Early afternoon speeches

First up was Bill English. Bill doesn’t do speech notes, so I have no summary of the speech, but will observe how good he is at truly connecting with an audience, and speaking such common sense. I recall even Brian Easton in The Listener saying he may not agree with all of Bill’s policies but would send his kids to any school where Bill was principal. It’s because people know he is dedicated and sincere about improving the system.

Then the final pre lunch speaker was Katherine Rich.

On the topic of SOEs being encouraged to expand their wings she noted:

The Government’s most bizarre reason for state owned enterprises embarking on this new journey was a desire to make SOEs less boring, less predictable places for their staff to work in.

This was concerning news to Kiwis who actually like their mail service and electricity supply to be relatively boring and predictable. No other shareholder or business owner in the country overseeing $2 billion worth of assets would embark on new business investments just to keep staff from getting bored.

She also had a nice line about how Trevor Mallard keeps mentioning Dr Cullen’s age so “to create the impression that pureed food and zimmerframes are the next logical step for the retiring finance man.”

And finally regarding the Government’s regulatory review:

What’s most concerning about the Dalziel review is that Labour has handicapped it from day one by excluding the big issues concerning business like tax, ACC, the Resource Management Act and labour laws.

As a business columnist in The Listener recently noted: that’s like your doctor doing a health check but refusing to examine any major organs.

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