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No future in NZ?

Written By: - Date published: 7:14 am, June 28th, 2011 - 205 comments
Categories: economy, employment, national - Tags: , ,

The weekend found Matt McCarten in a pensive mood:

We’ve failed our kids and they’re off to Oz

In three weeks my daughter flies to Melbourne with a group of her mates to start a new life. All of them are young university graduates in low-level jobs and just want out. They say most of their friends have either gone or are planning to go because there isn’t the opportunity here. …

We are actually raising our kids to live in Australia. All of us have either family or friends who have already made the choice and it’s accelerating.

An analysis by the NZIER think tank on the Brash 2025 Taskforce predicts more than 412,000 Kiwis will move to Australia over the next 15 years. That’s 500 a week. It’s like transplanting the entire population of Wellington, the Hutt Valley and the Kapiti Coast across the Tasman.

The analysis shows that we have invested $200,000 in the education and health care of a 23-year-old university graduate like my daughter. Their conclusion is our investment in the Kiwis choosing to move to Australia is $30 billion. Lucky Australia, stupid New Zealand.

To halt the exodus, we had the head of the taskforce, Don Brash, proposing dropping the minimum wage altogether. Apparently this would help free up the market and create higher-paid jobs. If you wonder why Brash hasn’t raised the Act Party’s polling after he decapitated Rodney Hide you need look no further than this sort of ideological nuttiness.

And oddly we had our Minister of Labour this week musing about reintroducing youth wages for workers in the 18 to 24-year-old bracket. Kate Wilkinson quickly backed down after an outcry, but the message to our next generation is clear. Screw you! …

Surely there is something deeply disturbing about the country we have created when our children have to leave us to build a better life?

Perhaps the mobile young were heeding the advice of Bernard Hickey in his influential open letter from 2009:

Leave ASAP

Dear Generations X and Y

Did you realize the baby boomers running the country have just decided to make you poorer for decades to come so they can retire early with all the assets and high incomes?

Did you realise your taxes are going to rise and you won’t be able to afford your own home? Did you know the baby-boomers are refusing to save their own money now for their retirements so they can live off your hard work?

Did you know you will be slaving away paying high taxes in your 40s and 50s to pay for their pensions and health care? Did you know you’re wasting your time trying to build a family and life in New Zealand? Did you realise you have huge student loans while they received free tertiary education? …

Your only choice is to migrate as soon as the global economy starts recovering and the jobs become available again. This will be the best revenge you can get. They will have to watch their grandchildren grow up by email and the occasional flying visit.

I’m not kidding. Leave ASAP.

Young Kiwis have always travelled to see the world, nothing wrong with that. But when so many leave and too few choose to return, then something is deeply wrong. I blame student loans as the main effect. The last Labour government did a lot of good, but I can’t help but feel that they missed the chance (possibly the last chance) to make tertiary education free again. Yes education is an individual benefit, but it is also a public good, and a public gain. Investing in education is the best investment a country can make. How dumb are we to be exporting $30 billion worth of educated Kiwis to Oz?

Now National are, inevitably, making matters even worse (yet another failed election promise). On top of student loans add high unemployment, a stagnant economy, stagnant wages, anti-worker legislation (sorry – a “flexible” labour market), talk of punitive youth rates until age 24, and a general lack of vision and direction. There’s little to keep the young here, but there’s big trouble ahead for the country without them.

205 comments on “No future in NZ? ”

  1. higherstandard 1

    We cannot afford tertiary education to be interest free let alone completely free without massive cuts elsewhere. Care to suggest where ?

    • Monty 1.1

      Good point – but also isn’t a reasonable part of the move to Australia due to the on going Chch earthquakes where people have just had enough?

      • higherstandard 1.1.1

        A small percentage – most are moving on the back of the promise of higher salaries and wages especially in Sydney where there is an employee shortage and West Australia with its mining boom that is driving the Australian economy.

        Although to be fair you would need to get paid multiple times what you were paid in NZ to have a similar QOL when living in Sydney – it is very expensive to live there now. If you want to make money and save it then West Australia or Melbourne are better options for most IMO

        • ianupnorth

          A small percentage – most are moving on the back of the promise of higher salaries and wages especially in Sydney where there is an employee shortage and West Australia with its mining boom that is driving the Australian economy.

          Gees you two are a pair of clowns – like those two old blokes off the Muppets!
          here’s a task for you, I’ll explain it simply
          go to http://www.seek.co.nz and do an all NZ search – you can pick the job role. Look at how many you find, look at the salaries offered, look at the terms an conditions, e.g leave entitlement, superannuation, etc.
          Then do the same for any Aussie state (balance it pro rate for population)
          Then feedback to us here as to the reasons why people are moving.
          To test this theory I did “design and architecture’ as a random choice – 101 vacancies in NZ,  the wages varied for $45K to $100K per annum
          Queensland had 134, and yes they paid more, 454 in NSW, ditto re pay.
          Over 1300 vacancies in that field in Aussie!
          How about retail, Aussie have 6500 vacancies, NZ 700 – have they 10 times our population – no!
          They have 10 times more education jobs, 8 times more health jobs.
          We have skilled people but no jobs and no sign of them!

          • queenstfarmer

            I’m glad you’ve focussed on the high-end job market. I’m not worried about people leaving NZ in search of a better minimum wage, or better handouts. I’m concerned about the highly-skilled, highly motivated, bright creative people (i.e. future rich-pricks) who are leaving. These are the people who have and will create the opportunities (e.g. evil big businesses) that will provide higher-end jobs in future. And to do that, you need a business-friendly, investor-friendly environment.

            • ianupnorth

              There are 8 – 10 times the vacancies on offer regards of where you look, management or shop floor.
              I think gone are the days when young Kiwi’s did their OE, saved up and came home to buy a house. They get grants for buying their first home over their and more cash when they have a child, then when that child is immunised. They look after their people.

            • KJT

              It is the high end people who are leaving, but because of low wages compared to skills in NZ.

              Accountants, Top managers, lawyers, rich layabouts and other parasitic life are staying here while Engineers, Technicians, Builders, Teachers, Doctors, Nurses, and all the others, who are needed for a successful economy leave.

              Hard to see how we can make NZ more investor or business friendly.

              Unfortunately the potential investors took the money and ran. Preferring to invest in gambling in the US money markets where tax payers bail you out if you get it wrong rather than in productive business in NZ.

              Not worried about them leaving because their only contribution to NZ is pushing asset prices up while avoiding any tax obligations they can.

              • ianupnorth

                The bottom end leave too because they can earn $150K per annum driving a big truck in an open cast mine, not $14 an hour at Subway.

              • Draco T Bastard


                NZ is already business friendly. What it isn’t is entrepreneur friendly. This being true, the entrepreneurs leave.

            • Adele

              Teenaa koe, queenstfarmer

              Not only does a thriving economy need to have business-friendly, investor friendly policies it must also have worker-friendly legislation. Happy workers make highly productive workers and business benefits . It’s not rocket science.

          • higherstandard

            ‘……here’s a task for you, I’ll explain it simply………’

            Tell you what why don’t you do your research yourself.

            Salaries are highest in Sydney and it’s environs and West Australia at the moment, I have a number of friends and colleagues who have taken up positions in Sydney in particular and the salaries are very generous however the cost of living is high and real estate is expensive vs Auckland at a 1:1 exchange rate let alone the vs the current Ausi dollar.

            I could likely make several times more per annum in Australia than I make here but I live and work here because I prefer the lifestyle.

            Australia is booming at the moment but much of that boom is on the back of mining in West australia and that industry is anathema to a large section of the whinging populace in NZ.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.2


        We are a wealthy country. The 1000 richest people in this country control $100B in assets. A 0.5% tax on those assets will provide interest free, low fee tertiary education for every New Zealander who wants it. And it will not impact the lifestyle or futures of those rich individuals and families in the least.

        The banks ship $2.5B of profits offshore annually. A 10% tax on that would allow our universities and polytechs to afford the best equipment, staff and facilities in the world.

        As a country we would be so much richer, and move on the path to a diverse high value, high technology country so much quicker.


        New Zealand could do it if it wanted to and if the people realised how easy it is to start the hard road ahead.

        • Carol

          This sounds like a good approach to dealing with it. We need to move away from this idea, promoted by the right & MSM, that paying significant and progressively affordable amounts of tax is bad for the country & individuals within it.

          Also, Hickey’s focus seems to be on aquisitive self-interest rather than a fairer society. He promotes the idea that everyone should be able to afford their own home. Why? This scramble for home ownership hasn’t helped the country that much, as far as I can see, while benefitting speculators and those at the top of the home ownership hierarchy.

        • queenstfarmer

          The 1000 richest people in this country control $100B in assets. A 0.5% tax on those assets will provide interest free, low fee tertiary education for every New Zealander who wants it.

          And what if those 1000 richest people join the exodus? Or, more importantly to your argument, what if their assets leave? What if some of them leave, meaning you put the tax up on the rest, causing more to leave, etc?

          The banks ship $2.5B of profits offshore annually. A 10% tax on that would allow our universities and polytechs to afford the best equipment, staff and facilities in the world.

          Not a great situation, sure. But you do realise that the banks already pay far more than a 10% tax on their profits? You do realise that just last year the banks paid an additional $2.2bn settlement for complex tax structures? So what you saying is that banks should pay an even higher corporate tax rate. Fine, but of course that will all get passed on in various ways to consumers. Rich people can absorb it (though they might squark), but the lower income people struggling with a mortgage or an overdraft can’t. Lending to businesses (who create jobs) will become more expensive. And the banks will find all sorts of other ways to, quite legitimately, reduce their tax burden. So it can be increased, but in the real world (I stress that point) there will are consequences and it’s not as simple as “look, those people have money! Lets just take it off them to pay for stuff!” which is what most far-left economics seems to boil down to.

          • wtl

            My impression of the banking system in NZ is that it is all too keen to lend money to people making speculative investments in property (completely unproductive), but is much less keen to lend to business (productive). I don’t think raising taxes on banking profits is a good idea, but we perhaps should introduce something like a mortgage levy to stop this happening.

            • Colonial Viper

              Remember that the more banking profts extracted out of NZ each year the more each NZ’er is working to pay mortgage interest in order to help fund the lifestyles of Australian shareholders.

          • Colonial Viper

            And what if those 1000 richest people join the exodus? Or, more importantly to your argument, what if their assets leave? What if some of them leave, meaning you put the tax up on the rest, causing more to leave, etc?

            Meh, not going to be held to ransom by the bankster occupiers and the wealthy “we are more loyal to Switzerland than NZ” Fay Richwhite types who are not interested in their responsibilities to the rest of us.

            If they pick up they can go. Of course they won’t be taking asssets like their Davenport homes or bachs at the Mount with them. They will still be subject to property taxes.

            Because at the moment a million ordinary New Zealanders have already left. And the needs of the few do not outweigh the needs of the many.

            Fine, but of course that will all get passed on in various ways to consumers. Rich people can absorb it (though they might squark), but the lower income people struggling with a mortgage or an overdraft can’t. Lending to businesses (who create jobs) will become more expensive.

            Well, the tax payer owned KiwiBank is going to do very well then isn’t it 😀

            Which is why National will get rid of KiwiBank at the first opportunity.

            Time to put an end to the financier and bankster occupation of New Zealand 😈

            • queenstfarmer

              Well, the tax payer owned KiwiBank is going to do very well then isn’t it

              I knew you’d say that. Again, reality intervenes. Where do you think Kiwibank gets its money from? Just last week it was annouced Kiwibank has borrwoed $1bn offshore. Put up the tax on “proftits going offshore”, or any number of other trade-discriminatory practices, and what do you think will happen? Plus NZ gets NO taxes on foreign-charged interest, which means it would be a double loss. As long as NZ lives beyond its collective means (and reallocating asset wealth makes no difference to that equiation), there is no alternative.

              • KJT

                It should be Government funded. Borrow against ourselves as West Germany did to avoid inflation after the war.

                Why should we pay foreign banks to add more zero’s to a ledger when we can do that ourselves.

                Who are living beyound their means?

                Real tradeable goods receipts exceed imports. It is invisible s such as interest payments and money spent in Hawaii by the rich that put us over the red line.

                Most New Zealanders are not able to do much more than feed and house themselves. They are not overspending!

              • MrSmith

                You don’t seem to understand the monetary system Queen St, If Kiwi bank is holding 1bil they can then lend out another 8/9 bil it’s called the fractional reserve monetary system, If I had time Q’t I would explain it to you but I just Assumed you new all about it!

                • Colonial Viper

                  He’s a Righty, Righties generally have no idea of the funny money economic system they helped engineer and promote.

                  Whats even more hilarious is that they look down on proposals by groups like Social Credit.

                  • MrSmith

                    Came across them resonantly CV but was a little wet behind the ears when they where around, they ideas where ahead of their time tho.

                    • felix

                      They managed to win 20% of the vote in the ’81 general.

                      I’d say it wasn’t so much a case of them being ahead of their time as of the electoral system which deemed that their voters should be represented on only two seats in parliament being broken, backwards, and behind the times.

            • fabregas4

              The truth is, I think, that most of those people aren’t so special. Others will take their place and often at 1/2 the salary. Does anyone really think the head of telecom at $5m a year couldn’t be replaced by someone equally good at say $2m (also too much actually).

          • MrSmith

            Queen St : We could be doubling the tax take from our Australian owned Government guaranteed Banks, they have been stealing from us with no risk for far to long. and if anyone thinks they will pack up and leave just because they are only making half the profit, think about this, if your golden goose started laying only every second day would you then sell her.
            Also saying that Banks would just pass on the costs is a cop out, if the government backed Kiwi bank, then competition would take care of the problem, and I see no reason why they shouldn’t, they where very quick to step in when the GFC happened, and we all know the banks don’t have any money in them anyway, thats why a run on the bank is against the law.

            • queenstfarmer

              I can only assume that you don’t know anything about economics or business, as you seriously think that a Govt could double tax (and massively reduce profit) without making a business reconsider its future in NZ. You might want to look up basic concepts such as return on capital. If the return on capital dropped here signficantly below a comparable place it could be invested, the money would leave PDQ.

              • Colonial Viper

                If the return on capital dropped here signficantly below a comparable place it could be invested, the money would leave PDQ.

                More bullshit.

                English couldn’t fend off the foreign capital which wanted to invest in NZ when he did his recent trip in Asia.

                Even though you can get higher returns on that capital by investing…in Ireland, Spain and Greece.

                We are not going to be held ransom by the bloody bankster occupiers with their threats of capital flight. They can threaten to leave, and we can threaten to nationalise their assets. So they better bloody co-operate with the long term future of NZ.

                as you seriously think that a Govt could double tax (and massively reduce profit)

                Hey if Telecom or BNZ wanted to leave the market because it was no longer profitable to be here, the NZ Government could buy up their remaining shares at a discount. After all we used to own them anyways.

                • KJT

                  Just need to follow this example and use public finance.


                  “Partnership Banks can raise revenue for states without raising taxes, and increase loans to small businesses precisely when Wall Street banks have cut back on lending and raised public borrowing costs. A Partnership Bank would act as a “banker’s bank” to in-state community banks and provide the state government with both banking services at fair terms and an annual multi-million dollar dividend.”.

                • queenstfarmer

                  Even though you can get higher returns on that capital by investing…in Ireland, Spain and Greece.

                  Duh, that’s why I said comparable place. Otherwise hey, you can get higher returns at the casino too!

                  if Telecom or BNZ wanted to leave the market because it was no longer profitable to be here, the NZ Government could buy up their remaining shares at a discount.

                  Nice confirmation that privatised assets aren’t ‘gone forever’ and can always be rebought on the open market. Sure the Govt could buy all of Telecom, but there wouldn’t be much to buy of BNZ if it’s capital had been pulled. A retail bank ain’t much of a business without capital.

                  • MrSmith

                    What capital? you mean the money they hold on deposit? or the buildings they mostly lease? As I understand the money they hold on deposit is mostly money we let them create out of thin air, through the fractional reserve monetary system http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money_supply.
                    So all this capital they are going to fly off with where is it Queen st?

          • Draco T Bastard

            And what if those 1000 richest people join the exodus?

            Not a problem really. We’ll adjust and be better off afterwards.

            • Colonial Viper

              That and the fact that there will always be a 1000 richest people in NZ 🙂

      • bbfloyd 1.1.3

        that explains why my friends in perth are reporting so many aucklanders, and nth islanders in general have moved there in the last year…….the christchurch earthquake…

        entirely logical really….. except that even the minister for uselessness(john key) has tried that one on more than once……are you getting desperate, or is that the extent of your attention span?

    • Carol 1.2

      Well, certainly Hickey is making some big over-generalisations of what things were like for the boomer generation compared with for young people now. And he is ignoring crucial socie-economic differences, and differences in political allegiance. There IS an issue about how to fund higher education.

      Definitely things are tougher now and there are less jobs available compared with the size of the population. But since the late 70s/early 80s there has been a massive expansion in higher education. Back then about 1-3% of the population went to uni and I think there wasn’t a wide participation in non-uni/degree tertiary education. Now, it’s pretty much necessary to get some form of academic or vocational qualification. So there IS an issue of how this can now be paid for. However, I don’t see this as an insurmountable problem because it is essential to NZ invest in the education and training of each generation. It requires political will and the right policies.

      Hickey ignores the vast socio-economic (and gender & ethnic differences between boomers). The vast majority of boomers who went to Uni were white middleclass males. (The rest however, did find it pretty easy to get a job with a living wage in the 50s and 60s). I’m also uncertain about the claim that uni education was free for ALL boomers. It wasn’t for me, and I got my qualifications mostly partime while I was working. Maybe it was free to the last cohort/s of boomers?

      As for Hickey’s claim that the country is being run by boomers who are making all the decisions on this – not true:

      The usual birhdates given for boomers is about 1946-65. In fact, wikipedia makes it 1946-61 for NZ.

      Here are the birthdates of the current cabinet:

      Simon Power 1969 (too young to be a boomer)
      Stephen Joyce 1963 (not really an NZ boomer)
      Paula Bennett 1969 (too young to be a boomer)
      Phil Heatley 1967 (too young to be a boomer)
      Jonathan Coleman 1966 (too young to be a boomer)

      And John Key’s is 1961.

      Also, I think things had got easier for the younger boomers like John Key by the time they went to Uni. Things were pretty austere in NZ during the post war years from about 1945 to the late 60s or early 70s.

      So, basically, the problem is being perpetuated by the wealthier and more powerful people who subscribe to right wing/neoliberal policies, not a whole generation.

      • uke 1.2.1

        While I agree that we shouldn’t make too much of this generational thing, it should be noted that over half of the current National cabinet are actually boomers. Here’s the rest of the list:
        Bill English (b.1961), Gerry Brownlee (b.1956), Tony Ryall (b.1964), Nick Smith (b.1964), Judith Collins (b.1959), Anne Tolley (b.1953), Chris Finlayson (b.1956), David Carter (b.1952), Murray McCully (b.1953), Tim Groser (b.1950), Wayne Mapp (b.1952), Georgina te Heuheu (b.1943), Kate Wilkinson (b.1957). Can’t find Hekia Parata’s birthdate.
        Plus National ministers-outside-of-cabinet Maurice Williamson (b.1951) and John Carter (b.1950) are both boomers.

        • Carol

          Yes, fair enough. But my point is that it’s not so much a generational thing as many non-boomers are just as responsible for the current situation, many boomers support accessible higher education & job opportunities for all, and some younger people will continue to support the socially and economically destructive policies as the older generations move on out of political positions.

          And Hickey DOES ignore socio-economic & other social differences, over generalising about a big and diverse generation.

          So Hekia Parata doesn’t publicise her birth date? Vain?

          • uke

            It would certainly be simplistic to argue that the  baby-boomer generation that emerged in the post-WWII era is solely and directly to blame for our current woes. But I feel the individualistic boomer culture – in both its good and bad aspects – has come to act as an ideological hegemony for today’s young people, most of whom grew up under a similar prosperity in the 1960s-80s. Generation X and Y grew up in a boomer world. It is hard for them to think back through to a  pre-WWII situation in which working-class solidarity and community could be a tangible force in NZ politics.
            The nature of globalisation also makes it much harder to comprehend the overall economics of a society like NZ. As the notions of “national interest” comes to seem increasingly distant, maybe, people have grabbed at individualism as the only solid foundation left.
            Soon enough, however, they will discover individualism is not sufficient. But community values – which were never central to the boomer culture – will probably only be rediscovered by our grandchildren, who are going to have a bloody hard time of it along the way.
            (BTW, NZ society was not really “austere” from 1945 until the late-1960s. While European countries went through a very hard post-War reconstruction, shortages, and rationing, the NZ economy flourished from the early-1950s onwards with the Korean War-fueled world demand for wool, only going into a downturn in the early-1970s.)

            • Carol

              I think you mistake the individualistic US boomer culture for the boomer culture in NZ. The NZ that I grew up with in NZ in the 50s and 60s was one where the welfare state, and (compared with today) relative income equality was valued – it was not one based in strong values of individualism.

              Also, I like many other boomers ran screaming from NZ during the Muldoon years. My experience from the late 70s to mid 90s was within the London left, amongst mostly boomer generation anti-Thatcherist people. A high proportion of the UK boomers were also strongly committed to values of a supportive and enabling left-focused community. Kiwi boomers were more like UK boomers than US ones in their underlying values. We became very frustrated as we saw many (some boomers, many younger people born to early to know much of the value of the welfare state) sucked in by the individualistic promise of neoliberalism.

              It seems to me that some are setting up boomers as a kind of scapegoat, to absolve younger generations of any complicity, and maybe with an under-current of agism.

              Knowing history is always important in understanding the present and future. The 80s saw the corporatisation and Americanisation of culture in NZ and UK, as the powerful and wealthy elites worked to wind back many significant gains of the left.

              • uke

                I think your timeframe is correct – these things take a generation or two to work through. Maybe the NZ boomers were more of a transitional generation.

                • Carol

                  Maybe. The circumstances and culture we’re born into do have some influence on us, and those are continually changing. But, also there are as many differences within generations as between them. So in NZ there has always been a mix of political positions within each generation, from extreme left and right wing, though the centre ground of politics.

                  The balance of power can shift a bit though, from left to right. But that is a result of complex negotiations and struggles between diverse factions and organised groups.

            • Carol

              NZ was not as austere as Europe in the immediate post-war period. But it was far more austere than younger generations are used to now. There were little consumerist goods available at prices accessible to most people. My childhood & early teens were a time of little media or consumer goods in the home, of making do with what was available and not wasting what we had, of making our own toys & enjoying doing it, and of few domestic or other mod cons.

              We had one small antique radio for home entertainment, no fridge or washing machine, my dad’s fairly antique car (many couldn’t afford that), our (non-flash basic) bicycles. My mother made most of our clothes, and they were meant to last. Hotwater was rationed so we had to share bathwater & only bath a couple of times a week – some people only bathed once a week. The rest of the time it was a bit of an out of bath wash-down.

              Gradually through the 60s more consumer goods became available, but they didn’t really start to gain traction until into the 70s. And it was also during the 70s that “planned obsolesence” and the “throw-away society” took hold & that accelerated in the 80s. The 70s was also the time when people in NZ started travelling overseas on planes rather than ships.

              • uke

                “NZ was not as austere as Europe in the immediate post-war period. But it was far more austere than younger generations are used to now.”
                Agreed. Again, the boomers were probably a transitional generation. The so-called “Quarter-Acre-Half-Gallon-Pavlova Paradise” of 1950s-60s NZ still retained a healthy dose of DIY make-do-ism alongside the rising wages, more accessible home ownership, and universal student allowances (came in 1962-64 I think).

                • Carol

                  Yes things gradually became less austere for most, though there were still many living on little. Newly married friends of my family always talked about buying a section and building on it, usually somewhere away from Auckland city. I don’t know about the fees and allowances, but I know I was always told, though the 60s, that my parents could only afford to send one of their children to uni – so it wasn’t that accessible. people still had to support themselves while they studied.

                  Also, I think in the 50s and into the 60s, there were import restrictions on consumerist goods and various kinds of trade protectionist policies. furthermore, i think there was some way of reducing income inequalities – either through taxation or wage policies.

        • Craig Glen Eden

          “Can’t find Hekia Parata’s birthdate”

          I knew this woman was not human.lol

          • ZeeBop

            First off they may technically fall in the bad lands between Boomers and X, but they are in their bones boomers. Why? Simple, any analysis would immediately throw up the idea that they were selected by boomers for their boomer views, they would know to articulate too boomers its their frakking job to speak to an audience. So the idea that they aren’t boomers is absurd.

            Second, we are not 100% pure, we are not a nation of civil rights protections, we are not a mythical under achiever who cannot afford to protect our people. These are ‘selected’ untruthes by boomers to over insure their own wealth in the short term and have the opposite effect of protecting their wealth in the medium and long term.

            And how can we predict this? Oil will continue to keep rising in price, costs from increased global warming will be exponential as not only will the number of events increase but the cost of putting them right. Already Boomers will be paying higher insurance and rates to cover ChCh, and it will get worse. Then there are food prices, you can be damn sure that, like the middle east, the mass of poor people in S.Auckland will start realizing that the economy won’t turn, that it will just keep sucking, and getting more so. Just like in the middle east.

            So we can either choose to make a inclusive society, or have a social civil war that costs us all more in the end. And basically the National party is affiliated with the foreign holders (both kiwi and foriegners who live abroad) of NZ debt and assets, solely and to the detriment of most who reside here. yes, even farmers. Because its costly to wage a social class war, its costly to carry excessive inequality, its costly to have to carry the extra losses of disease, poor housing, poor child outcomes, poor on the streets.

            Capitalist don’t need hands out if there any good at their jobs, capitalists don’t need favorable regulation if they are any good at their jobs. Marginalize people need hand outs, hand ups, benefits and pro-regulation. And our civil crisis will continue until the wannabe rich are dismissed. The rich know that stacking the deck in their favor hurts their interest, they are already rich they can buy their way out of trouble. The problem is the working class who think they were born to be rich and don’t have a clue that being rich means being smarter, not being a mob of whiny big government socialists aka ACT and National, and keeping the market pressure on the poorest who do not have the choices, the assets, the influence to actively engage a free market and create the invisible hand.

      • JS 1.2.2

        I have heard several NZ demographers speak about the baby boom and they usually consider the baby boom finally finished about 1973. So the first real post boomers are coming up to 40. That is the generational shift that will make the real change when they get power.

        • Carol

          Really? Well that covers a VERY wide range of people born into diverse circumstances that were changing over time. And I’m not so convinced that there is going to be some major shift in dominant attitudes amongst those rising 40year olds. Many of them seem to have bought into the neoliberal vision that became dominant when they were young.

          I suspect that the big shift will be with the many younger teens & 20 year olds (and lesser numbers of older people) who are now seeing, firsthand, the unsustainability of neoliberal policies – and who are now having to shoulder the main burden of the intensifying crunch.

          • ZeeBop

            Nonsense. A boomer is a cultural creature. Where did the X culture come from. The big cities of the US and EU, just as the boomer culture came from these melting pots. So its quite reasonable that 30-year behind little NZ bigots are still being born and will hold boomer ideals. Sorry, maybe I exaggerated too must. Its quite possible someone over 40 who grew up, say in London, is X generation, but someone 35 born in S.Auckland is a boomer culturally. Because NZ is noted for its inability to keep up with the world because its love of simple minded, locked step thinking, that anyone has a right to hold despite the obvious abusiveness, absurdity and counter to their own interests. In fact the more stupid, the more absurd, the more abusive, the more counter to the interests of the individual, the lower the class, the more entitled, the more righteous, the holder is taught to believe their own statements. Yes, they can be very very rich and hold working class values that are so stupid that they would burn the forests down to save the forests. I mean there’s even a man working in the reserve bank at a high level who used that very argument, we should cut down forests to make profits so as to save forests, not one qualification that excess growth would eventually destroy all forests.

            Anywoo, its going to get worse while the National have to learn ‘on the job’ how wrong they are.

          • KJT

            A great many older people have known the fallacy of Neo-Liberal economics for years.

            Some of us have been fighting corporatism since 1978.

            At least supply and demand will mean that when we all retire the next generation of workers will be more valued.

    • Bill 1.3

      Scotland has free tertiary education and (roughly) the same social provisions and population as NZ. So why can’t NZ afford it?

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.1

        In fact we probably can (as I pointed out above) 🙂

        Its just a question of where the influential in our society place their priorities.

        • pollywog

          Its just a question of where the influential in our society place their priorities.

          The influential’s priorities are in being slumlords. They’d rather own and invest in shit houses to rent to students than own and invest in the schools and unis.

          • Colonial Viper

            I know of few of those slum lords. Their yearly upgrading of the miserable student properties that they own is a cleaning by a professional company – which they charge to the students.

            • pollywog

              Oh for the days when fatcats invested in scholarships and sponsored entire wings of universities to be built.

              Now we got fatfucks like Norgate sponsoring drug fuelled parties for the no hoping wealthy elite kids and investing in youth suicide because of it.

      • Peter 1.3.2

        Lets not forget our education system apparently also brings in 2 billion of foreign exchange earnings one way or the other through foreign students. 2 billion is an excellent incidental return when you consider that the total Budget spend for Education is 12 billion. I’d rather invest in education than the NZX.

      • ianupnorth 1.3.3

        They also export a large proportion of their graduates, and if they had been allowed to keep the oil money rather than waste it on Thatchers privatisations they would have been as wealthy as Norway.

      • queenstfarmer 1.3.4

        There have been fees at various times including recently. “Free” education in Scotland has been a political football for some time, as I understand it. Basically they get a considerable number of foreign students who do pay, and go their because it’s often a lot cheaper than an English uni. It’s like SIT in Invercargill.

    • Peter 1.4

      It was free once, and the country better off for it, how come?

      • KJT 1.4.1

        It was never free. People like me paid 60 cents on the dollar taxes so the spoiled children of the rich could go to University and infest the ski-fields. That had to change!

        Unfortunately. Douglas and co not only threw out the bath water (Welfare for farmers and business etc) which was necessary, but also the baby and the bath as well when they got drunk with power.

        The present student loan system is fairer and allows more to get a tertiary education.

        However the profit motive (Under Neo-Liberal dogma nothing is worth doing unless it makes money) encouraged tertiary providers to look at bums on seats as the main indicator of success.

        Maybe too many. We have too many lawyers and not enough builders.

        Problem at the moment is after 35 years of incompetent Government there are no jobs for graduates and other skilled people are grossly underpaid..

        This boomer voted against Muldoon and has been opposing Neo-liberal economic policies for the whole period. Difficult when the only choice of Government was Neo-Liberal heavy and Neo-Liberal a bit lighter.

        Rather subjective, but most of the boomers I know never voted for the right wing parties. Whereas most of the young people think that nice Mr Key is great.

        • Colonial Viper

          Problem at the moment is after 35 years of incompetent Government there are no jobs for graduates and other skilled people are grossly underpaid..

          Hear hear.

          Rather subjective, but most of the boomers I know never voted for the right wing parties. Whereas most of the young people think that nice Mr Key is great.

          By the way they are getting rid of all the old experienced guard throughout the public sector, the ones who know NZ history inside out and seen what has worked and what hasn’t, and replacing them with young, too easily impressed recent grads who know shit.

        • Bill


          You only paid 60c in the dollar if you earnings were above a particular level. And the chances are that your increased income was only possible due to the level of education you achieved. So while I agree that education was never ‘free’, it was only those who achieved a measure of economic success through education who ‘paid back’ society’s helping hand through being taxed at higher levels.

          With student loans, ex-students who secure employment pay around half as much tax again as most other workers regardless of income levels.

          And the student loan system doesn’t generate fairness. Students from lower socio-economic backgrounds simply can’t afford the living and course costs that accompany university these days. No cheques in the mail from mummy or daddy to pay that electricity bill. No ’50 bucks’ from mummy or daddy to help out with the shopping and so on.

          Meanwhile, courses that don’t offer obvious gateways to economic advantage (the ‘Arts’) are cut or attract fewer enrollments. Which all makes for a diminished education sector and a less well educated populace.

          • KJT

            I was an apprentice. I paid my own way.

            Even people like toolmakers and builders were in the 60% bracket as it started quite low.

            It was only the wealthy kids who could afford to go to Uni.

            At least loans pay the living costs.

            The ones I have sympathy for nowadays is the kids who want to do trades.

            Even if they can get an apprenticeship (I have kids offering to work for nothing to get into one) NACT have just changed the rules so those doing part time block courses cannot get am allowance. The student loan, if they get one, is such a larger proportion of their final pay they are almost forced to go overseas.

            • clandestino

              how about giving those young people an apprenticeship, unpaid or otherwise, instead of demanding the ‘qualification’ they can’t afford. you guys are just as complicit in the fraud by going along with this obsessive modern mentality with ‘education’. almost everything is better learnt through experience anyhow.

              • Colonial Viper

                Not sure how a young unpaid apprentice is supposed to afford petrol (or even the bus) to get to his work site.

                However I agree that a lot of the focus on modern education has turned into something akin to valueless ‘diploma mills’ and led to a lot of people who can regurgitate a lot of things about nothing at all useful to the community, and who still can’t properly figure their way out of a paper bag.

                • M

                  Nice one CV and I couldn’t agree more. This is amply demonstrated where I work with someone with a degree who is essentially what a fellow PO blogger friend, who is a professor and truly deserving of the title calls maths morons – supposedly educated but for all intents and purposes morons. I’m continually amazed that this person who is in their thirties does not know the difference between there, their and they’re (not too difficult I would have thought) and I had to explain what gratis meant – does no one read anymore? This person does not know when Germany’s last military world tour last took place or many things my twelve year-old knows and I’m in complete shock most of the time at such an appalling lack of general knowledge.

                  I know schools can’t teach everything but to my way of thinking it’s curiosity that makes you smart, a willingness to explore and be informed. I’m not an computer programmer’s arsehole but try to get around the computer as best I can and will go and look up stuff online or at the library or if someone has the time to show me something I’ll gladly accept the offer of instruction.

                  • KJT

                    Agree with that one. As someone who has completed trade qualifications and University. And been in several positions including management. (I get bored easily).

                    The most important thing you Teach as a teacher is not the 3 R’s. It is curiosity and a desire/love of learning and acquiring new skills. (What the new NZ curriculum is designed to do) The rest will follow.

                    I can say to be a good trades-person requires just as much nous and skill, if not more, than any graduate job.

                    Many people are at University because of the implied status of the resulting qualifications rather than ability.

                    Tertiary institutions wanting bums on seats have pushed for academic requirements for many jobs which would be better served by on the job learning.

                    Jobs which once required a few years on the job now have an unnecessary degree as a starting requirement.

                    For example, in one of my trades the apprenticeship. 3 years plus about a year of block courses has been replaced by two years at a tertiary institution and 1 year as an apprentice. The lack of practical skills and knowledge acquired is obvious. As is the excessive student loan.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The most important thing you Teach as a teacher is not the 3 R’s. It is curiosity and a desire/love of learning and acquiring new skills. (What the new NZ curriculum is designed to do) The rest will follow.

                      A cogent argument for the suckness of National Standards.

                    • Robert M

                      There were plenty of rich mediocre students at varsity in the l970’s and that included at least half of those studying economics and accountancy. \I had a reasonable secondary education but I feel I would have been much more successful if there had been better economics, accountany and maths teachers in the l970s because talent and depth in teaching was massively lacking in those areas in the provinces. I say that with some bitterness and good economics performance at university had become the prerequsite for a good advisory officer job in the public service by the late l970s.
                      To keep graduates here you need to pay them and give them a 24 hr lifestyle. None of the nonsense from Hulse and Dalziel about restricted licensing hours. Many jobs in nursing and say the police could be opened up to graduates rather than giving them to ordinary people.

                    • rosy

                      To keep graduates here you need to pay them and give them a 24 hr lifestyle

                      yeah, nah RobertM – E.g Vienna seems to do ok attracting grads and it’s not even open on Sundays. The US drinking age is 21 they do ok in this regard as well. Maybe a bit of international news, discussion and critique will do a better job of helping people make informed decisions about NZ rather than getting drunk.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    To keep graduates here you need to pay them and give them a 24 hr lifestyle. None of the nonsense from Hulse and Dalziel about restricted licensing hours.

                    Yeah because employers love their new grads recovering from hangovers, sleep deprivation and an ectasy downer which lasts until Tuesday night.

                • clandestino

                  If you’re not getting paid for work I assume you’re eligible for a benefit. But regardless, it’s the ridiculous hoops employers make us jump through that gets my goat before, as above, decrying the government for not making it ‘easier’ (read cheaper) for them to hire.

                  • KJT

                    Many kids actually fall through the cracks. Not eligible for a benefit because they are in training/tertiary education and not eligible for student allowances because they are not full time.

                    This has recently been tightened up to make things harder.

                    If they are getting a training or student allowance for the apprenticeship you are not allowed to pay them. Can get around that by paying expenses such as accommodation, tools, travel and food though.

    • Graham 1.5

      Yes, your (and your greedy mates) higher tax rate HS!

    • Frank Macskasy 1.6

      And yet, once upon a time, it WAS free. The “baby boom” generation (from where most of our politicians hail from) benefitted from free education, paid for by their parents.

      But instead of passing on free education to their children, they instead opted to take the money (via tax cuts); implement user-pays; and make their kids pay for what baby-boomers got for free.

      The sheer audacity and unfairness of this rort cannot easily be put into words.

      No wonder our children are giving us the collective “up yours” and leaving for better opportunities overseas. If we can be so selfish – then so can they.

      We taught our kids well: me first and to hell with everyone else.

      The chickens have well and truly come home to roost. (Actually, no. The chickens have left the roost for Australia… )

      • KJT 1.6.1

        It was not paid for by their parents. Most of that generation had already taken more money out than they paid in taxes.
        It was paid for by the majority of the boomer generation, the students contemporaries, in 60% taxes.
        Basically only wealthy kids went to Uni.

        That along with social welfare for wealthy farmers and business cronies was some of the changes that were necessary.

        It is young people without experience who oppose Unionism and vote for that, ” nice Mr Key”.
        Can’t really blame them though, given the level of information from media and politicians.

        All our Governments, from Muldoon on, were supporting corporatism. And having a competition to see how many NZ jobs they could lose.

        It shows how far the balance has moved to the extreme right that even Muldoon is socialist in comparison.

    • Yep – try cutting out all the ‘piggy-in-the-middle’ private consultants/contractors at central and local government level who are providing core central and local government services that used to be provided ‘in-house’, by ‘public servants’.


      Bring back the Ministry of Works and Council Works Departments!

      Better the public ‘BUREAUCRACY’ than the private ‘CONTRACTOCRACY’.

      How much is being spent on the private ‘CONTRACTOCRACY’ at local and central government level?

      How would the public know?

      The ‘books’ are NOT open.
      The ‘devil is in the detail’ – but we’re not given the ‘devilish detail’.

      We don’t know the NAMES of the contractors; scope, value or term of the contracts.

      WHY NOT?

      Public monies = public business.

      How about some GENUINE ‘transparency’ in NZ ‘perceived’ to be the ‘least corrupt country in the world’ (along with Denmark and Singapore) according to Transparency International’s 2010 ‘Corruption Perception Index’?

      Which political parties are going to pick up these demands and make them an election issue?

      (I’ll be raising these issues when I stand as an ‘Independent Public Watchdog’ in the Epsom electorate.)

      Penny Bright

      • ianupnorth 1.7.1

        Corruption is better hidden here; neoptism is rife, and in the sector I work it is endemic.

        • Jim Nald

          With John Key, New Zealand’s Transparency International’s 2010 ‘Corruption Perception Index’:

          100% Pure

    • Draco T Bastard 1.8

      Yes we can. The only reason why we can’t is because taxes, especially those on the rich, aren’t high enough.

    • Deadly_NZ 1.9

      Ummm JK BE and the great tax cut rort

  2. tc 2

    Key and cohorts are following a well trodden path slashed open wide by muldoonism. It was never about a brighter future but about making us mere servants to the corporate free market machine.

    The NACT are slash and burn secialist with trader types who gamble, hedge then cash in…..all done with taxpayer dosh. Nice work if you can get it and lack the morality.

    • higherstandard 2.1

      Muldoon was the last socialist PM this country had.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        That’s pretty much spot on.

      • Frank Macskasy 2.1.2

        Funny you should mention that…

        In the late ’70s and early ’80s, I had opportunity to travel to my folks’ homeland in Eastern Europe. I therefore had a good look at how a socialist system operated.

        I came away with the realisation that New Zealand was far more socialist, (community-wise) than a Warsaw Pact nation…

        • Colonial Viper

          AFAIK no one in Eastern Europe at the time actually believed that they were living in a truly socialist country, just a centrally planned authoritarian one.

          Administrators and officials in those countries were not even supposed to read Karl Marx or anything not authorised by the powers that be.

      • Codwallop high/s .Muldoon was the second Fascist Prime Minister ,the firts being Sidney Holland . To say Muldoon was a Socialist is an insult to the truly great socialist men and women NZ has had, Harry Holland , P.Fraser . Wolfgang Rosenburg ,and dont forget the NZ men who went to the Spanish Civil War only to be blacklist for work when they came back .
        Muldoon a Socialist go take a jump.

        • Oleolebiscuitbarrell

          The way you say, it makes it sound like being a socialist is a good thing.

        • Deadly_NZ

          Well where i think Muldoon and co were great in the age of limited information, these days he probably would not have made the back bench, Different times, different ways. But it was Muldoon said boo and the country jumped. Labour had a wet rag called ummm, what was his name ? yep he was that good. But Lange and co came up with Rogernomics still limited information to the public, so they got away with it. But now these days with the Internet, slot phones cctv etc etc you cant spit in peace. And as JohnKY has found out even journo’s on the other side of the world can ruin your whole day. So lets all pray that he steps on his crank a few more times, and publicly, and dents his Teflon persona a little bit more. And don’t he look just a little pissed that Steven Fleming has all the god like adoration that he so craves ? could even dent that mask a bit more with a lot of “how good Steven Fleming did in India etc etc type comments, and as they have been going under the sporting and trade portfolio’s, the minister of trade is gutted like a fish by Fleming All live and in colour on TV.

      • Policy Parrot 2.1.4

        So the “Dancing Cossacks” were actually Muldoonists then?

        • higherstandard

          No, they were a political advert designed to get votes much like Winston’s yellow peril ravings over the years.

  3. Policy Parrot 3

    re: Hickey – I am in favour of cheap education as much as the next guy, but this not wholly responsible for the brain drain. Both Cuba today, and the DDR throughout its history lost significant numbers of its freely trained graduates to the US and West Germany respectively. It would not be unreasonable to assume that we would lose significant numbers of graduates to Australia (and other countries) under such a policy. There should always be a nominal education charge to encourage successful completion of courses – perhaps something that can realistically be paid back with summer jobs and no more than three years work, and supplemented while studying with an actual living allowance so part time work is a more optional rather than compulsory extra-curricular activity.

    Lack of decent well-paid remuneration opportunities is the main problem. While Labour arguably neglected many opportunities to embolden the private sector into moving out of its traditionally low spend on research and development, at least it rebuilt the public service and there was place for skilled qualified graduates to go. But now, under National with all the cutbacks to the civil service, there is almost nothing.

    • ChrisH 3.1

      This is quite right. I’ve spent my whole life in NZ being “overqualified” and now it is worse than ever. Today you get the feeling that the highly qualified etc are actually encouraged to leave, so that they don’t make the apparatchiks look thick. Rudolf Bahro called it “surplus consciousness” in the context of East Germany. And we don’t have a wall to keep our brightest young people here so I think there is a real chance that NZ will suffer a demographic collapse, nobody left except old people and beneficiaries. And by the way it isn’t just Sydney, places like Brisbane have a real buzz now compared to Dorkland. it’s interesting to compare what travel writers say about Brisbane, once one of the dullest and most brutal of Australian cities, with what they say about Auckland today:

      “If you remember Queensland’s capital 20 years ago, it might read like a Tui billboard: “I’m off to Brizzie for a dose of culture. Yeah, right.”
      The only reason you used to go to Brisbane airport was to turn left or right for a vitamin D fix – south to the Gold Coast or north for the Sunshine Coast. But the infamously provincial backwater has pumped millions of dollars into the arts in a desperate effort to gain some cultural cred. And it seems to be working.” Nikki Macdonald, ‘A kick in the arts’, Dominion Post (24 June 2008).
      “Crowning everything is a new pedestrian bridge over the river at the north end of Montague Rd which allows the West End 20-somethings to walk to work in the CBD. The bridge is architecturally beautiful but depressing because you realise that civic projects like it could never happen in Auckland.” Corbett, J. (2010) Rollin’ on the river, Sunday Star-Times (travel section) (22 August), pp. 4-5, at p. 4.
      “City developers have embraced style in the beautiful arched bridges across the Brisbane river, a myriad of pedestrian and bike-friendly boulevards lined with sculptures and the gardened malls surrounded by modern and historic architecture.” John Landrigan, ‘Brisbane: riverside revelry lights up chic city’, New Zealand Herald (16 Sept. 2010).

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Most of NZ’s front bench has long gone, the remaining B grade players are looking to as well, and it’s the C grade running the club.

        there is a real chance that NZ will suffer a demographic collapse

        You aren’t the only one who thinks this.


        • ZeeBop

          Herald answer to the ageing crisis? the problem needed solving? skill shortage and healthcare.
          i.e. more retirement buildings and carers.

          No, the Herald ain’t getting it. Its about fairness, matching Australia on tax. That means GST off food, books, child goods, that means CGT, that means the first $5000 income free.

          Out tax system is distorted and is rorted by the Australian owned banks. So of course the people the moment they can move do so to the fair taxation country, Australia.

        • Draco T Bastard

          “Once your age structure turns upside down the potential for growth is gone.”

          That’s actually funny. The age structure should be equal (births=deaths) but people are so brainwashed towards growth that they don’t see when it’s inappropriate and, to top it all off, our entire pension system is designed around the expected continued increase in child births. I remember from around that time (~1980) that National expected population in NZ to be ~20m by 2000. Thankfully NZ cut the exponential population explosion short.

          It shouldn’t really be a problem due to increased productivity but it will be due to all of the wealth being channelled to fewer and fewer people.

      • rosy 3.1.2

        Well said ChrisH, and good link CV. At home we’ve been talking about this a lot and have come to the conclusion reached was that unless there is massive investment and immigration from the likes of China and India NZ has no future as a sovereign state unless it is absorbed into Australia. Apparently in some circles it’s already called Australia’s ‘nature strip’ (their name for the grass verge along the footpaths) Sort of funny, but pretty much sums up where we sit in the big scheme of things.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3

        If we had our economy based upon our resources rather than foreign money I figure we’d have a massive arts & culture renaissance as well as enough R&D to put us at the top of tech development (Hint, we wouldn’t be importing computers from China). Unfortunately, we’ve gone the delusional neo-liberal monetary route specialising in the non-creative farming sector rather than sticking to real economics.

        • ZeeBop

          Don’t you mean the Labour Finance minister Roger Douglas?

          Are Labour to be trusted to reverse the mess he left us?

          Labour’s message needs to break out of the old paradigm and
          square off with the failures of Roger Douglas under Labour.

          • Colonial Viper

            yeah and an apology for those years and for not seeing the rort of neoliberal free market economics earlier wouldn’t go amiss.

            • Draco T Bastard

              They still haven’t seen it CV so it’s unlikely that you’ll get an apology from them for installing it.

              • KJT

                They are still rabbiting on about the goodness of FTA’s in Red Alert, so I do not think there is much thought beyound keeping their parliamentary jobs safe.

      • Deadly_NZ 3.1.4

        And all JohnKY can come up with is a cycle way. That in some places is a green line painted on the road and should have religious prayer signs at beginning, and end, if you should make it that far unscathed.

      • jingyang 3.1.5

        I was told a story some time ago about a certain US owned fastfood chain where the US owners started to wonder why the NZ operations weren’t making as much money as they supposedly should have been. A consultant was duly sent out from the US to investigate the operations of the NZ subsidiary. The consultant’s conclusion was that the chain was run by idiots who wouldn’t hire anyone who seemed even vaguely smarter than they were because then they would have A/pull their socks and/or B/ look very stupid.

        The Ministry of Commerce itself admits that the quality of New Zealand management is poor…http://www.med.govt.nz/upload/72724/11-03.pdf

        It reminds me of that old joke:
        How do you successfully make a small business in NZ?
        Well, first you take a large business…

        • KJT

          One of the Neo-Liberal memes is the cult of management. As if the rest of the staff have no contribution.

          Too many NZ managers are business school graduates or accountants with no in depth knowledge of the business they are managing and no skills beyound cost cutting and asset stripping.

          I’ve seen their real fear of someone in operations or on the floor who has more clues than they do.

          We follow the US model when we should be following the German or Japanese one.
          Who manage to find competent Managers without the ridiculous salaries we pay ours.
          They rarely use outside hires. And hiring someone without in depth knowledge of that particular business would be unthinkable.


          Even NZ management magazine states the quality of Management is too low. We have too many managers who know how to cost cut only and too few entrepreneurs and Managers who know their business..

        • MrSmith

          The old joke is, we should tell these blood sucking US food chains to pack up and go home as they are only costing us money in the long run, or we could just let the New Zealand workers too corrupt and destroy them from the inside, have you eaten in these places lately? Every bugger comes with a nice gob of kiwi $12 an hour spit haven’t you noticed.

          • Colonial Viper

            Every bugger comes with a nice gob of kiwi $12 an hour spit haven’t you noticed.

            I’m really wondering if you meant to say that exactly.

            Because it still works 🙂

  4. ropata 4

    Paul Little: All that glistens in Oz isn’t gold

    The Prime Minister must have been tempted to stay during his visit to Australia this week, like all the other Kiwis who pushed transtasman migration numbers to a record monthly level of 3300 in May.

    He would have been dazzled by Canberra’s Parliament buildings and possibly would have been swayed by a voting system that demands less ability at arithmetic than MMP.

    But perhaps he’s not that superficial. As to those New Zealanders who are lured by higher incomes and better “prospects”, I wonder how much thought they have given to the implications of their move.

    They are leaving behind family and friends who will no longer be part of their daily lives. Their children will not have the sort of relationship with their extended family that is only possible when generations live in proximity.

    They are going to a country which has not even begun to come to grips with what has happened to its indigenous population. You will still find white Australians referring to “Aboriginals and Australians” – as though the former are not also the latter.

    They will live in over-crowded cities or philistine suburbs. Their children will go to expensive schools which, from secondary level on, barely pretend to offer an education.

    They will not hear their voices on radio, they will not see their writers in bookshops, they will not see their stories told on television.

    They will have no turangawaewae – no place where they belong.

    They will probably have more disposable income.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      They are leaving behind family and friends who will no longer be part of their daily lives. Their children will not have the sort of relationship with their extended family that is only possible when generations live in proximity

      Bernard Hickey’s mum left NZ and moved so that she could be with her grandchildren living in Australia.

      • Jim Nald 4.1.1

        National’s “Brighter Future” – Ambitiously Aussie, our grandkids will be.

    • SHG 4.2

      They will live in over-crowded cities or philistine suburbs. Their children will go to expensive schools which, from secondary level on, barely pretend to offer an education.

      They will not hear their voices on radio, they will not see their writers in bookshops, they will not see their stories told on television.

      They will have no turangawaewae – no place where they belong.

      I live in an Australian suburb with fantastic infrastructure two blocks from a beautiful beach. My son goes to a private school with fantastic staff and I know it delivers great results because the Australian Ministry of Education publishes school rankings for comparison by parents.

      Radio? Bookshops? Television? Jesus, what century does this writer live in? There’s this thing called the Internet. Someone tell him about it.

      As far as turangawaewae goes, well the place where I belong is where my family is. That’s here in Australia. When I die I will be returned to Aotearoa to be buried, but until that journey I can’t see myself returning for anything other than holidays.

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.1

        Radio? Bookshops? Television? Jesus, what century does this writer live in? There’s this thing called the Internet. Someone tell him about it.

        200GB superfast broadband plans in Australia for $60-$70/month.

        Yes, NZ is a poor backward nation with low expectations for itself.

        • Jim Nald

          How about this for John Key’s 2011 campaign:

          New Zealand – A Brighter Future For Your Burial

          • Colonial Viper

            Well, according to John Key its more efficient to ship the native logs overseas and reimport the coffins from China.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Well, I suppose it probably won’t be as polluting as all the bloody farms.

        • SHG

          The new Aussie backbone is lighting up now too. Households 5 mins drive from me are connecting at 100megabit.

          But doesn’t impress me at all of course, I’m too broken up over not hearing “my voice” on something called “the radio”.

    • Jim Nald 4.3

      “They are leaving behind family and friends who will no longer be part of their daily lives.”

      – This is not necessarily true and, at the rate of migration, will not be true

      I’ve just done a quick count and I have at least five first cousins in each of the major of cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth … plus at least, on average, at least a dozen friends and former workmates in each of those cities and each of them probably has at least a handful of relatives and friends already there.

    • Kiwiatheart 4.4

      “They are leaving behind family and friends who will no longer be part of their daily lives. Their children will not have the sort of relationship with their extended family that is only possible when generations live in proximity.”

      I’m earning three times my salary from the most I earned in NZ over here in Sydney, I’m already planning to migrate all my family AND friends over. I’ve just moved three months ago. I miss my whanau but best decision I’ve ever made after years of slaving it hard back home where I could only to afford a roof over my head and food in my belly. Now I’m living in a hotel and booked in advance my monthly return flights to Wellington until the end of the year! Not to mention my NYE Thailand holiday. Best part is, currently I’m just an admin b1tch instead of the Engineer that I’m supposed to be… All I can say is LOL.

      I don’t really know how NZ can fix the migration problem. Leave it to the expert… but then again, the experts are leaving the country.

      I only really have one thing bad thing to say about NZ as I love my country to bits, even though it hasn’t given me a chance to make a life for myself that I have to resort to migrate – I feel like a traitor migrating to Australia. I noticed that the only way to get a good position in NZ is to wait for one of you old people to either retire or die or share the riches you made to the younger generation. Whoever said you guys were selfish Kiwis, they were right. Us younger folks aren’t gonna wait to land good opportunities when the “land of opportunities” is a mere 3hour flight away. We’re learning to be greedy and selfish thanks to your teachings so maybe it’s a blessing in disguise that we’re migrating away from your influence for the sake of our children.

  5. dewithiel 5

    This migratory trend among the young, graduates or not, isn’t just about remuneration. As Policy Parrot rightly points out it’s also about how those critical skills that have been developed through education are deployed in the country; to use the soundbite idiom, it’s about people not profits. But also, it’s about the sort of environment people are expected to live in. Compare downtown Auckland with, let’s say Melbourne, or Sydney and the former comes out lacking. There’s no buzz, no energy. We’re run by politicians with a provincialist mentality; small town businessmen who would prefer investing the state’s billions into building holiday highways to their latest speculative land developments in the outer suburbs, rather than something that encourages urban synergies like the City Rail Link in Auckland. The same sort of social vandals who gutted Auckland of its buzz back in the 1980s by erecting motorways and mini malls all over the place.

  6. foveaux 6

    I’m in the middle of studying to become a clinical psychologist and I already know I won’t be staying in New Zealand after I graduate. I’m 23 and most of my friends have already graduated and left; unfortunately I’m stuck here for another few years. It’s depressing to think about.

    It’s not just the low wages and lack of jobs; I feel like over the past several years New Zealanders have become gradually less informed, nastier, and much more selfish. It also looks like we’re about to reelect the world’s most vapid and vacuous government, led by the world’s most embarrassing prime minister. It’s legitimately sad. 🙁

    • marsman 6.1

      Foveaux. It’s very sad that we have a bunch of malevolent morons running our country into the ground. We have to make sure they don’t get another go next term. Please vote in the up-coming election and urge your friends here and abroad to do likewise.
      It would be great to have free education for everyone as we once had, perhaps that is something your generation can reinstall when you have the reigns of power.

      • ianmac 6.1.1

        Remember that Free Education is supposed to include ECE, Primary and Secondary Schools. Still by diverting a few millions towards the private schools must them to be elite – or at least appear to be elite.

      • foveaux 6.1.2

        Even though I have no pride left for this country I still plan to continue to vote Green/Labour every election until I’m no longer a citizen. Most of my friends will be doing the same. We still have parents and other loved ones living here.

        • Sookie

          Funny how the ‘best and brightest’ leave NZ because of the ‘Nanny Socialist State’ and ‘lack of business opportunities due to red tape’ and the majority of them vote for Labour and The Greens in the overseas ballot. I think some are bang on saying its only the munters left here running the country into the ground. If I can beat inertia (I have a good job and a nice house, unlike most) I will be leaving again soon.

          • KJT

            No. we leave because we get paid what we are worth overseas.

            The ones complaining about the Nanny State and red tape (Not to mention having to pay wages and taxes) are the businessmen, politicians and parasites who are too incompetent to make it in less “business friendly environments”. Without the Nepotism, business welfare and crony support they have here.

            Some of us came back because we do not want to leave NZ to fail under the useless gits in charge.

    • RobM 6.2

      Whether education is free, cheap or expensive is not the real issue. As you point out foveaux, there are too few jobs and the pay is crap. If tertiary education were free would your friends have stayed?

      See this book review from Slate:


      “The wrongheaded belief that you can generate growth simply by increasing the number of graduates has led to the effacement of the structural problems of the economy. In other words, seeking the wrong answers has generated the wrong questions. For example, ‘there tends to be an obsession with how many engineers the UK produces, when the real question ought to be why haven’t we got more engineering industry?’, says Wolf. You don’t have to be a fully signed up economic determinist to recognise that our economic travails cannot be solved through education, education, education.”

      As we seem to be returning to the 90s, I’ve been revisiting some of my reading from that time. Here’s John Ralston Saul in 1995:

      “And although government after government, from the Left to the Right has been elected on a platform of job creation, the reality is that they have no idea of what to do. Why? Because jobs are one of the last steps on the production chain. If you want jobs you must first research, develop, plan, invest, build, develop markets and start selling. The result may eventually be jobs. But if you believe that the marketplace is in charge of all those functions—as the received wisdom of today assures us—well then, you shouldn’t be promising jobs because you are abdicating any responsibility for the complex job-creating mechanisms.”

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        Education was a ticket to high paying respected jobs in the 1960’s and 1970’s. These days though, even surgeons are treated like paid labour to be supervised and budget cut by managers.

        What has happened is that the capitalist system has subjugated the working class from top to bottom.

        So to an extent, calls for better education/upskilling is a distraction from the rather cruel facts: that an ever increasing share of national income and national wealth lies with the top 1% of people.

        Many uni and polytech grads only have $14/hr or $15/hr jobs waiting for them in this economy. That’s IF they are lucky enough to find one.

        The clear signal is: this system of capitalism with easily exploitable labour and deregulated capital flows suits us (the top 1%) perfectly and we are not making room in our society for you.

        • ianupnorth

          For once I have to disagree CV; you really need to look at the ASMS collective agreement to see how pampered many surgeons and physicians are. They are a well protected species as governments are too afraid to upset them.
          I wish I had $19K per annum for professional development (e.g. overseas attendance at a conference in the home land) and 14 days paid study leave – oh, and this isn’t pro-rata, so long as you do 0.4FTE in the public sector you get it, so guess what many do, 0.6FTE public and the rest in private. $150K salary for the 0.6, plus the perks and another 0.3 in private so the offices, car, phone, PC, etc can be written off for tax.

          • Colonial Viper

            Ah thanks for the detail ian.u.n; it’s very grand, generous conditions compared to most NZ hourly workers, without a doubt.

            It’s also a reminder of the importance of high membership, powerful unions.

            However available specialist positions are limited in number, and there are notices from Australia advertising for the same specialist medical staff. And like every profession in NZ you are 30-50% better off financially over there and you work in hospitals with much less budgetry and administrative distress. (Although not perfect by any means). That’s why we have experienced medical and nursing staff (and health sector managers) leaving for Oz, not the other way around.

            Fortunately NZ still has the remnants of a corp of older medical specialists with a strong public service mindset who generally refuse to do private sector work – but they are a dying breed now.

          • higherstandard

            “…..you really need to look at the ASMS collective agreement to see how pampered many surgeons and physicians are. They are a well protected species as governments are too afraid to upset them.”

            I’ll tell you what, you do the years of study, the long hours and see how you are after several years of stress in the job and then come back and moan about the pampered surgeons and physicians in NZ.

    • jingyang 6.3

      I agree with you, it isn’t just the low wages and lack of jobs. It is the whole inescapable feeling that the country is slowly but inexorably going backwards (even 9 years of Labour between 1999 and 2008 in a booming economy didn’t return NZ to where we were pre-Ruthanasia and the “Mother of all Budgets”.
      The present government and its backers seem to have the same downbeat view of the country’s future, since they are busy looting and pillaging all they can whilst doing nothing about the declining environment or economy.

  7. Frank Macskasy 7

    Did you realise you have huge student loans while they received free tertiary education?

    That sums it up perfectly.

    If I was a young Gen X/Yer, I’d be outta here faster than I could mutter “See ya, gramps!”

    The self-interest of my generation, and the willingness of power-hungry politicians to do our bidding (whom WE elect), seems endless.


  8. happynz 8

    “It also looks like we’re about to reelect the world’s most vapid and vacuous government, led by the world’s most embarrassing prime minister.”

    That eventuality does make me cringe. It isn’t guaranteed that Key and co will get back in, but damn…

    • foveaux 8.1

      Well, I do wish for the electorate to display some intelligence in November, but I’m not optimistic.

      • Deadly_NZ 8.1.1

        If they get back in then the exodus to AUS and beyond will become a flood

  9. I feel like over the past several years New Zealanders have become gradually less informed, nastier, and much more selfish.

    NZ is soooooooooooo overrated…

  10. Afewknowthetruth 10

    There is nowhere to run. Nowhere has a future (within the current paradigm).

    Peak Oil will demolish present living standards in all industrialised nations over the next decade.

    And climate instability will add to the misery. Most of Australia is already unbearably hot in the summer. Climate instability is going to get much worse, as more and more coal is converted into CO2. That’s what the economic system demands -gobbling up the last of the resources and converting them into waste -so that what we will get.

    • ZeeBop 10.1

      Yeah, its like watch a outburst of bacteria eat up produce that was edible. We are wasting the precious NONRENEWABLE oil resources to drive to the dairy. We’d all have better lives if the job snobs shared their jobs. If everyone who shuffles paper just worked half the time, we’d all be so much better off as a society.

    • johnm 10.2

      Hi AFKTT
      Further to your comment:

      “The entire global economy is collapsing, although very few people are aware of this: mainly the very rich and the highly educated. By understanding this, one becomes a member of the illuminati oneself, or if not at least an enlightened refugee.”

      “The word “economy,” however, is a misnomer, because economics is based on a misconception, like alchemy or astrology. Economists think everything can be explained in terms of money, which is seen as a closed system, perfect and eternal, like pure mathematics. What is happening, though, is not a closed system: the decline in natural resources, especially petroleum, and conversely the terrible rise in global population.”


      • Draco T Bastard 10.2.1

        Economists think everything can be explained in terms of money, which is seen as a closed system, perfect and eternal, like pure mathematics.

        That’s actually incorrect. Economists, being the fools that they are, consider the economy to be a non-zero-sum game.

        Reality has a different opinion.

        Axel Kleidon of the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany, says that efforts to satisfy a large proportion of our energy needs from the wind and waves will sap a significant proportion of the usable energy available from the sun. In effect, he says, we will be depleting green energy sources. His logic rests on the laws of thermodynamics, which point inescapably to the fact that only a fraction of the solar energy reaching Earth can be exploited to generate energy we can use.

        Personally, I’m betting on reality having its way.

        • Reality Bytes

          Use the limited fossil resources to develop green energy energy sources

          Use the limited earth based green energy sources to develop green space elevator technology (using electricity to launch not combustion to get stuff into orbit cheaply)


          Harness the near virtually unlimited catchment area of space for unfiltered solar power


          Energy needs secured, until


          • Draco T Bastard

            Have you considered what will happen to the environment if we start pumping even more of the suns energy into it?

            • Colonial Viper

              Apart from the fraction transmitted back out into space, that solar energy which hits the foot path and the tops of buildings today is already dissipated into the environment as heat.

            • Reality Bytes

              Oh no doubt, I’m just having fun with the idea of where would our needs for energy end (if they would?). If you checked the Dyson sphere link, that concept takes it to the extreme point where potentially ALL of the suns energy output is harvested. So yeah pumping that much energy into earths environment… well… would probably vaporise the entire planet in a a fraction of a nanosecond, now that would be some serious global warming 🙂

              I think if mankind gets advanced enough to the point we can make serious use orbital power stations, we will probably be in a far better position to regulate the environment/energy dynamic a lot better than we do now. One major plus would be no need for massive amounts of chemical by-products (CO2 etc) being dumped into the atmosphere, contributing to greenhouse effects and other forms of atmospheric pollution.

              We wouldn’t need to have earth based dark solar panels heating the environment to give us power, or wind/ocean turbines interfering with natural wind/ocean current patterns, we could instead paint (or have adaptive colored buildings?) to reflect excess heat energy back into space to regulate things better as required.

              But yeah probably not gonna happen in our lifetimes.

        • KJT

          Even our total energy use over the next 100 years is a small fraction of the Solar energy reaching the Earth.

          • Draco T Bastard

            That doesn’t mean that adding more won’t unbalance things. Hell, the reason why we have Anthropogenic Climate Change is exactly the same thinking we’re too small to make a difference which, as we’re now finding out, is completely wrong.

            I’m sure the extra heat being trapped by the extra CO2 from industrialisation is also only a small fraction of the solar energy reaching the Earth as well. Still has us on course for an Extinction Level Event this century.

            • lprent

              Yep, it is a small but accumulating difference. It doesn’t even really unbalance things. It will readjust in less than 10k years as the extra CO2 and other greenhouse gases flush out of the atmosphere. The question is if human civilization and humans will survive the climate changes over the next couple of hundred years.

              Our civilization is entirely dependent on the agricultural technology we have developed in the last 10k years. That in turn is highly dependent on the stable climate we have enjoyed for that time. If that underpinning is broken, then I would envisage that we will get a characteristic species dieback.

              It seems like a high price to pay for having a RV and other such toys.

              • higherstandard

                Not to mention an MX-5 and an iphone

                • lprent

                  Yep. although in both cases they have a lesser impact than a RV.

                  I have the iPhone since I write code for it (and an iPad because it was given to me), but why would I want a MX5? Thats a midlife crisis doctors toy…

                  But if you were looking at my carbon footprint then you’d have to look at the sources of the power that goes into the networks I work on. It isn’t so bad here, but the use of coal for power generation is one of the largest generators of CO2 overseas.

              • Reality Bytes

                The total solar energy absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and land masses is approximately 3,850,000 exajoules (EJ) per year. In 2002, this was more energy in one hour than the entire world used in one year.

                The amount of solar energy reaching the surface of the planet is so vast that in one year it is about twice as much as will ever be obtained from all of the Earth’s non-renewable resources of coal, oil, natural gas, and mined uranium combined.


                • lprent

                  Which is why even a slight change in the efficiency of the atmosphere to retain energy has a major effect….

                  Think it through.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    And just think that the human race has already managed to burn through about half the fossil fuel supplies in existence, fossil fuel supplies which effectively captured tens of millions of years worth of solar energy.

                  • Reality Bytes

                    Don’t worry I have thought it through, and I completely agree with you. After-all the heating effect of the energy released from unsustainable fuel sources is not merely the equivalent of 3 months worth of sunlight averaged out over the last few centuries*, it’s effects obviously far exceeds that due to greenhouse effects.

                    *Also bearing in mind that some of that energy has been turned into/stored as kinetic energy and not just heat, e.g. buildings and other vertical constructions which are a form of gravitational stored energy etc.

                    I was merely giving a bit of perspective into how utterly massive solar energy is. And yes this makes it even more imperative to be concerned about man-made atmospheric changes.

            • KJT

              Extra heat from using the suns present energy can be dealt with by technological fixes.
              Such as this one. http://whiteroofs.org.nz/

              Extra heat from using the suns accumulated energy from the past, AGW, exceeds our capacity to deal with it.

    • johnm 10.3

      Why is the collapse happening?

      “By the by, many observers were amused by last week’s cute trick of releasing sixty million barrels of oil from the world’s strategic reserves at the rate of two million-a-day in an effort to pretend that the world doesn’t have a basic oil production problem. It is, of course, at the bottom of the world’s financial disarray, because if you can’t increase energy inputs that feed an industrial economy you don’t get growth and then the whole idea of compound interest falls apart because it is predicated on a perpetual increase in wealth. Hence, debt collapses in on itself. The world is caught up in an epochal contraction now, and it manifests in situations like the Greek emergency. But soon it will be a universal emergency.”

      “But there is an enormous difference between “capitalism” and “the free market.” The free market is basically a restatement of the laws of Nature, which always function. Capitalism is reverse socialism, a human construct based on greed and predation which is guaranteed to fail. And it is as we speak.”


  11. MrSmith 11

    What’s the point in an education anyway, all most of these kids need to know is, how to hose cow shit, drive a four wheeler and be able to drop the Cocky’s kids at school. Thats their future!
    I feel a song coming on. No Future (God save the Queen,By the Sex Pistols)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0m7d9QwyDRY&feature=related

  12. randal 12

    so don gave the game away and now they all split. wahoo.

  13. 27 13

    Sorry I am confused – if you have FREE tertiary education, and still have higher wages and greater opportunities overseas, you will end up investing MORE money that goes straight over to Australia.

    The two issues are not as dependent as you think – as a 27 year old female with 2 degrees and student debt and a job in NZ, if my education was free I would have MORE reason to move overseas, as the interest free loan for those who stay in NZ is one of the factors that keeps me here, with my debt decreasing nominally each day and remaining interest free while my savings in the bank incur interest, all ready to earn me a voluntary repayment bonus.

    It’s all about how you work the system that you have to play with, rather than seeking to return to a 1960s model that had every earner taxed through the nose in order to redistibute it to those considered “worthy”. If tertiary education is free we will return to having only the best and brightest eligible for education, otherwise the country would be bankrupted by bored housewives and old people taking courses for fun.

    • queenstfarmer 13.1

      Points well made. The issue is not benefits and handouts.The issue is what are the opportunities at the end of it. People happily pay big fees to train in something that offers a potentially big reward. Which means the question is how do attract the big businesses and investors that will enable those opportunities to be created? It certainly isn’t by imposing high taxes and red tape.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        Fuck off, big business is only interested in suppressing wages and creating a compliant labour force.

        Remember Bill English said that low wages are good for NZ.

        Capital is not interested in the welfare of labour, capital is interested in getting maximum returns from labour and paying labour the least possible for it.

        • queenstfarmer

          That’s right, all those skilled people heading to Australia are obviously chasing the “suppressed wages” being offered by businesses.

          • Colonial Viper

            You mean the higher wages and better conditions that Australian businesses have to offer the highly unionised Australian work force, a workforce which also benefits from a higher legal minimum wage?


            • Luva

              Serious question- Why don’y you join them? You seem to hate everything about New Zealand.

              I think you would be happier and a less angry person if you moved away.

            • Just sayin'

              Highly unionised compared to NZ? 18% of Australian workforce were members of trade unions in August 2010 compared to 17% in New Zealand in Jan 2011. Wow…

              higher legal minimum wage? Yes correct but they have youth rates, 90 day probation periods, and between 6 to 12 months before a new employee can lodge for an unfair dissmal. Hardly seems like the policies you’d favour…

              Australia also makes much greater use of the private sector and market mechanisms through for instance privatising many state assets (including power generation), subsidies for private health insurance, public/private partnerships for social services and roads. It also follows the US lead in most American military endeavours, lets refugees rot in detention centres, is much more favourable to nuclear generation, doesn’t have interest-free student loans, university fees are generally higher (the better the institution the higher the relative difference to NZ), access to GP services and pharmaceuticals is more costly, private patients can be treated in public hospitals, to name just a few differences

              But funny that NZers seem to flooding to this bastion of ummm errr non-left wing politics and economics which seems to be doing so poorly because of its policies…

              • Colonial Viper

                Highly unionised compared to NZ? 18% of Australian workforce were members of trade unions in August 2010 compared to 17% in New Zealand in Jan 2011. Wow…

                Yeah, well I know their actors are unionised and get better pay and conditions as a result, something that Peter Jackson and National prevented here.

                But funny that NZers seem to flooding to this bastion of ummm errr non-left wing politics and economics which seems to be doing so poorly because of its policies…

                Well, Australia had the commonsense to continue building up its reserves of investment capital over decades.

                We love to stop and start. The latest stop being under Bill English.

                As for the other things you mentioned – I didn’t say Australia was perfect did I, just that they surpass us in little things like pay packet and internet.

              • KJT

                Australians still have the right to strike. One of the main reasons their wages are a greater share of their real earnings than here.
                In NZ 65% and rising goes to profits and interest.

            • queenstfarmer

              Again, I’m not worried about minimum wage chasers (others can be, fine). I’m worried about the highly-skilled, sought-after types who start business, innovate, add value, and create opportunities.

              • Colonial Viper

                I’m worried about the highly-skilled, sought-after types who start business, innovate, add value, and create opportunities.

                They already left. About a million of them.

    • Shona 13.2

      27 . Define those considered worthy? In the 50’s , 60’s and 70’s Passing UE gained you entry to University all fees paid except student union fees. Books and accomodation had to be paid for by the individual. How do you know housewives are bored? Why shouldn’t they have access to education.? A woman’s life is over and she has nothing to contribute if she dares to stay at home and manage a household and raise her offspring herself? What an ignorant narrow view. Clearly you don’t have a degree in History. Cath Tizard for example completed her zoology qualifications while raising a family. And being a house wife. The word manager is derived from the French word menier meaning housewife.
      At 27 I had a tertiary education, 6 years residency in Oz and a 70 freehold acres in NZ . I had also started my first business. I left home with a suitcase at 17years.No debt except a bank overdraft to kickstart the business.Using other’s cash to increase my assets and income. You’re a slave to the banks! And so are the rest of your generation. NZer’s were not overtaxed in 50’s and 60’s. It is the remaining national wealth created in those decades that Key and his greedy supporters are aiming to get their grubby paws on! Wake up before it’s too late. I despair . Clearly the only young people left here are drongos!

    • Colonial Viper 13.3

      If tertiary education is free we will return to having only the best and brightest eligible for education, otherwise the country would be bankrupted by bored housewives and old people taking courses for fun.

      Yeah cause we can’t have useless unproductive people like housewives and old people furthering themselves with knowledge and education can we???

      Especially if the capitalist wealth holders don’t benefit from it eh?

      I love how these young little capitalists know it all.

      It’s all about how you work the system that you have to play with, rather than seeking to return to a 1960s model

      Two things

      1) You haven’t quite cottoned on to the fact that “the system” is one we can choose and change.

      2) As I recall NZ in the 1960’s had almost full employment and it was possible to bring up a family on a single wage because it was high enough. Being a little capitalist this kind of environment would be unacceptable, right? Because we really need an excess labour pool to keep wages low and workers desperate.

      I fail to see how your logic around free education encouraging people to leave can possibly hold when we are hitting record levels of emigration today.

  14. ianupnorth 14

    As I stated previously on here I went to Aussie and so much wanted to hate the place, but struggled, other than the boguns in their V8 gear (there were more than here), fools in Wallabies jerseys and countless teenage girls wearing Aussie flag bikini’s there wasn’t much to dislike.
    The roads were better, the beaches as clean, the food cheaper, the drivers were better, the airport was more efficient, cleaner and cheaper then AKL, and the big one, people actually had pride in themselves. This has been eroded from the masses here by the labelling and victimisation of the right on a whole lot of levels.

    • JonL 14.1

      Sorry ianun, here in WA, the food’s far more expensive, the drivers seem to have shit for brains, and the nationalistic pride in themselves gets rather wearying….The wages are far superior to NZ, however, but living costs are higher – still better off overall, though.
      ropata “They will live in over-crowded cities or philistine suburbs.” – unfortunately, yes. We live 100 km out of the city, on 10 acres – it’s far cheaper than the city and more pleasant. We’d like to sell up and move to the same in NZ, but NZ prices for “lifestyle 10 acre blocks” are horrendous.
      As a “baby boomer”, I’ve never voted for right wing idealouges, my education was not free – cheaper, yes, plenty of well paying, temp jobs back in 1970 (freezing works, wharves, wool stores), but at least 90% of fees and allowances was paid.
      I didn’t plan to come to Aus, but, now I’m here, whilst I’d like to go back to NZ, I don’t think it will happen.

      • ianupnorth 14.1.1

        Point taken mate, I was basing my experience on 10 days in QLD about 2 months ago – and bananas were an obscene price, but eating out at the local surf club was cheaper than anything here in the CNI.
        A 2 acre block with a house here is NZ$750K, over there is was about Au$500 for similar, and that was excluding the first time buyer grant. They do have public transport in those cities, which can’t really be said for much of NZ.

    • Colonial Viper 14.2

      Yeah I found that too. More people smiling and outgoing, fewer people looking grim and down in the dumps.

      • SHG 14.2.1

        On my recent visits to NZ (mainly Auckland and around the central NI) I have been struck by how generally shabby the place seemed. It felt like a house occupied by an elderly occupant who has just kinda given up on cleaning.

        • Colonial Viper

          You know, I have frequented the same fashion stores (same chains) here as in Australia, and I have found that the Australian staff are generally more on to it and much more able to suggest good matching items to try on. They have a better eye and better manner about it.

          Over here, the branches don’t seem to hold the really good lines (do we end up getting last seasons stuff and stuff which doesn’t sell in Australia?) Also its far more common here to encounter sales staff with a blank “who gives a fuck” look. At the most, you might get someone here who says “can I help you”. Over in Oz, the staffer starts a conversation and before you know it you have walked out with $600 worth of new wardrobe.

          And as a final nail in the coffin, how come all the Aussie clothing chains have had so much success expanding over here, while the NZ chains have done shite expanding over there? Are the Australians just better and more aggressive at business than us?

  15. her 15

    They won’t bring in youth rates till 24 years old. They come out saying that and then bring them back till only 20 years old and that how the National party compromise.

  16. Sam 16

    Complete and utter failure on John Key and Nationals part. As a National Voter, I am dissapointed.

  17. randal 17

    so the consensus is that australia has not been infantilised to the same extent as new zealand and over there they actually make things rather than import them.
    meanwhile back in godzone the favourite pastime seems to be catching people out and humiliating them. WOW.

    • ZeeBop 17.1

      Its mana enhancing. A form of religious discrimination ridiculing anyone who doesn’t believe in mana enhancement.
      Make a complaint to the Human Rights Commission.

  18. randal 18

    thats sounds like a jolly good idea. I can get to meet fabulous new people and prance up and down lambton quay pretending to have knowledge that I dont. lets goooooooo.

  19. deservingpoor 19

    I consider myself to be generation X, born after 1970. I’ve read a lot of literature debating exactly what generation X is and what year it started. I left school in the early 90s, just in time to see student allowances effectively disappear, tertiary education costs skyrocket and unemployment hit 15% (higher for 18-24 year olds). A large part of the reason why we aimed and still aim our anger at the boomers is because the people we saw-and still see on t.v sanctimoniously telling us the we should pay our own way, are baby boomers (Paul Henry, Paul Holmes and Alisdair Campbell spring to mind) who benefitted from free (or at least affordable) education, free health care and abundant jobs. All of which we got cheated out of.

    Generation Y are a bit different culturally and so it is in my opinion a mistake to group them with Gen X. Generation Y are typically people who came into the workforce in around 2000 when the economy was picking up and went through their 20s in the boom of the last decade. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to them now that they are experiencing the 90s.

    Most of my friends got the hell out in the 90s and never came back. Now I’ve got a fresh group of friends preparing to leave.

    • Carol 19.1

      A large part of the reason why we aimed and still aim our anger at the boomers is because the people we saw-and still see on t.v sanctimoniously telling us the we should pay our own way, are baby boomers (Paul Henry, Paul Holmes and Alisdair Campbell spring to mind) who benefitted from free (or at least affordable) education, free health care and abundant jobs. All of which we got cheated out of.

      Hmmm… that’s all white men you’re referring to. Actually many boomers are women, and Maori & Pasifika, and some are even Asian. Many of us think education, health care and jobs should be easily available to all, and don’t do the user-pays mantra.

      Only a small percentage of boomers went to higher education – it wasn’t THAT freely available to all pre 1980s. What we DID benefit from most was abundant jobs. And THAT is what is most lacking now. Not all jobs were that well paid, but there was less pressure to buy all the consumerist stuff available today, less emphasis on being identified by what you spend your money on. We could do with less focus on consumerism, individualism & acquisition of wealth and property – & more focus on providing what everyone needs to lead a reasonable, satisfying and contented life.

  20. Herodotus 20

    Funny how many on this site did not see an issue building up, under Labours 3 terms. Since 99 we have been losing over 60,000 people leaving NZ annually. So many here think Nat is not the solution well for over 600k people Lab was not the solution either. So we see our 2 largest political parties play on a see-saw, ALWAYS saying it was those at the other ends making. So NZ continuals to loses its most valuable resource- And we see only MORE political games. This is the most immediate vote of NO CONFIDENCE in NZ. And please no reposnses regarding that this is NZ young leaving to spread their wings and return more developed. We all know that to be not true.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1


      A lot more could have been done for the working classes and under classes in the 9 years of the last Labour Government.

      But that was a centrist capitalist Govt more than a left wing socialist one.

      • Herodotus 20.1.1

        I would love to have a debate over a beer re this but for me Lab was as right winged as they can be, given what they were following up from 84-89 last time in power. When from my basis there was a glimmer of light some events took away some bright stars from Lab – Gosche, Tamahiri etc. And we were left with Chardonnay Left Wingers. Where were the staunch unionists? Lab even let down the miners by allowing crap rules to govern safety,as per JK well below Aussie rules, and this from the area where LAb was conceived 🙁
        The only thing that saved Lab in 05 (prooving Clinton right again was the economy) Over priced property and the “middle classes” did not swing. Having too greater time telling everyone at BBQ’a how much they made off property that week and all of it untaxed.

  21. ZeeBop 21

    “Capital is not interested in the welfare of labour, capital is interested in getting maximum returns from labour and paying labour the least possible for it.”

    Family businesses are all too interested in the welfare of labour, their own family.

    So only in the most highly refined sense of capital does capital become disconnected
    from the welfare of labour, like that used by a financial speculator.

    We build societies for people, capital has an interest in supplying the demand with
    as lower cost as possible whether using more people or less, whether paying skilled
    staff or unskilled staff. In germany or in china. In a high manufacturing economy
    or in a low skills economy. It really doesn’t matter to capital as long as there
    is demand, and that means consumers have money. Paying too little makes
    business very hard for everyone.

    The present crisis is about debt, not about labour rights, better labour rights however
    will help solve the crisis but not if people spout anything like the statement above.
    Since it removes the incentive to hoard capital to support labour.
    e.g. Community banks. Building societies grew out of the industrial revolution
    co-ops that supported each other with capital.

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Family businesses are all too interested in the welfare of labour, their own family.

      Ah yes, but then that’s not a simple employee/manager/owner relationship any more is it? As you recognise, societies and communities should be bound together by more than the commodification of labour.

      The present crisis is about debt, not about labour rights, better labour rights however
      will help solve the crisis but not if people spout anything like the statement above.
      Since it removes the incentive to hoard capital to support labour.
      e.g. Community banks. Building societies grew out of the industrial revolution
      co-ops that supported each other with capital.

      This is not a crisis of debt however, this is a crisis of capitalism.

      NB alternative forms of economy e.g. democratic socialist ones with the worker co-ops and mutual organisations you mentioned still use and create capital. However it is no longer a capitalist economy because the end goal is not the generation and hoarding of more and more capital.

  22. M 22

    Interesting comments re higher education. This YT flick lays out why a college degree is a scam and no guarantee if success:


    In the flick Guy MacPherson lays out how degrees and the crippling loans blight a person’s future and how almost anyone can get a 4.0 grade average because education has been so dumbed down and that formerly such an attainment really meant something. He said that incurring such steep loans rather than working could imperil a person’s very survival with the coming end of the industrial age. I have read articles where bankruptcy cannot get you out of paying off a student loan and you basically become an indentured servant.

    The section where the young chap burns his law degree, his licence to practise law and his computer science degree really say it all.

  23. Herodotus 23

    Just curious Rob re this post, is it to make us aware of the cost and damage of losing our people offshore or to attribute blame?
    Under Lab we were losing between 1.3% peaking at the end to 2% of our pop annually, currently (2009/10) the loss is in tune of the last 20 year average of 1%.
    Because pointing out an issue that many are aware is one thing, finding answers is another and where do you suggest we turn? Because to be FRANK Lab have no more answers as can be seen evident by those who have already departed. All I see is that “My” team is better than yours. Well by over 10% of our pop who left under Lab they are not.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1


      – Massively increased direct and indirect investment in R&D
      – Lift the minimum wage to $15/hr, find ways to massively increase the number of $50K p.a. to $60K p.a. private sector jobs.
      – Lift the employee/employer/Govt contribution to KiwiSaver
      – Stagnate the price of housing and rents to make it more affordable to have a stake in society.
      – Restrictions on speculative trading and flows of the NZD (to help our high tech exporters)
      – Provide exciting, well paid career paths in the public sector
      – Make NZ super available from 63 years of age (encourage work force vacancies for the young)
      – Funds, tax breaks and support for start up enterprises and SMEs (<20 employees)
      – Make it clear that NZ is the smart place to build a forward looking career and for raising a family (eg. make raising children on one income a viable proposition again).

      All this stuff costs a lot of money so:
      FTT, CGT, company taxes, asset and income taxes on the top 5% of earners and wealth holders all need to be increased initially.

      • Herodotus 23.1.1

        CV- accept there will always be those that leave for the bright lights. The answer is to make NZ a place they 1st consider to return. With current policy I would think very deeply to consider returning.
        How can Kiwisaver increasing benefits help- Unless it is compo when all can benefit.
        Make education a greater priority centreed on primary and secondary regaining the leadership we once had. If we can boast the “supreme” child education then we become a “pull” for those looking towards their childrens beterment. Be leaders in education again, initiating research not following offshore trends and appying them here Not requiring a phd to lay pipes or drive a forklift,allow tertiary education to reign for the elite not the “bums on seats” failed policy, that also increased the cost of Student loans. Uni is for the 5-10% elite with great profs (well paid so we dont have the current position of an aging uni elite and the youth going to private ent.) and allow techs to be that on site training not another version of a uni.
        Not have a free for all immigration policy. Why does NZ need 4.5m, 5m or 6.5m pop. We cannot even cope infrastruturally with 4.5m. Especialy now as Chch has issues and Jafaland is about to implode on itself. With a reduced/capped pop we can then revert back to a 1/4 arce section- where the likes of a rotary clothesline can be used to dry instead of an expensive dryer, room for a garden and a grassed area.
        Recognise and appreiate the elderly – not throw them to either for those who can afford grossly overpriced retirement care (Where the $ get repratioated offshore) or in cold derelict low cost housing.
        But for me the initial pt of education for the children would be the greatest asset to recaliming the lost.
        Just a few ideas before I ramble too much 😉

        • Colonial Viper

          Many many great ideas!

          I particularly like this – and it can be very generally applied:

          Be leaders in education again, initiating research not following offshore trends and applying them here

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