I’m with the Governor

February 8th, 2010 at 8:48 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Prime Minister has vowed to stick with his goal of closing the income gap with Australia, despite an embarrassing dismissal by the Reserve Bank Governor who said there was no chance of it happening.

Speaking on TVNZ’s Q+A programme yesterday, said Australia had been “blessed by God sprinkling minerals” and had handled its economy well. He said New Zealand would do better to make the most of the “crumbs that come off the Australian table”.

He said it was up to the Government what its own goals were, but he did not believe catching up with Australia was possible.

However, Australia’s success was good news for New Zealand and the real challenge was in working out how to capitalise on it.

The Governor is quite right that it is not practical to think we can close the gap with Australia by 2025 – quite simply the gap is just far too large.

However I think we can aspire to something more ambitious than making the most of the crumbs that come our way from Australia.

Even if the gap is not closed by 2025, we do want a very strong focus on higher levels of so the gap gets smaller, or at least doesn’t grow as quickly.

There are effectively six scenarios going forward, from worst to best:

  1. NZ growth rate in next 15 years is even lower than for last 15 years, meaning gap between Australia grows even faster than previously.
  2. NZ growth rate in next 15 years is the same as last 15 years, so the gap grows as fast as previously.
  3. NZ growth rate in next 15 years is higher than the last 15 years, but still not as fast as Australia, so the gap continues to grow – but slower than before.
  4. NZ growth rate rate in next 15 years matches that of Australia, so the gap remains relatively constant.
  5. NZ growth rate in next 15 years is higher than that of Australia, but not high enough to close the gap by 2025, so the gap closes but is not gone by 2025.
  6. NZ growth rate in next 15 years is so much higher than Australia’s that the gap is closed by 2025.

Now like the Governor, I don’t think No 6 is realistic. We are starting too far behind. But personally I’d be pretty delighted with either No 5 or No 4 – both would be absolutely major achievements. Even No 3 would be better than the status quo.

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84 Responses to “I’m with the Governor”

  1. slightlyrighty (2,098 comments) says:

    The fact is that NZ has too many people actively working against the sort of growth we need and have been well supplied with legislation to make it possible, such as the RMA.

    I think it was Doug Graham on Q&A who said in respect of Australia’s mineral wealth that we in NZ seem to be too timid to even look at what we might have in that regard.

    Remember this when Labour start to have a go at the government for not closing the gap. There is a lot more that we can do, but Labour, and the left in general are aligning it’s opposing forces to stymie government initiatives. We are seeing it in Education with National Standards. We are seeing it with the opposition to the stocktake of resources on DOC land.

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  2. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    Australia Schmalia. Its a diversion.

    John Key and the rest of NZers need to come to grips with the reality that NZ is a small country that has caught a bad case of the unaffordable disease of international socialism.

    Until NZers are free from a frame of mind that says all will be well if we leave it to government, and that Nirvana is just around the corner if we all put our faith in the religion of socialism, the economy will continue to stagnate.

    The problem with NZ is in its citizen’s heads.

    That Mrs Tolley wants to fix the education system is a sign that some of National might be waking up. She doesn’t seem to be getting much support from the leadership though.

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  3. Gooner (919 comments) says:

    You’re also with Karori Bill who thinks it is aspirational rather than realistic.

    Nice to know we have people at the levers of government who think of reasons why things cannot be done, rather than action plans for actually getting them done.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/economy/news/article.cfm?c_id=34&objectid=10612654&pnum=1

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  4. KiwiGreg (3,278 comments) says:

    “The Governor is quite right that it is not practical to think we can close the gap with Australia by 2025 – quite simply the gap is just far too large.”

    It’s not the size of the gap, it’s the unwillingness of the government (and possibly a good chunk of NZers) to take the necessary steps.

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  5. db.. (87 comments) says:

    7. NZ growth rate is assisted by “Key Hole” mining on land at all and any site physicaly possible. At sea anywhere within the 200K limit that overseas capital is prepared to attempt. (All overseas capital should be required to list on NZx and ASX so that New Zealanders can share the results)

    Opposition to mining by our present Labour / Green driven past, should be studied closely to make sure that NZ can improve our standing on this planet for our children.

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  6. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Speaking on TVNZ’s Q+A programme yesterday, Alan Bollard said Australia had been “blessed by God sprinkling minerals” and had handled its economy well. He said New Zealand would do better to make the most of the “crumbs that come off the Australian table”.

    I think we, too, have been “blessed by God sprinkling minerals” in the form of coal and oil deposits. Sadly, its of the ‘carbon’ variety, and therefore ‘an evil beyond description’.
    And truth be known, we’ve likely done a back room deal with either China or the Yanks, and sold off the rights.

    As Red said earlier; I think the greatest hurdle NZ faces is the ongoing strangle-hold which Socialism has upon our society, and, additionally, the fact that we have turned our back on the One from whom ALL blessings come; “blessed by God sprinkling minerals” indeed.

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  7. Nigel Kearney (1,097 comments) says:

    Gooner is right. What about the even more embarrassing dismissal by Key’s own finance minister?

    The minerals excuse is a poor one. We refuse to exploit our own mineral wealth and have plenty of other natural advantages anyway. It doesn’t take much growth to get ahead as other countries are also pursuing largely anti-growth policies – if we had grown an extra 1% per year over the last 40 years we would be in the top 5 countries. And we can improve by 2% or more without a lot of pain.

    The first hurdle we have to overcome is electing a government that actually makes growth a top priority. If we can’t do that then prosperity will only ever be something we just talk about.

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  8. YesWeDid (1,056 comments) says:

    Most of these comments are laughable. Redbaiter and co, how different is our brand of ‘socialism’ from Australia’s?

    Bollard made a very good comment about Australia’s mineral wealth, ‘that it was easy to mine and not located near people’, whereas New Zealand’s minerals are under mountains or in National parks.

    Good on Bollard for speaking his mind on this, a health dose of the truth is very much appreciated.

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  9. berend (1,690 comments) says:

    How much of Australia’s GDP are minerals? Ah, only that much. How much of the labour workforce is involved in mining? Only so few?

    Nice to know we have a RBG that things we should live from the crumbs of Australia’s table. I’m sure that went down well in Australia. Just another reason we should abolish the Reserve Bank.

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  10. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    ” how different is our brand of ’socialism’ from Australia’s? ”

    Not much, but if you had even half a brain, you’d know that the real difference is that Australia can afford it. Like Norway has oil, Australia has mineral wealth. In both countries, socialists, through abuse of the democratic system, are busy using that wealth to finance their political power structures and simultaneously destroy individualism, self reliance and the work ethic.

    (well they can’t actually afford it, but the delusion they can is more sustainable)

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  11. NoCash (262 comments) says:

    Not to mention that Australia has just signed a USD60 billion coal deal with China. Forget about closing the gap and please get rid of the ETS as well.

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  12. Offshore_Kiwi (505 comments) says:

    For a decade (and likely for the 7 years prior to that) New Zealand was blessed with a goverment that was anti-growth and anti-business. Now New Zealand is blessed with a Prime Minister who is so busy trying to be “nice” and cosying up to everyone to make sure he doesn’t upset anybody, and a finance minister who is so busy getting reviews and reports and analyses that he doesn’t have time to actually “do” anything. They are both likely “nice” people, and herein lies the problem. They don’t have the slice of bastard in them required to get the job done.

    There is absolutely no chance of New Zealand “catching” Australia by 2025, or 2125 or 2225. We are all too busy pandering to minorities and collecting WFF benefits.

    Tell me, does anyone know if Ruth Richardson would like a job? Minister of Finance, for example?

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  13. YesWeDid (1,056 comments) says:

    ‘Not much, but if you had even half a brain, you’d know that the real difference is that Australia can afford it.’

    Lucky I’ve got a whole brain then! Australia are running a deficit of around $50 billion at the moment.

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  14. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    Communist Party USA Program

    Identical to Obama/Democrat Party Program, NZ Labour PArty Program and National Party Program

    From Communist Party USA Website- 07/02/2010

    Quote-

    “Working people around the world have always sought a future without war, exploitation, inequality, and poverty. They strive to build a brighter future, one based on democracy, peace, justice, equality, cooperation, and meeting human needs. That future is socialism, a system in which working people control their own lives and destinies, and together build a better world. The Communist Party USA is dedicated to the struggle for socialism in this country. This document is our Partys program, a statement of our principals and goals and a guide to action along the road to Socialism USA.

    Socialism will usher in a new era in this county. The great wealth of the U.S. will for the first time be for the benefit of all the people. Foreign policy will be based on mutual respect, peace, and solidarity. The peoples democratic rights will be guaranteed and expanded. Racial, gender, and social equality will be the basis of domestic policies and practices. Socialism is not a dream, but a necessity to working peoples lives. Only socialism has the solutions to the problems of capitalism in this country.

    We, the working people of the United States, face tremendous problems today: exploitation, oppression, racism, sexism, a deteriorating environment and infrastructure, huge budget deficits, and a government dominated by the most vicious elements of big capital and its political operatives. ”

    Unquote

    That’s why our living standards are falling and will continue to fall for a long time yet. Until we totally reject the above poolitical sentiments, and turn about from this soft headed delusional crap, we’re on the downward path.

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  15. Matt Long (90 comments) says:

    The comments from Bollard and Graham make it pretty clear that neither should have never ever been involved in the government of New Zealand.
    Likewise “Aspirational goals” is worse than a joke. You either have a vision, clear goals and a plan for achieving them, or you are dealing in political humbug.

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  16. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    ” Australia are running a deficit of around $50 billion at the moment.”

    That’s why I added the rider about affording it being in reality, a delusion. Get a brain and you’ll be able to absorb all information and understand such simple issues.

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  17. Offshore_Kiwi (505 comments) says:

    YesWeDid, Australia is running that huge deficit because Wayne Swann and KRudd are muppets. They have mortgaged the next generation (and the one following) simply so they could have a headline that reads “No Recession For Australia”. They inherited books in great shape, unlike New Zealand, because Peter Costello and John Howard are less vindictive than the Dear Leader and her Good Doctor.

    Besides, if Australia gets into real trouble they can simply scrape away some more desert and sell what’s underneath to China. They are a lot less manipulated by the Watermelon movement that New Zealand is.

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  18. MikeNZ (3,233 comments) says:

    I’m not convinced John key and national are capable of maximising the opportunity in dpf scenarios 4&5.
    This requires a mindset of least tax and freeing talent which I don’t see, the tough on crime is window dressing at best without active building of prisons.
    Even the national standards is a visual peice at present and only a possible harbinger of future policy.

    It appears that National is kowtowing to Maori and what seems to be leading up to handing over sections of the economy to them for the redressing of the past.
    They are essentially continuing the policies of Labour socially and endorsing/reinforcing the sense of entitlement by doing nothing to WFF and not requiring benefits holders to work test or show study towards work or limiting benefit time periods.

    So I don’t see where this enlarging growth view is coming from as I haven’t seen it portrayed and pushed by Key to us the citizenary.
    maybe they do it in caucus and at National events but I don’t see any traction of it in their addressing the Kiwi mindset so reinforced by Labour that the govt will do everything, big brother will sort it.

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  19. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    A lot of comments suggest that there are almost no mines in NZ. There are quite a few:

    Aggregate 600
    Limestone 100
    Other industrial minerals 35
    Coal 30
    Alluvial gold 30
    Hard rock gold 4
    Ironsand 2
    http://www.minerals.co.nz/html/main_topics/overview/introduction/key_facts_of_nz_mining.html

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  20. Murray (8,803 comments) says:

    We should enfroce a more harsh ETS program because THAT will help with growth wont it.

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  21. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    Like Tim Groser, Nick Smith and John Key, you’re right on to it Murray.

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  22. Graeme Edgeler (2,972 comments) says:

    I saw the interview, and then re-wound that bit and listened to it again twice just because it was so cool to have so blunt an answer from someone like the Governor of the Reserve Bank, and I think you’ve mischaracterised his response.

    Alan Bollard was not talking about the difficulty/impossibility of catching Australia by 2025. He was talking about the impossibility of catching Australia (at all).

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  23. Dave Mann (1,243 comments) says:

    While I realise that the figures are probably ‘per capita’, I wonder how New Zealand compares with the individual Australian states?

    If we accept the fact that NZ is about as big as an Australian state, then perhaps this would be a better way to measure ourselves against them?

    Just wondering….

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  24. cha (4,143 comments) says:

    A mineral resource assessment of Northland published in 2007.

    2. Some of the previously estimated resources of sub-bituminous and bituminous coal (23
    Mt, here valued at $1150 M), lignite (31 Mt, here valued at $620 M) and peat (300 Mt,
    here valued at $12,000 M) could be utilised if markets could be developed.
    3. Resources of metallic minerals modelled in 16 different mineral deposit types are valued
    at $5,235 million.
    4. Resources of non-metallic minerals modelled in 14 different mineral deposit types are
    valued at $28,019 million

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  25. MikeNZ (3,233 comments) says:

    but which one Dave?

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  26. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    could be utilised if markets could be developed.

    So in that case demand is a problem??

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  27. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    Cha, nobody wants to invest their money in that kind of endeavour. The hassles are too great and the return too risky. Housing is easy. You have driven people away from real wealth producing industry in NZ, and it will take a long long time to draw them back.

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  28. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    “I wonder how New Zealand compares with the individual Australian states? ”

    Why would you wonder about something so generally well known. Tasmania is the worst Australian state and NZ lags well behind Tasmania.

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  29. cha (4,143 comments) says:

    Dirty coal is the problem Stephen.

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  30. Rod (180 comments) says:

    “… does anyone know if Ruth Richardson would like a job?”

    Oh c’mon, she killed the Nats politically last time with her narrow doctrinaire strategies, again regurgitated by Brash as his formula for catching up with Aus recently. That is not pragmatic politics in NZ, and if you let our local entrepreneurs loose with unhindered deregulation what will they think of first? Yes, property development! So how will that catch us up with Aus? I’m not saying getting rid of burdensome regulations and welfare dependence is wrong, just that its not sufficient to meet the big catch up goal.

    The gap is too huge to rely on organic growth. At best that is going to maintain the gap, and probably will not achieve that coming off our small base.

    No, you need to think of smart intervention – and focus on much more imaginative investment in growth infrastructure than the pathetic cycle way idea. I’m not saying cycle ways are bad, just that that was a pitiful effort from the employment conference to come up with growth ideas.

    Its not fashionable to look to the past for inspiration, but look at what Vogel did for NZ’s economic growth way back in the early days, and how it was done.

    Why not aim to double what we are good at, agriculture? There is a growing world market, and we have the land and water -a blessing as great as that of Aussie minerals. But we are fooling around over making full use of its potential. We might soon have the trade access arrangements in place for the growth, which is great, but we need the production growth from irrigation to help feed the world’s 9-10B people there will be by mid-century – a huge opportunity.

    Broadband initiatives are about all we have from this Government in this category. There are glimmerings of hope in a more positive view on mineral exploration.

    We have huge coal resources, but they need scale to make extraction viable and the transport issues are a hinderance. Why not do another Comalco type of deal and generate the power needed by new industries at the coal field with modern clean and highly efficient coal power generation technology? Oh, yes, that is heretical talk – but its what China and India are using to power up their economic growth. And just maybe the CO2 released will boost our agricultural production as a side benefit! Run it through greenhouses, perhaps?

    Alan Bollard is right, we have no show as things stand – but some bolder initiatives could change that outlook.

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  31. cha (4,143 comments) says:

    Red, if there was an opportunity to invest in mining something other than gold here in NZ, I would.

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  32. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    ” Dirty coal is the problem Stephen.”

    Don’t worry. The result of John key’s brainstorming session, (the cycle track) will fix it all.

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  33. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    ” Red, if there was an opportunity to invest in mining something other than gold here in NZ, I would.”

    There’s plenty of opportunities in mining. At least there would be if over government hadn’t killed them off.

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  34. dad4justice (6,594 comments) says:

    The John Key “cycle track” is downhill and a load of shit.
    Start mining the gold on the West Coast John Boy Wee.

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  35. Murray (8,803 comments) says:

    Dirty grennies are the problem cha.

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  36. dad4justice (6,594 comments) says:

    Stuff the tree huggers – they stopped Native logging and now the forests are going backwards. Green freaks have caused enough damage for so many kiwi workers.

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  37. Pete George (23,823 comments) says:

    Should Temuka keep trying to catch up with Ashburton?
    Should Ashburton keep trying to catch up with Christchurch?
    Should Christchurch keep trying to catch up with Auckland?
    Financially and population?

    Should New Zealand focus on “catching up” with Australia? Or accept that bigger is not attainable for everyone and focus on what we do well and strive to improve, adjusting to a changing world.

    What if we set Australia catch up targets which we frantically work towards, and then there is a major increase in nuclear power requirements and Australia gets a major boost with uranium exports? What do we do then?

    We should work to our own strengths and strive to improve on them. And keep remembering that quality of life is one of our big strengths, and money isn’t the sole component of that.

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  38. Dave Mann (1,243 comments) says:

    Oh, OK Redbaiter… thanks. I didn’t know we are ‘well behind’ Tasmania. How far behind are we?

    Is this just anecdotal information or are there figures available somewhere?

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  39. NeillR (351 comments) says:

    The Governor is quite right that it is not practical to think we can close the gap with Australia by 2025 – quite simply the gap is just far too large.

    So we just give up because its too hard? Or is John Key just another bullshitter who changes his tune once he got his hands on the levers of power?

    Frankly, i’m sick of hearing all the naysayers – and if the Governor isn’t in tune then he should have the balls to resign. And i don’t believe that Key will give up on something just because it may not be easy. We have one chance to get things right because, in a generation, if we don’t then we will lose our sovereignty. We will have no other choice than to become a (poor) state of Australia.

    Well i don’t know about the rest of you, but that’s something that IS worth fighting for and even if we don’t close the gap fully, we’ll be much better off if its half the size that it is currently compared with doing nothing. Because the alternative is to let Labour to cosy us into the grave and flog ourselves off to the Aussies when it all turns to shit.

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  40. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    Should New Zealand focus on “catching up” with Australia?

    Finding a ‘similar’ country to catch up with/exceed might be a more practical, if difficult idea (difficult in the sense that it may be hard to find one that fits our criteria)

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  41. Murray (8,803 comments) says:

    Well according to my map we’re at least five latitudinal degrees behind them Dave. Depends where in the country your are I guess.

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  42. Dave Mann (1,243 comments) says:

    In the meantime I have found what I was looking for, and it seems that NZ is NOT behind Tasmania in GDP terms and is actually not absolutely on the crap heap compared to all Australian states in other indicators either.

    I guess my summary of our position would be that, except in the area of wages, New Zealand would be classed as in the lower area, but well within the range of, individual Australian states.

    http://www.med.govt.nz/templates/MultipageDocumentPage____32730.aspx

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  43. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    Yep, Cuba too has the best education system and health system in the world. You only have to ask the Cuban government to know that for a fact.

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  44. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    Mr. Mann, I know its a deeper subject than what I have implied. I just do not have the time to advance the argument right now.

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  45. Dave Mann (1,243 comments) says:

    Redbaiter… I am not trying to push a barrow or enter into an argument. I was simply raising a point and asking a question. I certainly am not a Cuba apologist or one of your much despised ‘socialists’ either, thank you.

    Given the quite different scales between the two countries – both geographically and population-wise – and given that Australia is composed of roughly NZ-sized states, I am surprised that nobody else seems to have asked this simple question.

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  46. Pete George (23,823 comments) says:

    I just do not have the time to advance the argument right now.

    That’s his (rare) polite way of saying he can’t substantiate his claim. Expect the opposite….

    Cuba too has the best education system and health system in the world.

    Cuba (37) has a life expectancy a tad ahead of the US (38) which must be an indication of how well it’s health system works. (NZ is 13th)

    That must be quite an achievement considering the trade restrictions that are imposed on them, that must affect the availability of medical equipment and drugs.

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  47. Dave Mann (1,243 comments) says:

    Pete, I think the Cuba comment must have been Redbaiter’s way of saying that my quoted link is just bullshit propaganda because the source is the NZ government!

    I doubt that he looked at anyway……

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  48. Pete George (23,823 comments) says:

    Life expectancy is one measure we should try and catch up with Australia on.

    Japan (1) 82.6 79.0 86.1 (all, male, female)
    Australia (5) 81.2 78.9 83.6
    New Zealand (13) 80.2 78.2 82.2
    Singapore (15) 80.0 78.0 81.9
    United Kingdom (22) 79.4 77.2 81.6
    United States (38) 78.2 75.6 80.8

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  49. kowtow (8,945 comments) says:

    There”s got to be more to this. Why is the Gov so publicily pissing on the govts parade?

    Something in tomorrows speech he doesnt like?

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  50. freethinker (677 comments) says:

    Scenarios 1-3 are odds on favorites, 4 is 10-1 against, 5 is 100-1 against and 6 100-1 against – unless govt expenditure is substantially reduced as a percentage of GDP.

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  51. Viking2 (11,680 comments) says:

    What a sad indictment of the politics of the National Party. We don’t think we can do it so why bother even trying hard.
    Well for their benefit there are a lot of us that think we can and frankly if you don’t know how quit and piss of from the levers of power and let us appoint someone who does know how. Its been completely obvious for at least two years that Blenglish doesn’t have the intellectual capacity to carry this through and its time he quit along with the other clown from Nelson.

    It is also clear that DPF failed to read and UNDERSTAND the task force report from Dr Don and his team. Clearly their remains resentment towards Brash but as he points out in his guest post on NZCPR, he was just one of the team.
    If those in power and influence stopped attacking property owners and understood some decent analysis they would have understood that it is possible to return to the status we had prior to 1970’s and the first oil shock. The only thing that saved Aussie but smashed NZ was that they had oil, we didn’t at the time and Muldoons answer doomed us to the path we took.
    But doesn’t exist anymore, we have surplus oil we export now and so we have the chance to go like hell and make us wealthy again, provided the tit sucking pollies stop thinking about their selves and start thinking about the participants in our nation. Odd concept know but it will work.

    And by the way will someone tell Key that the business has stopped again while he is stuffing about trying to decide who and when to attack what.

    http://www.nzcpr.com/guest180.htm
    Reaction to the report of the 2025 Taskforce
    Opinion piece by Dr Don Brash
    7 February 2010

    Late last November, the 2025 Taskforce issued its first report. As readers may recall, the Taskforce was set up by Government as a result of the coalition deal between the National and ACT Parties after the 2008 election. That deal involved the Government committing itself to adopt policies to raise living standards in New Zealand to equal those in Australia by 2025 and – perhaps more significantly given the tendency for many governments to make grandiose promises which they have little intention of delivering on – to establish an advisory group both to make recommendations about how best to achieve that goal and to report annually on progress towards it. I chair that Taskforce, with David Caygill (who needs no introduction), Jeremy Moon (CEO of Icebreaker), Judith Sloan (of the Australian Productivity Commission) and Bryce Wilkinson (a Wellington economist) making up the other members.

    More:

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  52. KiwiGreg (3,278 comments) says:

    If you read the Vision 2025 group’s report you will see why, across a range of statistics (including life span) catching up with Australia is inherently desirable. They also debunk the “Australia has all the minerals and NZ has nothing” and “Australia is big and NZ is little” arguments.

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  53. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Pete George 12:25 pm,

    Life expectancy is one measure we should try and catch up with Australia on.

    Seems little point, Pete, if all you’re doing is forestalling the inevitable. Especially when we’re only behind Japan (#1) by 2.4 years (all) with our 80.2 years score.

    I’d be more concerned with the BIG picture if I was you, Pete (and you’re not alone in this advice).

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  54. GNZ2 (18 comments) says:

    We can if we had a radical change in policy catch Australia, but the governor is right in that we WONT.

    I agree with freethinker on the odds with 1 and 3 about equally likely. Neither National nor Labour have the bravery to do what is required. So anyone with half a brain will say 4-6 is unlikely – unless they are politicians in which case to say it is to admit to their own inadequacy and unwillingness to act.

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  55. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    Bollard is just calling it as it is. Life in NZ is pretty sweet so I don’t see why the need to keep “growing”.
    NZ is pretty much an agri and aqua culture based economy which is renewable. The scope for manufacturing is limited and as far as taking resources out of a hole in the ground – brilliant – for a hundred years or two, then what? Better to have a long term idea of what we can do well and focus on that. I don’t have a problem with mining or drilling, I just see it for what it is, a relatively short term solution. Unless you are a selfish bastard and only think in terms of your own life span……fuck the future eh?

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  56. menace (402 comments) says:

    What a classic illistration of our leaders interlect. something that just cant be done at all, fucking impossible and he just wants to cling to his little wee pipe fucking dream.

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  57. MikeNZ (3,233 comments) says:

    so what is the first step to this bright future you are all stalling about?
    come on what are the first 5 things we as a country need to do/have as policy to even move forward from where we are?

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  58. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    A council of despair from a useless government. John Keyless has got a cheek telling us he’s sticking with the goal, when he’s done nothing whatsoever to achieve it and has pooh-poohed most of the sensible suggestions which could.

    Can we please have a government with some vision for NZ?

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  59. side show bob (3,410 comments) says:

    We can catch Aussie easily, say no to socialism and it’s fuck witted practitioners.

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  60. ISeeRed (236 comments) says:

    mikeNZ: what’s the first step? You want “the first 5 things”? Behold, the “power of 10″:

    1. Reduce GST and company tax to 10%
    2. Reduce income tax to 10% flat rate: tax-free threshold of $10,000, raised by $10,000 per dependent
    3. Reduce minimum wage to $10 an hour
    4. Fire 10% of all government civil servants
    5. 10% pay cut for all remaining civil servants

    Tax revenues would drop, but quickly recover as the economy soared from the resultant flood of investment capital and business to our shores, as well as boosting exports, farming, even the domestic economy. The Cullen Fund would be cashed in to cover the short-term shortfall. (Borrowing to spend when you have savings is usually stupid.) WFF would also be scrapped, replaced by tax credits.

    The fact is NZ has too many bureaucrats and unproductive/non-contributing able-bodied adults, while many small and medium businesses are struggling. There’s a whole range of jobs viable in the $10-$12.50 range. A 10% company tax would keep struggling businesses going, and make previously unprofitable commercial ventures viable. It’d be a huge boost to employment.

    Survey after survey ranks NZ as one of the least corrupt and most liberalised economies in the world. It’s time we built on that and had attractive tax rates to turbocharge our economy and provide a real boost to business and workers. We dropped the ball in the 80s after we took the mother of all teabreaks. Let’s get back to work – through the power of 10.

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  61. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    MikeNZ 3:24 pm,

    so what is the first step to this bright future you are all stalling about?
    come on what are the first 5 things we as a country need to do/have as policy to even move forward from where we are?

    If I could tell you the ONE and only thing we as a nation need to do to secure/remove the following, who would be interested?

    I’ll give you the list of benefits first:
    • get rid of socialism and all forms of bad government
    • reduce/remove welfare dependency
    • financial prosperity; both nationally and personally
    • protection against evil regimes and philosophies/cultures
    • genuine justice and minimal crime in our nation
    • essentially empty prisons
    • minimal need for a police force or justice system
    • largely committed and stable marriages
    • children who respect their parents and all forms of authority
    • the removal of many immoral and unhealthy lifestyles and practices
    • people genuinely caring for their neighbours above their own interests
    • be the envy of ALL other nations on the earth
    (and no doubt there are many others)

    And now for the answer; and guess what – it’s free and will cost the tax payer nothing.

    2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

    So who here REALLY wants our nation healed?!

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  62. Duxton (658 comments) says:

    “4. NZ growth rate rate in next 15 years matches that of Australia, so the gap remains relatively constant.”

    No is won’t. The gap will continue to grow. Assuming both countries grow at 10% per year for the next three years, but off different bases, we can see the following (Australia first, NZ second, gap third):

    Now (say): 150, 100, 50.
    2010: 165, 110, 55.
    2011: 181.5, 121, 60.5
    2012: 199.21, 133.1, 66.11

    etc, etc

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  63. BlueDevil (92 comments) says:

    Duxton
    In absolute terms you are correct but in relative terms its exactly the same 66.67% of the OZ number.

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  64. BlueDevil (92 comments) says:

    Iseered
    I like your 5 points.
    We shouldn’t be thinking “how can we keep business/people here?”
    Thinking should be “How can we attract business/people here?”

    We accept Head Offices moving to OZ, what about attracting HO’s here.
    These arn’t crumbs from the OZ table, these are slices of bread with butter!

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  65. jackp (668 comments) says:

    Since John Key and Bill English listen to the working tax group and not Don Brash’s Taskforce, 1 will be the answer. Bollard got it right. Since the work group consists of bureaucrats and their job is finding ways of taxing and not growing the economy New Zealand is doomed. Don Brash’s ideas are brilliant, not all of them, but everyone would benefit except the bureaucrats and John Key thought they were “radical”. As a result of this, more people are going to be heading accross the tasman. . I am not looking forward to tomorrows Parliamentary speech by Key.

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  66. jackp (668 comments) says:

    Kris K, I hear you. You give the best solution.

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  67. Viking2 (11,680 comments) says:

    Interestingto look at the backgrounds of the various proponents od different strategies.
    Dr. Don and his team. Mostly been in business, worked over sea’s and worldly wise.
    Tax working group, consultants, university sleepers, accountants and other forms of rent seekers and fee gougers.
    National Party Cabinet members in charge of all this, politicians, bureaucrats, never been out in the workforce, never worked overseas, never got their hands dirty with building making,or doing anything in a real sense.

    Like begets like so 2+3 equal failure I guess.

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  68. Viking2 (11,680 comments) says:

    Quote:
    *How can we though with treaty “issues”constantly draining the moneybox …. Bruce

    *Yes, yes, yes – we have had a gutsful of big government spending to much. Come on John Key – honour your promises by cutting back on government spending and letting taxpayers keep more of what they earn! Barbara

    *I voted for National because they promised lower taxes and faster growth. That means they have to cut government spending. It would be outrageous if they broke that promise as well as reneging on their promise of tax cuts. It would mean they would be a one-term government for sure. Neil

    *I would be very happy for National to pursue the goal of catching Australia. It would create a nation of winners. It is exactly what this country needs if we are to boost our future prospects. Larry

    *It has been very disappointing to see John Key dismissing the Brash report but embracing the tax review on new ways to fleece us. It just goes to show that much of what he says is driven by politics, not not principle. The public needs to be aware of this. Tony

    http://www.nzcpr.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=947&sid=0367c434d995fd343095e32be0e3d33e&p=28282#p28282

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  69. Shunda barunda (2,986 comments) says:

    Income gap with Australia? WHO FRIGGIN CARES!

    We a comparing ourselves with a country of much greater living costs and which requires much greater compromise and expense to live in a decent part of the land of arse holes. Most of the place is bland landscape for hundreds of miles covered in spiders, poisonous snakes and other assorted nasties.
    Hell, even a shitty old jap import costs about 4 times as much as the equivalent car in NZ, rest assured any extra money you make will be consumed by being an Australian.
    Perhaps if we actually get back to OUR roots instead of continuing this pathetic collective insecurity on who we are, we would finally start to appreciate what we have actually got, and may be even have a bit of damned motivation to defend it.
    Develop a true test of quality of life and I am sure NZ would be one of the best places in the world to live, it’s not all about the size of your pay cheque.

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  70. ISeeRed (236 comments) says:

    Well, BlueDevil, if NZ followed my prescription, you’re looking at one Kiwi ex-pat who would come back, start a business, hire at least one employee as office administrator and start paying income/company tax and GST to NZ. Right now, NZ gets exactly 0% out of me, because at present tax rates, my business is not viable there (I operate out of SE Asia).

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  71. Shunda barunda (2,986 comments) says:

    “my business is not viable there (I operate out of SE Asia).”

    Then it is not viable full stop, is it a south east Asian brothel?

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  72. ISeeRed (236 comments) says:

    Shunda barunda: “Income gap with Australia? WHO FRIGGIN CARES!” Obviously the ONE MILLION Kiwis who already live there! One million Kiwis who are not:

    1. Earning or spending in NZ
    2. Hiring or producing in NZ
    3. Paying taxes or rates in NZ

    Try and figure it out why the income gap is important.

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  73. Pete George (23,823 comments) says:

    Develop a true test of quality of life and I am sure NZ would be one of the best places in the world to live, it’s not all about the size of your pay cheque.

    True. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work on improving things here but the obsession with being like Australia is a distraction.

    Same with the obsession with socialism. We need some socialist type policies and promote more fair capitalist policies, reduce tax and government, and we need to get positive about our country.

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  74. Shunda barunda (2,986 comments) says:

    “ONE MILLION Kiwis who already live there!”

    Is that minus the ones the Australian Govt wants to send back?
    Please
    But by all means stay in your fantasy of returning to your beloved home land, I am sure we will be able to entice such loyal citizens back some day.

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  75. Shunda barunda (2,986 comments) says:

    “True. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work on improving things here but the obsession with being like Australia is a distraction.”

    It sure is, and a paralysing one at that.
    And of course we need to improve things here, WE REALLY NEED TO IMPROVE THINGS HERE! but we need to do it for our own reasons, not an overly simplistic comparison to a nation that is actually quite different to ours.
    By not being “us” we are in fact losing our competitive advantage, and the things that make NZ unique.

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  76. reid (16,707 comments) says:

    Perhaps if the govt treated NZers less like morons and more like people just like them who actually understand what the fuck is going on, we would all get a better outcome.

    Perhaps if the govt developed options and put those white papers out there for long-term (e.g. six-twelve month) discussion and debate.

    Unfortunately, as we all know, an intelligent political discussion even on a really really important topic is impossible given the media short-attention-span and the fact they always aim for the lowest denominator in the name of increasing circulation a.k.a. sell advertising.

    Of course, the media say, it’s not their fault, they’re just playing to the realities of the market. And you know what? They’re right. How many adult people suck their thumb and happily giggle at lightweight celebrity bullshit or even worse, sport, than discuss serious political issues that – newsflash – actually in fact, matter a whole hell of lot more?

    Nothing wrong with liking lightweight celebrity bullshit or sport, of course. Provided that’s not all you do. Trouble is, the “market” is apparently infested with these morons.

    Leading us as a nation to accept lightweight political decision-making as well.

    The thing I don’t get is: how come the Aussies have obviously got superior decision-making quality when they’re, on average, much thicker than us?

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  77. Shunda barunda (2,986 comments) says:

    Reid, because they dig big holes in a massive friggin desert, it doesn’t require a lot of thinking.
    The decision making process involves where to dig next, that’s it.

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  78. reid (16,707 comments) says:

    Nah, it’s not minerals, Shunda. How come the Japanese have done so well given they have to import 98% of their raw materials?

    It’s the fact the Aussies have a larger gene pool to choose from and most of our bright ones bugger off for some excitement. These days, they no longer see NZ as a “great place to raise children” so they don’t come back. Self-perpetuating.

    Besides: e.g, Great South Basin. Biggest oil field in the Southern Hemisphere.

    We have the minerals. Gerry Brownlee was an inspired choice. If anyone call roll over the “rare” and “precious” plants and spiders to get at billions of dollars that benefit us all, he can…

    I like Gerry.

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  79. Pete George (23,823 comments) says:

    Japan has a different problem looming:

    Estimated population – 127 million
    Projected population 2050 – 100 million
    Projected population 2100 – 64 million

    And they have a rapidly aging population.

    And one we don’t want to catch up on:
    In 2009, the number of suicides exceeded 30,000 for the twelfth straight year. Suicide is the leading cause of death for people under 30.

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  80. reid (16,707 comments) says:

    “Suicide is the leading cause of death for people under 30.”

    I wonder what the leading cause of death for people under 30 is here Pete?

    Do we publish those stats?

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  81. whalehunter (480 comments) says:

    it makes me laugh when i hear.

    ‘weve got water’

    aussy has plenty too. besides, if you own land in nz, u would be far better off to sell it, than grow food.

    if only nz could rid itslef of socialist policies and encourage personal and family responsibilities.

    everything else is here to make this country outstanding.

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  82. whalehunter (480 comments) says:

    i hope we dont touch mining resourses until a few government polices are sorted, ie;

    election bribes,
    social welfare,
    government expansion.

    well i guess it could hold off tax increases for a while….

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  83. CharlieBrown (1,054 comments) says:

    It supprizes me that John Key even has the gall to mention the goal ofreaching levels like Australias by 2025 when he so quickly ruled out nearly all the changes that were recommended.

    Reaching Aussies level isn’t politically practical but its definitely achievable. It would even be politically practical to get quite close to their levels if John Key had a spine to make some necessary changes.

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  84. mistywindow (26 comments) says:

    Alan Bollard is talking total rubbish. He wasn’t just saying that we can’t catch Oz by 2025, he implied that we can never catch up. Without a massive change in attitude we won’t, that doesn’t mean we can’t.

    From 2007 to 2009 Aussie per capita GDP ranking went up 5 places, ours went down 5 places.
    Australia’s minerals (including oil & gas) only contributed 8% to their GDP in 2007.
    Australia aren’t doing spectacularly well in comparison to many other countries, just a damn sight better than we are.

    What resources do Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Jersey, Singapore, Hong Kong and Switzerland have that New Zealand can’t match or exceed? They’re all beating us hands down.

    We’ve even been overtaken by Greenland and Slovenia.

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