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Just who does Business NZ represent?

Written By: - Date published: 7:31 am, July 15th, 2010 - 31 comments
Categories: business - Tags:

Yesterday Clare Curran released her procurement members bill which would see Kiwi firms being given a preference for government purchasing.

Just the thing for Kiwi Businesses you would think – after all what business wouldn’t support a bit of help in these hard times?

As I said yesterday business representatives should be right behind this bill.

Sadly for business their representative, Business New Zealand CEO Phil O’Reilly, seems more interested in political ideology than in the best interests of his members. Here’s what he had to say:

‘The Government has set up a procurement working group to address these issues. Information so far gathered indicates New Zealand companies just want a fair go.

‘They don’t want special treatment or featherbedding. They realise they need to produce a world class product at a world class price and they realise also that featherbedding will lead them to being less competitive internationally.

This is akin to a union rep telling an employer his members don’t want a pay-rise and if I were a member of Business NZ I’d be a little bit unhappy with this.

But, as Gordon Campbell has pointed out, some “representatives” of business seem more interested in small-government ideology than in getting the best deal for their members.

In a union members get to vote on who represents them. I wonder how much say O’Reilly’s members have.

31 comments on “Just who does Business NZ represent? ”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    In a union members get to vote on who represents them. I wonder how much say O’Reilly’s members have.

    I’ll go right out on a limb and guess that the process is along the lines of “If you don’t like what we say, stop being a member”.

  2. loota 2

    Surely National and its large corporate allies aren’t positioning themselves to be anti-SME?

  3. tc 3

    Phil O’Reilly is an extension of the business roundtable….headhunted from offshore back home to spin issues in favour of his mates.

    I’ve yet to hear anything unique or insightful from him just the same old ideological crap.

  4. John Keys NZ is being set up for multinational companies. To have them interested in NZ there must be a low wage economy with no impediments. Giving NZ businesses a fair go is a impediment the Government does not want.

    John Key wants NZ still tied to the market rates and that makes it too expensive to export from here, so NZ goes down the tubes but no worry John Key and his mates are ok, they want for nothing.

  5. Butyeahbutnahyeahnah 5

    They represent everyone who has fallen for the scam that an ipod is worth more than a chicken.

  6. Craig Glen Eden 6

    Phil O’Reilly is an extension of the National Party as well tc I would put a small wager on him being a card carrying member. As others have identified he is not interested in helping NZ business get business. So rather than coming out and saying well done to Clare Curren for looking after NZ business interests, he has to pretend that he knows what business really wants ( because no one from Labour would know) and thats to be able to sell stuff all over the world.

    I am sure that just because a few NZ companies are able to sell product or services to the Government that its not going to make them uncompetitive in other markets. What are they stupid people who cant run a business? Phil O’Reilly is not stupid but what he is is a National Party hack looking after his mates ( Smile and wave and Blinglish ) interests pretending to speak on behalf of NZ business which clearly he is not.

  7. B 7

    Our company used to be a member and resigned over the ideology issue, so I suspect they’ve lost many others.

    Also witness the split/emergence of the alternative Manufacturers & Exporters Assn (www.mea.org.nz), representing businesses operating in the ‘real economy’ (or the real world) and is vocal in its criticism of many of O’Reilly’s favourite positions.

    • jimmy 7.1

      Good stuff B, I really enjoy the balance provided by the Manufacturers & Exporters Assn. Read Ha-Joon Changs “Kicking Away the Ladder” for some good back up material if you happen to need it (if everybody who ‘makes things’ read that the national party would quickly loose its mantle as the party of business).

    • BLiP 7.2

      The “Manufacturers” are just as keen to fuck over New Zealanders as “Business”. They’re both pincers on the same pair of pliers.

  8. tc 8

    Agree CGE…and like all these nat supporters who on the face of it represent ‘independant bodies’ they seem to find no end of media time to push the nat agenda disguising it in Phildo’s case as what NZ business wants when in fact he represents what the ruling class want….low cost and high profit…..who cares how it’s achieved.

  9. michaeljsavage 9

    It almost seems that the aim is for an unusually familiar social structure …

    The Ruling Elite

    The Aristocracy serving the Elite and running the mechanisms of oppression and power

    The Merchant Class – SME’s and the few remaining NZ owned companies, struggling to make a good living

    The Peasants … a captive workforce – kept on the brink (its good for their character) – who all “owe their souls to the company store” (made up of Utilities prices, cost of Food and Goods, Taxation in all its forms)

    So the answer with the Peasants – is to keep them on the back foot constantly – dangle carrots in front of the Merchant Class and keep them anti the Peasants who are just whinging whining bludging fools who should be grateful for a job anyway … by maintaining this elegant social engineering formula and keep surface tension nice and tight and always slightly offbalance … voila – you have the perfect feudal society. I call it – the Beijing Principle.

    Only downside to this – is it may well turn the complacent old flightless Kiwi into a revolutionary.

    Who knows.

  10. ghostwhowalksnz 10

    Its just like a dog that barks at cars, anything from labour he runs after with teeth bared.
    Anything from national, its a wagging tail

  11. Bill 11

    Anybody remember Rod Donald positioning the Greens as business friendly with regards the tension between small business and big business?

    Can’t quite understand why nobody has assumed that mantle.

    Maybe Clare Curren’s bill is a sign of such a move as well as a long overdue stepping away from Labour’s embrace of free trade clap trap.

    Hope so.

    • Lazy Susan 11.1

      Interestingly my accountant mate has explained to me that tension between SME’s and big business has just been increased by the cut in the corporate tax rate from 33% to 28%.

      Most SME’s have NZ resident shareholders/owners so any profits they pay out will be taxed at the shareholders/owners marginal tax rates. Hence the reduction in the corporate tax rate will be “clawed back” when profits are paid out to all owners/shareholders on a 33% marginal tax rate.

      However, big businesses owned by offshore interests (e.g. all the major banks) have just been given a nice 5% tax cut . This of course has produced a corresponding 5% revenue hole in the government’s tax take.

      Business NZ, like NAct, pay scant regard to what’s good for NZ Business and New Zealanders. They are working for themselves and the global elites and couldn’t give a toss about this country. I loathe the patriotic spin that these parasites spew out while they quietly suck this country dry.

  12. prism 12

    I think that much of big business is not NZ focussed at all and have no commitment or identify with the country. They see business opportunities here and know the system and that’s why they stay here not because they are committed NZs.

    They work the system for their own ends and might try and rort the system as in the Fay Richwhite thing and the Winebox disclosures that were Winnie’s greatest hour AFAIMC. Those financiers also helped find finance for the government when in extremis and bought our bits and bobs to have a go at running them better than the despised govt, and asset stripped them to ensure that they got something out of the exercise. If it suits, they might spend money in the country running some suitably toffee-nosed business, Americas Cup races, supremely styled golf courses etc.

    When it suits them they flit off to Oz or Switzerland with their money and return on occasions. They might snap up some promising businesses but they are definitely not solidly based New Zealanders interested in a country where all people can be proud of its ongoing achievements and have fair living standards for all, with opportunities to build and grow new businesses. Mostly the new rich have bought up old businesses, used the brand and lost the original kaupapa or asset stripped.

    • michaeljsavage 12.1

      Winston never got the kudos he deserved for his outing of the culprits. I still believe he can still find his mojo again.

      • prism 12.1.1

        mjs Don’t know about that. I think Winnie’s finest hour can not be even partially matched now. But his antics do keep people interested in politics. That might be positive enough to make up for his tendency to be like a weathercock, with all its interpretations.

        • michaeljsavage

          I do wonder if he actually became the first major victim of MMP and its need for people to “run with the foxes and hunt with the hounds…” if they actually wanted to get into parlyamunt and stay there…I like the weathercock analogy … but he isnt the only one either …. they are all weathercocks and to a certain extent they all have to be under MMP …. some are more cock than weather however in my view ….

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    Well, I must admit that I’m not surprised to find Business NZ not supporting either NZ business or NZ.

  14. Nick C 14

    How refreshing, a business lobby which doesnt want special favours from the government!

    I think Phil is looking at the big picture. He would rather have a free market system where business can opperate with minimal interference than the sort of overall system which this Bill would make up a part of.

    • george 14.1

      Business New Zealand get lots of special favours from government including funding.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      no, what would be refreshing is a business lobby that actually had the best for the country in mind rather than the best for multi-national corporations.

      • Pascal's bookie 14.2.1

        It’s almost like he thinks you have to be a NZ business to be a member of NZ Business. This policy would be against the interests of many of their biggest members.

    • loota 14.3

      Oh you mean Government interference like “help”, “support”, “recognition”, etc?

      A free market system? Are there any successful economies in the world which developed on and runs an actual ‘free market system’?

      • Draco T Bastard 14.3.1

        Nope. An actual free-market removes profit so you can be pretty certain that there isn’t one around now either.

  15. randal 15

    good question.
    if you read thorstein veblen on the business class he makes the claim that businessmen spend most of their time trying to stymie and destroy the opposition.
    this looks like one of those cases.

  16. Trevor Mallard 16

    And if you look at whole of life and economic benefit issues O’Reilly is out of touch in the long as well as the short run. Sucking up to government just makes his organisation look more like the roundtable of old.

    • comedy 16.1

      Yes nothing ever changes in NZ, National is a political branch of business and Labour is a political branch of the unions.

      ….. and the public pray for a pox on both your houses. Viva la revolution !

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