This is not the growth you’re looking for

Written By: - Date published: 12:43 pm, February 16th, 2016 - 70 comments
Categories: Economy, im/migration - Tags: ,

There are different views on The Standard about growth and whether we really need it.  I’m all for environmentally-, socially-sustainable growth, and I’m a programmer, so I’m in a fairly “weightless” part of the economy.

But here’s one bit of growth that really seems pointless to me: that achieved only by increasing the number of people.

While there should be better ways of measuring our economy and success than anything GDP-based (Robert Kennedy: “it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile”), it seems a simple fix to at least make it GDP-per-capita, while we’re working out the complexities of those other measurements.

Because if we’re only increasing GDP by increasing the number of people, as we are currently, we’re loading up the environment and we’re not even individually getting any richer for it.  Thanks National.

If you look at 64,000 immigration last year – 1.5% of the population(!) you’ve got to wonder whether it’s socially sustainable as well.  I love the super-diversity of Auckland, but that’s a lot to swallow in a year.  With about 40,000 of that immigration being to Auckland – a city that’s already got a massive house shortage and struggles creating enough infrastructure – you’ve got to wonder: what’s the point?

You can see all the Auckland Council’s pain as they need to make more dense housing, but don’t have the roads / schools etc to cope with it.

And up we go to 4th equal most expensive housing.

I’m surprised immigration hasn’t become much more of an issue.  Germany taking 1% of its population in a year of refugees was seen as astounding – we seem to get 1.5% new immigrants and it’s seen as “standard”, even though nowhere else in the OECD has those sorts of figures.  Even NZ First seem to be struggling to get any traction on it.

Where’s the government’s plan?  We all know they haven’t got one.  Laissez-faire, set the conditions “right” and it’ll all come good apparently*.

*except when they need to intervene for their business mates…

70 comments on “This is not the growth you’re looking for ”

  1. Sabine 1

    I think we have gotten used to using immigration to grow our economy. Since at least the last tow decades.
    Regardless of it being the lifestyle choice immigrants, the education immigrants, the investor/property speculator immigrants or the any other immigrants.
    They bring in fresh money, and when that runs out we just bring in new people with new money, rinse repeat, the consequences be damned.

    Will it break the social fabric eventually, yes it will, it is already fraying considerably.

    I have two neighbors left in my street that i still know, the rest has sold if they owned the property of they had their rentals sold.

    And not only do we have many many absentee landlords now, most of our new neighbors don’t seem to even have a small grasp of english.
    How long that can go well? Who knows. But i am sure that when it happens, those that let it happen will scratch their hats, move to their gated comunities and say ” Who wouldavethunk”

  2. savenz 2

    +100

    This is a serious problem for Kiwis!

    Yep more people equals more cars, more cereal sales for countdown, more consumer goods bought, more motorways, but bad for housing, schooling, health, social welfare, wages, environment, universities and commuting. i.e. all the public systems being starved of money by National.

    Sustainable immigration great! We have the opposite, unsustainable immigration which is costing the country big time!!

    I think there is little back lash, because Kiwis are largely very hospitable and welcoming to immigrants and actually don’t blame the immigrants themselves but the government – hence rise in NZ First. I think multiculturalism is great, but with migrant troughers like Melissa Lee around getting money left right and centre while complaining how lazy (thieving) Kiwis are, I don’t blame anyone for getting enraged and telling her to go back to Korea.

    I was thinking about Labour’s policy of free uni. That’s potentially 64,000 migrants each years getting even more from the Kiwi purse. The whole social welfare/immigration system needs to be cleaned up or it will bankrupt the country. Exactly what the Natz want. They don’t want our system of social welfare and itching to bust it up with a US style of capitalism into feudalism ideology.

    Not only that, employers are exploiting immigrants and Kiwi workers by using the ‘passport’ as a way to keep wages down and hours up. Foreign buyers are buying up property to speculate with led by demand of 64,000 migrants each year with money they did not have to pay NZ tax on.

    Who wouldn’t want to leave China, India, Uk etc! I’m not blaming any one for coming to NZ, but instead blaming the government (and for some of the opposition parties) for selling off our country and the future of our social welfare with unsustainable immigration.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Plenty of European anti-immigrant parties who make complaints about foreigners taking up resources and jobs, as well as burdening already over-stretched infrastructure and social services budgets.

    And they are getting strong electoral traction too.

    • Enough is Enough 3.1

      Most of them are hard right parties as well. Not company that we really want to be associated with.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Indeed.

        But this thread is full of the exact same arguments used by those right wing parties.

        Too many new people who don’t understand our culture loading up over-stretched services and infrastructure, putting too much strain on our economy.

        It’s interesting to see the parallels as they appear in different comments.

    • savenz 3.2

      @CV – but now the right wingers have realised the true benefits of having rampant immigration…. lower wages, higher rents/properties, more food sales, more power sales, more water sales, and now we have corporate welfare, serco, social bonds and housing, more people, more problems, more money to be made from the government for the 0.00001 % (mostly multinationals) but with a bit of clipping on the side for local cronies.

      Now the right wants immigration, because they have the economy and the government right where they want it , especially under TPP where a few can buy up everything and then have the government guarantee the profits. More people, more consumption, more profit.

      Most of the opposition are still confused and have nothing to say about the role reversal.

      In Europe they can handle immigration because they have a huge economy and enough money to underwrite it all. Not in NZ. We can afford immigration and social welfare at the levels we have it. Yep if there were new high paid jobs created by migrants, but we all know the opposite is true, buying up a rental portfolio does not increase jobs, buying up dairy and then putting low paid migrants workers in to run it does not increase jobs, it decreased local jobs, because the kiwis who used to work there no longer do so. Meanwhile when migrants gets sick, has kids or whatever NZ social welfare stretched to the hilt and being underfunded, soon we will not have a functioning social welfare system.

  4. McFlock 4

    Even GDP per capita is pretty screwed.

    Our major indicators are almost entirely nation-wide aggregates: unemployment is the only major exception that springs to mind, as it routinely involves regional breakdowns.

    CPI, interest rates, GDP, might have industry/sector breakdowns, but not regional. These can’t deal with regional hotspots such as auckland, so I suspect much of the country is technically in depression as the government/reserve bank try to cool the auckland property sector.

    With such a regional imbalance, aggregate measures are inadequate descriptors and tools for helping the country

  5. Magisterium 5

    But here’s one bit of growth that really seems pointless to me: that achieved only by increasing the number of people.

    I completely agree, we should restrict the ability of certain people to reproduce

    [Bunji: nice attempt at a derail. Try it again and you’ll get to enjoy a break. This is no eugenics post]

    • McFlock 5.1

      ^dead cat

    • weka 5.2

      I nominate you to go first (seeing as how you’ve set the tone for facile and redundant sarcastic points).

      • Magisterium 5.2.1

        Maybe my tongue was too firmly in my cheek but I think the subject is relevant.

        if we’re only increasing GDP by increasing the number of people, as we are currently, we’re loading up the environment

        The number-one thing any person can do to protect our environment is to decide to have no offspring. Nothing that person will ever do will have as much impact on the environment as that one decision. But for some reason “have no kids” is anathema.

        • weka 5.2.1.1

          I agre it’s an issue but what you are presenting is too simplistic and superficial. In a resource depleted world we need to look at what population is sustainable within the land base and act accordingly.

          I’m curious as to why you used the word certain in your first comment.

        • Anno1701 5.2.1.2

          “The number-one thing any person can do to protect our environment is to decide to have no offspring.”

          Malthusian bull-shit….

          “The world produces enough to feed the entire global population of 7 billion people. And yet, one person in eight on the planet goes to bed hungry each night. In some countries, one child in three is underweight. Why does hunger exist?”

          Poverty trap
          Lack of investment in agriculture
          Climate and weather
          War and displacement
          Unstable markets
          Food wastage (One third of all food produced (1.3 billion tons) is never consumed)

          you see over population in that list ?

          https://www.wfp.org/hunger/causes

          • Andre 5.2.1.2.1

            So far we’ve been able to keep food supply growing enough to keep up with population increase by increasing the productivity of agriculture AND continuing to domesticate wild places. But there’s not much wild left to be turned into big ag monoculture.

            http://www.skepticalscience.com/thelittleapethatcould.html

            The world is finite, so if population growth doesn’t stop then the Malthusian crunch will eventually come.

            • Anno1701 5.2.1.2.1.1

              Population is still technically growing, but according to the United Nation Population Division’s numbers, that growth is slowing dramatically.

              Given the United Nations Population Division (UNPD) is a reliable source of population statistics, population growth will continue to slow down over the next few decades. In fact, if current trends persist, our growth will halt right around 8 billion by 2045. After that, our numbers will start to fall off, slowly at first, and then faster.

              we DO however have an overpopulation of those who try to control, those who try to manipulate, those who create wars, stock crashes, debt, famine, misery, & suffering

              • Andre

                Yes, percentage growth is around 1.1% per year now, down from 2.2% per year in 1962.

                But in raw numbers, population growth now is 75 million per year, down from 88 million in 1989. That’s not slowing very much. Given the extreme pressure our environment is already under, that extra 75 million per year is alarming.

                • Colonial Viper

                  What are you guys looking at? I just checked out the World Population Prospects 2015 revision from the UN and it says 9,725M people by 2050 in their middle projection.

                  That’s almost 10B people and way more than your 2045 figure.

                  • Andre

                    75million/year x 35years plus 7.3 billion in 2015 is pretty close to 9.9 billion in 2050. Not far from the projection you cite.

                    Note that that still assumes a continually declining growth rate (as a % of population).

                    The numbers I got seemed to come from US census information. It didn’t include future projections.

                    I’m not convinced population forecasting is that much better than economic forecasting, which only exists to make astrology look good.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      OK cheers; I was referring to Anno’s number of growth halting around 8B in 2045 which is clearly out by both your calcs and mine

                      I’m not convinced population forecasting is that much better than economic forecasting, which only exists to make astrology look good.

                      I’d say population forecasting can pick the next 10-20 years out very accurately, whereas economic forecasting often can’t pick the next 18 months out at all.

          • Magisterium 5.2.1.2.2

            Stop thinking about food, and start thinking about the fossil-fuel consumption of 7 billion people.

            • Anno1701 5.2.1.2.2.1

              Oil is a sunset industry my friend , it is slowly folding in front of you

              Shell just spunked 7 Billion looking for oil in the arctic and came back empty handed….

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                That would explain why the price keeps rising.

                • Anno1701

                  got shares ?

                  • Kevin

                    And the smart investors can’t dump their oil stocks quick enough.

                    Change is coming and it’s not going to be pretty for a lot of people.

                    2016 Is going to be watershed year so enjoy watching history made…

        • Stephen 5.2.1.3

          My personal preference is to sterilise trolls.

  6. shorts 6

    more cows and people (immigrants and tourists) is seemingly the only idea this govt (and previous ones) have to “grow the economy”. Both cost us environmentally and socially down the track

    We need to rethink this simplistic mindset

    • Foreign waka 6.1

      I just hope that your first sentence does not mean:
      more cows (immigrants..) and people (and tourists…) 😉

  7. AB 7

    “Because if we’re only increasing GDP by increasing the number of people, as we are currently, we’re loading up the environment and we’re not even individually getting any richer for it.”

    Unless new wealth created is disproportionately captured by a small number at the top. If that’s the case then it works quite well for them.

  8. pat 8

    We have had inward migration as a growth mechanism for a long time now, though it has definitely been stepped up under the current regime.The Christchurch City Council floated a goal of a greater Christchurch area population of one million some months back.

    So it would appear that population increase for economic purposes has been unofficial policy of governments of both hues in recent history.

    The question that springs to my mind is, when did we ever have the discussion about the desirability of, or necessity for this policy? I don’t remember seeing it in any manifesto.

  9. Ad 9

    Many areas in New Zealand are depopulating. Many others are stagnant, and ageing fast. Southland. Western and coastal Otago. Central North Island. Gisborne and East Cape. Northland beyond Whangarei. South Island West Coast. North Island West Coast south of Auckland to north of Kapiti.

    In terms of environmental impact, those same rural areas that are population-stagnant or declining, also have huge increases in milk cows. That’s where the disproportionate impact of population growth is. Bunji, you’re confusing people with cows.

    Whereas the place with the most immigrants by a country mile is Auckland. And Auckland is engineered – at least in its transport and water and telco utilities, its health and education systems, its jails and courts, social systems etc, to manage more people more productively and to get them advantages and opportunities that they can’t get either where they came from or in our rural hinterlands. It is the nature of cities to efficiently allocate resources (Huge failure in housing, granted).

    Immigration has been the saving of New Zealand over the past decade. Our society has as Mai Chen noted late last year, become competitive with the world in many ways precisely because the cultural, economic, and envirnmental absorptive capacity of Auckland has supported super-diversity. Long may it continue.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      It is the nature of cities to efficiently allocate resources (Huge failure in housing, granted).

      What the hell?

      To be honest, when was the last time you were stuck in Auckland traffic, burning through non-replaceable fossil fuels going nowhere along with 10,000 other vehicles next to you?

      Is there something “efficient” (a term which I always feel has become a weasel word of neoliberalism) about people wasting 10% of their waking hours stuck in a car commuting every day?

      Down south, I can walk to work in under 10 minutes. Now that’s what I call truly “efficient”.

  10. Keith 10

    Whether by accident or design or both National know immigrants from semi third world countries are a fantastic source of cheap exploitable labour, almost immune from any labour laws in existence which, short term, is good for business, land
    lords and for the books.

    But it is awful long term for citizens of NZ who want better wages, better conditions, somewhere to live, for the environment, infrastructure and ironically business! And it explains just why all this world beating growth is doing nothing for nearly all of us.

    • indiana 10.1

      I think you have over simplified immigrants from semi third world countries. It is silly to think that those immigrants will want to stay on low wages but live in a more safer and freer country as a compromise. As an example, the Indian migrants that came to NZ in the 1940’s came on the premise that NZ needed to fill the low paying jobs that naturalised kiwis didn’t want to do because they were low paid jobs. Those Indian migrants instead went on to own their own business and prosper more rapidly than the locals – they didn’t want to be serf to NZ employers.

      • savenz 10.1.1

        You have to remember that in NZ the tax payer subsidised low wages via housing benefits and working for families, health, superannuation and so forth.

        Having a lot of people coming to NZ on low wages is actually a type of corporate welfare. Welfare than many companies in NZ rely on, rather than training and innovating their Kiwi workers. Look at fruit or care workers. Paid minimum wages but will have those minimum wages subsidised by the government once they are citizens. Any thought of a company paying a ‘living wage’ makes some of the corporates break out in a sweat. Why would you, when the government’s job is to top up the low wages and make your corporate profit’s larger?

        How many great companies are coming out of NZ? Can anyone think of anything world leading (apart from fonterra being destroyed as we speak)? The government could be trying to encourage the next Apple, Nokia or whatever, but instead prefers to clip a very small ticket on low grade agriculture and forestry and sell of the actual land and property.

        Immigration has been used by the Nats to keep the economy going and the banks happy. But it is like someone constantly subdividing the farm. Instead of keeping the farm intact and growing the income, they are instead borrowing and selling off the farm (aka NZ) piece by piece to keep afloat.

        It is shear laziness and stupidity on behalf of the government and it is about time the opposition stood up and told them so.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          How many great companies are coming out of NZ? Can anyone think of anything world leading (apart from fonterra being destroyed as we speak)?

          Well there was Trade Me then that was flogged off. And there was Fisher & Paykel, then that was flogged off.

  11. I disagree with unbridled immigration policy’s for a number of reasons.

    But first , some historical reminders on how this was ‘sold’ to us… does anyone ever recall being able to vote on this issue?… I don’t.

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    1) First off, it was sold to us by the neo liberal govt’s during the late 1980’s and more so during the 1990’s that we have to become ‘tolerant’ and ‘multicultural’,… and the implications were that we were intolerant, racist , xenophobic , and unwelcoming.

    At first we had the moral arguments rammed down our throats.

    2) The next stage was that ‘our population was’ too small’ so we needed to encourage immigrants.

    ( I suppose it was considering after the rape of neo liberalism such a large number of NZ’s left for Australia at that time …)

    3) The next line they sold us was that immigrants would bring in capital.

    But still the poverty increased among NZ’S. We now have a term called the ‘working poor’.

    4) The next line of justification was immigrants will bring in much needed business skills. And so we needed yet another Chinese takeaway’s or two dollar store….

    5) The last and final one ( so far ) was that we need more ‘experts’ as NZ lacks skilled professionals.

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Most of you have rightly commented on the downsides of unbridled immigration policy’s. But I believe that this whole affair was a construct of neo liberal policy to achieve a number of objectives.

    Knowing full well that more competition for jobs would create downwards pressure on wages ,- this suited the Business Roundtable at the time and the neo liberal goals. Particularly when viewed in light of the Employment Contracts Act and the fact that many from India and China for example, have no concept at all of unions , or of collective workers rights. We have seen many examples recently of corruption from a significant number of small business operators here who are relatively recent immigrants.

    Our population was never ‘too small’ . In fact during the 1960’s this country was ranked among the top of the most wealthiest per capita population globally – despite our population being almost half of what it is now. That was when we practiced Social Democracy and adhered to a Keynesian economic model. So saying we are ‘too small’ is an out and out lie. It was the neo liberal policys that deconstructed the commons wealth – not our population.

    Immigration would bring in capital?… really ?…

    Was that because the wealth of the nation was stripped during the 1980’s and 1990’s due to neo liberal policy’s to sell off SOE’s and privatize and restructure ?… with the SOE’s sold off at the lowest price and the wealth redistributed upwards?… We all know that many prominent bankers, business leaders and politicians here did very well out of that in the form of shares and dividends, thank you very much … while the rest of us paid the increased prices for basic commodities that a privatized company would inevitably bring.

    And how very , very convenient for the neo liberal that at the same time they just so happened to also remove tariffs and subsidies for many large company’s here that enabled them to relocate business offshore – and those jobs previously held by NZ workers as well…creating further downwards pressure on wages.

    To date… I see not many examples of foreign capital being invested in this country in setting up large scale industry’s that would create jobs and employment in this country. What I do see is examples such as Pike River – foreign shareholders getting dividends from an already existing enterprise – and a lax health and safety regime that in that case resulted in the deaths of 29 workers. Or we see examples of foreign owned banks here charging exorbitant fees on the money we bank – money that they make a huge profit out of !!!

    The bottom line is this : Of all this talk of foreign investment virtually nil of either a share of the profits make their back to these shores nor is it retained here to enhance this county and its peoples economic well being.

    So much for immigration bringing in either business, capital or significant employment opportunity’s . I’m sure many immigrants have ‘business skills’ – but has anyone seriously questioned ‘are these really the skills we need’ ?….and more to the point…. is the neo liberal trying to infer we as New Zealanders are incompetent in this area?… so much so that we need their help and to have our hands held ?

    I definitely think not.

    Laughably … the last point… we need ‘experts’.

    What a monumental slap in the face from the neo liberal this is.

    We need ‘experts’.

    Well , Mr and Ms neo liberal…. perhaps we need ‘experts’ because for the last 32 years of your avarice , greed and economic rape of this country the ones who had skills wisely pissed off to Australia, England, Canada and the USA to escape your miserable low wage economy which Bill English crowed about at one time saying …

    ” We should be glad we have a low wage economy because it encourages FOREIGN INVESTMENT ”

    I wont go into the origins of his nickname and how he got it but suffice to say ..

    ‘DOUBLE DIPPER ‘ in context to that individual is more than just a little apt.

    So back to ‘experts’… oh yes …’experts’… perhaps it is that wealthy immigrants can afford the massive fees here.. primarily because so many of them have extremely wealthy parents.. not all … but many do. And while that’s not a problem , – what is a problem is that our young people are saddled with a massive debt before they even begin to enter the workforce.

    Not only that but this also puts pressure on an already unacceptable housing crisis. Coupled with the runaway deregulated housing market which enables landlords to royally rort students and workers in rent , – this further creates a huge barrier to young NZ people from considering study . And this directly affects someone from a lower socio economic group from ever realizing their potential.

    It was no surprise that a particular woman in the then Business Roundtable during the 1990’s owned many private tertiary institutions and that this woman was charged with the task of the privatization of NZ’s tertiary institutes…. go figure.

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    In summary , … this whole irresponsible and poorly deregulated immigration situation and its effects on NZ’s economic and social well being was a direct result of the neo liberals to force down wages and enhance the huge profit margins that in doing so would bring to a small number of prominent bankers, business leaders and politicians at the expense of the greater NZ population.

    It is small wonder that the same invite to these shores of less well off refugees lagged far behind the enthusiasm of these neo liberal social planners compared to that of cashed up immigrants. That in itself should point to the real motives of these neo liberal wretches and their lack of any true humanitarian concerns , – for either fellow New Zealanders or the immigrants they view simply as cash cows.

  12. Lara 13

    An increase of 1.5% per annum means a doubling of our population within 46.6 years.

    That is simple mathematics.

    Double the size of Auckland or double the density, or a mix of the two. Double the waste and pollution. Double the schools needed or double the size of existing schools. Double the demand for healthcare. Double the traffic on the roads (unless we sort our public transport, don’t hold your breath there!).

    I don’t think our politicians understand simple mathematics.

    Double the people means double the pressure on our environment. Double the number of people on the roads, beaches, national parks.

    When will it end? When the entire East Coast from Auckland to Whangarei is fully built up like the California coast? When Auckland spreads up to Warkworth and down to Hamilton?

    The only reason we can call ourselves clean and green is our low population density. But if we keep doubling within each lifetime (or more, I’m being generous here) then we won’t be able to pass ourselves off as clean and green for much longer. Already it’s wearing rather thin.

    Any increase at any % rate is exponential. And the problem with exponential increase is just before you reach capacity (and be sure, NZ is a finite space, it has a maximum capacity), just before that last doubling, you’re only halfway there.

    That is the nature of exponential growth. I don’t think many really get what that means.

    We need to have a national conversation NOW about what level of population we want to settle on. Because our birth rate is now just below replacement rate. So we will only grow via immigration (once all our cohorts are filled up).

    As much as many new immigrants would like to disagree, we don’t owe anything to anyone else from any other country. We don’t owe them the right to settle here. While nation states still exist NZ has the right to restrict immigration. I think for the sake of our natural spaces and beauty we need to do just that.

    For a clear and accurate explanation of how exponential growth works see this wonderful talk by Al Bartlett.

    • pat 13.1

      If it is generally agreed that there has been an unofficial policy of population growth through migration then the next question that must be asked is…what do those pushing this policy deem an appropriate population?…5 million, 10, perhaps equivalent to the UK with a comparable land mass?

      • Phil 13.1.1

        I remember a throw-away comment from an economist a while back, which went along the lines of “The optimal population for New Zealand is probably either two million or twenty-two million.”

        My takeaway is this; if we’re serious about having a knowledge and technology based economy, then we need a BIG population to make it effective. If we’re going to remain an agricultural or primary-industry economy, then we’ve already got more people here than we need.

    • Colonial Viper 13.2

      Hardly any people get what exponential growth means.

      Our political orthodoxy may as well press the accelerator down harder as we approach the cliff.

    • Phil 13.3

      NZ is a finite space, it has a maximum capacity

      Land mass NZ: 268,021 km²
      Population NZ: 4.5m
      People per sqkm: 16.7

      Land mass Japan: 377,944 km²
      Population Japan: 127.3m
      People per sqkm: 336.8

      Whatever that maximum capacity is, we’re a demonstrably long way away from it.

      • pat 13.3.1

        ‘Whatever that maximum capacity is, we’re a demonstrably long way away from it.”

        except demonstrably we as a world have exceeded the capacity of the planet to sustainably support the demands of a population at that scale.
        Ask yourself why NZ has avoided most of the problems of advanced economies until very recently….what makes this distant country desirable as a tourist and migrant destination….how we have a clean green reputation (although now sullied somewhat)?….its basis lies solely in our population density.

        • wild katipo 13.3.1.1

          It depends on our capacity to provide an equitable standard of living for the people , if we take a purely agrarian approach then historically we need a smaller population, which would produce an abundance…part of the perniciousness of the neo liberal and their free market ideology is that it strips the rural community’s of their populations and herds people into the cities/urban areas.

          This would be fine if there were employment and equitable wages with cost of living /mortgage’s /rent adjustments… but even that is denied. We have a deliberate low wage economy designed to keep a steady unemployment rate and competition for jobs to create downwards pressure on wages that corporations can gain immense profits from. The same is true in traditionally more labour intensive poorer nations.

          The same stripping of the rural sector to herd populations into the urban areas… with no guarantee of improving their standards of living. And this was by design , not happenstance, ….policy , not coincidence.

          It is the classic Milton Freidman/Mont Pelerin neo liberal formulae at work here as it has been in Latin America , India and China. In China’s case…there very variables on the theme …

          Some years ago there was a series of summits and talk of creating NZ as a South Pacific hub of the Banking and IT industry ,…. but undoubtedly it was the influence of certain neo liberal factions who saw that this kind of reverting back to any form of egalitarianism /social democracy would invariably affect their hold on wealth and power. It is not hard to see how these initiatives would have been closed down by these people.

          And yet it is exactly this : a form of industry such as IT / IT componentry production / finance for export and consolidation in the urban sector and its reeducation programme’s to upskill and fast track working people coupled with relocation incentives for a number of those industry’s into the provincial areas that would create a more equitable redistribution of the domestic economy.

          Essentially ,- a double barreled approach of creating large scale industry in both urban and provincial sectors simultaneously.

          Before long ,…this country would turn into a bustling hive of activity.

          Many spin offs such as a re- nationalization of rail instead of solely relying on a patchwork of private transport company’s would also provide a boost to the local economy. Housing projects undertaken by govt to house people into the provincial sector would create localized building opportunity’s…

          Coupled with this , a fairer progressive taxation regime would start to finance these initiatives and spread outwards eventually to essential services such as health , education and welfare.

          This is not radical thinking. It is traditionally Keynesian economics …the same thing we had before 1984 , when we were among the top nations in the OECD in the late 1960’s.

          It is in effect the same system that Scandinavian nations use today.

          In doing these things we would find that even with a rapid population increase, we will have well catered for an integrated system of economic well being and spin off private industry’s ,..and if the population were to slow… even then we would still be in a strong place as the higher progressive tax regime would ensure a yearly surplus.

          And instead of being lectured that foreign investment is so good for us and then having the wealth sucked from these shores… the tables would then be turned whereby any foreign nation who wished to invest would by law only be entitled to hold 49% shares or less. And even then , that tenure to be reviewed every 5 years… as would any lands they chose to conduct business on.

          It is a privilege for any foreign corporation to do business here using our resources – not a right.

          Now that…as a very basic plan …would make the neo liberals squeal loud and long… meanwhile… the rest of us would be doing quite well, thank you very much.

          NB : I use the IT initiatives here… but in reality the choices are endless and are only limited by the creativity and initiative’s of the people themselves. And I am confident that there are many people who would be able to bring forward fresh initiatives from the business sector from many different fields to make this happen as well as input from the general public. All that is lacking is the boldness to put it into action.

          • pat 13.3.1.1.1

            thats all very well wild katipo…and open to debate…..but completely fails to address population size/density

            • wild katipo 13.3.1.1.1.1

              Population size is just a whimsical issue…its HOW we manage provisions regardless of our population size whether it is declining or growing that matters. There is no ‘ideal’ population size – it is simply a hypothetical number which is subjective.

              The only time ‘population size’ matters are when there are signs that a population lacks in being able to provide for itself or there is extreme lack of land to house that population – both of which are not an issue by any chalk in this country at present. It is PRECISELY the lack of planning that sees the problems we have currently in Auckland.

              By following some or all of what I wrote above would go a long way to diffuse some of these issues.

              • pat

                “Population size is just a whimsical issue…its HOW we manage provisions regardless of our population size whether it is declining or growing that matters. There is no ‘ideal’ population size – it is simply a hypothetical number which is subjective.”

                I don’t imagine anyone looking to buy a house in Auckland at the moment believe population is a whimsical issue, nor do I imagine the Chinese government were being whimsical when they introduced the one child policy.

                you then proceed to state.. “It is PRECISELY the lack of planning that sees the problems we have currently in Auckland.”

                a rather contradictory position…..one wonders why you replied to a post re population at all?

                • Taking into account what I wrote about unbridled immigration, in a post above – you seemed not to have read it – and then advancing a way to redistribute both industry and population to diffuse congestion …

                  Is ALL to do with concerns about population. Rest assured …we have a long , long way to go before we reach the sort of population congestion of country’s overseas… therefore that does indeed become a whimsical , non issue. It is not the population at issue- its how its managed.

                  One example of immigration and population increase from the 1950’s is when the Dutch waves occurred. They were given a choice of where to live, with incentives to go to the provinces.

                  Why did the govt of the day do this?… to avoid the very issues which you and others now raise about Auckland housing employment ,and infrastructure problems . And did that harm our precious lifestyle? No. They settled in and just became another component of the NZ population.

                  With a land mass the size of Great Britain and Japan and only a fraction of their populations … we have a long way to go before worrying about any inferences of overpopulation and the ‘ideal’ population size.

                  • pat

                    now we are on track….indeed i did read your previous post which outlined a brief theory of urban drift and foreign investment…..no reference to how it impacts or is impacted by population density/total, but that is fine as we have now established you believe we are a long way from over-population and have yet to reach an ideal population size.
                    So what is that ideal population size in your opinion and why?

      • Lara 13.3.2

        It could be argued that Japan already exceeds its maximum capacity.

        They need to import virtually all of their wood for building and fuel.

        They are also one of the worlds largest net importers of food.

        So yeah. Exceeded.

        They’re only able to keep that population by trade.

        • Brutus Iscariot 13.3.2.1

          Ahh yeah, that’s the point. Very few are self-sufficient in anything *, they specialise in what they are good at and import what they need.

          *Maybe only the US could achieve this.

          Japan’s population is actually already stagnant/declining. Their birthrate is low and they have virtually no immigration.

          • Lara 13.3.2.1.1

            True, re Japan’s birth rate.

            My point that I was trying to make was that Japan could not feed its people nor provide all that they need from within Japan.

            They are a net importer of the most basic of materials. Because they have to be.

          • Colonial Viper 13.3.2.1.2

            Japan’s population is actually already stagnant/declining. Their birthrate is low and they have virtually no immigration.

            It’s a society which is not accepting of outsiders/foreigners.

  13. Smilin 14

    Hitler wrote Mein Kampf

    John Key wrote the Lazy Man’s Guide To Prosperity
    -keep borrowing you’ll be out of office so it wont matter when the country is really broke

    I think that about covers it
    Wait a minute there’s also

    A Traitors Guide to being PM .

    Power Corrupts except when its Me

    Liar Liar a guide to PR, foreword by CT

    When to give up being PM,

    he didnt get advice on that, too arrogant to know when it was goin good, mind you it would be hard to judge that for anyone ,maybe he is human after all

    • Magisterium 14.1

      Hitler wrote Mein Kampf

      John Key wrote the Lazy Man’s Guide To Prosperity

      Are you sure John Key isn’t Hitler?

      Seriously, has anyone ever seen them in the same place at the same time?

      • Smilin 14.1.1

        The way he slumped back in his set in the house after his PM address had that vacant AH look about it, but its all history now

      • Phil 14.1.2

        Has Key ever been in Argentina on parliamentary business?

        If not, why not? What is he trying to hide?

  14. upnorth 15

    my business has been growing 10% year on year for the last 3 years – employing 2 more staff last year – in season have up to 40 contracted staff – starting rate $20 per hour top rate $35.

    Its seasonal so they love it and yes they under collective agreement

  15. Sanctary 16

    My views on immigration began to change when the six (out of seven) started talking about our values as if they were exhibits in some dusty museum…

  16. ropata 17

    Successive governments have been fiddling the GDP numbers by importing wealthy immigrants who then proceed to buy up all the land and houses and throw hard working kiwi families onto the street. It’s fucking great if you are in the top 10% and can afford to ride the bubble, or if you’re a real estate agent. These parasites have contributed nothing to the country that generations of kiwis have built and here they are clogging our roads, our infrastructure, and voting for more right wing bullshit so they can continue buying up Aotearoa unchecked
    http://www.converge.org.nz/watchdog/40/03.html
    http://www.interest.co.nz/property/79682/first-home-buyers-have-been-getting-squeezed-out-auckland-market-more-two-years
    http://nzfirst.org.nz/news/immigration-expense-ordinary-new-zealanaders
    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/little-foreign-house-buyers-should-have-to-build-new-q01406.html

  17. savenz 18

    Has 64,000 new jobs been created per year?
    Has 64,000 new houses been created per year?
    Has 64,000 new public transport seats been created per year?
    Has there been enough increase in taxes to support social welfare for 64,000 new people per year (plus their kids and relatives)?

    If the answer is no, what the F is the government doing??

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    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

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    7 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

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  • About fucking time

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  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

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  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

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  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

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  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

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  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
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  • Open Letter to Pharmac

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  • A blanket of misinformation

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  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

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  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

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  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

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  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

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  • Government moves to ensure flood protection for Wairoa

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  • PM speech to Parliament – Royal Commission of Inquiry’s Report into Abuse in Care

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  • Government acknowledges torture at Lake Alice

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  • Government acknowledges courageous abuse survivors

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  • Half a million people use tax calculator

    With a week to go before hard-working New Zealanders see personal income tax relief for the first time in fourteen years, 513,000 people have used the Budget tax calculator to see how much they will benefit, says Finance Minister Nicola Willis.  “Tax relief is long overdue. From next Wednesday, personal income ...
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    9 hours ago
  • Paid Parental Leave improvements pass first reading

    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden says a bill that has passed its first reading will improve parental leave settings and give non-biological parents more flexibility as primary carer for their child. The Regulatory Systems Amendment Bill (No3), passed its first reading this morning. “It includes a change ...
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    10 hours ago
  • Rebuilding the economy through better regulation

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    11 hours ago
  • ‘Open banking’ and ‘open electricity’ on the way

    New legislation paves the way for greater competition in sectors such as banking and electricity, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly says. “Competitive markets boost productivity, create employment opportunities and lift living standards. To support competition, we need good quality regulation but, unfortunately, a recent OECD report ranked New ...
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  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says lotteries for charitable purposes, such as those run by the Heart Foundation, Coastguard NZ, and local hospices, will soon be allowed to operate online permanently. “Under current laws, these fundraising lotteries are only allowed to operate online until October 2024, after which ...
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  • Accelerating Northland Expressway

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    1 day ago
  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

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  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
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  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

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    1 day ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

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    1 day ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

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    1 day ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
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    1 day ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
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    2 days ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

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    2 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

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  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

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    4 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

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    4 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

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    5 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

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  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

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  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

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  • 'Pacific Futures'

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    5 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

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    5 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

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    6 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
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    6 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

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  • School attendance continues to increase

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  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

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    7 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

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  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

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    1 week ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

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    1 week ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

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    1 week ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
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    1 week ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

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  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

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    1 week ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

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