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Foreigners think NZ is great, why doesn’t National?

Written By: - Date published: 2:45 pm, March 4th, 2008 - 38 comments
Categories: economy, International, national - Tags: , ,

One of National’s strategies is to constantly talk down New Zealand, arguing that other countries have it better, that to catch up we have to sell off our assets, cut our social services, cut wages, and work harder. The line is repeated in the media, most often in comparison with Australia.

The thing is if you read a newspaper from another country you see the same stories: Australia has inflation troubles, American growth is weak, the UK is worried about crime, Canada needs more doctors, etc etc. New Zealand’s problems are nothing exceptional; the grass is not greener on the other side. Moreover, other countries look to New Zealand as an example of how to do things right. Here’s what Canadian business leader Ed Bernacki has to say:

Hoping for freebies like government handouts and tax cuts isn’t the solution. What Canada needs to do is focus on its unique, high-value products, especially those where design or creativity gives an edge.

And New Zealand is an example of how they can do it New Zealand has to be smart about exports. The tiny Pacific country doesn’t have the advantage of a giant market right at its doorstep, as we do. It doesn’t have cheap labour like many Asian countries or vast natural resources. And yet New Zealand is still competing worldwide and it’s doing that with an industrial strategy based on design and innovation.

This is a great little country. We have led the world in so many areas. Our innovative, independent spirit is what makes us unique and an example that others follow. We should be wary of those who want us to give that up.

38 comments on “Foreigners think NZ is great, why doesn’t National? ”

  1. Clearly you fail to understand what being in opposition is all about.
    Luckily you should gain some experience of supporting an opposition party by the end of the year. Then National can spend most of a decade blaming the last labour govt and labour can spend that time screaming about people leaving the country. At the end of this time poles will reverse and we will be back here again.
    In the mean time I expect to retain more of MY MONEY under a national govt, which at the end of the day is all most people care about.

  2. rOb, many people “tub thump” about many different issues but when it comes to polling day everybody has a crayon in one hand and their wallet in the other.

  3. Steve Pierson 3

    Being in oppostion should be about more than knee-jerkingly opposing everything a government does and trying to convince people the country is going to shit so that they will give you a turn in charge.

  4. yes it should, lets see if Labour can raise the bar next year.

  5. Hey Bill – that’s not your money. It’s mine – I’m one of the one’s who’s paid for the roads you’ve used to take to work, the wires you send your petty internet comments down, the health care subsidies you receive for your gout and even the water you drink. You owe me big time pal and I want you to pay me my share back before we even start to talk about your taxes!

  6. Rob, you could well be right. I have paid very little Tax since November 2005, other than consumption tax of course.
    However I suspect (and please take this comment with the kindness it was intended) that I have paid more income tax, FBT, provisional tax, Company tax and GST over the last 19 years and 5 months than you will pay in your entire working life. I will be rejoining the tax paying classes this year (probably after Nov 15th) and will be doing my damdest to retain as much as possible.
    As for the health care discounts, sorry to disappoint you but I am in the rudest of health and the gout has not played up since xmas 2005!

  7. r0b, opinion surveys don’t vote. if that were the case we would not have seen the circuit breaking student loan interest lolly scramble a few days out from the last election.
    However, we can test your theory quite easily. I predict that the party offering the biggest tax cut will win in November.
    I am happy to wager a virtual chocolate fish on that one with you.

  8. Billy boy – you don’t know what kinda tax I’ve paid and if you’ve only been here twenty years then you’ve really leeched off me and my family – we’ve been paying tax for five generations bro and, given the limited infrastructure that’s been laid down since the eighties then your freeloading is even more considerable. Could I suggest that you turn off your power and water and disconnect your phone right now so as to not further increase your debt to me and mine?

  9. 5 generations would normally be long enough to breed out that scottish ginger retard gene Rob. What happened? Bit of inter family breding?

    But despite your celtic onanism your idea has merit. Perhaps somebody should drop Bauble boy a memo.
    Make immigrants pay extra tax on a sliding scale until they have been here 5 generations, start with say 5 times the norm decreasing gradually so that in 100 years they will only be paying enormously high taxes like the ferals who have been here for 5 generations.
    definite vote winner for Winston, imagine all the oldies sitting in puddles of their own piss with excitement over his new “attack immigrants” policy.

  10. Hey Bill – I hate to disappoint your fantasy of me bro but I am unfortunately lacking in the Scottish virility you attribute to me. Bald and of French descent is my lot – I will however, point out that my ancestors have beaten the shite out of yours on many occasions just as I will point out I am merely reminding you that your “it’s my money” argument seems a bit well, ungrateful when you really think about it…

  11. r0b 11

    At the end of this time poles will reverse and we will be back here again.

    History suggests that it could all go something like that. Let’s see though.

    In the mean time I expect to retain more of MY MONEY under a national govt, which at the end of the day is all most people care about

    No BB, it’s all that you care about (as you have stated completely clearly on another thread). But it’s not all that most people care about at all. It’s just one of many factors.

  12. Bald and of French descent. Full credit for admitting to being a cheese eating surrender monkey Rob. I myself have a French family name but dating back to the one and only time the froggies bloodied the bulldogs nose.
    Anyway, what do you think of my policy on the hoof for Winston?
    definite vote winner for our “Italian” foreign minister. Assuming of course he is not replacing fattie in London who must be due back from hampstead Heath soon. ..

  13. r0b 13

    but when it comes to polling day everybody has a crayon in one hand and their wallet in the other

    BB, don’t confuse your beliefs, no matter how strongly held, with the beliefs of the majority. Opinion surveys show that the majority would rather have strong social services than tax cuts. Left wing parties win elections – on policies of not reducing (even – shock horror – of increasing!) taxes.

    Your claims are simply and factually wrong. So why persist with them?

  14. Bill bro – While I quite like cheese and am evolutionarily obliged to admit a simian heritage, “surrender” is not a word I am particularly au fait with.

    Oh and I think your policy is the crazy result of too much Jim Beam and cola – Dr Robinsod recommends you alternate that with glasses of water and watch the crayfish consumption if you don’t want to be back to limping again…

  15. r0b 15

    Rob, you could well be right. I have paid very little Tax since November 2005, other than consumption tax of course.

    BB, I am right, but I don’t see how that relates to your tax situation.

  16. r0b 16

    Ahhh BB, I see, you were replying to Robinsod not r0b, as you were then.

  17. r0b 17

    r0b, opinion surveys don’t vote.

    Why no, they don’t BB. Do remind your colleagues on the Right next time they get excited about the polls, won’t you?

    However, we can test your theory quite easily. I predict that the party offering the biggest tax cut will win in November.

    Just like last election you mean? Looks like my theory is already proved.

    I am happy to wager a virtual chocolate fish on that one with you.

    That’s very sporting of you BB. Maybe it isn’t quite what you meant, but I will put a virtual choccy fish on a Labour led government emerging from the next election.

  18. Dale 18

    Slipping down the OECD LADDER in the recent great economic years is the legacy that Helen Clark is so proud of. So what will Labour do to us now that the worldwide economy has slowed and will continue to for some time yet? Is it any wonder people are leaving for nicer houses better living standards? For fucksake wake up and smell the mould growing in your damp little shithole!

  19. Dale 19

    My comment is awaiting moderation? WHAT THE……

    [Tane: I think you might be in the Dad trap or some other spam filter. We’re not deliberately moderating you – flick Lynn an email if you want to figure out what’s going on. He might even be able to help. lprent (at) primary (dot) geek (dot) nz]

  20. Tane 20

    For fucksake wake up and smell the mould growing in your damp little shithole!

    And Dale proves the point perfectly.

  21. Dale 21

    Yes that one sentence dosent sound very nice by itself. But when you consider how many people in this so called great little country of ours,live in shitty houses on shitty wages,need I say more.

  22. r0b 22

    I myself have a French family name but dating back to the one and only time the froggies bloodied the bulldogs nose.

    Ahh yes, those Normans sure knew how to rock! – well, nothing wrong with French ancestry I say, being somewhat guilty myself.

  23. Tane 23

    Of course I agree that there are too many people on shitty wages and unable to afford their own homes. But we’re not going to solve those problems by relentlessly running this country down like National does.

    You solve problems by providing concrete solutions to them, not by cynically bringing down national morale in order to damage the government and get yourself elected without any policy.

  24. Many people in every country live in shitty houses on shitty wages. If you’ve found the magical land where this doesn’t occur, by all means move there.

  25. Scribe 25

    Tane,

    But we’re not going to solve those problems by relentlessly running this country down like National does.

    Well, I disagree with your assertion that National “relentlessly runs this country down”, but we’re also not going to solve these problems by trying to blame them on a Budget that was passed almost two decades ago.

    Eight-plus years since Labour came into Government, are homes more or less affordable?

  26. Tane 26

    They’re less affordable, and it’s taken far too long for Labour to act on this issue. But again, the question is how do we make houses more affordable? I’m not convinced National’s more-market policies would make things any better.

  27. Dale 27

    Tane,all this happend under Labours watch,surely they could have done much better? Its too late, weve missed the boat. EIGHT FUCKIN YEARS MAN. Why dont you get it? I dont mean to be so agressive I have voted Labour in the past. The tradgity is that Rodger Dougles and David Lange didnt complete the job they so boldly started.

  28. You seem to expect rather a lot of your govts, Dale. Lighten up, they’re just govts. I’ve lived through two 9-year National govts in my adult life, and both of them made the current Labour govt look an unprecedented and outstanding success. Don’t you think you’re getting a little overwrought?

  29. Brownie 29

    Foreigners think NZ is great, why doesn’t National?

    Uh Steve, given that his message is “ambitious for NZ” I think your post needs a change in theme.

    captcha: localized union

  30. Tane 30

    Dale, you can’t complain about low wages and then praise the likes of Douglas who started in train the very policies that caused the problems in the first place. I’m not happy with everything Labour’s done either – they’ve gone far too slowly and been far too timid. But you’re fool if you think Johnny Key’s going to be your saviour.

  31. Pascal's bookie 31

    Australia didn’t go so far as Douglas and co in their reforms. Funny how that worked out.

  32. burt 32

    Steve

    We should be wary of those who want us to give that up.

    We should be wary of policies that make so many want to give it up!

    How about that HB DHB eh!
    Great reference to hansard from todays debate can be found with some nice use of bold and colour to highlight the issues.

    Baygate – the smoking gun?

  33. Dean 33

    Tane:

    “Dale, you can’t complain about low wages and then praise the likes of Douglas who started in train the very policies that caused the problems in the first place. I’m not happy with everything Labour’s done either – they’ve gone far too slowly and been far too timid. But you’re fool if you think Johnny Key’s going to be your saviour.”

    If you’re going to paint in such broad strokes about Douglas’s policies then I will about unions and theirs. Because, as we know, Douglas reduced everyone’s income, right? God, what a yawn.

  34. Dean 34

    “[Tane: I think you might be in the Dad trap or some other spam filter. We’re not deliberately moderating you – flick Lynn an email if you want to figure out what’s going on. He might even be able to help. lprent (at) primary (dot) geek (dot) nz]”

    Having said that, the only thing I can come up with as to why I’m caught in the same trap is that perhaps both D4J and I use Xtra as an ISP. No offence to you or Lynn because I think you’re both doing a great job here, but it’s getting just a little tedious to be lumped in with the likes of him. Your mileage may vary.

  35. insider 35

    Steve this all round negativity about NZ is not a National Party trait, it is a NZ cultural one. And if you are going to pick on National you really should take a look at the Greens because they are regularly doing it.

    At various times in the last few months we have people complaining that we have the worst child abuse figures, a third world health system, a third world power system, sub standard air quality, dangerous water quality etc. Most of which aren’t actually true.

    INdeed, look at a range of govt reports and the way the govt uses them to push certain policies by pushing up the risks and overinterpreting the data.

    State of teh Environment is one. Judith Tizard and the ARC on auckland air quality is another – you’d think people were dropping dead in the street the way they go on.

    Perspective Steve, perspective…

  36. Draco TB 36

    Judith Tizard and the ARC on auckland air quality is another – you’d think people were dropping dead in the street the way they go on.

    They damn near are – some 230 people die in Auckland every year due to respiratory illness caused by air pollution.

    Tane,all this happend under Labours watch,surely they could have done much better? Its too late, weve missed the boat. EIGHT FUCKIN YEARS MAN.

    I’m sure they could have done better as well. I would have liked to see them stamp on the housing bubble sometime around 2005/6. I doubt, though, that they could have done it all in 1999 just after being elected as I’m pretty sure that we didn’t elect any gods into parliament.

    Well, I disagree with your assertion that National “relentlessly runs this country down’, but we’re also not going to solve these problems by trying to blame them on a Budget that was passed almost two decades ago.

    But National does relentlessly run NZ down and when they get into power it actually does get as bad as they say it does. They really do seem to have the ‘grass is greener elsewhere’ attitude to NZ.

    Labour didn’t blame all of the problems on the MOAB but the ones that come from slamming a large chunk of NZ population into poverty – you know, the ones that take 15 to 16 years to mature.

  37. randal 37

    If New zealand is not competitive then how is it we manage to sell anything? furthermore the Nats have no priciples except exploit the week and their supporters are right behind that. Being a WINNER means being able to look down on the losers!

  38. higherstandard 38

    Randal

    What the ??

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    Associate Minister of Housing (Māori Housing) Peeni Henare joined Ngāi Tāmanuhiri and the wider Toitū Tairāwhiti collective, at the opening of 10 new homes built for kaumātua and whānau in Muriwai today.   “Every whare that is built and whānau that is transferred from inadequate housing to a warm dry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Joint statement: Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand Foreign Minister Consultations
    Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Penny Wong welcomed Aotearoa New Zealand's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon Nanaia Mahuta to Canberra today for biannual Australia – Aotearoa New Zealand Foreign Minister Consultations. The Ministers acknowledged the unique strength of the relationship between Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, reaffirmed the shared ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Funding boost for kaupapa Māori response to homelessness
    Associate Minister of Housing (Homelessness) Marama Davidson has announced a significant funding boost today for kaupapa Māori approaches that support whānau into housing. $24.7 million will be allocated to support the delivery of He Ara Hiki Mauri – a tangata whenua-led response to homelessness. “Homelessness is not inevitable. By working ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland barrister David Gary Johnstone has been appointed a judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Johnstone graduated from the University of Auckland in 1991 with a BCom/LLB(Hons), and joined Bell Gully as a solicitor, practising in general commercial litigation. During 1993 and 1994 he studied at the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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