Setting up business: we’re prize winners

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 am, January 18th, 2012 - 35 comments
Categories: business, public services - Tags:

Yesterday I officially set myself up in business.  As a GST registered independent contractor. It took about half an hour. Both IRD and ACC’s websites were easy to navigate and understand.

I do admit I got a little befuddled trying to figure out the correct ACC classification for what I do (enthusiastic nagging, recruitment and communications at your service)so I phoned the call centre.  It was answered immediately by an incredibly helpful and friendly real live human being who sorted my out in about 7 minutes.

Why do we insist on swallowing the myth that the right perpetuates out about NZ businesses being bought to a standstill by a tangle of red tape and burdensome regulation?

Forbes ranked New Zealand second easiest country in the world to do business in, with only Canada scoring higher in the metrics gauging red tape, investor protection, corruption, property rights and monetary freedom.  We scored pretty well too in terms of market performance, technology and tax burden.

We’re also ranked the fifth most effective government in the developed world.

So let’s see: it’s not red tape that’s holding NZ business back and it’s not a ‘bloated’ public service.  I know for sure it ain’t high wages and I doubt it’s the union movement with less than 20% of all workers in a union.

So what’s left?

35 comments on “Setting up business: we’re prize winners”

  1. Paul Campbell 1

    This is so true – I run a small business, do my own PAYE (a line of 6 cells in a spreadsheet is all you need, including kiwisaver) – I’ve also done the same in California – things are so much easier here – those on the right who continually complain about pretend ‘red tape’ are living in a bubble, they have no clues about the rest of the world – as a great kiwi philosopher once said “they don’t know how lucky they are”

  2. Jono 2

    When I became employed on a full-time basis by a small consultancy a few years ago, it took the director 10-15 minutes to find, edit and produce a fully satisfactory employment contract for me from the DOL website. Easy as pie.

    • pmofnz 2.1

      Maybe you could email MUNZ members a copy – they’ve been bickering over theirs for months.

      • McFlock 2.1.1

        There’s some really helpfuil information on good faith and other employment principles that port management should have a gander at.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.2

        MUNZ members have a satisfactory employment contract already. That’s kind of the point of the strike action.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    Thanks Jenny. This is something I really want the left to hammer home. Rodney Hide in particular always went on about “red tape”, why was he never actually challenged?

  4. millsy 4

    Businesspeople only complain about ‘red tape’ if they find they cannot pay their workers 50c per hour, sack them at will, and pour what they like down the drain.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    “Red tape” is a marketing meme to sway the vast majority of people who are not business owners and who do not organise companies and trusts themselves.

    It has several different effects.

    1) It perpetuates the myth that Govt and politicans are to blame for economic problems, not our system of business, finance and capitalism, nor our rich list.

    2) It forwards the neolib notion of always cutting back Govt power to increase corporate power.

    3) It makes the masses respect owners and corporates more for their fight for success ‘despite’ all the red tape.

    4) It deflects away from the inability of many business people to add real value to their communities in their businesses, as opposed to simply extracting value.

    The fact that the Left does not have a systematic and effective counter narrative after all this time is damning as it sways the minds of too many voters to the Right viewpoint.

    • Perhaps we should be talking about the fact that our managers and CEOs are too incompetent to wield a pair of bloody scissors. Red tape is not hard to deal with in this country, as earlier pointed out.

  6. Jenny Michie 6

    It’s funny that you never hear the right talking about the standard of management in NZ. From quite a lot of first hand experience this is an area in which we could improve….

    • King Kong 6.1

      Congratulations. Your one day in business certainly allows you to authoritively comment on NZ’s regulatory environment.

      The reality is that banking, tax and company compliance is pretty good here (probably aided by the fact there are fuck all of us). This is probably what these ranking agencies are using for their tables.

      The real headaches come when you actually want to make or build something. I guess this only becomes an issue for firms who are actually adding value.

      • lprent 6.1.1

        I guess this only becomes an issue for firms who are actually adding value.

        You mean like I do all of the time. I’ve been developing, building and selling products and services my entire working life and never noticed a problem with red tape in NZ. I have noticed it in the US, aussie, and the UK.

        However there is one area of business that is actually regulated quite highly here – an I heartily support it.

        That is property developers. Because they have an appalling record of producing good added value for their customers (my leaky building was a good example), there is quite a lot of red tape for them. When you look at people whinging about red tape, it is almost invariably some property developer or builder who wants to produce crap…

        So KK. Does that describe your “added value” situation? Producing buildings and property with flaws that you’d like to flick on to someone else?

        • King Kong 6.1.1.1

          Construction is one industry that springs to mind. You are right about ensuring standards of quality but regulations have encroached into areas that just add time and cost (which usually ends up on the consumers bill) and serve no purpose in ensuring that the product is as it should be.
          The same is true in industries such as farming, forestry, fishing, manufacturing and hospitality, to name a few.

          • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1

            so what are the specific regulations you think waste time and money?

          • lprent 6.1.1.1.2

            Construction does spring to mind. The upfront costs involved in ensuring that I didn’t have a leaky building are way way less than the costs expended in trying to fix and extract money after the fact. Not to mention that wear and tear on me worrying about going bankrupt because some idiot builder fucked up. But there is a simple solution. Lets just ensure that all people in construction are required to carry full prepaid liability cover and that those cases are only allowed to be dealt with in mediation with 3 month limit on resolution. It’d only push the cost up, but I wouldn’t get heart attacks from it….

            There isn’t that much red tape in manufacturing. I was in manufacturing for many years and some of my relatives are still operations or production managers. Most of the red tape is to do with not killing or injuring people or making sure that firing people without reason is limited. Basically it doesn’t worry good managers because the standards are far lower than any good manager would do anyway. It simply makes it harder for incompetent managers. It is also way easier than any other 1st world country I have looked at.

            Most of the “red tape” in farming and forestry has to do with those industries being lousy neighbours – especially when it comes to polluting waterways and dropping crap over public highways. Those cost other people.

            I have zero idea about hospitality…. But generally I’d prefer not to die from diarrhoeal discharges.

            Basically in NZ “red tape” smothering business is a mantra that idiots use. If there weren’t idiots then most of it wouldn’t be required. Mostly it is only the idiots trying to cut corners who have problems with it.

            • Rich 6.1.1.1.2.1

              Construction: try building something in the UK. You’re required to get council architectural design approval, with the final decision made by elected councillors, not officials. Same everywhere else in Europe (in wealthy Switzerland, they process planning approvals on a three year cycle).

              Of course some countries have a more liberal approach. Try Somalia, that well known propertarian haven.

      • Paul Campbell 6.1.2

        I’ve been in business for 7 years, exporting the whole time, you think I don’t sell a product? don’t add value? I’ve brought millions into the local economy while creating a footprint minuscule compared to the mess made by a single dairy farm. And as I said NZ is a great, easy place to do business – now if only we could get Mr Key’s friends the currency speculators out of our exchange rate – my take home has gone down by 30% since he took office.

        • King Kong 6.1.2.1

          Well done you. Lets all become computer programmers. The answer was just in front of our faces the whole time.

          • McFlock 6.1.2.1.1

            nah – you need to understand logic to be a programmer.
            That rules out most nats.

            • Lanthanide 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Given the average salary of programmers, I think actually they’re strongly right-leaning.

              • McFlock

                fair call 🙂

              • Colonial Viper

                A lot of programmers/computer science types are quite Left leaning actually – systems mindset. lprent?

                • lprent

                  Seems to split all over the place. But old computer programmers tend to be left leaning. I think it has something to do with the patience…

                  The dropout rate amongst younger programmers is pretty intense as they tend to sideline themselves into deadends by chasing the money rather than the 25% learning curve. Obviously the right leaners tend to be short termers more than left leaners.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    But old computer programmers tend to be left leaning. I think it has something to do with the patience…

                    I think you’ll find that it’s got to do with logic. Can’t be a good programmer without being able to realise the needed logic and so the illogic of our present socio-economic system stands out even if only at a sub-conscious level.

                    • There’s a definite split. Some people are smart enough that they can justify their prejudices after the fact, and they’re incentivised to do so after about a year of working as a programmer due to the high salary.

              • John D

                left/right has got stuff all to do with how much you earn. This kind of argument is facile.

                • King Kong

                  True. But when you earn a reasonable ammount you do get to experience first hand how you feel about handing over large chunks of it for socialist governments to waste.

                  • Placebogirl

                    I earn well and the only money I begrudge the government is the money they waste on demonstrably losing propositions like the Puhoi holiday highway.

        • John D 6.1.2.2

          Paul – I am in the same boat. Offshore client in UK. Paid in pounds

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.3

        1.) Standard Ad hominem attack
        2.) Puts forward an assertion as to why the ease of doing business rankings are so high
        3.) Asserts that headaches begin when trying make something despite all the firms that actually do make something (the biggest problem with them is that they seem to get sold offshore every time they do)

        Yep, standard RWNJ troll.

      • Rich 6.1.4

        I’ve been in business here for several years and in the UK previously. NZ compliance is remarkably straightforward and taxes are low (unreasonably so – it’s trivially easy to turn some kinds of income into capital gains and avoid tax entirely).

        If you can’t meet NZ compliance standards, the chances are you’re sufficiently fucked up that you’ll be out of business anyway in a year or so, probably owing thousands to your poor customers, workers and suppliers.

  7. John D 7

    Yes I would agree that regulation is relatively light when it comes to setting up and running a business in NZ.

    Xero ( I am not affiliated) is a fantastic online tool for managing your books too. Another Kiwi creation.

  8. coolas 8

    ‘So what’s left?’ in holding business back, asks Jenny.

    How about the pale, stale, male business elite who think they’re born to rule. They choke NZ board rooms. Pack of greedy, dull, parasites, I reckon.

  9. Peter 9

    “Why do we insist on swallowing the myth that the right perpetuates out about NZ businesses being bought to a standstill by a tangle of red tape and burdensome regulation?”
    Maybe due to all that economic propaganda in the newspapers people insist on reading, really the economy section bores me to death. Can they please for the sake of my sanity find (and read) an academic journal that doesn’t draw inspiration from Milton, Rand and their ilk. *shudders*

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    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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