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Trade deficit worst in seven years

Written By: - Date published: 11:49 am, April 28th, 2016 - 122 comments
Categories: debt / deficit, economy, national - Tags: , , ,

The economic geniuses of the National government strike again!

Trade deficit tipped to affect income and jobs

New Zealand’s trade deficit, at its worst in seven years, is likely to widen further and will hit jobs, an economist has warned.

Official figures show imports exceeded exports to the tune of $3.8 billion in the year to March, the largest shortfall since the $4.1b registered in April 2009.

Low dairy prices, because of a glut of milk, and weak demand from China were largely to blame.

Westpac Bank senior economist Satish Ranchhod expected the deficit would worsen and eventually have an impact on employment and income.

Add it to our record debt, our record pollution, our record housing unaffordability, our rising inequality, our terrible carbon emissions, and our record levels of who-gives-a-shit about facts.

122 comments on “Trade deficit worst in seven years ”

  1. Paul 1

    Amazing how quiet the mum has been about the amount of debt our wonderful government has stacked up.
    Especially after all that fuss a year or so ago about getting into surplus.
    But then the owners of our media (and government) don’t want you or me to know that.

    This cartoon by Evans encapsulates so much.


    • Hanswurst 1.1

      Amazing how quiet the mum has been […]

      Would that be the Herald’s daughter?

    • aerobubble 1.2

      Free markets mean the meat we buy must be sold at world prices as its gone to China for processing. Our economy is stiffed by neo lib thinkers all worried about screwig the most profit out of despite the costs, a whole generation of consumers who are familiar with pulp sugarless fruit, tasteless chicken, ham, beef, etc, geez cardboard water salty bacon. Key has stuffed us all up, expecting us to accept worst than mediocre as normalitive.

  2. Ad 2

    Good to see Robertson having a go at this.

    Dairy being replaced by tourism is like replacing debt+overwork+pollution with nearly-minimum wage jobs.

    Not a plan, and not even a positive economic shift.

    • Paul 2.1

      Relying on tourism as one’s major growth industry as we move into the effects of increasing climate change seems madness to me.

    • Graeme 2.2

      With the dollar rising back up tourism filling the gap could get tricky. With our geography the good yielding markets don’t work too well over 70c US

  3. roy cartland 3

    Ok, a serious question:
    Are they actually completely useless, or do they actually not work for us the citizens? I.e. Fucking corrupt?

    Are they fools or knaves?

    • Paul 3.1

      Knaves. Anyone prepared to sell their country for personal gain is corrupt. And corrupt is a very generous adjective to describe them. Only days ago, there were ceremonies all over the country commemorating the sacrifice of those who died to protect our sovereignty and independence. And this government not only signed the TPP – it led it for the US.

      If you want evidence of a knaves, Key worked for Merrill Lynch, part of the criminal banking system that destroyed the world economy in 2008.

      And some of them are fools as well. Sometimes, when you’re looking for people to shaft and betray their own country’s people, you don’t get the sharpest tools in the shed. Brownlee – incompetent in Christchurch, Lotu-Iiga – out of his depth with corrections. There are other examples.

      They are all knaves.
      Some are fools as well.

      And without the support of a compliant media, this gang would have been evicted a long time ago. Sadly the news coverage in New Zealand now resembles those faux democracies one finds around the world. Its fawning support of the Dear Leader would not look out of place in China, Honduras or Zimbabwe.

      The once proud independent South Pacific nation is a sad shadow of itself. And now we’re inviting the US navy here this year…..


      • Jones 3.1.1

        Corrupt is generous. It is economic treason and it should be illegal.

        • Paul

          Treason is a serious crime with serious penalties.

          • Johan

            Perhaps we could get a petition started;-)))))

            • mikes

              If you’re talking treason then first in line would be Roger Douglas, closely followed by his pals Prebble and Caygill.

              NZ could have taken a far fairer and more thoughtful direction if not for Douglas who essentially sold our country down the road. He is a blight on humankind.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        Only days ago, there were ceremonies all over the country commemorating the sacrifice of those who died to protect our sovereignty and independence.

        Except that they actually didn’t. They died to protect the British Empire and the rulers of that Empire. Today they fight to protect the US Empire and the rulers of that empire.

        • Stuart Munro

          In those days they thought of England as home, and enjoyed some privileges of empire. A lot of men were happy to go, but British staff incompetence fed them into the meat grinder. It was like Balaclava, asked to do the practically impossible our troops did at great cost, to find the objective wasn’t worth anything. We got our own officers for World War II, still took ‘impossible’ objectives like Monte Casino – but with less of a butcher’s bill.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      Are they actually completely useless, or do they actually not work for us the citizens? I.e. Fucking corrupt?

      The trans-national 0.01% elite have way more in common with each other than with any of us.

      So yes, they typically work for each others interests, and not in the national interest.

    • AmaKiwi 3.3

      Oravida paying us nothing for our water so they can make millions selling it in China should answer your question.

      Or did you forget about Judith Collins’ connection to Oravida?

  4. ge 4

    There is no economy in NZ, just a taxpayer funded arrangement and just who pays tax?

    • Paul 4.1

      Jane Kelsey makes a strong argument that all we have is a FIRE economy.


      • Reddelusion 4.1.1

        As you where pounding out post after post and link after link in January of the imminent global financial collapse ( I see they have stopped) your views or parroting your mates on economics and finance needs to be viewed sceptically in regard to any predictive value at all

        • International Rescue

          They won’t stop. The left has been delusional for so long, they wouldn’t recognise reality if it bit them on the arse. And quoting Kelsey? Another chicken little.

          • lprent

            Jane Kelsey looks at and assesses risks. This means assessing the risk of costs as well as the upside benefits. She specializes in looking at trade agreements.

            The problem has been that idiots at MFAT and several other places with implanted rosy eyed contacts only see $$$$$$$$ sales and never really look at the downside costs. A lot of the time it seems hard to see if they are even looking at the benefits to the country of the benefits to themselves. Like Tim Groser for instance.

            It is hard to find ANY person who is competent at looking at economic risks who doesn’t look at the TPPA and conclude that for NZ it is barely worth the paper as a trade agreement. That is why there has been lukewarm reactions to it from Helen Clark’s ‘better to be in a trade bloc than outside’ (hardly an endorsement of the value of the agreement) to Brian Easton’s bleak assessments of returns.

            In fact it’d take a complete mindless dork who lives on sound bites rather than thinking things through to make your kind of assessment. But then, that is the type of moronic troll that you are..

            • International Rescue

              It’s really simple. Trade liberalises economies and liberates the poor. It opens opportunities for NZ to access a wider variety of good and services, and to sell more of ours to other countries. Kelsey et al are anti trade, and no deal would satisfy her. From the nonsensical claims about secrecy to the ill-informed raving abut sovereignty, Kelsey continues to earn the title I gave her. The benefits of the TPP to NZ are many and considerable.

              • Gabby


                Go on then.

              • lprent

                Clearly you don’t read enough economic history. ‘Free trade’ in restricted trade blocs has been responsible for more economic damage than can easily be measured. Perhaps you should try reading about free trade in the colonial blocs of the 19th and early 20th centuries as a tool of exploitation of poorer economies. You may need a dictionary…

                Free trade does those things when you actually free up trade. Which is why I have supported all of the bilateral and WTO trade treaties up to the TPPA.

                However if you write restrictions into trade and tout it as ‘free trade’ it doesn’t. Like the TPPA which has way more costly restrictions of trade in it for the productive parts of the NZ economy (ie not farming) than any benefits.

                Here is the point based on actual experience rather than some callow moron like yourself sprouting ignorant dogma. For more than 30 years, I have focused on and been employed in exporting in the tech sector. Specifically writing software for both internet and for embedding in and controlling hardware.

                In these rapidly growing sectors, the only thing that the TPPA brings are extra costs and lengthy restrictions of trade. It will restrain the high margin and high employment areas of our export economy. It will also raise costs inside our domestic economy. Both of these will happen sooner rather than later.

                The only thing that the TPPA promises is some slightly better access to some markets for low margin commodity products that employ few people for poor wages. It plans to do even that later rather than sooner.

                It is a shit deal by any trade or economic standard. Rather than look at it closely, we have the economically and commercially ignorant fools like yourself sprouting ill-informed abstractions rather than looking at detail.

                • International Rescue

                  Clearly you haven’t read what I posted. I didn’t write ‘Free’ trade because such a thing is rare. The TPP offers benefits topping several billion dollars per annum (there is research work being done constantly to update these estimates – see http://asiapacifictrade.org/?page_id=2) with minimal additional costs.

                  Opposition to the TPP is primarily due to jealousy that National negotiated it, and out and out anti-trade ludditism.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Nah those $B “benefits” will never occur, and even if they do, they will not flow through to the bottom 95%.

                    We’ve heard this bullshit before. The elite drive through these deals purely for their own benefit.

                    • International Rescue

                      We’ve heard of trade benefits before, and they happen. Even Helen Clark knows we need to be in.

                    • Hanswurst

                      @IR Yes, we will be screwed by the thugs who run the place. We will be doubly screwed if we refuse to pay them their cut. That is the sort of “benefit” that Clark was referring to. She made that clear as far as diplomacy would allow.

                  • Stuart Munro


                    The Gnats have earned a thoroughly wretched reputation through their epic incompetence. Magical thinking like ‘the TPPA will make everything better’ doesn’t beat careful planning and execution.

                    We are a small economy – we cannot handle too much volatility. Our economy must be planned and planned carefully in a trading environment containing so many much larger players.

                    Je suis un rockstar is not a strategy for success for NZ’s economy, any more than it would be for an aspiring new Sumo wrestler. You have to build economic muscle before playing with the big boys.

                    • International Rescue

                      NZ is recognised internationally as a model economy. Our current Gvt has a very clear plan for economic growth, and has given confidence to the business sector by articulating and following through on that growth agenda. It is interesting you chose the ‘rock star economy’ phrase, because that was coined not by a NZ politician but by a banking economist. Here’s what that same economist had to say just a month or so ago:

                      “You certainly were a rock star back then but you are still doing quite well considering the global back drop – considering we’ve seen equity markets fall across the world, China is slowing and dairy prices are falling, growth here is doing OK,”


                      The attitude of the ever diminishing left wing in this country to our excellent economic prospects remains an enormous source of humour for those of us who actually work in the real world.

                • International Rescue

                  “In these rapidly growing sectors, the only thing that the TPPA brings are extra costs and lengthy restrictions of trade.”

                  How so?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Because the corporates want the TPP in order to protect their profits and their rights.

                    That’s why they consistently refuse to be governed by NZ laws or by the NZ parliament.

                    • Pat

                      you must remember CV that our Aussie friend takes his cues from the RW funded think tanks in the land of the free and the home of the brave….or corporate central.

                    • International Rescue

                      I ask again…how so? Not left wing anti business hysteria.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    How so? What a dickhead. Stop wasting our time with your stalling and do your own research.

                    • International Rescue

                      Why? LPrent made the claim. I’m certainly curious to know if that claim is correct. Aren’t you? Or are you believing everything you’re spoon fed?

                    • lprent []

                      WTF:CV and I usually disagree.

                      Are you a complete idiotic fuckwit?

                    • International Rescue

                      LP…No. I’m still waiting for your answer.

              • Paul

                ‘Trade liberalises economies and liberates the poor.’

                Tell that to the people of Bangladesh.

                • Incognito

                  Paul, stop being such a misery guts; sweat shops and child & slave labour are liberating from hopeless inhumane squalor or non-existence, surely … Some CEOs deserve sainthood or at least a knighthood. The latter is much easier to obtain and you don’t have to die first to have it bestowed on you. In fact, a terminal disease is known to speed up the process.

                  Feeling a little sarcy tonight …

                • International Rescue

                  Willingly. You think they were better off before?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Trade liberalises economies and liberates the poor.

                Then why is history replete with examples of it doing the exact opposite? NZ’s a great example unless you consider the increasing poverty of the last three decades the poor being ‘liberated’.

                • International Rescue

                  “Then why is history replete with examples of it doing the exact opposite?”

                  It isn’t. The standard of living across trading nations is far higher than in those that are isolationist. It is also far higher than it was before the advent of global trade.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The standard of living across trading nations is far higher than in those that are isolationist.

                    Nope. All the ‘first world’ nations developed their economies under very strict trade rules that made importing (but not exporting) very expensive. This meant that producing the product locally was more financially viable. In other words, living standards were increased because of protectionism and not trade.

                    As an example Africa had a faster increase of living standards before it was forced to become an open economy by the IMF. Afterwards the living standard went down somewhat and development has been mediocre ever since as all the money and resources get sucked out to the ‘rich’ countries. Same is happening in NZ.

                    See, it’s actually the development and diversification that improves living standards and trade actually prevents that. Thing is, if we had the level playing field that all economists and politicians say that we need trade wouldn’t happen at all.

                    You should read history some time and not just believe the myths propagated by ignorant shmucks.

                    • International Rescue

                      “This meant that producing the product locally was more financially viable. In other words, living standards were increased because of protectionism and not trade.”

                      You really are living in lala land. Are you trying suggest that the people of the Soviet Union were better off than the people in the US? Or the people of North Korea than NZ’ers? Protectionism doesn’t, mean ‘no trade’. The west has been trading liberally for decades, and we have the overwhelming wealth to show for it.

                      If you honestly believe strict protectionism is the way forward, I invite you to visit North Korea. There aren’t too many other countries still stupid enough to agree with you.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Are you trying suggest that the people of the Soviet Union were better off than the people in the US?

                      False equivalence. The USSR was trading quite extensively – they just weren’t trading with the West. The people of the USSR were worse off because they had a dictatorial system in place and the managers fucked up badly – same as our dictators are doing now actually.

                      The west has been trading liberally for decades, and we have the overwhelming wealth to show for it.

                      Yep, so liberally most Western nations still have significant subsidies and tariffs in place – oh, wait.

                      If you honestly believe strict protectionism is the way forward, I invite you to visit North Korea.

                      Last time I looked the DPRK was both a military dictatorship and under significant embargoes. In other words, their populace is heavily controlled, the managers are a bunch of fuckwits and even getting the basic knowledge into and across the country so that the people there could do something about is difficult.

                      So, tell me, why is the DPRK embargoed anyway?

                      If you honestly believe strict protectionism is the way forward,

                      Actually, I believe in free-trade but that to me means that all rules and regulations are equivalent and that they’re not designed to benefit the few. Under such conditions trade would be minimal as it should be.

                      Also, I believe in using trade to get the knowledge to develop and diversify our economy. Trade in knowledge would do the world far more good than trade in goods.

              • mikes

                I hate to ‘credentialize’ but…

                According to Nobel prize winning economist (I know, I know) Professor Joseph Stiglitz, the TPP is the “worst trade deal ever.”

                People like him and Professor Kelsey have outstanding academic achievements, but more importantly have vast amounts of meticulously researched knowledge of such agreements and years upon years of experience with such agreements, yet ‘international rescue’ (thunderbirds,,,really?) you think you know better than them?

                Pull the other one mate..

                • International Rescue

                  “People like him and Professor Kelsey have outstanding academic achievements, ”

                  So? Has kelsey ever worked in the world of business? Has she ever engaged in any real trade activity outside the class room? Has she ever run a business? Earned an income from outside the trough? Read her bio. Kelsey is a hard left, anti trade, shrill, whose income is solely dependent on her continued denigration of trade and liberal economics.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    And the RWNJ comes in with the but, but, but, has she ever been in the REAL WORLD… bollocks because he’s just been shown to be an ignorant shmuck and has no argument.

                    • International Rescue

                      No, just questioning the credentials of a professional trougher with zero real world experience to cast her doom and gloom on those of us who actually earn a living, employ people, make money for the country, etc etc.

                  • Incognito

                    To find Jane Kelsey’s credentials you can visit her profile on the University of Auckland website: https://unidirectory.auckland.ac.nz/profile/j-kelsey

                    I’ll leave it to you to make your own value judgements or to change your mind on whether she’s “a professional trougher with zero real world experience” whatever all that means.

                    I am always deeply touched by people who marginalise, ridicule and seemingly despise other people because of lack of “real world experience”, they never “worked in the world of business”, or never “engaged in any real trade activity outside the class room”. I presume this means teachers, nurses, doctors (unless self-employed, of course), public servants, politicians, for example, but not tax lawyers, bankers, consultants, accountants, real estate agents, mortgage & insurance brokers, and the likes.

                    • International Rescue

                      Good try, but no. Apart perhaps from politicians, particularly Labour ones. So let me use the example of teachers to show you what I mean. Teachers engage in the real world, and experience real world problems every day. They are also accountable for their performance, as are the other professions you noted. Tax lawyers, banker, accountants etc earn a living off their own efforts in their own area of expertise. They are owed an income by and from no-one. Ms Kelsey, on the other hand comments from her ivory tower on matters of the economy and trade in which she has never participated. This is academia at it’s worst.

                  • Incognito

                    at International Rescue 2 May 2016 at 11:14 am:

                    That’s an interesting reply, thank you.

                    Prof. Kelsey has a tenured position but this doesn’t mean she’s not accountable at all.

                    You do know, I assume, that she also (successfully) applies for contestable & competitive grant funding to do research.

                    You do know, I assume, that she supervises students, which comes will all the academic accountability that you can imagine.

                    You do know, I hope, that Jane Kelsey is a member of and participates in NZ society and is not a hermit who lives in a desert. I struggle with your reference to “her ivory tower”; what does it really mean or imply?

                    This is academia at it’s worst. [sic]

                    This sounds like you have jumped on the anti-intellectual bandwagon for no other reason than that it suits your view of the World. As I said before, you’re free to make your own value judgements but they won’t get you far in a debate with reasonable and rational people.

                    • International Rescue

                      I know all of that, but do you seriously think I’m going to be impressed with her ‘supervising other students’ and receiving ‘contestable grants’? Do you seriously think this makes up for a total absence of ANY real world experience in the subject she purports to be an expert?

                      My judgement is not based on her academic experience but her total lack of practical experience. That makes her dangerous. And I have the same opinion about right wing academics.

                  • Incognito

                    @ International Rescue 8 May 2016 at 10:06 am:

                    I find it puzzling why you chose to ignore the points I addressed in my reply.

                    For example, you wrote “They [teachers] are also accountable for their performance, as are the other professions you [that’ll be me] noted.”

                    My reply was that academics are also accountable for their performance and operate in a contestable and competitive environment but somehow you missed or ignored this!?

                    You also wrote “Teachers engage in the real world, and experience real world problems every day.”

                    To this I replied that professors (and most academics) are teachers too, of students. This seemed to have escaped you too!?

                    I don’t expect you to be “impressed” with anybody’s credentials, just to give them due attention, which you won’t do for some reason!?

                    Lastly, I cannot fathom why Prof. Kelsey’s “total lack of practical experience” – as if she’s not from this planet or as if she gets all her “experience” from watching YouTube clips and Facebook posts – “makes her dangerous”!? Dangerous to what or whom and in what way?

                    • International Rescue

                      “My reply was that academics are also accountable for their performance and operate in a contestable and competitive environment but somehow you missed or ignored this!?”

                      I didn’t ignore it – the comment is largely irrelevant. The ‘real world’ teachers are exposed to is that which effects their students and the substance of what they teach. Kelsey has never experienced trade, she’s never had to do a deal, sell a commodity, earn an income outside of the protection of academia. If you seriously think competing for grant monies is comparable to what export businesses experience day in and day out, you’re dreaming.

                      As for accountability, who has held her accountable for the nonsense she’s spouted on the TPP? No-one. Years of scaremongering, of exagerating costs and understating benefits, and she gets away with it.

                      Dangerous? Oh yes. Kelsey is advocating against trade arrangements that will significantly benefit NZ, providing foreign exchange earnings and jobs.

            • ropata

              Best analysis I have seen (apologies for length)

              While it is difficult to predict an actual dollar figure that could be attached to our exposure to ISDS cases, a single one could quite easily wipe out several years’ worth of net trade benefits. Even harder to measure, yet undeniable, is the loss of collective agency that comes as a direct result of subordinating the public good to private gain. And finally there is the creation of a new privileged class, with means at its disposal which are unavailable to New Zealand businesses, who are bound by New Zealand laws adjudicated in New Zealand courts. This is a truly abhorrent notion: that somehow the foreign investor’s desire for profit should prevail over our natural and sovereign right to manage our affairs as we see fit.

              The holy grail at the end of this “trade” agreement is ostensibly more exports. This, of course, assumes that our trading partners represent a source of increasing demand. But the two largest ones are in the doldrums with no sign of a way out, and some of the others look like dominos about to fall. Simply put, the world in general is experiencing “Peak Credit” and the implications for any real economic growth globally are extremely poor. This means basing any forecast of benefits we may see from the liberalising effects of the TPPA on business as usual is naive. The reason so much of this agreement’s text and focus revolves around investment is simple: with the global decline of consumer-driven economic growth, those who are in a position to do so are now more interested in acquisition and control of assets which can be used to generate rents. The ISDS provisions in TPPA and similar multilateral treaties (TTIP, TISA) are a vehicle for removing barriers to this trend. We encourage this behaviour at our peril.

          • Incognito

            You obviously don’t know the difference between quoting, citing, and referring to.

        • Paul

          Have you noticed the heading of this post?
          The collapse will happen.
          Pay attention.
          Read widely.


        • gnomic

          You still appear to be a demented idiot. Why not just go away? Surely there is some right wing nut job site where your spewings would be lapped up?

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Westpac Bank senior economist Satish Ranchhod expected the deficit would worsen and eventually have an impact on employment and income.

    I love these fucking Big Bank Orthodox Economists.

    The only economists allowed to speak in the media nowadays.

    What does he mean that our chronic trade deficit could “eventually” have an impact on employment and income???

    • Johan 5.1

      “Mate she’ll be right”, after all we could always borrow another few billion dollars from the Chinese to keep us afloat until our economy starts to pick up. Don’t you have faith in the smiling assassin;-)))???

    • Nic the NZer 5.2

      Thats plain english as far as i can see. There does seem to be some bewilderment introduced by the supporting text however.

      As stated 3.8 billion dollars of income left the economy over the last year. Unless something (hint govt deficit) replaces the country will lose that turnover in future periods likely meaning lower NZ income and employment turning over in the NZ economy.

      That should be clear to everyone here but unfortunately at the standard we are bombarded by left wing propaganda and judging by Johans comment the propaganda is winning.

      • lprent 5.2.1

        Of course here we have the mindless economic parroting by unthinking right wing fools like yourself.

        Rather than looking at the issue being a macro economic issue for the whole of NZ, you need to look at it as being regional issue.

        The commodity export markets are affected, and mostly one particular part of that. Export ones based on IP seldom get affected by commodity prices because they aren’t selling low margin barely processed products.

        Since the latter employs a whole lot more people than the former, mostly in Auckland, the effects will tend to be quite regionally based.

        The reduced income will hit into the areas of the economy that rely on trickle feed from dairy sector. Even there, it will affect the areas with lots of recent (ie over the last decade or so) dairy that rely on a higher cost base to produce. So Canterbury, Southland, and other areas with high conversion rates of farms to dairy.

        That in turn will probably affect rural banking and the service industries in those areas. Sure there will be an effect in Auckland, but it will be pretty damn minor. Auckland derives much of it’s high margin income directly or indirectly from exporting high value products and services. The locals (unlike service parasites like google or facebook) actually pay taxes directly from profits or indirectly via wages and forgone export GST, which is more than you can say for most of the rural economy.

        From a rural downturn, the tax take is unlikely to be heavily affected. The numbers of people employed in the sector isn’t that large. The main problem is just going to be a loss of expectation of capital gains in rural land – which isn’t a bad thing.

        The biggest thing that it does is force the movement towards knowledge based exporting both rural and urban, rather than rural rentiers flogging off commodities into an open world market. That is a damn good thing for NZ over the medium and long term.

        Perhaps you should peddle your ignorant old-fashioned economics somewhere that can believe your crap?

        • Colonial Viper

          Given that the trade deficit is a macro measure and hardly ever quoted on a regional basis, I don’t think you can blame Nic the NZer for viewing the macro perspective.

          Further the current account deficit, of which the trade deficit is one component, describes the net money loss from the NZ economy. Nic the NZer is spot on saying that money MUST be replaced (i.e. by either a government deficit or private borrowing) or the NZ economy will shrink by the net amount of money exported, cent for cent.

          Last comment. IMO Auckland is shielded from the down turn in the real economy by two factors – increasing private debt levels pumping money into the Auckland economy (i.e. via the property market) and increasing economic activity due to population growth.

          Earnings from Auckland’s high tech/export sector are fine and all, but how is it you can tell that Auckland as a region is not deeply in the red when it comes to its contribution to NZ’s trade deficit (or the more complete current account deficit).

          I reckon it might be.

          • Nic the NZer

            Accounting is so last decade. Lprent has a new fangled economics to discuss here.

            • Colonial Viper

              No idea how we are going to successfully steer our way through the next 10-20 years at this rate.

        • Nic the NZer

          Thats the thinking mans left wing view is it? Are you sure your disaggregated regions ran a trade deficit to begin with? Considering much of our commodity production comes from the regions it seems unlikely they would have despite the country as a whole doing so to me.

          • Colonial Viper

            These are the top 3 categories of imports into NZ by $$$:
            Main import commodities 2012 2007
            Petroleum and products 8,366 5,785
            Mechanical machinery and equipment 6,071 5,230
            Vehicles, parts, and accessories 4,882 4,854

            Just guessing here that Auckland takes up the lions share of the petroleum and the vehicle imports which come into NZ. And maybe the mech machinery one too.

      • Paul 5.2.2

        You support this level of economic mismanagement.


        • Colonial Viper

          Paul, I’ve been trying real hard to educate you mate.

          Unless NZ:

          1) Gets off a debt based money supply and goes to sovereign issuance of currency OR

          2) We change decades of poor performance and shift into a regular current account surplus

          then NZ MUST increase its public sector debt levels to compensate for the net monies flowing out of the country by allowing the Government to spend into the local economy.

          You want English to cut NZ government debt?

          It’s really easy.

          You slash government spending, you increase the tax take from households and busineses, and you put in place additional fines and fees around everything the public touches.

          Why not eh? Government debt will come down and you can call that good economic management, just like the neolibs do.

        • Nic the NZer

          To answer your question in brief the govt deficit and debt is irrelevant. I would make many decisions different to National myself but would be quite far from worrying about the deficit because it does very little harm in itself. Trying to cut it almost always does more.

          Just as i have not finished putting the boot into lprent we might want to consider the impacts (in my old fashioned ignorant view). As a result of this we might see lower levels of polluting NZs water supplies in order to send our milk production overseas and make a few select cow cockies exceedingly wealthy. But that would require recognising that these people would be better employed doing something more nationally constructive than

        • Nic the NZer

          … growing more cows and pouring more cowshit into our waterways. But that will almost certainly require that the govt be willing to find something more constructive to employ these under employed persons in doing it (because the market wont).

          So we could have what sounds a constructive plan or we could have a bit of a whine about the fact some foreigners want to hold onto (save) some of their NZ income (because we think it looks good politically).

          As usual lprent doesnt have a clue where i am coming from. What i am suggesting is probably closest to social credit (that well known right wing party).

    • Incognito 5.3

      It’s a “gut feeling”.

  6. Ralf Crown 6

    It will be worse, and it is not diary prices but incompetence. I am in China writing this. Yesterday I was at a huge supermarket, and I saw woman after women leaving with bags of flavoured yogurt in small 150 gram packages. The kids love it. All New Zealand is selling is boring 1 litre packages of milk, which is not used in China. Nobody buy. Wrong product – wrong packaging – wrong customer and the customer will not change their mind about what to buy. The other side is the money, it is not the price, but that that New Zealand government has made it is almost impossible to work on a small business level with China. “Money laundering” and “terrorism” are the Key (note spelling) words to put in so many restrictions that it scares everyone away. Open up New Zealand, stop licking USA down the back side. Asia is our real partner. Free trade is just not the goods, it is the free and unrestricted money flow.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Fonterra has major offices in China and has had for many years. If they haven’t caught on to how to market there by now, there is something very wrong.

      • lprent 6.1.1

        Fonterra aren’t exactly a organisation that has shown much interest in being aware of markets and marketing. They appear to exist to sell commodity bulk products on a world market with no expertise displayed apart from that of production and processing.

        • Colonial Viper

          All while their executives pay themselves top dollar for being such highly skilled bastards they couldn’t read future production forecasts out of Russia, India and South/Central America.

      • Ralf Crown 6.1.2

        Correction – not ”offices” but “ivory towers”. Their knowledge stops at the paint on the office walls. Air-condition is too comfortable.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Wow, you’re actually suggesting that we open up for money laundering and other crimes.

      • Ralf Crown 6.2.1

        Are YOU suggesting we continue to make trade so difficult with these rules that it will not work. The trade deficit is the evidence. Money laundering is reported to be some 0.4% of money exchange, with the present regime we stop the other 99.6% as well, more or less. The criminals have already their own methods, it does not matter to them. It will matter to people’s welfare in New Zealand.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Trade, under the Level Playing field that’s needed, essentially doesn’t exist. It’s not abut making it easy or hard but about making it so that each country is equivalent. Thing is, once that’s done then trade is no longer worthwhile.

          You’re not calling for free-trade – you’re demanding that we take it easier on the criminals.

          • Ralf Crown

            It is called the “Saddam method”. We stop all trade so we are sure that no criminals get a chance. It is the same principle both Saddam Hussein and the USA is using. In a village there are one terrorist and 1,000 innocent. Let’s kill everyone, and then we can be sure the bad guy is gone too. Criminals have their own methods, and stopping trade is not the only way to catch them, but the most convenient and best PR. Free trade is the same as free money flow. One does not exist without the other. New Zealand cumulative trade deficit is ballooning. Want to keep your beer and benefit, change you mind.

            • Draco T Bastard

              One does not exist without the other. New Zealand cumulative trade deficit is ballooning.

              That’s because we’re not developing our economy because of trade. Instead we’re trying to do more of the same, inefficient BS (literally).

              Free trade is the same as free money flow. One does not exist without the other.

              More bollocks from a fucken idiot who hasn’t got a clue WTF he’s talking about.

              We have all the money we could ever need right here right now – if the government fixed the monetary system. Made it non-dependent upon massive private borrowing and created it themselves and spent it into the economy building up productive infrastructure such as extraction and processing facilities, R&D, factories to use the results of that and supporting health, schooling (including tertiary) and many other government services. It’s also how the UBI would be funded.

              That money would then circulate in the economy supporting the limited private sector.

              And there you go, just explained why we don’t need trade.

              We’re presently losing it all because of the present system wealth accumulation system otherwise known as ‘capitalist free-trade’ that is anything but free. It was set up to enrich the already rich and it’s doing that and so destroying our societies and our environment and may end up with the total eradication of humans in the on going Sixth Great Extinction.

              Want to keep your beer and benefit, change you mind.

              The only bludgers are the rich and they most definitely should not keep their beer or their massive government subsidies.

  7. NZJester 7

    Nationals top 5 priorities
    #1 Money
    #2 Money
    #3 Money
    #4 Money
    #5 Money

    If it is not Money they are not interested. That is money into their pockets and their friends pockets only. The rest of New Zealand is not a priority to them!

    • Anno1701 7.1

      Nationals top priorities
      #1 Money
      #2 Money
      #3 Money
      #4 Money
      #5 Money
      #6 Ponytails….

      • Sorrwerdna 7.1.1

        Labours top 5 priorities:
        #1 Attack National
        #2 Attack National
        #3 Attack National
        #4 Attack National
        #5 Attack National

        • Draco T Bastard

          Your attempt to replicate the above humour is droll.

          • Colonial Viper

            I would have put it down as

            #1 Get power
            #2 Get power
            #3 Get power
            #4 Get power
            #5 Get power

            • b waghorn

              I would suggest
              #1 tried this didn’t work
              # 2 tried that didn’t work
              # 3 had good idea stolen by opposition
              #4 might try this what do you think?
              #5 fuck it let’s just hope national sink them selves

            • Incognito

              Indeed, power to the power of five.

  8. esoteric pineapples 8

    This government has managed to get rid of everything it calls “nice to have” from night classes to social services to the environment and we are still hugely worse off than when they came to power.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Green Party finance spokesperson Julie-Anne Genter said the trade deficit was unlikely to shrink unless New Zealand invested more in innovation like other small rich countries had.

    “They do this through active government regulation, reducing pollution, insuring that there’s adequate taxation policies.

    “So for example in New Zealand, a lack of a Capital Gains Tax is extremely bad for investment in the productive sector of the economy.”

    Now that’s a much better point.

  10. Glenn 10

    Lactose intolerance by ethnicity.

    I’m surprised we sell any dairy products to many of our trading partners.

  11. dave 11

    interesting how long before this happens ?????one day you have to pay it back

    remember this article from 2014
    its happening

  12. North 12

    The Fake Man Key has fucked us up. Total. And left us with Max. Of The Dead Eyes Just Like Daddy. Oh God that’s a strain must be discouraged. I’m speaking large here though not eugenically.

  13. The Other Mike 13

    BM! Where are you with a cure?

    Sure you can fix this, stat!


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