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In December 2022 We Will Be …

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, October 25th, 2021 - 15 comments
Categories: covid-19, Deep stuff, employment, health, housing, labour, Politics - Tags:

A year ago we were preparing for the America’s Cup and threading our way through the latest crisis quite well.

Who would have thought the country would be as it is now?

How dare we even think what we will be like in a year? Can we still be optimistic?

We must dare a future if we are to regain our autonomy and sense of control.

Will we be much more unequal in both assets and income, or about the same?

Will we retain very low unemployment, a gradually increasing lowest wage, but a growing precariat+underclass? Also: still under 5% unemployed, but benefit growth and food parcels accelerating.

Will there be a percentage-point shift in people who don’t take their cars to work or school, lower car accidents, lower CO2?

Will the housing market change, and housing shortages improve? Not since 1938 have so many houses been consented in one year, and they are mostly flats and apartments.

Will we have more money to spend, through a better regulated electricity market, or more confident companies delivering pay rises?

Will the polls show Labour still has a good chance of forming a government, or will the Greens fade further and Act rise higher? Labour conference is coming up!

Will the import-export mix of the economy shift in measurable points away from cheap, bulky, environmentally costly goods like tourists and milk powder, towards high value digital exports and higher value milk and horticultural ingredient products?

Will New Zealand’s standing in the world improve?

Will our own families have a better shot at their future in 2022 than the waste and damage of 2020 and 2021?

Will we have put this all behind us, happy in our new and highly regulated order?

Will we like where we are?

15 comments on “In December 2022 We Will Be … ”

  1. Maurice 1

    WE are ALL DOOMED!

    … to stumble on

  2. Adrian 2

    If it had been the Delta variant a year ago we would have been in the same situation or even a lot, lot worse, with no vaccine. The difference between R2.5 and R6-7 is vast.

  3. Patricia Bremner 3

    Hi Ad, great to look at what has been done, is being done and is still in the "Doing".

    This Government has been called all sorts by mouthy opposition, but the mahi has been great.

    Covid has made some restored rights difficult to use, Night School classes as an example. They may begin for the vaxed.

    Some things happening which will probably continue. The "Dame Whena Cooper" machine completing the first section of the tunnel, Teachers doing their best to pivot to online learning, Health Workers soldiering on in the face of covid, the helpfulness kindness and feeling of togetherness, and in spite of reports of violence at the supermarket I have found only grace. Building will ramp up, especially smaller more livable less costly spaces. With vaccine certificates and high levels of vaccination life will gradually open up.

    We will face climate change with the same level of social cohesion and investment aimed at overall wellbeing. I am ever an optimist

  4. RedLogix 4

    Rats you kind of beat me to the post.

    On one point I think I can give a solid answer – 2022 is the year in which fully 50% of the Boomers will retire. This is the decade when the demographic inversion really starts to bite; a number of things that will fall out of this:

    • We stop investing and start consuming our capital. Over the rest of this decade capital will become more scarce and more expensive
    • We take a large fraction of the skilled technical and professional workforce out of the game
    • We will start looking for lower cost places to live, typically out of the large cities.

    Already we're seeing the first impact of this in what's being called "The Great Resignation" – or perhaps more accurately called "The Great Re-shuffle". As the increasing numbers of skilled, experienced and highly productive people retire, or like me scale back on our hours, demand for competent people to replace us world-wide will soar.

    At the same time we're seeing the younger generations re-evaluate their goals. Living in a tiny, expensive apartment, working long hours for a grab-arse corporate culture no longer looks smart. Especially not smart if you have to endure public transport in the age of COVID. All this adds up to workforce mobility like never before, and periods like this tend to generate considerable social change and improvement for ordinary people.

    At the same time supply chains are going to contract everywhere; in the aftermath of COVID organisations will be re-evaluating the risk of globally spread out networks, vulnerable to disruption.

    And ageing populations everywhere means a transition to post-growth economies such as Japan went through 30 years before everyone else.

    This is the perfect storm – inflation, deleveraging, de-growth, hyper-mobility, the and the diminishing of trade based wealth. None of our existing economic models, capitalism, communism or fascism as singular ideologies work in this new world – although no doubt some nations will double down on them.

    It my sense all of these trends were in play for some time now – COVID merely used up any time we had left to make a smooth and gentle adaption. Now I think we're in for an exciting decade or two.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    Where will we be?

    Well, Aotearoa NZ is better placed than many countries to transition to a “post growth” world–though the Labour Caucus, NZ National/ACT, Industrial Dairying, EMA and so many others will be in “not listening, not listening” mode no doubt.

    The change for those living in international cities with more residents than the whole population here, is unimaginable for those of us living in the provincial New Zealand. As unimaginable as the dread of Pacific Islanders whose Atolls are about to be swamped.

    The future will likely be living local in sustainable communities with less significant supply chains needed for daily existence and less travel. An illustration of this vision was on RNZ farming show recently where a “small” farm with 150 cow herd was moving from supplying Fonterra, to servicing the local area directly with raw and pasteurised, but non homogenised, milk direct to cafes and customers in glass bottles delivered, and empties picked up daily.

    Technology will be even more important with decentralised living and production as much would still have to be co-ordinated nationwide.

  6. Patricia Bremner 6

    The possible problems we may face.

    1. Health outcomes of covid and stretched health services, training and respite planning, and cultural awareness. Managing grief and loss, managing expectations.

    2. The aging population. Ways to refresh skills and training for their replacements. Ways to deal with poverty and marginalisation while we work towards a more climate aware world.

    3 Shortages of materials. We need to anticipate and plan to mitigate this in a climate friendly way. Enabling repairs and repurposing.

    4 Improving Public transport and investment in rental property building, associated parks and community gardens

    5 Continue to modernise the delivery of education and training and higher education through better Teacher knowledge and pedagogy. Using technology well.

    6 Controlling natural experiences through a booking system to avid ecolgical collapse.

    7 To promote and rule of Law at home and abroad.

    I'm bound to have missed many things which need huge forward planning. Thanks Ad a great very full post with excellent references.

  7. Tricledrown 7

    A new variant is being monitored in the UK and US.

    We aren't out of the woods yet and we need to be careful until the powerful ( us included )countries make an urgent and concerted effort to vaccinate the whole World's population .We may have to shut borders again.

    We have an excess of different types of vaccines ordered those should go to the likes of Papua New Guinea our local sphere of influence and make one area say Oceania and Micronesia covid free.

  8. McFlock 8

    My main expectation? Probably mostly getting our 4th covid shot.

    The covid laws are due to expire in 2022, ISTR. They will probably be renewed for a fixed term, but I doubt we will see L4-style restrictions again.

    We will have a spike in covid deaths and some deaths related to lack of availability of medical services, but a good effort should keep those below a thousand a year. Almost flu-level, but using resources significantly greater than what we apply to the flu.

    Disease transmission in the workplace will likely get some OSH case law, with employers expected to set the standard that anyone with symptoms should stay home.

    Economy probably ok, inflation will start picking up as employers start paying more rather than whining about a lack of workers, but won't get to 1970s levels. If the Chinese property market collapses, that might increase house prices here, unless it collapses credit markets in which case we might get a lull but still first homes will be unaffordable here.

    Global flashpoints: India/Pakistan, PRC/Taiwan, South China Sea. Also Crimea. The last two might clock off over a freedom of navigation exercise, but I don't think WW3 will be on the cards.

  9. Mass graves of the unvaccinated. Those few anti-vaxxers left alive will be treated as they deserve — antisocial pariahs.

    We are already feeling the climate crisis but in 2022 the northern summer will see even more wildfires, crop failures and desertification. The Kiwi diaspora will come home and population will jump by 200,000+ making the housing crisis much much worse.

    Petrol prices over $3.00 for a litre of 91. Huge impact on the economy. Transport industry staging mass protests against diesel prices but everyone will be feeling the pain. E-bikes and e-scooters will no longer be second class citizens on public roads, instead gas guzzlers and SUVs will be increasingly a Boomer/RWNJ phenomenon, not a status symbol.

    Slum landlords pushed out and selling up. NZ is a laggard in regulating housing "investors" (parasites and hoarders IMO who should be tarred and feathered) but we will adopt Aussie regulations that finally close the huge loopholes allowing dirty money to corrupt the market.

    China will push NZ into a corner and we will be forced to choose between democracy & human rights, or kowtowing to their hegemonising threats.

    Jacinda will resign or take sabbatical leave. Managing Covid and trying to navigate NZ through crisis upon crisis have taken their toll.

    • Ngungukai 9.1

      Unfortunately what you are saying is true. Hopefully we can keep the lid on this COVID thing.

    • Michael 9.2

      All sounds nice and cheery. A third term for Labour will be a cake walk under those circumstances. As long as the Nats are kept out I don't caer what happens. I've learned not to expect anything much from "Labour" governments.

  10. DukeEll 10

    Fully Vaccinated where it matters thanks to the government!!!! What a way to seal in 2023

  11. Ad 11

    If Fonterra's dairy farmers really do get $8.50 a kilo of milk solids this season and next, much of rural New Zealand is going to be doing great!

    • Graeme 11.1

      Not just rural, $8.50 /kgms will have a huge flow on through the whole economy, hopefully it's mirrored in other agricultural sectors or we will see another push for more dairy conversions, which will be getting into really inappropriate sites in the next wave.

      If there's a large price increase in all commodities we could be headed for an economy in New Zealand similar to '50's to early 60's with high farm incomes and few, and expensive, consumer items. roblogic's comment re $3.00 petrol is the consumer side of that.

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