What the Greens and Winston voted against

November 21st, 2011 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

This is the annual trade deficit with over the last decade. Both the and Winston rail against imports and say we need to export more and reduce the trade deficit.

They also both voted against the China-NZ in 2008. They both still maintain it was a mistake, and a bad thing to do.

The results speak for themselves. After the trade deficit rose from $1b to almost $4b, it has reduced to $1.5b in just three years.

The Greens, like all of us, care deeply about the environment. But on economic policy, they and Winston are consistently wrong. They are skilled at talking about problems, but their solutions are toxic.

Exports to China in the three years prior to the FTA were $5.7b. In the three years since, they have been $13.1b. Those exports have helped keep kiwis in jobs, have grown the economy and provided billions more in tax revenue to help pay for schools, hospitals and welfare. And if the Greens and Winston had their way, it would not have happened (unless you wish to argue the massive unprecedented growth in exports was a coincidence).

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12 Responses to “What the Greens and Winston voted against”

  1. mattyroo (957 comments) says:

    I’m as far removed from a Greens (or NZF for that matter) as one can get, but anybody who argues against the below statement has no idea how a country generates wealth.

    Both the Greens and Winston rail against imports and say we need to export more and reduce the trade deficit.

    I have the perfect solution for the greens so as we can export more to China – COAL!

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  2. decanker (222 comments) says:

    If only the F stood for Fair eh?

    It’s clear from the data we’ve export a lot to the Chinese since the FTA, I’d like to know how this reliance will be sustained long term without thrashing our own competitive edge?

    What happens when we can no longer produce milk powder in the volumes and price point to compete with Latin America? What happens when Fonterra have raised their Chinese output quality to NZ import grade? What’s left for NZ? Timber? Too bad it’s only feasible to send China unprocessed logs. Hi tech exports? Too bad Chinese companies have first dibs on procurement. NZ manufacturing jobs? In decline.

    If only NZ had the long-term philosophy of the Chinese, it might have been quite a different deal.

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  3. Lance (2,439 comments) says:

    The Greens and Winston should tell all their followers that a vote for them is a vote to shut down the Warehouse.

    I suspect they will conveniently leave that bit out.

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  4. mattyroo (957 comments) says:

    decanker said:

    If only NZ had the long-term philosophy of the Chinese, it might have been quite a different deal.

    Agree wholeheartedly, except the bit about communism which is part of China’s long-term philosophy.

    The problem we have, is that we have a democracy, where voters elect a government that is going to give them back more of the money that the same government has stolen off them in the first place.

    Bring on a benevolent dictatorship, such as Singapore.

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  5. decanker (222 comments) says:

    We shouldn’t be fooled that China is expertly using economic means to secure long term low cost resource supply from nations willing to accept no-money-down long term financing for roads and broadband bling. They’ll have nations low-ball each other for blankets and muskets to keep prices down. It’s colonisation 2.0. Very smart.

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  6. dime (9,351 comments) says:

    good stuff.

    i imagine the recession will have had some effect on imports too. eg i import 90% from china. We imported less 2009/2010.

    still moving the right way though.

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  7. jem (47 comments) says:

    Speaking as someone who works for a NZ based engineering company who exports a large % of our goods.

    One big change we noticed after the FTA took effect was that China simply found other ways to extract money from the NZ Importers into China. eg they now make it extremely difficult to get equipment through customs so that
    a) you end up paying huge demurage charges in their docks while you redo your paperwork 2dozen times or
    b) you pay a bribe to get your goods through faster…

    NET result, NZ coy still paying a duty and no better off than before. Where-as Chinese coys now have it easy getting goods into NZ.

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  8. dime (9,351 comments) says:

    jem – we still get pinged with some weird and wonderful charges

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  9. kunst5 (51 comments) says:

    @mattroo
    PM Key doesn’t have the right mix for our future. It is all talk and smile, but no substance. Considering the worldwide circumstances with a fast changing financial and economic environment, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQqDS9wGsxQ the government must abandon megalomaniac economic projects. As some results already demonstrate excessive dairy farming, mining and drilling are not sustainable – destroying health, life’s and our clean environment. Because of debt stress we see governments increasingly take higher economic risks, which will lead into more catastrophic events. As a small and remote country we need more diversity, especially in the production sector. We have to go back to a green, clean and pure economic philosophy and high quality standards with massive potential for the future and our kids. Bring back real New Zealand.

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  10. flipper (3,525 comments) says:

    One of the PIGS… Spain (the 4th largest euro economy) …. has just elected a centre right Government with 43.5% of the vote. The new Government will have an absolute majority in Spain’s Parliament.

    Spain currently has an unemployment rate of 22% thanks to “green jobs” (cost 2.2 jobs for every one “created”) and euro problems. The red melons would have NZ go down the same road. Marvellous!

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  11. WebWrat (516 comments) says:

    What do you mean by, “The Greens, like all of us, care deeply about the environment.”?

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  12. kunst5 (51 comments) says:

    Flipper – your assessment is politically driven and isn’t very valuable – especially with the example of Spain. I recommend you read this link: Long term there is no alternative http://www.wri.org/stories/2010/09/germanys-green-economy-strategy
    It is important to overcome “right wing lobby groups” massively supporting the nuke industry, etc. and develop new technologies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanotechnology

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