web analytics

The Atlases shrug, ‘I dunno’

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 am, March 4th, 2009 - 14 comments
Categories: economy, employment, spin - Tags: ,

In the Dom yesterday, Hollow man star Richard Long was full of praise for the Key’s PR team, who managed the Jobs Summit. He was right to praise them, the media lapped it up –  ‘cycleway!’, ‘packed lunches, and no cream for the apple pie, how thrifty!’ (since when did you get get cream, or dessert at a conference lunch anyway?), ‘twenty top ideas!’

Funny thing is, none of the media actually listed the top twenty ideas. Anywhere. I wondered why. I thought we would be poring over each one in detail. I mean these are the top twenty ideas from the “movers and shakers of NZ Inc” (sorry for using that disgusting phrase, just quoting Colin Espiner). There ought to be some good stuff in there. These people are the Atlases of our society; they’re the ‘wealth creators’. Surely, there would be heaps of great ideas.

Well, it took some doing but I got a list of the top twenty. [Update: Here is the only online source]

Retain and upskill with a nine day fortnight.
Intra-national migration to remove barriers between employers and seasonal workers.
Keeping people in education and creating jobs through education and training.
Improving matching of supply and demand for training
Redundancy and transition support for people who lose their jobs.
Enhance the use of Maori iwi assets.
Ensure government services reach Maori effectively
Urgently develop and implement new sources of bond funding
Reduce regulatory compliance costs and impediments
A return to big project fast track.
A freeze on rule making by government agencies and regulators
Boosting tourist traffic funding (guess this is the cycleway)
Accelerate energy, environmental and water initiatives for employment and productivity improvements
Streamline regulatory approval processes for major projects
Access to working capital delivered via an extension of the Export Credit Office
Level the playing field to New Zealand firms for local and central government procurement
Super-charge the debt market by streamlining reporting and disclosure requirements.
Develop a government/bank equity investment fund
Commitment by banks to provide capital to New Zealand firms.
Banks to significantly invest in financial literacy.

Some of these ideas are good, some are pretty evil stuff dressed in cute terms – “Reduce regulatory compliance costs and impediments” means removing air and water quality standards, seriously. But overwhelmingly, they’re just so mundane, so vague, so petty, so ineffectual at dealing with the problem.

I mean, if these are the top twenty, what didn’t make the cut?
21) Don’t fire jokers (unless you’re want to increase your profits)
22) Free frisbee every time you hire someone
23) Reintroduce slavery
24) Get this country moving again!

14 comments on “The Atlases shrug, ‘I dunno’ ”

  1. ieuan 1

    OK – maybe your criticism is fair but hell it is easy to criticise.

    So Steve, how about you come up with some suggestions for dealing with ‘the problem’.

    • Felix 1.1

      I’m very confidant that if we gave Steve $65,000 and told him to invite 200 of his best thinkers he’d come up with a lot more than this.

      • Chess Player 1.1.1

        I think the issue is probably wanting ‘better’ not ‘more’ ideas, isn’t it?

        The trick would be to come up with ideas that didn’t require any borrowing. That’s the real challenge as I see it.

        • Felix

          Yes I should have said “better”.

          Although I have read some research into brainstorming techniques which showed that the ratio of useful to less-useful ideas increases quite dramatically with the total number of ideas.

          But yeah, I meant better.

    • Ianmac 1.2

      Don’t be ridiculous. If a body puts up claim to lead and develop ideas and they don’t do it, then the criticism is valid. Given the $68,000 cost and the attendance of the Top Men and a very few Top Women who had time to prepare propositions and ideas beforehand, then how sad.

  2. Jono 2

    I haven’t seen anyone talk about exchanging equity in a business for a pay cut to get them over the hump, rather than reducing hours or laying off staff. I would consider a pay cut in the short term, in exchange for a small share of the SME I work for because its a good company that has a good future and has made small but consistent profits in the past, some of which have been returned to staff as bonuses. I know that other much larger companies in the same sector I work in have provided a stake in the company to employees in this manner, as a matter of course.

    Or is this a dum idea which is why nobody else is raising it? I am happy to admit to being a skilled technician rather than a managing director (albeit one who has been self-employed).

  3. Felix 3

    Hardly surprising that they weren’t going out of their way to publicise it.

  4. Matthew Pilott 4

    A freeze on rule making by government agencies and regulators

    Does this mean none of the other 19 could happen?

  5. the sprout 5

    I’d just like to know where the $64,000 for the event went. It can’t cost more than 20k to hire the venue for a day, and if there’s nought being spent on lunch, accommodation or airfares, what did the rest of the cash go on?

    PR and event management perhaps?

  6. Snail 6

    Matthew Pilott — Does this mean none of the other 19 could happen?

    Very good.

    I am reminded of the bright spark at an Environment Court Hearing who pointed out that only evidence before the court can be considered.

    Before which the applicant, a sizeable corporate with its QC entrain, had been doing everything possible to avoid presenting their memorandum of understanding with certain regional entities..

    Well, next day it was promptly produced.. to the commissioners and any interested parties.. which necessitated a hundred or more copies (amusement all round).

    But the last laugh went to the applicant and its cute QC who had gone to considerable lengths overnight to blackout all the embarrassing bits yet leave entirely untouched a short clause (at # 15). Which read to effect that all preceding clauses could/might fail save this one. And this one alone – would you believe – contained powers to revoke all preceding clauses..

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago