt that is forecast to blow out worse than ever under their policies. Bit like the economy in general really.
Written By: - Date published: 9:07 am, September 2nd, 2011 - 11 comments
The Tertiary Education Union has revealed that 350 jobs are for the chop at Canterbury University – 18% of the workforce. The Uni, hardly reassuringly, says its 100 to 500. The Nats blame the quake. That’s rubbish. These kind of cuts will permanently gut the Uni, leaving it in no position to be part of the recovery. National: the anti-education government.
Written By: - Date published: 10:45 am, August 30th, 2011 - 38 comments
Free trade is meant to be about opening up markets for our exports so that we can improve our trade balance and, ultimately, become less indebted as a nation. Yet the opposite seems to be happening. Darkhorse shows that this is the experience of all countries that lower their trade barriers in a still largely protectionist world.
Written By: - Date published: 2:53 pm, August 7th, 2011 - 25 comments
Next week, a report will reveal the abuse of 2,500 foreign workers used as virtual slaves on ships employed by kiwi fishing quota holders in our waters. By rights, we should have a world renowned fishing fleet. Instead, we let our potential go to waste and employ foreign slaveowners and human traffickers to do the work instead.
Written By: - Date published: 10:35 am, July 22nd, 2011 - 13 comments
Another big fall in dairy prices overnight. Yet the dollar keeps breaking record highs.
Written By: - Date published: 5:10 pm, June 21st, 2011 - 68 comments
No it’s not a virus. It’s our dollar surfing on a dumper. Gareth Morgan and Neville Bennett have both written about it recently. Bennett says “There is increasing evidence that New Zealand is ailing. The symptoms are a high exchange rate, excessive foreign debt and a decline of the manufacturing sector.” The resulting damage if nothing is done, says Morgan, is “a hollowing out of our non-commodity producing businesses, no correction in our household savings rate and in time, a balance of payments/external debt crisis as those factors conspire.” Bennett is not in the camp of those who say nothing can be done and offers some ideas backed up by the IMF. We need more thinking like that.
Written By: - Date published: 12:35 pm, February 12th, 2011 - 19 comments
Once upon a time New Zealand was the most prosperous country in the world, living on the sheep’s back. But that was when its population was only two million. The fruits of a raw commodity export sector now have to be spread over more than four million. We could provide decent jobs and income for all by processing these commodities in New Zealand.
Written By: - Date published: 9:53 am, February 12th, 2011 - 59 comments
Key: So, Gillard’s coming. Are we talking about a single economic zone?
Groser: Umm. No. Mobile roaming charges.
Key: Christ, Tim. We’re really racking up wins for Kiwi exporters here, aren’t we?
Captain Panicpants: Your numbers with women are down over Hurley. They say you sounded disloyal and they empathise with Bronagh.
Key: Shit now that’s serious. Call the missus. We’ll do something cutsie and distracting.
Written By: - Date published: 3:22 pm, January 25th, 2011 - 200 comments
Phil Goff has just delivered an excellent speech to start a year of laying out Labour Policy. $100/week tax free, stopping tax-dodging bludgers, support for R&D and exporters, correcting housing market anomalies and encouraging investment in the productive sector. There was a lot to like.
Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, January 24th, 2011 - 42 comments
Higher commodity and food prices, we are told are a Good Thing. Our exporters (ie. Fonterra and foreign oil companies) get more money. But we consumers have to pay more to by the same products, so are we better off? And what about the poor saps overseas who are paying more for less, or the really poor saps who are priced out of the market?
Written By: - Date published: 8:44 pm, December 20th, 2010 - 28 comments
It’s surreal to see people who cried that not going into Iraq has cost us a trade deal with the US, now saying that the Reconstruction Team Labour sent was to get access for our milk exports. The claim’s based on a US Embassy cable but that doesn’t make it gospel. In reality, the Right wanted us to fight in Iraq to get an FTA with the US.