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Don Brash, Rogernomics, and Huljich

Written By: - Date published: 8:24 am, March 16th, 2010 - 20 comments
Categories: corruption, kiwisaver - Tags: ,

The New Zealand economic reforms of the 1980s and 1990s were largely a failure.  This can be seen from the large negative divergence post 1984 in New Zealand’s real output per capita in comparison to Australia, our usual benchmark. New Zealand’s comparative position vis-à-vis unemployment also worsened. Poverty and social inequality increased.

Australia undertook various reforms, however, these were moderate and measured in comparison to the evisceration that took place in New Zealand. The author of many of the New Zealand reforms was Roger Douglas, now a prominent ACT party MP.

Recently Don Brash’s taskforce spent $400,000 of taxpayers’ money recommending that New Zealand’s path to economic salvation lay in embracing the failed policies of Rogernomics. This is the same Don Brash who expressed to the ACT party’s annual conference the view that many voters are “venal and ignorant“.

Huljich is the country’s largest KiwiSaver provider. Don Brash is the chairman of the Huljich KiwiSaver Scheme.  Brash claims that the scheme has a “commitment to socially responsible investment”, it offers “open and honest communication”, and that it has a “track record that speaks for itself”.

In 2009 Huljich was investigated for the illegal door to door marketing of its schemes.  We now have the revelation that Huljich returns were manipulated. Gareth Morgan goes so far as to say that Peter Huljich, the Managing Director/Chief Investment Officer  told “lies”, is “not fit to make financial offers to the public” and that the Huljich schemes should be wound up.

Don Brash is reported as saying that the non reporting is “regrettable” after previously failing to recall aspects of the transaction. It is noted that Brash’s high standing and standards are used to promote Huljich:

As well as his financial and economic wisdom, Don brings a reputation for financial probity, prudence and commitment to Huljich Wealth Management.

Given Brash’s failure to resign from Huljich, his muted public response to the serious allegations made against Huljich, and his intemperate outbursts against his fellow citizens, why does anyone still listen to him?

Soapbox NZ

20 comments on “Don Brash, Rogernomics, and Huljich ”

  1. Cnr Joe 1

    I hear he has a killer smile and his wave is to die for

  2. john 2

    Don believes he has a divine right to pontificate on how Kiwis should order their affairs. Tragically apathetic Kiwis suck on it and for that reason they must take most of the blame for the divided society we have become. People like Don know how to appeal to sectional greed and like the Mafia Don he’s quite willing to flog off the Public treasury and share the hard worked for gains with you abdicating Government responsibility for overall wellbeing other than being a funnel for money flow. Him and Roger are a disaster.

  3. ghostwhowalksnz 3

    Huljich the largest provider ?

  4. Bored 4

    JUDGE (not Bruce). “Don Brash, you have been found guilty by way of association with scurillous ideas and people. You have loaned your name to self serving schemes at the expense of the whole community. You will be taken from this court to…..
    BRASH.” “Its a fair cop m’lud”.

  5. “Given Brash’s failure to resign from Huljich, his muted public response to the serious allegations made against Huljich, and his intemperate outbursts against his fellow citizens, why does anyone still listen to him?”

    I didn’t think anyone did still listen to him.

    Even National basically laughed off his taskforce’s report.

  6. randal 6

    looks very much like he is awalking accident wherever he goes.

  7. Peter 7

    I am dissapointed that the media is not skewering Banks over his part in this, considering he is one of the contenders for the Mayorl race here in Auckland.

    Ethics, accountability and ability…would be useful quantities in such a position …

  8. Nick C 8

    Which of Roger Douglas’ policies do you object to spesifically?

    Abolition of agricultural subsidies
    Abolition of import licencing and other protectionist measures
    Deregulation of currency exchange
    Removal of 66% top tax rate
    Changing government departments into SOEs

    If so, which of those would you bring back?

    • Bored 8.1

      Some answers Nick

      Abolition of agricultural subsidies: Fine idea if we could only persuade those paragons of the free market, the Yanks to do so, or perhaps the Europeans. They make us uncompetitve, if they did not subsidise so heavily we would be wealthier.

      Abolition of import licencing and other protectionist measures. If you compete against economies of scale on an open market you lose. Sometimes what you do locally deserves protection because the total cost to the economy and community could be a lot higher. Good example is the cost of unemployment where “globalised” production and labour undercut us but leave us with sunk capital and ongoing social costs. As a policy its again a good principle but needs rigorous real costing and should not be applied in the revolutionary way Roger did it. rich economies have all begun as protectionist, look at the Asian tigers.

      Deregulation of currency exchange. With this you lose sovereignty, and control of your destiny to financial centres. Its a dumb policy the world has followed and the result was last years crash, which has not yet fully played out. Think Great Depression before you go here, its full of dragons.

      Removal of 66% top tax rate. May be a bit high but Douglas’ tax policies basically move the tax to the poor and low income earners, they represent a massive flow up to those who have from those who dont. Its unfair and economically ruinous, unsustainable and quite frankly socially criminal.

      Changing government departments into SOEs. A stupid idea when applied to pure public services destroying the ethos of “service ” and replacing the public with customers / clients…subtle but destructive of democratic institutions. With utilities for power, phones etc, (all necessities we municipalized or government built as part of the integrated economy) we have only pushed up price and wrecked infrastructure through lack of investment / privatisation.

      Need I go on, Roger is a bit like Karl Marx, fine in theory, not much cop in practice.

      • Nick C 8.1.1

        Lets assume that its true that evil foriegners with their heavily subsidised, economies of scale driven businesses make our farmers uncompetitive, make us lose all our jobs and sell us all their goods. When we buy their goods with our NZ dollars, what do you think they do with those dollars?

        If you’re bored perhaps you should read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparitive_advantage

        • Bored

          I have now read it, very dull, positively “economisty”, its a sort of tedious ennui that turns you into a wrinkled Saharan date…very dry. Its neo classical economics that got me bored in the first instance.

          Perhaps its more pertinent to read Schummaker, “Small is beautiful”, makes much more sense.

          • Nick C

            The point is that everyone benefits from free trade, not just the countries with economies of scale

            We can simply view agricultural subsidies as another form of absolute advantage; i.e. we view the subsidy as a legitimate means to produce something at a lower cost even thought the lower cost only comes about because of free government money. From this perspective we apply the theory of comparitive advantage and see that New Zealand benefits from trading with countries with subsidised agriculture.

            In fact we win even more than if they weren’t subsidising their food. The subsidy is effectivly foriegn tax payers paying for us to eat food cheaper.

            • Bored

              Try adopting the term and practice fair trade. In the real untheoritical world free trade comes with real baggage. Its can be another term for imperialism.

  9. Zak Creedo 9

    why does anyone still listen to him? you ask mister guest blogger.

    Lemme try answer:

    1. Because where there’s brash there’s money.. or should that be..
    2. Because where there’s trash there’s money… or.. waitta mo I think I’ve gottit..
    3. Where there’s muck there’s money.

    Whatever, my multi-answer frames this thing pretty well… hah

  10. Raoul 10

    Do all of you really suck up to Garth Morgan that much…the guy has no idea, he spouts absolute dribble as fact and jumps on any bandwagon to give himself more mileage as the Champion of the underdog. He is no different to the wizard of Christchurch. Oh…there is one difference he has a huge KiwiSaver Scheme and he is using you and the regulators to damage his biggest competitor, Brash and Huljich. You are being used wake up!

    • Pascal's bookie 10.1

      So whaddya reckon about Huljich’s management there Raoul?

      How about Brash’s oversight?

      Got any substantive issues with Morgan’s criticism, or are you just going to play the ad hom card?

      If the latter, do you have anything to declare that might be relevant to explaining your frankly weird defence of Huljich?

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