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CJ
26-09-2012, 02:53 PM
elZorro the only accounts with Kiwi Bank I would touch is their notice saver accounts. .Their platinum mastercard is good for NZ points. Better than ASB at the time I was reviewing.

Kiwibank Mastercard is my only non-asb account

Jay
26-09-2012, 03:01 PM
I was going to research swapping my business and private accounts into Kiwibank. Are you guys saying that would be a bad idea?
If you want to line up behind postage stamp purchasers, parcel senders, prescription fillers....

Private accounts where 99.9% of transactions done online is probably Ok - their promtion of a "personalised banker" onlin -e not sure how good that really is.
As CJ says if you are doing something that does not involve going to a branch and/or talking to someone probably Ok

elZorro
26-09-2012, 08:01 PM
Thanks for your comments PTC, CJ, and Jay. I don't generally need to go into the bank except for deposit envelopes, we courier them in to save time and fuel. Years ago I was with Trustbank Waikato (later bought out by Westpac). You could go into the branch and have a chat with your account manager in an office, and he/she would be the same person who sorted out personal loans and overdrafts etc. I'd like that again, it's just a forlorn hope I guess.

Back to the thread..I was having a chat with a client who works in the public service today. Turns out he's a Labour voter like myself, and when I said how bad things were looking generally he - straight out of the blue - mentioned the govt decision to not build the new railway wagons in Dunedin, as a very poor indicator of policy. Where he's working is screwed down, he can see the money tightening up, he knows that people on the dole don't spend like employed people.

There seems to be an accelerating trend for govt-owned businesses to shed staff at the moment. Maybe they're hoping no-one will notice, because everyone else is taking the opportunity.

POSSUM THE CAT
27-09-2012, 09:02 AM
elZorro even KiwiBank is shedding staff

elZorro
28-09-2012, 05:34 PM
elZorro even KiwiBank is shedding staff

Of course you're all correct, I'm not ready to do my banking at a NZ Post counter.

This message from the Labour Leader today, and I feel it's pretty much on the money.


Show us the jobs, JohnDear (Labour supporter)
This week, miners from the state-owned company Solid Energy came to Parliament asking the Government to help save their jobs.
I was there with other Labour MPs to welcome and support them. Unfortunately their plea was rejected in a decision that is devastating for the hundreds of workers affected, their families and communities.
It’s all related to National’s plan to privatise Solid Energy. It’s effectively winding down operations by mothballing the mine and cutting jobs until coal prices go up and the company is more attractive to private investors. This is wrong.
Labour’s approach would be very different. We don’t believe in selling the country off. We’d treat Solid Energy as a viable business that is suffering a downturn but has good long-term prospects.
Labour has always stood for decent jobs with decent pay, and for the communities those jobs support.
That’s why we’ll take steps to encourage job creation, including supporting Kiwi exporters to help them grow and changing the tax system to encourage more investment in productive businesses rather than the Auckland property market.
We’ll also help Kiwis into jobs in the trades by paying employers the equivalent of the dole to take on apprentices. We won’t sit back and watch 1000 people a week leave for Australia.
We want to create a country that we can be proud of again - built on jobs, opportunity and fairness. That’s our plan and we appreciate your support in getting there.
Warm regards,
David Shearer
Leader of the Labour Party

NEWS IN BRIEF
The Government is so consumed by the Kim Dotcom saga that it’s taken its eye off what matters most to Kiwis – jobs.
The buck stops with John Key. He has sole democratic oversight of our intelligence agencies but his handling of this issue has been incredibly lax. His claim that he knows nothing about what went on beggars belief. This incident undermines New Zealanders’ confidence in our intelligence agencies, it’s also embarrassing for us internationally and damages our reputation as one of the world’s most honest and transparent countries.

elZorro
03-10-2012, 07:59 AM
There's been plenty more news about layoffs recently, and Fonterra would rather open a new coalmine in green paddocks near a main road, than buy similar coal from Solid Energy.

Yesterday I read this opinion piece in the Waikato Times, from Federated Farmers Waikato President James Houghton.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/farming/7755674/Dairy-price-cycle-has-many-drivers

This is a thinly-veiled rant that the entire country is just really lucky that Fonterra and the farmers are doing it, paying for all the roads, hospitals and schools, and townies shouldn't be so tough on farm emissions, and regional and local body councils need to pull their heads in, local rates are too high of course ($10,000 per big land area/farm, absolutely shocking price that). According to James, if farmers weren't there, weeds and pests would run rampant through the countryside.

Newsflash, these would be mostly imported weeds and pests that farmers' forebears brought over from the home country or from Australia, for hunting and for fur, and for hedgerows. Even the grass is imported.

Not a direct mention about tax being paid to central government, this would be because it's a sensitive area for most, and farmers don't, as a rule, pay very much of it. They must be expecting their suppliers and workers to pay it for them.

Another newsflash for James - when farmers screw suppliers down so tight by ringing around the stores, the whole supply chain feels it, and this is not going to generate many jobs or much central government tax. Farming is a lossy, low profit business sometimes. So why do many big farmers end up bigger? They buy more farms, often lower productivity ones, commercial buildings, and take on bigger interest bills, because they don't like paying taxes. The big prize is selling the farm and commercial property at the end of the process.

They could just stick to their main farm and get it running so well that they make serious profits almost every year, and pay off their bank loans. Most ag researchers think farms could easily produce 20% more grass, for example.

Just one problem with that - "S**t no, we'd have to pay a lot of tax".

James, you can't have it both ways. Are you paying the taxes the country needs to keep going under this brilliant National Government, or are you helping ensure the profits of the Aussie banks with any spare income instead? I think I know the answer.

elZorro
06-10-2012, 07:00 AM
Maybe I had my own rant too, and I know this is far from the full picture. Still, best to keep one's eyes open.

The US elections are looming, and while reading about the differences between Obama and (business as usual) Romney, I found this writeup on Detroit. Formerly the powerhouse of the US automotive industry, and as many have said over the years, it was on an unsustainable path.

Now they think small businesses will be what will keep the city alive.

http://grist.org/cities/detropia-takes-us-inside-the-lives-of-people-living-among-the-ruins/

elZorro
09-10-2012, 08:14 AM
Colin James today:


Colin James's column for the Otago Daily Times for 9 October 2012


A matter of our general self-interest


The United States says Kim Dotcom purloins intellectual property (IP). Well, he does seem to filch the memories of some who come into his orbit. Perhaps they are stashed in a dungeon at his mansion.

John Banks had a massive memory loss. John Key has owned up to a memory fade about a briefing from the Government Communications Security Bureau, which had a collective memory fade. Detective Inspector Grant Wormald's memory seemed to skip a beat in court.

On an outer orbit Bill English appeared last week to have a memory blip: his expressed openness to feeding poor kids in schools did not chime with the Prime Minister's dismissal of the notion when it resurfaced in the Children's Commissioner's poverty report and then got a run from David Shearer.

It appears English and the Prime Minister share less these days than efficient government requires, judging by his not telling John Key about the GCSB's bid to suppress its nefarious goings-on in service of the FBI's mission to uplift Dotcom for infuriating Key's film mogul mates.

Professional cabinet management demands tight congruence between the top two. When light appears between a Prime Minister and deputy their government loses coherence and then voter trust.

That applies even when the top two are in different parties. Jenny Shipley fired Winston Peters as her deputy when they fell out over selling Wellington airport in 1998, since when Peters has slagged National, his original party up to 1992. Jim Anderton stayed deputy to Helen Clark when most of his Alliance party walked and eventually in all but name rejoined Labour, his original party up to 1989.

English is not Peters. He is onside the Key-backed, Steven Joyce-driven dominant economic development agenda.

For example, he often says only private businesses create productive jobs, which is an argument for smaller government and deregulation to create more space for private enterprise to grow and produce. (English appears to mean a nurse hired by a private hospital is productive and one hired by a public hospital is not but leave that aside for now.)

The development-is-paramount positioning rests ultimately on self-interest: the materialist self-interest most humans in most places have in more food, drink and goods and services. Anthropologists trace this deep urge back to the hazards of life on the savannah at the dawn of humanity.

But on the savannah there was a second self-interest: in children's wellbeing as the future of the band.

It was towards that second self-interest that English, ever the small-c conservative (of a Catholic sort), edged is his reported comment to the New Zealand Herald on Saturday that he was "quite open" to school meals for hungry kids.

In the case of "kids in homes where there is not a strong sense of responsibility ... the obligation on the rest of us is to do something about it," English was reported as saying. When children missed breakfast, he said, "they are not in great shape to learn". "We are willing to grapple with that," he said, presumably meaning by "we" the government.

It is a small step from there to recognising that if children are not in shape to learn they won't learn, won't be work-ready at the end of their school years and won't be productive workers (in either private or public jobs).

And that is not in the self-interest of the rest of us who then pay taxes for remedial education or to pay their benefits and health costs or put them up in prison -- and for their kids after them. The general self-interest is in all children growing up to be productive workers, pay taxes and contribute to general wellbeing.

This is a long way from seeing government spending as mostly undermining economic development by siphoning off resources that could be going into profit-making enterprises. It fits better with the notion that a society of well-functioning individuals is a good investment for the economy. That in turn argues for a "living wage", as advocated by the Service and Food Workers Union, now with 110 organisations in tow and a couple of cities getting interested. A living wage affords kids breakfast.


English's repositioning also reflects rising discomfort in the cabinet with the growing media interest in poverty and inequality and suggests the cabinet is starting to reposition to head this off before it arouses too much voter interest. That discomfort was evident in some Beehive heavying of a one-day conference on the Children's Commissioner's poverty report last month.

On Thursday Paula Bennett will issue her "white paper" on vulnerable children, which she narrowed to the "most vulnerable" in her preface to the precursor green paper, on which there were nearly 10,000 submissions.

The general self-interest is not limited to rescuing the "most vulnerable". It is in ensuring a fair go for all children so they all eventually contribute fully to the economy and society. English seems now to be sort-of saying that. Is he right or are Key and Joyce?





-- Colin James, Synapsis Ltd, P O Box 9494, Wellington 6141
Ph (64)-4-384 7030, Mobile (64)-21-438 434, Fax (64)-4-384 9175
Webpage http://www.ColinJames.co.nz


Looks like John Key is more hard-nosed than he appears, at least with Stephen Joyce we know what we're getting.

On TV this morning, the upcoming manufacturing employment forum - the topics they'll cover are in line with discussions on this thread. John Key won't be going. It'll be interesting to see who Labour sends.

David Parker with some researched thoughts on the exchange rate, not a "wacky" sound bite.

http://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/joyces-stubborn-refusal-accept-high-dollar-costs-jobs-parker/5/137055

elZorro
10-10-2012, 07:00 AM
What does everyone think of the new entrant minimum wage of $10.80?

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10839349


Apart from the extension to those in training or who have been on the dole (under20), this only applies to 16 and 17 year olds, and only for the first six months with an employer. The staff so paid cannot be used for training or supervising others.

This plan seems destined to mop up secondary and first year uni students into the retail and hospitality sector over the holidays. While I believe that any job skills look good on a CV, nothing replaces enthusiasm. Occasionally I'm an employer of new staff. I don't like to observe nothing but retail sector jobs on a CV if they're applying for manufacturing jobs, for example, that should lead on to design and engineering. But the sad reality is that getting a foot in the door is hard.

Some of the smart ones offer their time for free, just to get experience. If they're that keen, and have demonstrated they also spend some of their own spare time and cash in the same field, I'll try and fit them in at least part-time. And of course I'll pay them, nothing less than above the adult minimum wage.

If I paid less, what would I be telling them? The message would be - don't even think about setting your sights higher, there is no future here in NZ.

Is that what National is trying to say? That they agree with some unimaginative employer lobbies, we're doomed to spiral down into a low-wage economy? This attitude is fine if you're at the top of the pile already. What about middle NZ?

Labour's policies should offer a way through this mess. Although Shearer muddled through his TV spot this morning as per usual, he did make the point that there are other options. Putting it bluntly, we all have to work smarter, not harder. Business owners need to get their operations facing the world if possible, more frequently.

craic
10-10-2012, 07:34 AM
I grew up in an environment where you took what you could get and that experience has been one of my greatest assets. In more recent years, in a well paid job, I often worked late into the night producing goods for sale in shops and on a weekend stall. My hourly "rate" was often down around the dollar or so an hour but the end result was a pile of dollars in my pocket while others were in the pub bemoaning their state of perceived poverty and spending their money. Now I go in the same pub and they are still there, moaning about capitalism, the money they haven't got and so forth. I go home and cut another cord of wood for sale next winter.

fungus pudding
10-10-2012, 08:21 AM
What does everyone think of the new entrant minimum wage of $10.80?



I don't know the answer to that, but I know what I think. That is, why has it taken so long to introduce? It's just cruel to see young people who are prepared to work (there are some) and employers who would employ them (there are some) but don't because they tend to need so much supervision and there's lots of down-time at the start of their vworking lives, so they opt for the experienced worker; they are simply better value generally speaking. Our school leavers are not prepared for work. I've yet to find a school leaver who is any use as an office junior for a start. Ask a 16 year old to write a letter for a start and you'll see what I mean. Put a young fella' on a building site and it takes a couple of months of labouring, cleaning up - gopher work, before they adapt to the environment. I'm all for it.

CJ
10-10-2012, 09:48 AM
I think it could be a good idea. It is good it has been introduced. It does need to be monitored though to ensure it is creating new permanent jobs, not just recycling low wage employees.

The goal is to reduce youth unemployment. Interesting read here:

http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/labours-good-intentions-led-bad-youth-unemployment-ck-115419

Risk is it just takes jobs of other workers or it is used for short term positions just to lower wage bill.

elZorro
10-10-2012, 10:57 AM
I think it could be a good idea. It is good it has been introduced. It does need to be monitored though to ensure it is creating new permanent jobs, not just recycling low wage employees.

The goal is to reduce youth unemployment. Interesting read here:

http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/labours-good-intentions-led-bad-youth-unemployment-ck-115419

Risk is it just takes jobs of other workers or it is used for short term positions just to lower wage bill.

Yes, interesting chart CJ. What this is saying is that government can pull levers in the economy very noticeably. Probably not the effect Labour wanted to see, but removing the youth minimum wage saw employers react within a year or so, and youth unemployment hit historical proportions. All for a few dollars an hour. We employers must be a miserable lot on average. It's also saying that many of these jobs were short term. This is a general comment on the state of businesses in NZ. Not good enough.

FP, you're saying earlier on that any tax credits should be across the board. But if the right levers are pulled, tax incentives, like wage rates, can be a positive force. In manufacturing jobs, a new person can be quickly trained up if good systems are in place, and doing chargeable work within a few hours. All we need is more profitable manufacturing jobs.

I agree with you about written output from younger staff - you cannot even be sure that a tertiary graduate can spell or write well enough to knock out a report that you could present to a client. Those that can do this, shine out like beacons of hope.

fungus pudding
10-10-2012, 11:19 AM
Yes, interesting chart CJ. What this is saying is that government can pull levers in the economy very noticeably. Probably not the effect Labour wanted to see, but removing the youth minimum wage saw employers react within a year or so, and youth unemployment hit historical proportions. All for a few dollars an hour. We employers must be a miserable lot on average. It's also saying that many of these jobs were short term. This is a general comment on the state of businesses in NZ. Not good enough.

FP, you're saying earlier on that any tax credits should be across the board. But if the right levers are pulled, tax incentives, like wage rates, can be a positive force. In manufacturing jobs, a new person can be quickly trained up if good systems are in place, and doing chargeable work within a few hours. All we need is more profitable manufacturing jobs.



So who's to decide? Leave such things to the market. If you really want your Labour mates to do something constructive with the tax system, get them to find a way of applying GST to small imports. It's becoming a huge problem (for sevveral countries) and quite unfair on retailers. More constructive than capital gainstax nonsense.

elZorro
10-10-2012, 03:03 PM
So who's to decide? Leave such things to the market. If you really want your Labour mates to do something constructive with the tax system, get them to find a way of applying GST to small imports. It's becoming a huge problem (for sevveral countries) and quite unfair on retailers. More constructive than capital gainstax nonsense.

Leave such things to the market, nonsense, Labour mates..if I didn't know better I'd think you were trying to get a bite from that post, FP.

You refer to unimaginative copycat retailers stocking goods that are also available elsewhere in the world, priced under $350 or so and lightweight, portable items. There's the problem. If the retailer also added value to some products, or provided great service, who would bother to seek the products out overseas? If margins are held low in some areas by this sort of competition, the onus is on the business to change its lineup, to move sideways into other areas. Maybe (shock horror) to export itself. They should also have a web presence and a shopping basket system.

What I notice is that there are many niche manufacturers in NZ who struggle for a long time to connect with customers. They don't usually have their products in retail stores because the stock turnover is too low for most chains, and advertising costs a lot. Why don't struggling retailers who are short of stock to fill the shelves or shop floor, team up with NZ manufacturers and hold stock on consignment at least. Then the stores can be centres of excellence, and be selling goods no-one else has. I've found this works with overseas contacts too, anyone can set up from even a home base overseas and there's no risk on their part. You need to establish good contacts and rapport first.

elZorro
11-10-2012, 07:47 AM
There are lies, and there are statistics..

http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/tax-take-rises-more-double-gdp-increase-rh-130451

The National govt heralds an improvement in tax take, as business conditions improve. But wait a minute, the tax take under Labour improved to over $60 billion a year, it's now at just $55 billion. Most of the modest increase from a lower point will be provisional tax. This tax is designed to lead known or actual income by a factor of several months. The implication is that last financial year was fairly good for most businesses, the ones that are left. Fonterra's payout has already been put on notice to drop from last year's, not a good sign if the improvement is to continue.

craic
11-10-2012, 08:01 AM
Beware of comparisons between countries. We have less than half the rate of unemployment of many if not most developed countries. But many countries apply a radically different test to get their figure - they do not door-knock to find out who would like a job as the do here from time to time. Similarly with suicide rates. Here we measure suicide on a balance of probabilities rule whereas other countries require evidence that the individual actually intended to take his own life, particularly youth suicides, are defined as accident or misadventure.

BIRMANBOY
11-10-2012, 04:51 PM
EZ...stock on consignment is a wonderfull thing....not....Firstly, as a manufacturer you end up with an unusually high stock list in relation to your actual sales...which means poor use of cash and credit. In order to make up for that you need to charge more for your goods...which of course makes them unsaleable...which in turn leads eventually to the business getting further and further in the crapper. Also the retailer doesnt have any real incentive to sell the consignment goods because they have no money in it..they will sell the other goods they already have paid for first. Consignment isnt even good for the retailer because it makes them lazy buyers. No need to look around for the best deal/products/hot item because they have something similar on consignment. If a manufacturer has "goods that no-one else has" you dont realistically think they will let someone who is "struggling" have it on consignment ...come-on!!!!
Leave such things to the market, nonsense, Labour mates..if I didn't know better I'd think you were trying to get a bite from that post, FP.

You refer to unimaginative copycat retailers stocking goods that are also available elsewhere in the world, priced under $350 or so and lightweight, portable items. There's the problem. If the retailer also added value to some products, or provided great service, who would bother to seek the products out overseas? If margins are held low in some areas by this sort of competition, the onus is on the business to change its lineup, to move sideways into other areas. Maybe (shock horror) to export itself. They should also have a web presence and a shopping basket system.

What I notice is that there are many niche manufacturers in NZ who struggle for a long time to connect with customers. They don't usually have their products in retail stores because the stock turnover is too low for most chains, and advertising costs a lot. Why don't struggling retailers who are short of stock to fill the shelves or shop floor, team up with NZ manufacturers and hold stock on consignment at least. Then the stores can be centres of excellence, and be selling goods no-one else has. I've found this works with overseas contacts too, anyone can set up from even a home base overseas and there's no risk on their part. You need to establish good contacts and rapport first.

elZorro
12-10-2012, 06:36 AM
EZ...stock on consignment is a wonderfull thing....not....Firstly, as a manufacturer you end up with an unusually high stock list in relation to your actual sales...which means poor use of cash and credit. In order to make up for that you need to charge more for your goods...which of course makes them unsaleable...which in turn leads eventually to the business getting further and further in the crapper. Also the retailer doesnt have any real incentive to sell the consignment goods because they have no money in it..they will sell the other goods they already have paid for first. Consignment isnt even good for the retailer because it makes them lazy buyers. No need to look around for the best deal/products/hot item because they have something similar on consignment. If a manufacturer has "goods that no-one else has" you dont realistically think they will let someone who is "struggling" have it on consignment ...come-on!!!!

Might not work out for everyone, and I've sent goods on consignment to a chain in NZ, took me months to get them all paid for or returned at the end of the agreed holding period. But I've also sent consignment goods off overseas to a trusted colleague trading from home, and that has worked out fine for both parties. The way I see it, making quite a few items in a production run makes each unit cheaper to build, and might mop up spare time with staff. It makes no difference if the stock is on my own shelves or on someone else's. It also means that after the first lot is sold, there's not the same reluctance by the reseller to part with more cash to try the cycle again. Having a retail presence would be an added bonus. If it doesn't work out within a time frame, the goods can easily be shipped back.

BB, one of the biggest costs for a manufacturer/distributor is marketing. Retail points are often less interested, or want the supplier to pay for this. Getting the goods sold and in use, so that word-of-mouth advertising takes over, is the goal. Look at Trademe, i-phones etc. Any low-cost method of getting the goods in front of buyers will do.

I am also serious about stores having a web presence. On the news today, a google guy said 2/3 of NZ businesses don't have a website. That is so crazy when there are firms offering brilliant deals (under $1,000) with shopping baskets, CMS sites, easy to configure and they'll even put your data in for you if you pay a bit more (maybe still under $2000). There are also thousands of wanna-be website programmers, which keeps the costs low. But I recommend you go to a firm that already has hundreds of websites using their system. No bugs, and you're up and running in a week or so, not years later.

NZ manufacturing in a slowdown.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7805206/Signs-of-gloom-for-factories

slimwin
12-10-2012, 09:43 AM
If you need a good website try estaronline. A Nz company doing great work in that field.
Disc,I hold estar!

elZorro
16-10-2012, 06:30 AM
There must be heaps of good suppliers of websites Slimwin, I like to use those outfits who write the code here in NZ too. One firm I tried simply bought an overseas CMS package and rebranded the front of it. But anytime you wanted a small change they were lost, big delays. My current hosting firm (http://www.websitebuilder.co.nz/)pulled the $5000 website from the imposter firm, across to their system, and showed it starting to run within 30 minutes, charged only a $540 setup fee all up. And much lower hosting fees than I was paying.

In the news over the last couple of days, MSD's firewalls prove to be all too simple for anyone with a bit of Windows knowledge. This is a shocker. Those on the Right might have to admit that cutting down on backroom staff can have massive effects like this. They even called experts in to advise on it (contractors) when someone told them about it earlier. The big holes were not spotted.

Here's how the info was put onto the web, finally forcing a fix by MSD. Paula Bennett should be roasted over this one.

http://publicaddress.net/onpoint/msds-leaky-servers/

slimwin
16-10-2012, 07:25 AM
I would have thought her manager in charge would be roasted.if she asks if the system is good and her manager says yes do you expect her to be technically proficient in i.t and check all the work out? That sounds a we bit too much like political sniping. This needs solving and whoever is directly responsible to be held responsible.

craic
16-10-2012, 08:08 AM
Every system that ever existed is vulnerable. I grew up with the wanganui computer when it existed and spent years in the criminal justice system which I had to use all day every day. With the Wanganui beast, you had to get in on your third attempt or the police arrived at the site within minutes and you had to explain yourself. With the more widely used systemthat has been in place for years we had many "work arounds" usually to overcome some glitch. There were some restrictions about which areas police, probation, prison or court staff could enter that were considered confidential to one or the user groups.I accidently clicked on a empty space on a screen I was using one day and found myself on a part of the site that I did not have access to. It was of no significance to me so I just went back out. As to shortage of qualified staff, my son is a Data Systems Architect for a major international banking and investment system overseas but who is going to pay well in excess of $200,000 pa. to someone in WINZ to protect their fragile system?

elZorro
16-10-2012, 08:42 AM
Slimwin, as part of a wider bid to save $237mill by reducing the need for administration staff, 700 self-service kioks have been installed by the IT dept of the Social Devt Ministry, all in the last 18 months.

Chief Executive Brendan Boyle said "It appears a relatively basic mistake has been made in this instance - and the right safeguards were not put in place around the Work and Income kiosks".

The National govt policy started this ball rolling. Some WINZ staff have been laid off or not replaced under the old faithful sinking lid policy, and the confidential files virtually left open to view, out in the public area of the Ministry.

Craic, I agree we wouldn't be paying $200,000, but there will be heaps of tertiary graduates who would like a job in the govt sector as a training ground and stepping stone to other work. Current Govt policy is that they should instead jump the ditch, or go on the dole over here.

fungus pudding
16-10-2012, 02:37 PM
Slimwin, as part of a wider bid to save $237mill by reducing the need for administration staff, 700 self-service kioks have been installed by the IT dept of the Social Devt Ministry, all in the last 18 months.

Chief Executive Brendan Boyle said "It appears a relatively basic mistake has been made in this instance - and the right safeguards were not put in place around the Work and Income kiosks".

The National govt policy started this ball rolling. Some WINZ staff have been laid off or not replaced under the old faithful sinking lid policy, and the confidential files virtually left open to view, out in the public area of the Ministry.

Craic, I agree we wouldn't be paying $200,000, but there will be heaps of tertiary graduates who would like a job in the govt sector as a training ground and stepping stone to other work. Current Govt policy is that they should instead jump the ditch, or go on the dole over here.


EZ. You are perfectly free to employ as many people as you like even if you don't have real jobs for them. The govt. is not. They are the guardians of the public purse; the collected taxes. It is our money they are spending - not theirs. Although over employing in govt. depts. is often done in an attempt to mask unemployment figures, not just in NZ but throughout the western world, it is simply irresponsible; shonky politics. The paying public should be treated better.

elZorro
16-10-2012, 03:24 PM
EZ. You are perfectly free to employ as many people as you like even if you don't have real jobs for them. The govt. is not. They are the guardians of the public purse; the collected taxes. It is our money they are spending - not theirs. Although over employing in govt. depts. is often done in an attempt to mask unemployment figures, not just in NZ but throughout the western world, it is simply irresponsible; shonky politics. The paying public should be treated better.

I don't think I'll be changing my employment figures, we're still doing OK in the provinces - and could do better. Besides, my brain could go into atrophy and I'd start voting National, or worse. You do realise of course, that if everyone felt like you do about employing people or taking risks, there would be a lot of empty buildings, and very little tax paid.

I don't think public departments should get too big either, but they are good training grounds, they reduce the loading of the unemployed on the govt purse, and every person educated, trained and retained in NZ can eventually add to our GDP. Who knows in what area. All employees pay a lot more tax than unemployed people do. Public sector funding is not all wasted, it's part used on staff, part on supplies from the private sector, part recycled as taxes.

At what point is the public sector reduced by too much, leading to unexpected consequences? I think we're finding that out right now.

westerly
16-10-2012, 05:32 PM
EZ. You are perfectly free to employ as many people as you like even if you don't have real jobs for them. The govt. is not. They are the guardians of the public purse; the collected taxes. It is our money they are spending - not theirs. Although over employing in govt. depts. is often done in an attempt to mask unemployment figures, not just in NZ but throughout the western world, it is simply irresponsible; shonky politics. The paying public should be treated better.

Wrong, the infra structure of NZ was built by employees of Govt. Depts. And still is, the Govt. is paying for the fibre rollout even if Chorus provides the labour.The results were sold off by politicians ( Douglas, Richardson, etc and now Key ) following the now failed policies of Regan and Thatcher
The results of this Govt. investment were sold off allowing fortunes to be made by a few. Who then headed overseas where most of the profits go.
NZ is now far more of a class society, a wealthy elite growing their wealth and continually pushing for lower taxes, a middle class struggling to advance and probably pushing for lower taxes, and an increasing under class getting less and less of the social services a Govt . should provide.
It is a Govts job to provide for all its citizens the opportunity to progress not just the favoured few. Unemployment is a world wide problem which if unresolved will cause massive problems.

Westerly

slimwin
16-10-2012, 07:23 PM
State sector reduced EZ? Your believing the bloggers.
Here's the reply from the State services commision on total numbers. Not a whole lot of difference in the last 5 years. The nine years before that are a different matter..
"Hi Mark,

We monitor the State Services staffing numbers through the StatisticsNZ survey - the Quarterly Employment Survey. I've pasted the State Services headcount numbers from 2007 to present.

Year State Services Headcount
2007 223,912
2008 223,412
2009 226,554
2010 220,877
2011 226,048
2012 224,084

Kind Regards,

--
Martin Peak
Senior Advisor, Strategic Information
State Services Commission
DDI: +64 4 495 6627
Fax: +64 4 495 6686
Martin.Peak@ssc.govt.nz
www.ssc.govt.nz (http://www.ssc.govt.nz) | newzealand.govt.nz "

elZorro
16-10-2012, 09:25 PM
Hi Slimwin, those numbers look big, and unchanging. State Services include teachers, hospital staff, local govt, etc. And headcount is just that, it's not FTEs.

The state service has only about 15% of the total employed in NZ, and the public service is a small part of that, reaching a maximum of about 46,000 FTEs in 2008. http://www.ssc.govt.nz/node/3650

http://www.odt.co.nz/news/politics/230439/staggering-security-breach-winz

John Key's handling of the GCSB - ODT comment. (http://www.odt.co.nz/news/politics/229099/opinion-tough-lesson-prime-minister-dotcom-blunders)

slimwin
17-10-2012, 08:19 AM
Hmm, interesting ,I should probably email that guy back and see where he picked his figure from.perhaps foolish for me to believe a state employee was doing his job correctly! Was an email to clear up a debate I was having with another guy and worked in my favour!

elZorro
17-10-2012, 09:02 AM
Wrong, the infra structure of NZ was built by employees of Govt. Depts. And still is, the Govt. is paying for the fibre rollout even if Chorus provides the labour.The results were sold off by politicians ( Douglas, Richardson, etc and now Key ) following the now failed policies of Regan and Thatcher
The results of this Govt. investment were sold off allowing fortunes to be made by a few. Who then headed overseas where most of the profits go.
NZ is now far more of a class society, a wealthy elite growing their wealth and continually pushing for lower taxes, a middle class struggling to advance and probably pushing for lower taxes, and an increasing under class getting less and less of the social services a Govt . should provide.
It is a Govts job to provide for all its citizens the opportunity to progress not just the favoured few. Unemployment is a world wide problem which if unresolved will cause massive problems.

Westerly

I think there's a lot of truth in this great post, Westerly. Unfortunately.

Slimwin - no worries, I learnt something too.

elZorro
19-10-2012, 06:39 AM
Craig Heatley, entrepreneur of the year.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7834156/Sky-founder-entrepreneur-of-the-year


Awards director and E&Y partner Jon Hooper told the gathering that entrepreneurs had a significant opportunity to add to the country's economic prosperity, yet they did not have a seat at the table with policymakers.
"While it is entrepreneurs, not governments, that create jobs, I believe it is the government's record on job creation which will prove to be the critical issue of the 2014 election."


In that case, Labour had a very strong record of job creation in their last term, and National's record has been poor. They've even added to the problem by picking on a small public sector, and wanted to have a go at teachers next. They ruled out using NZRail's own staff to build wagons etc.

What have been their efforts in the area of encouraging supporting NZ businesses to start up and grow? As Craig Heatley has shown, success in even a very modest business grows some huge companies, all big employers.

National is doomed in the next election, and John Key knows it already.

iceman
19-10-2012, 06:48 AM
Now we are the "Lucky Country " (or should that be the Clever Country) which I am sure you will agree with elZorro :) The below is hot of the press !

"Former Budget Chief to Obama: New Zealand alone has managed the crisis right

A top former financial advisor to President Obama has given New Zealand a ringing endorsement for the way the National Government is handling the global financial crisis.

Peter Orszag, Obama’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget until 2010, singled out New Zealand as the model for a balanced response to the international debt crisis.

Mr Orszag observed the importance of combining long-term deficit reduction measures with additional support for the economy, and identified New Zealand as the only country which has got the balance right.

“If you look across all the developed countries, there is only one country… which has actually done that, which is New Zealand – who have coupled additional stimulus with medium-term fiscal consolidation. That’s the right combination.”

Major von Tempsky
19-10-2012, 08:43 AM
From today's Press "Labour in Bid to Reverse Blue Tide" from front page today's Press referring to the fact that over the past two elections Christchurch has changed from a Labout town to a National town (party votes a solid edge to National and more in favour of Nat than electorate votes).
"A Labour Party campaign asking every household in Christchurch what is wrong with their city may be the start of a push to win back voters, leading political experts say".

Ha! Ha! When they ask me I'll tell 'em what is wrong with Christchurch is that we still have a couple of electorate Labour MPs left! :-)

elZorro
19-10-2012, 11:25 AM
Hi Iceman, I saw the headline of that article but didn't read it, I must be getting one-eyed, and I didn't want to confuse my argument.. However this person hasn't worked for President Obama for two years, and is observing NZ from afar, perhaps only reading press releases. We might be on a safe path, but could NZ do better? If we are doing so well, why are our graduates leaving in droves, and why are they not being replaced by qualified but disgruntled Americans?

MVT, I'd guess both of us are not swinging voters. They'll nod politely and spend more time with the many undecided voters.

elZorro
21-10-2012, 09:30 AM
Mark Solomon, Chairman of Ngai Tahu, was on TV1's Q&A program (http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/iwi-leader-opposes-court-challenge-asset-sales-5143425)this morning. In a one-on-one interview he showed why he has been Chairman so long, and why we have heard nothing but good news from Ngai Tahu for many years. A very clever man, softly spoken, but he has been around the traps and he made some excellent points.
(http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/mark-solomon-interview-5144062)
For example over the idea that Maori have some longstanding and treaty rights over water (not that Maori own it, that's a Pakeha expression). He then went on to mention that it is perfectly legal for a farmer to pay (very little) for long-term water rights for extra (irrigation) water, make use of that while farming, and then on-sell the rights with their farm.

Ngai Tahu own a Kaikoura-based whale-watching venture that has won accolades. Mark Solomon is from the same town. Faced with investment decisions from their Iwi settlement, Tainui were sucked into some poor investments early on, at the hands of the wider business community (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=117717). They have since recovered of course, partly by forging their own way. I found this recent article fascinating.


http://www.pureadvantage.org/blog/2012/09/06/face-to-face-mark-solomon-a-leadership-model-whose-time-has-come/

Background on treaty claims. (http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/politics/treaty/the-treaty-in-practice/ngai-tahu)

slimwin
22-10-2012, 07:43 AM
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10842100

elZorro
22-10-2012, 03:35 PM
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10842100

Thanks for finding that Slimwin..certainly looks like a practical approach by Ngai Tahu: if the Maori Council don't get too far, Ngai Tahu are still able to negotiate with the Crown, starting on the front foot. I would guess that their rule-book has an expected return on assets being over a certain percentage. If it's say 8% or more, that would be hard to do with new property purchases. Hence their interest in ventures and income-producing assets.

I think we're all impressed when a company or group builds on its assets, becomes a large employer, or enables other businesses to strike out in a new way. Just a word of caution about something else linking corporates like Ngai Tahu, Tainui, Apple, EBay, Google, Microsoft (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/27/us-microsoft-tax-idUSTRE76Q6OB20110727), Starbucks and Facebook. None of these groups pay very much corporate tax in the places they do business. Ngai Tahu and Tainui are charities, the others make use of accepted government rules to register their main business in tax havens, and then use this vehicle to charge enough royalties to their overseas interests to swamp out any profits. Once the income is in the tax haven, a low tax rate applies - for Microsoft, it has been around 7%.

Of course each of these firms needs to employ local people, they all pay PAYE or equivalent, we all pay local taxes on consumption, and these add up to a big portion of an average pay packet. The way these consumption taxes are increasing - and the fact is there are tax havens all over the place - the governments of many countries have realised there's no way they can rein this corporate attitude in. If they want to see large corporates setting up over here, the NZ Govt will understand there won't be a lot of tax paid on profits. I hasten to add that smaller NZ businesses (by comparison anyway) are probably paying their fair share towards the common-good infrastructure that we all need, to live a comfortable life.

All of us living here in NZ will need to pay something towards these common assets. While the National Govt sees fit to sell off a portion of those assets, built up with the hard work and dues of many taxpayers - many now deceased - I would like to support a party that has a longer-term view. Everyone must pay their share, according to their abilities. This includes those who have cleverly arranged their affairs to make the most of the tax system. I think that in arranging their affairs in this way, many will hamstring the ability of their enterprise to be as productive as it could be, and this in turn reduces employment uptake and training opportunities.

Some of the figures we've seen in the press lately, and on this thread, imply that's exactly what's happening.

elZorro
23-10-2012, 06:20 AM
Colin James's column for the Otago Daily Times for 23 October 2012


Labour Day not yet a day for Labour

Yesterday was Labour Day -- a day symbolic of a deep divide in our politics.

Folklore traces it back to Samuel Parnell's demand in 1840 for an eight-hour working day. The first Labour Day was in 1890, actually a year of defeat for the union movement. It was Mondayised in 1899.

The Labour party owes its name to the wage labourers, skilled and unskilled, it was formed to represent. Unions channelled that support into the party organisation and Parliament.

Now unions' principal weight in the party is as recruiters of footsoldiers for election campaigns, though they are set to get, at next month's conference, a formal minority say in electing the leader. The party still takes notice of, and often aligns with, union policy positions. Note, for example, its deference to teacher unions.

History still infuses Labour's policy on jobs, wages and the organisation of and safety in the workplace. Despite four decades of erosion of the old industrial working class on which Labour was founded, the line which divides Labour from National, left from right, runs through the workplace.

Labour sees wages as households' sustenance. National sees wages as business cost. It is actually not as black and white as that and once, when National leader, English took angry umbrage at this description. But it is a valid marker of the direction in which the two parties instinctively lean.

For example, National last week, Labour Day looming, set down a bill to cut young people's wages. It presented this as furnishing job opportunities for the young. The actual rationale (which has some logic) is that businesses should not have to pay a straight-out-of-school know-little the same minimum as an adult who has been about a bit in the world.

Ministers, especially English and Steven Joyce, have also argued the value of our lower, more flexible wage structure vis-a-vis Australia. That is not the only reason some Australian and global companies have moved some operations here. There are other efficiencies, specialties and locational merits. But a more flexible labour market is a significant motivation.

By more flexible is meant less regulatory constraint in setting wages and conditions, including for sackings. Legislation still in train will make negotiating multi-employer contracts harder. This follows several flexibility enhancements in the first term.

The rationale is that companies will make higher profits and then invest more, which will create jobs and over time raise real wages. That is, flexibility promotes socioeconomic "mobility".

The mobility argument has been losing persuasive weight because the modern global labour market has eaten away at well-paying male factory jobs in rich economies, most recently in the United States, once but no longer the exemplar of mobility. (For a serious right-wing discussion of the economically corrosive effects of the resultant increase in inequality and need for political adjustment, see last week's Economist magazine.)

Labour brings to this argument a suite of mixed-economy state interventions in the market designed to protect and manufacture jobs in manufacturing: the sort of jobs that pay men well.

Labour can point to Germany, which maintains a high-wage manufacturing-heavy economy (though helped by a relatively weak euro exchange rate that keeps its real wage costs below where they would be on an open market). Germany has a more cooperative union-management arrangement, despite considerable loosening of its labour market over the past decade.

David Shearer banged on in this vein in a speech last week, echoing earlier speeches by David Parker and David Cunliffe. Expect a lot more as Labour seeks to differentiate itself from National (and its own 1980s past) by highlighting the sagging supply of good-wage jobs.

But raising real wages is not a one-trick wonder. Building an economy that delivers higher-paying jobs of the German -- or, Cunliffe's favourite, Danish -- sort is a two-decade journey if policymakers start now and (a bigger "if") find an effective formula.

That is part of the reason that there is also a long journey ahead for Labour to corral dubious voters into its camp.

National has been losing ground. In TV3's poll, for example, it was polling between 49 and 55 per cent in the second half of 2011 but this year has been in the 40-46 range. John Key, its star attraction in 2011, has dropped as preferred Prime Minister from 49-55 per cent to 40-46 per cent. Percentages positively assessing him have fallen from 68-76 to 54-61. Those saying he is more honest than other politicians have slipped from 49-64 to 48-49 per cent.

But these are still strong numbers. And Labour has still not risen to a party-vote poll rating of 35 per cent, which was what its electorate vote was in 2011. That is not, or not yet, a track back to office.

So Labour could commemorate Labour Day yesterday but not celebrate it. The workplace is National's still. Labour has its work cut out, so to speak.

ColinJames@synapsis.co.nz




-- Colin James, Synapsis Ltd, P O Box 9494, Wellington 6141
Ph (64)-4-384 7030, Mobile (64)-21-438 434, Fax (64)-4-384 9175
Webpage http://www.ColinJames.co.nz

elZorro
25-10-2012, 06:43 AM
Hear, hear.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/7856657/Focus-on-short-term-gains-hurting-us-all

craic
25-10-2012, 09:01 AM
Peering into the polls to try to determine the future of political parties is like trying to see your own face reflected in a brick. We know, with absolute certainty, that parties in power in NZ - and most democracies - decline in popularity from election to election and eventually lose power. Here, three terms seems to be a good run. This leads to a situation where flagging popularity leads desperate politicians to desperate measures and anything short of flogging your Grannies' body to the highest bidder is allowed. Imagine a leader who steps forward and announces that WHEN his party is elected the Waitangi Tribunal will be closed down immediatly, All drug dealers, pedophiles, etc. will be summarily executed, all prison sentences will be served in full and all immigration will be restricted to British, Dutch, and afew other english speaking nations. I am probably too old to care but we know that, regardless of who wins the next election, nothing of significance will change. The same numbers will emigrate to australia and elsewhwere, the party in power will say that they have created jobs while the others will point to the number of unemployed and so on. I admire John Key as an intelligent self-made man but the more I see of him, the more I am convinced that he lost his balls some time ago and his Labour opponent does not seem to ever have had anyway. I think I will break the habits of a lifetime and stay home on that fateful Saturday in November next year.

fungus pudding
25-10-2012, 09:09 AM
Peering into the polls to try to determine the future of political parties is like trying to see your own face reflected in a brick. We know, with absolute certainty, that parties in power in NZ - and most democracies - decline in popularity from election to election and eventually lose power. Here, three terms seems to be a good run. This leads to a situation where flagging popularity leads desperate politicians to desperate measures and anything short of flogging your Grannies' body to the highest bidder is allowed. Imagine a leader who steps forward and announces that WHEN his party is elected the Waitangi Tribunal will be closed down immediatly, All drug dealers, pedophiles, etc. will be summarily executed, all prison sentences will be served in full and all immigration will be restricted to British, Dutch, and afew other english speaking nations. I am probably too old to care but we know that, regardless of who wins the next election, nothing of significance will change. The same numbers will emigrate to australia and elsewhwere, the party in power will say that they have created jobs while the others will point to the number of unemployed and so on. I admire John Key as an intelligent self-made man but the more I see of him, the more I am convinced that he lost his balls some time ago and his Labour opponent does not seem to ever have had anyway. I think I will break the habits of a lifetime and stay home on that fateful Saturday in November next year.

But what will you do in 2014?

slimwin
25-10-2012, 09:33 AM
Voting for me nowdays is not about voting for the party I want to lead, but voting to keep the biggest idiots out. If I had to vote for one I liked completely, then I wouldn't turn up. That attitude might have a bit to do with low turn-outs.
A lower dollar would kill my industry as one of our biggest costs is fuel and the other is purchasing equipment in USD so I wont be voting for anybody thats going to have a coalition with "give me my flag back" Normans lot.

elZorro
25-10-2012, 11:47 AM
I think you're right Craic, it would be good to see a really dynamic person leading the country, none are in sight at the moment. Banning the Waitangi Tribunal, that's a bit extreme isn't it?

Slimwin- the greens have plenty of good points to make, and at least they are longer-term thinkers. If they can see their way clear to forming a more public link with Labour, the combo would be unbeatable, and pragmatic.

FP is also correct on this occasion, the next elections should be in 2014. (And here I go again), Labour's policies included a long-term incentive for businesses to invest in their core expertise. With minimal paperwork and hassle. The National party are the ones who canned the start of that process, and replaced it with...nothing much that is any real use. National policies are a big part of our problem.

Major von Tempsky
25-10-2012, 08:03 PM
According to the polls the voters have only turned off the John Key led National slightly and he's already said that next election he's willing to make an accommodation with Winston Peters.
The public are now bored with Kim Dotcom, who cares when John Key first heard of him? Surely that's not even a marginally interesting question now, more and more its flogging a dead horse. Schools close, schools amalgamate - its the natural order of things. Labour did that in spades in Dunedin several years ago. Its up in the air which schools will do what and is likely to be a drawn out affair.
The Maori tribes are going to sock themselves in the eye to the tune of millions of dollars on shifty QCs and will lose their case(s) anyway. John Key wouldn't have gone ahead without very good legal advice that the litigious Maoris would lose.
Shearer is flailing away but he just can't get a hold on anything. And then he was replaced, or he will be after the next election....

fungus pudding
25-10-2012, 08:08 PM
According to the polls the voters have only turned off the John Key led National slightly and he's already said that next election he's willing to make an accommodation with Winston Peters.
.
.

He did? When ?

elZorro
25-10-2012, 09:16 PM
According to the polls the voters have only turned off the John Key led National slightly and he's already said that next election he's willing to make an accommodation with Winston Peters.
The public are now bored with Kim Dotcom, who cares when John Key first heard of him? Surely that's not even a marginally interesting question now, more and more its flogging a dead horse. Schools close, schools amalgamate - its the natural order of things. Labour did that in spades in Dunedin several years ago. Its up in the air which schools will do what and is likely to be a drawn out affair.
The Maori tribes are going to sock themselves in the eye to the tune of millions of dollars on shifty QCs and will lose their case(s) anyway. John Key wouldn't have gone ahead without very good legal advice that the litigious Maoris would lose.
Shearer is flailing away but he just can't get a hold on anything. And then he was replaced, or he will be after the next election....

MVT, I'd have thought it was fairly important that the PM is truthful when the camera is pushed in his general direction. Maybe it's the thin end of the wedge. If he's overlooked or forgotten details about someone as noticeable as Kim Dotcom, what the hell is he paying attention to?

craic
26-10-2012, 07:57 AM
KDC is a petty German criminal with a heap of money that he made from other peoples property who bought his way into NZ by flashing his wallet at lower level political aspirants. Most people are thoroughly sick of the media attention he gets and running political lines about JK and what he may or may not have known is totally counter-productive for Labour or any other party. Let nature take its course - he may be smart but he can't stop eating.

fungus pudding
26-10-2012, 08:09 AM
KDC is a petty German criminal with a heap of money that he made from other peoples property who bought his way into NZ by flashing his wallet at lower level political aspirants. Most people are thoroughly sick of the media attention he gets and running political lines about JK and what he may or may not have known is totally counter-productive for Labour or any other party. Let nature take its course - he may be smart but he can't stop eating.


I'm certainly sick of KDC, but wWhen did you survey 'most people' to know they are also sick of KDC's media attention?

craic
26-10-2012, 12:05 PM
I'm certainly sick of KDC, but wWhen did you survey 'most people' to know they are also sick of KDC's media attention?

I didn't survey anyone - just listen to some of the talk-back. And if that's not enough, ask among your friends and associates - the odd Labour supporter may naievely try to get some yardage from it but three out of four will turn off - If they don't, you need to change the company you keep.

iceman
26-10-2012, 12:46 PM
I didn't survey anyone - just listen to some of the talk-back. And if that's not enough, ask among your friends and associates - the odd Labour supporter may naievely try to get some yardage from it but three out of four will turn off - If they don't, you need to change the company you keep.

Agree totally craic. Those of my friends that are Labour supporters are sick of it. I think most Kiwis have far more pressing issues to worry about than that rubbish and want politicians to focus on what is important to the country. Unfortunately this seems to be the only issue Shearer and particularly Peters want to harp on about. Shows how utterly they are out of touch

slimwin
26-10-2012, 01:03 PM
http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/7865553/Affordable-housing-must-become-priority-English

fungus pudding
26-10-2012, 01:10 PM
I didn't survey anyone - just listen to some of the talk-back. And if that's not enough, ask among your friends and associates - the odd Labour supporter may naievely try to get some yardage from it but three out of four will turn off - If they don't, you need to change the company you keep.

So if you've not done any survey, how did you come up with the three out of four bit?

elZorro
26-10-2012, 03:18 PM
OK Slimwin, an interesting article, did Bill English spell out how he was going to achieve those lofty aims? Including encouraging businesses to take on an extra staff member, and ramp up manufacturing. Oh yeah, I forgot, they did that by telling us to hunker down for a bit due to the international issues, and by removing the R&D tax credit, a small incentive in very much the right direction..and the reason they gave for removing the small credit was that they didn't trust small businesses. They can't have it both ways. Either they're on our side, or they're not.

slimwin
26-10-2012, 03:31 PM
I'm neither side. I'm a centrist :-)

fungus pudding
26-10-2012, 04:11 PM
OK Slimwin, an interesting article, did Bill English spell out how he was going to achieve those lofty aims? Including encouraging businesses to take on an extra staff member, and ramp up manufacturing. Oh yeah, I forgot, they did that by telling us to hunker down for a bit due to the international issues, and by removing the R&D tax credit, a small incentive in very much the right direction.

The way you've been beating that drum eZ,you should be able to slide it under a door by now.

craic
26-10-2012, 04:47 PM
So if you've not done any survey, how did you come up with the three out of four bit?

I,ve been running my life for seventy-five years without the need for a single survey. I have a marriage of 50 years duration, several vehicles, a quad bike and a tractor and a boat and a few acres of land and a few bob for emergencies - all from simply observing the world around me and deciding which way to jump. And as a side issue, I read the psychology papers on statistics and surveys - and reached my own conclusions.

fungus pudding
26-10-2012, 04:59 PM
I,ve been running my life for seventy-five years without the need for a single survey. I have a marriage of 50 years duration, several vehicles, a quad bike and a tractor and a boat and a few acres of land and a few bob for emergencies - all from simply observing the world around me and deciding which way to jump. And as a side issue, I read the psychology papers on statistics and surveys - and reached my own conclusions.

Exactly. They are your opinions, generalisations - nothing more.

777
26-10-2012, 05:16 PM
Also experience fp.

elZorro
26-10-2012, 06:03 PM
Here's the gen on the state of manufacturing FP, from a coalition of the out-of power parties. They'll force an enquiry of some sort. National has stonewalled one through the normal channels. Why would they do that, if they're on the side of the manufacturing sector. They'll go along for the photo opportunities and to be associated with the stronger companies, but that's it. Maybe we should send in a submission..

http://manufacturinginquiry.org.nz/facts-figures/

fungus pudding
26-10-2012, 06:36 PM
Also experience fp.

I wonder why the likes of Colmar Brunton spend so much collecting data when they could just hire an experienced guesser then! :D

fungus pudding
26-10-2012, 06:39 PM
Here's the gen on the state of manufacturing FP, from a coalition of the out-of power parties. They'll force an enquiry of some sort.



No doubt - they're enquiry mad.
Anyway, I like your drum, but unfortunately it's got a way to go before it's flat.

POSSUM THE CAT
26-10-2012, 06:45 PM
The money National has just spent on the education service pay computer & wasted because it does not work. Would have paid for the repairs to the Gisborne Railway Line. At $36 000 000.00 Plus how many years would that have paid for to be done manually. What was wrong with the previous computer? was it to good. Are national MPs cable of doing anything correctly? Let us advance the next election to the 3rd of November. And so get rid of this bunch of incompetent politicians. No sitting members may stand.

slimwin
26-10-2012, 06:57 PM
Oh yay, another enquiry or submission! That'll produce a net bonus to the economy.

slimwin
26-10-2012, 09:10 PM
From Bryce Edwards.

The Greens - and MP Holly Walker in particular - are discovering that what they thought would be a popular measure of increasing transparency on the 'fat cats' is turning into a major embarrassment for them. This comes at a time when the party is more popular than ever. Of course one of the unwelcome side-effects of political success and profile is greater scrutiny, and so it is beginning to bite for the Greens. Similarly, their advocacy of quantitative easing certainly generated a lot of comment but most of it wouldn't have helped their drive to be taken seriously as economic managers. Other recent important or interesting political items include:
* The Green Party is currently fundraising to 'reduce child poverty' in New Zealand. But will the financial donations they're seeking actually go to children in poverty? Of course not - it's a political fundraiser for the party itself

elZorro
27-10-2012, 07:11 AM
Slimwin, wouldn't a Centrist such as yourself be keen to see all points of view before sitting squarely in the middle? Since our Labour and National parties are often only just left and right of centre, and even poach each other's areas at times, it's hard to stay with one party.

The Greens do have other policies I'd expect, which would stand up anywhere. I think insulating all of NZ's draughty houses while employing many, was their good idea, they probably plugged away at that for years until Labour helped make it happen. As a comparison with the Green party fundraising, the Salvation Army has some very good buildings, and they are employers too. It's a thriving business.

slimwin
27-10-2012, 09:56 AM
I've never thought of it as poaching ideas, I would call it taking up a good idea and I wish there was a hell of a lot more of it in NZ governance.

I do like to look at all views and make up my mind on voting. I think people who stick to the same party line blindly because they always have or their parents did, are idiots. Sought of like people who stick with the same bank cause they " always been with them" and are getting a bad deal.

I like the greens around as part of an opposition to hold check with the ruling party but my industry,aviation, would be killed by them. They still have way too much of an activist streak running through them to be credible managers for all of NZ.

I could be wrong but I though the Nats took up the insulation program with the greens,or did they just continue it?

As for the sallies,they were closing my local school without parents knowledge and teahcing the kids about the bible for half hour a week.Called it values education. That's got stopped now thankfully. I know they do a lot in the community but i'm dead against charity with conditions. 4 years of working in the poo holes of africa taught me that.First charity flights in were bibles not food.

elZorro
27-10-2012, 06:14 PM
I was wrong about Labour helping with this scheme. It was indeed National that helped set it up in 2009. (http://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=greens%20insulation%20scheme%202009%20devil&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCgQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Ftvnz.co.nz%2Fq-and-a-news%2Fhome-insulation-green-s-deal-devil-2761517&ei=uYuLUP62PM-SiQfLmoC4Dg&usg=AFQjCNHVsDczH0Fp3T_Di7sLK-NiQqlA-A&sig2=jH6mAqS-lx3SLpOM1MXfXg) Must have been an economy boost idea. Labour should have been onto this earlier, but for some strange reason were frosty towards the Greens. Anyone know the story here?

Only a few of the available rental properties have insulated under the scheme (stingy landlords?). Talk in August about sorting that out. (http://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=greens%20insulation%20landlords%20scheme%20augus t%202012&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&ved=0CCQQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nzherald.co.nz%2Fnz%2Fnews%2F article.cfm%3Fc_id%3D1%26objectid%3D10829424&ei=YouLUMbROY-wiQerh4DYBA&usg=AFQjCNGCHRhhQiTXZ7sqaDd-yiz-8WLyig&sig2=vuLuWXc6OSjeurRR3EpzgA)

slimwin
27-10-2012, 07:29 PM
Yeah a bit sad that. We had a student rental in Dunedin and I asked the property manager to insulate it and he managed to talk me out of it. Not my finest moment I guess. His main argument was that as soon as the subsidy came out, the insulators hiked the price. I looked into it and it seemed true. For our house, it was cheaper to pay an un-acredtited(sp?) builder to do it than the companies that are in the scheme.

That needs to be a target or fair go episode if it hasn't been already.

fungus pudding
28-10-2012, 07:05 AM
Yeah a bit sad that. We had a student rental in Dunedin and I asked the property manager to insulate it and he managed to talk me out of it. Not my finest moment I guess. His main argument was that as soon as the subsidy came out, the insulators hiked the price. I looked into it and it seemed true. For our house, it was cheaper to pay an un-acredtited(sp?) builder to do it than the companies that are in the scheme.

That needs to be a target or fair go episode if it hasn't been already.


That is true and highly predictable. Any such scheme will cause a price hike. Hard to believe the govt. could have been so naive. There are better ways to implement such programs without favouring certain suppliers. That removes competition.

craic
28-10-2012, 07:44 AM
A local company here in HB make a point, in their advertising, of the fact that they were specialists in this field before the subsidies and will still be after the subsidies. Their point is clearly that the subsidy has attracted unscrupulous traders into the market.

fungus pudding
28-10-2012, 08:05 AM
A local company here in HB make a point, in their advertising, of the fact that they were specialists in this field before the subsidies and will still be after the subsidies. Their point is clearly that the subsidy has attracted unscrupulous traders into the market.

Precisely. Subsidise anything at all and the price goes up. Subsidies help vendors/suppliers when they are always designed for the buyer or consumer.

iceman
28-10-2012, 08:21 AM
Precisely. Subsidise anything at all and the price goes up. Subsidies help vendors/suppliers when they are always designed for the buyer or consumer.

I do know that many rental properties in lower socio-economic areas here in Nelson have been insulated as a result of this project. That is a good result and many families are living in healthier homes as a result.

EZ, this scheme was a result of a formal working relationship between National and the Greens in the first term, which did not last with the Greens having moved squarely to the loony side of politics since then
.

elZorro
28-10-2012, 09:30 AM
I do know that many rental properties in lower socio-economic areas here in Nelson have been insulated as a result of this project. That is a good result and many families are living in healthier homes as a result.

EZ, this scheme was a result of a formal working relationship between National and the Greens in the first term, which did not last with the Greens having moved squarely to the loony side of politics since then
.

We had our house insulated under the scheme, I didn't bother checking the quote, although one other firm came and had a look but never quoted. It wasn't very expensive, and a thorough job was done. Putting in a heat pump was even easier, done afterwards.

Russell Norman was on TV this morning, he looked very normal to me, was described as unemotional. He showed the whole range of Green policies, that are a lot wider than the news will report on. Certainly looked like the Greens and Winston Peters could far more likely work with Labour than National, in 2014. Say what you like, the Greens achieved 11% of the vote last time. Winston will also do OK.

Another big topic of conversation was the high price of housing in Auckland. Bill English says thay have some tools to sort that out, although it is very complex. When asked for a description of the tools by Corin Dann, all I heard was politico-waffle. This goes back to a conversation I had with a builder as leaky homes were first appearing. He was involved in building granny flats. They'd make a clear profit of $15,000 on a small cheap home.

Now why would anyone in the private sector risk a lot more investment than that, to make just $15k, if there is any chance of a comeback under the building warranty? To remove those issues, you'll have to use better materials, and then to make a decent margin you'd have to build a bigger and more expensive house.

This is where the private sector fails. They have no interest in building or supplying cheap homes for those with limited incomes. The state will need to do this, and will profit by it, as only they can. Using centralised design and procurement (playing fair of course), and the building teams could be drawn from the ranks of recently unemployed manufacturing workers. National would never do this, as the private sector is all-knowing, and best to let things take their course, right FP? But Labour and the Greens could certainly do something about the issue.

However there is another option - people could move to cities like Hamilton, where the traffic lights are few, and semi-insulated weatherboard houses can be purchased close to the city centre for well under $300,000. But just as in Auckland, jobs are hard to find, especially if you're new to the workplace.

POSSUM THE CAT
28-10-2012, 10:14 AM
El Zorro get rid of Fletchers & prices would drop by close to 20% IMHO as you can tie most house building companies to being part of the Fletcher Group to the best of my knowledge.

elZorro
28-10-2012, 11:37 AM
El Zorro get rid of Fletchers & prices would drop by close to 20% IMHO as you can tie most house building companies to being part of the Fletcher Group to the best of my knowledge.

Hi Possum, I'm not sure how wide a reach Fletchers has, but all the signs are there that this is a cut-throat business, with net profit being 1.5% of turnover, unsure what the gross profit was. http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/financial-results/7524570/Fletcher-Building-reviews-NZ-business

In a similar scenario with the Railway workshops, the State has a clear interest in seeing less people on the dole, and more paying greater tax on goods instead. A builder will pay staff and their PAYE for them, these are costs to the business, but a good portion ends up as income to the State. Business owners soon tire of doing long hours to end up with small gross profits, and in their view the govt taxes become the last straw.

However the State could build these lower cost houses, reap the extra taxes paid and reduce unemployed costs, and still move the houses on in the current low interest environment, thus recycling the cash for the next house. This would not be like the old state housing schemes, as the house will move off the books and will be owner-occupied. Even if the house is sold on at cost, the State wins, by whatever the difference is between a team of building labourers and suppliers being on the dole, and being gainfully employed (it's a lot more than $15,000 per house). Refurbishing older state houses could be a similar sensible process, as long as the asset is sold at the end of it. Moderate refurbishing of rented state houses would be dictated by the return.

Policies like this shouldn't hurt the private sector, since they are not interested in such low-profit building jobs. The effect of some lower cost housing being available shouldn't clobber upmarket house prices either.

Here's an article I found, when trying to quantify the govt benefits of a scheme like this.

http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/tax-burdens-some-facts-for-a-change

This all happened before the last election. In reality, those with 50-60% of the wealth in NZ pay 43% of the income and GST tax. That's not unfair, it's common sense.

The benefits of the State building low-cost houses:
Assume the workers on the houses are over 25, so they might have families too. If they were on the dole, each one of them previously cost the state at least $10,000 a year, minus the 20% tax and excise they'll be paying on their purchases. If they are employed at gross pay of $50,000 for a 40 hr week, their income tax returns $8000 annually to the govt, and then on their take-home spend of $40,000 they'll pay another $6000 in GST, $1000 in fuel tax, and $500 on alcohol tax possibly. Other incidentals mean each new employee will be giving about $16k a year back to the govt. So on the average wage, each new employee means the govt is about $24,000 a year better off than when they were on the dole.

Making the assumption that the team is made up entirely of unemployed skilled people, and that between them they have all the skills/training needed, the team will need to consist of at least 5 people, working for the entire year to complete the house. 10,000 hours approx. Auckland needs another 10,000 houses right now, to keep up with growth. Enough work for 50,000 unemployed, if the correct training and systems were put in place.


Building each house would benefit the state by about $125,000 improvement in net taxes received, and of course the profits on other expenditure by the new workers would also be taxed to various degrees. If the govt sold the houses for anything above the actual costs, that would be another bonus. But it's unlikely the private sector would obtain even $25,000 profit on building a lower cost house to meet the low-waged buying needs, so it would rarely be attempted.

I admit this could be well out, but interesting, no?

POSSUM THE CAT
29-10-2012, 08:59 AM
el Zorrol Fletchers average building cost $2000.00 per square metre Golden homes average building cost $1050.00 per square with Steel frame. Some on this chat site query the quality & quote about eight other building companies at $2000.00 per square metre but when you look into it they are all part of the Fletcher group. Also when you look into the building supply companies how many of these are controlled by Fletchers. So no competition just a big Monopoly. Why do Fletchers have a controlling interest in the Christchurch rebuild.

craic
29-10-2012, 10:31 AM
Someone on talkback this morning came up with what I would call a great idea. New houses to contain, where possible, a granny flat or unit. They suggested that this would eventually relieve the stress on rentals and other housing. The houseowner would have a means to pay rates or even more or a place for a grown offspring to start out with relative independance ,etc. Years ago, when I built a double garage next to my house, I was limited in the stud height to prevent the garage qualifying later as accommodation. I made the nibwall foundation much higher and didn't fill in before I put the floor down. Everything else was in place but I sold the property and I think the new owner was a motorhead so nothing was gained. A friend had converted a single freestanding garage into a flat without any problem. I agree that the monopoly situation is serious but you can still b uild a standard bungalow from treated radiata pine with a corrugated roof in the same way that has been around for years.

elZorro
29-10-2012, 01:28 PM
Appreciate the comments PTC and Craic. My maths will be badly out, because you can buy a 150-200 m2 house off the plans for about $250k-$310k that would suit a small section worth another $100k (how much are sections in Auckland?). If the price of $1000-$2000/m2 is correct (depends on the materials used), (http://www.tradebox.co.nz/pb_resource.asp?resourceid=40)assuming half the cost is labour, then it seems it takes only 3000 hours to build a house, if done at cost of labour. There's no great markup here. Maybe National's idea of supplying cheaper serviced sections at a quicker rate is the main issue, rather than builders not wanting to provide lower cost houses.

Regarding cost-benefit to govt, I forgot that there is GST levied on a house sale and its components, so all the way up the chain the govt will end up with a total of at least 13% of the labour proportion in the house, as GST tax. This assumes the markup on the materials is small, and that the sale recoups all costs involved. No-one claims back the GST on labour.

Fudosan
29-10-2012, 06:23 PM
Precisely. Subsidise anything at all and the price goes up. Subsidies help vendors/suppliers when they are always designed for the buyer or consumer.That's my experience when we insulated our house this year. Had several quotes but was surprised to find the prices very similar. An experienced insulation firm not on the list could offer a similar price close to the other two receiving the 33% subsidy from the government.

elZorro
29-10-2012, 06:43 PM
That's my experience when we insulated our house this year. Had several quotes but was surprised to find the prices very similar. An experienced insulation firm not on the list could offer a similar price close to the other two receiving the 33% subsidy from the government.

Yes Fudosan, that would be correct, because if they didn't match the price, they'd get no work at all. Firms will do jobs at cost to save the hassle of losing trained staff, and hope for an upturn. You can call it competition, I'd call it a race to the bottom.

Here's a much smarter business: Fitzroy Yachts (http://www.fitzroyyachts.com/)at Port Taranaki. After the Americas Cup at San Diego in 1995, they took a huge punt and built a superyacht - without having a buyer. It sold at the first show they took it to. They've done 12, including Ohana, just put in the water this weekend for its full fitout, 50mtrs long.

Relating this manufacturing back to building houses: I don't think building a house is very profitable. This superyacht took 400,000 hours, 30 months, and therefore it's employed 80 trained staff for 2.5 years, at good wages. Commissioned by an Italian family, so they're not all doing badly. The yacht labour could be worth NZ$20mill alone. Apparently a superyacht can fetch up to a million euro on a one week staffed charter, once it's in the Mediterranean (these might be larger 70 mtr unmasted boats).

Zefira, a recent yacht from Fitzroy, is for sale. (http://www.boatinternational.com/yacht-sales/32225/zefira-for-sale)

elZorro
30-10-2012, 08:32 PM
Fletchers might get checked out under new govt initiative. (http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/fletcher-building-will-come-within-construction-supply-investigation-english-says-bd-131424) A range of comments, some saying the market is tough, and pricing reflects the small population compared to Australia for example.

NZ Govt to build houses. (http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7884760/Housing-NZ-to-build-for-sale)

POSSUM THE CAT
31-10-2012, 09:48 AM
El Zorro are you dreaming of course it will be Fletchers that build them who else would the govt. award the tender to. Or else they will supervise and ok everything like in Cristchurch.

elZorro
02-11-2012, 06:41 AM
El Zorro are you dreaming of course it will be Fletchers that build them who else would the govt. award the tender to. Or else they will supervise and ok everything like in Cristchurch.

Maybe, Possum. I don't know much about that.
However Brian Fallow writes like a Labour supporter. He doesn't like the look of National's housing plans, they'll need a better direction.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10844195

slimwin
02-11-2012, 08:37 AM
Interesting. I always thought of Brian as centrist. AS all credible journalists should be.

elZorro
02-11-2012, 10:29 AM
Interesting. I always thought of Brian as centrist. AS all credible journalists should be.

I was just trying to liven up the thread - he looks like a National voter, it's getting hard to tell.

elZorro
03-11-2012, 08:11 AM
I found this reply on an ino.com thread: reminds me a bit of the National-Labour policy differences.


"Alan Greenspan has proclaimed himself 'shocked' that 'the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders equity' proved to be an illusion... The Reagan-Thatcher model, which favored finance over domestic manufacturing, has collapsed. ... The mutually reinforcing rise of financialization and globalization broke the bond between American capitalism and America's interests. ...we should take a cue from Scandinavia's social capitalism, which is less manufacturing-centered than the German model. The Scandinavians have upgraded the skills and wages of their workers in the retail and service sectors -- the sectors that employ the majority of our own workforce. In consequence, fully employed impoverished workers, of which there are millions in the United States, do not exist in Scandinavia." - Harold Meyerson, "Building a Better Capitalism", The Washington Post, March 12, 2009.

The battle is an old one. William Jennings Bryan's 1896 speech contains a template for conflict between democracy and the rich. Inserting any policy the rich seek mainly in their own interest (here bank deregulation) will show it.
"There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that, if you will only legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous, their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests upon them."
"When you come before us and tell us that we are about to disturb your business interests, we reply that you have disturbed our business interests."
"We say to you that you have made the definition of a business man too limited in its application. The man who is employed for wages is as much a business man as his employer; the attorney in a country town is as much a business man as the corporation counsel in a great metropolis; the merchant at the crossroads store is as much a business man as the merchant of New York ... the miners who go down a thousand feet into the earth, or climb 2,000 feet upon the cliffs, and bring forth from their hiding-places the precious metals to be poured in the channels of trade, are as much business men as the few financial magnates who, in a back room, corner the money of the world."
"If they dare to come out in the open field and defend bank deregulation as a good thing, we will fight them to the uttermost. Having behind us the producing masses of this nation and the world, supported by the commercial interests, the laboring interests, and the toilers everywhere, we will answer their demand for bank deregulation by saying to them: You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns; you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold."
Tumultuous acclaim wasn't enough; Democrats could not overcome being outspent over 23 to 1 by the GOP. In a close vote McKinley won, which is perhaps good: When he got shot, Teddy Roosevelt became President, but Paul Ryan is no Teddy Roosevelt.
T.R. was only the first of several distinguished war heroes who rose to high position and found an octopus in the head of government and tried to warn us about it(see link under my name). Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler (Commandant of the Marine Corps, two Congressional Medals of Honor), Dwight Eisenhower, and John Kerry are others.
"There is...an artificial aristocracy founded on wealth and birth, without either virtue or talents.... The artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government, and provisions should be made to prevent its ascendancy." - Thomas Jefferson

elZorro
03-11-2012, 02:01 PM
Colin James has written a speech on Norman Kirk. I remember him on B&W TV, no-one ever seemed to have a bad word to say about him. A true NZ statesman.

http://www.colinjames.co.nz/speeches_briefings/Kirk_conference_12Nov03.pdf

fungus pudding
03-11-2012, 04:30 PM
Colin James has written a speech on Norman Kirk. I remember him on B&W TV, no-one ever seemed to have a bad word to say about him. A true NZ statesman.

http://www.colinjames.co.nz/speeches_briefings/Kirk_conference_12Nov03.pdf

I'm not sure if you were old enough in his day to remember much, but probably not from your comments. He was reasonably popular when he was around, and consideably moreso after his death - which tends to be the way if you die in office, but there has been endless stories since about his scone-doing bad temper; he had a lot of enemies among those who knew him. You would probably remember John Kirk, his son better, who gained Norm's seat in the by-election following Norman's death. John was a shocker who would have had Norm spinning in his grave. Last heard of, bankrupt and in an American jail.

slimwin
03-11-2012, 09:39 PM
"The Third National Government of New Zealand (often also known as the Muldoon government) was the government of New Zealand (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/wiki/Governments_of_New_Zealand) from 1975 to 1984. It was an economically and socially conservative government, which aimed to preserve the Keynesian (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/wiki/Keynesian) economic system established by the First Labour government (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/wiki/First_Labour_Government_of_New_Zealand) while also being socially conservative. Throughout its three terms it was led by Robert Muldoon (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/wiki/Robert_Muldoon), a populist but antagonistic politician who was sometimes described as his party (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/wiki/New_Zealand_National_Party)'s best asset and worst liability."

And a piss take song to boot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HVogejKx_c&feature=relmfu

Not allowed out tonight.

slimwin
03-11-2012, 09:46 PM
And another "where are they now moment"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8frPD7DgqI&feature=related

elZorro
04-11-2012, 10:06 AM
FP, there was a story on Q&A, or was it "The Nation" about Norman Kirk this morning, one of the panelists worked as his secretary. I think they all still had very fond memories of him. Maybe I was too young to know much about his time in office, but I'll take your comments with a grain of salt.

Slimwin, thanks for posting the videos. Don McGlashan, he's a brilliant songwriter. Reminded me of evenings spent being entertained by touring bands in the Hillcrest pub, one of only about 4 live venues in Hamilton at the time.

MPs and Prime Ministers are expected to be even more well-rounded and refined these days, so why did John Key publicly describe an international celebrity and soccer star as being "thick as bat ****"?
(http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10844975)
In the SST today: Simon Cunliffe (page A16) explained the importance of the American presidential elections.


Battle for America's 'soul' will affect us all..

At this year's Democratic Party convention, Obama said

"We honour the entrepreneurs who have always been the driving force behind our free enterprise system but we also believe in something called citizenship - the idea that this country only workswhen we accept certain obligations towards one another and to future generations."

Republicans and conservatives in liberal democracies everywhere used to believe this, too.

fungus pudding
04-11-2012, 11:23 AM
FP, there was a story on Q&A, or was it "The Nation" about Norman Kirk this morning, one of the panelists worked as his secretary. I think they all still had very fond memories of him. Maybe I was too young to know much about his time in office, but I'll take your comments with a grain of salt.




Yes, I did see that. I presume you mean The Nation on yesterday morning. It reminded me that only the good, the talented and the extremely popular die. You've probably read enough obituaries and heard plenty of eulogies to know that. Still, he seemed like a reasonable rooster in spite of the supposed temper episodes that were well documented after his death. Most of our PMs have been with the exception of Wallace Rowling. Muldoon had some redeeming features along with his wacky socialist ideas. Even Lange was alright untill he lost his marbles and destroyed his own party before resigning.

elZorro
04-11-2012, 03:37 PM
Yes, I did see that. I presume you mean The Nation on yesterday morning. It reminded me that only the good, the talented and the extremely popular die. You've probably read enough obituaries and heard plenty of eulogies to know that. Still, he seemed like a reasonable rooster in spite of the supposed temper episodes that were well documented after his death. Most of our PMs have been with the exception of Wallace Rowling. Muldoon had some redeeming features along with his wacky socialist ideas. Even Lange was alright untill he lost his marbles and destroyed his own party before resigning.

Yes, yes, FP, I've heard the guts of that post before. I think Slimwin would understand why Muldoon didn't want to move too far from welfare concepts that he'd grown up with, and Lange in the end listened to the pain being expressed by voters.

I was talking to a secondary school principal yesterday, he's interested in Maori Party ideas, and thinks charter schools would be a good fit for some areas. Trade training, less of the formal examinations, although I thought NCEA offered those options. Principals more directly able to hire/fire teachers. It is a sad commentary that some schools are still subject to white flight, with parents going to great lengths to transport children to other areas. These are issues that are at the heart of a supposedly bicultural state.

fungus pudding
04-11-2012, 03:44 PM
Yes, yes, FP, I've heard the guts of that post before. I think Slimwin would understand why Muldoon didn't want to move too far from welfare concepts that he'd grown up with,


What! Like price freezes, rent freezes etc? He simply didn't understand how the world works. Pure socialist mentality - thought he could control markets.

slimwin
04-11-2012, 03:57 PM
Thought he could control everything. Just another meglomaniac in govt. Why else do the job,better pay to be had elsewhere and I doubt it's to serve the country.

I was also talking to a headmaster yesterday who thought charter schools are a good idea. And national standards. Young superstar headmaster thats not resistant to change.

It really depends who gets a charter if it'll be a success in my book. If destiny church or other creationists get one I think there'll be a bit of a backlash. Trade tech schools is a great idea and already being proposed.

elZorro
04-11-2012, 07:03 PM
What! Like price freezes, rent freezes etc? He simply didn't understand how the world works. Pure socialist mentality - thought he could control markets.

Years before that happened, my (pretty smart) primary school teacher said that they could stop runaway inflation by clamping wages and prices at the same time. He then said it'd never happen as it would get that party put out of power. Muldoon tried it, it did make people think twice about putting prices up, for a while afterwards. But I wasn't talking about that, more along the lines of there being no great urgency in dismantling the public sector. Because he realised that working people pay more taxes, are more productive, and that whatever way it's achieved is normally OK.

Muldoon left the Labour Party the opportunity of making large changes, and so we saw a reduced public service and SOE wages bill, but at the same time a few greedy private sector people looted the nation's equity and left some of it in tatters. Most of our copper telephone cables are rotting in the ground, they are slowly being replaced with fibre, the rail system is also in disrepair, and our power reticulation is also in need of urgent investment if we are to attract any more major power users.

So there's a price to pay for letting the market control everything. A few will do very well.

Major von Tempsky
04-11-2012, 07:26 PM
Muldoon was by far our most socialist Minister of Finance - ever, under any government. Government intervention was always the first recourse. Regulations went mad, if it moved regulate it. Like Harold Wilson in the UK he made a desperate attempt to defend a fixed exchange rate, and like Harold Wilson, he lost. He disagreed with nearly every Treasury proposal put up to him. He instigated a payroll tax. He didn't privatise anything, the railways emplyed 22,000 people and there were tens of thousands in the Ministry of Works desperately making perpetual cups of tea. There was no schools rationalisation a la Labour in Dunedin and National in Chch.
He was a bully boy wearing bovver boots. If anyone disagreed with him he would dig up some dirt to dish out to the media on him. The media loved him.
In the 1984 election he lost he instructed NZ diplomats to use their personal credit cards to keep their Embassies going as the Government didn't have the requisite foreign exchange.
And he was our most unsuccessful ever Minister of Finance.

iceman
05-11-2012, 05:49 AM
[QUOTE=elZorro;384596] Because he realised that working people pay more taxes, are more productive, and that whatever way it's achieved is normally OK.

Easy as then. Just create more jobs in the public sector and we are all fine ! They are doing it in Argentina at the moment, with a highly corrupt Government that through their many actions are killing all private sector investment and to stay in power, they continue creating jobs all over the public sector. In your words EZ, to keep the population more "productive". Yeah right.

elZorro
05-11-2012, 09:12 AM
[QUOTE=elZorro;384596] Because he realised that working people pay more taxes, are more productive, and that whatever way it's achieved is normally OK.

Easy as then. Just create more jobs in the public sector and we are all fine ! They are doing it in Argentina at the moment, with a highly corrupt Government that through their many actions are killing all private sector investment and to stay in power, they continue creating jobs all over the public sector. In your words EZ, to keep the population more "productive". Yeah right.

Well, everything in moderation of course. I don't have the exact answers, but when the local councils or Transit put down a new layer of temporary bitumen on a road surface, or seal an unsealed road, it's incredibly expensive. And it doesn't last, it requires constant repair quite often. It's a big reason for local body rates increases, as the price of oil goes up. Now compare that with the rail system, one area that has been allowed to decay over the years, in a bid to save taxpayers money. What money was saved? It actually cost us all a lot more, I'm sure.

Couple this loss of jobs and efficiency with less work in the manufacturing sector, because it hasn't been helped along in the last few years in particular, and we have a problem. An overview from government that was more focussed on keeping people employed and the tax base higher, than on helping a few towards millionaire status, would be helpful.

We're only a small country, it's difficult enough to ensure fair play in some business areas without handing over historically expensive state assets in a comparative firesale, whenever the govt coffers are short of cash.

Maybe Muldoon was right, we need another set of state-owned Think Big projects to get things going. History shows that most of those projects were very successful over the medium term.

fungus pudding
05-11-2012, 09:20 AM
[QUOTE=iceman;384602]

Well, everything in moderation of course. I don't have the exact answers, but when the local councils or Transit put down a new layer of temporary bitumen on a road surface, or seal an unsealed road, it's incredibly expensive. And it doesn't last, it requires constant repair quite often. It's a big reason for local body rates increases, as the price of oil goes up. Now compare that with the rail system, one area that has been allowed to decay over the years, in a bid to save taxpayers money. What money was saved? It actually cost us all a lot more, I'm sure.

Couple this loss of jobs and efficiency with less work in the manufacturing sector, because it hasn't been helped along in the last few years in particular, and we have a problem. An overview from government that was more focussed on keeping people employed and the tax base higher, than on helping a few towards millionaire status, would be helpful.

We're only a small country, it's difficult enough to ensure fair play in some business areas without handing over historically expensive state assets in a comparative firesale, whenever the govt coffers are short of cash.

Maybe Muldoon was right, we need another set of state-owned Think Big projects to get things going. History shows that most of those projects were very successful over the medium term.

Employing people to do 'non-jobs' is idiotic. Necessity is the mother of invention, and that applies to making an income. False or pretend jobs do more harm than good.

elZorro
05-11-2012, 10:37 AM
[QUOTE=elZorro;384611]

Employing people to do 'non-jobs' is idiotic. Necessity is the mother of invention, and that applies to making an income. False or pretend jobs do more harm than good.

I agree of course. It's when people fail to understand that in the short term, such jobs that might be seen to be too cruisy for private sector observers, are in fact training for future employment, are reducing the unemployment welfare and other state costs, while increasing the tax base. And often, they reduce the very real costs that would otherwise occur down the line. The health and education sectors would also be applicable here.

The private sector has just demonstrated that they have little interest in training the youth of today, and giving them a break. As soon as their wage costs were the same as adults, they steadily dropped them out of new positions. Now they want the old setup restored, even with a minimum adult wage demonstrably not enough to live on, in these days of higher energy costs.

Jobs are critical to the American economy too.

http://www.incrediblecharts.com/tradingdiary/2012-11-05-economy.php

This quote makes David Shearer look like a good prospect FP:


Dullness in matters of government is a good sign, and not a bad one — in particular, dullness in parliamentary government is a test of its excellence, an indication of its success.

~ Walter Bagehot

elZorro
10-11-2012, 07:59 AM
Now what is the National govt up to? Are we to become a tax haven, is that the answer?

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/7914620/Proposed-changes-a-step-backwards

fungus pudding
10-11-2012, 08:07 AM
Now what is the National govt up to? Are we to become a tax haven, is that the answer?



It would be great, if only it was so.

elZorro
10-11-2012, 11:06 AM
It would be great, if only it was so.

Well the article makes it clear that only foreign owned companies will get the benefit of the changes, if they're voted in. And Google is making use of the system already, to reduce tax that should be due to the NZ govt for sales made to NZ businesses, paying it on a far lower rate to the Irish govt. Tax havens seem to be on a sliding scale, some like the Cayman Islands scream it out, and others like Ireland go below the radar as far as tax authorities go.

How about this for a policy: foreign owned businesses operating in NZ should pay NZ tax on all their net NZ revenue, just like the rest of us. If you or I registered our businesses in the Cayman Islands and ran from there, I'm sure IRD would be in touch. If the overseas-based business can't pay tax at what we think is a fair rate, then they should stay out of NZ.

fungus pudding
10-11-2012, 12:13 PM
Well the article makes it clear that only foreign owned companies will get the benefit of the changes, if they're voted in. And Google is making use of the system already, to reduce tax that should be due to the NZ govt for sales made to NZ businesses, paying it on a far lower rate to the Irish govt. Tax havens seem to be on a sliding scale, some like the Cayman Islands scream it out, and others like Ireland go below the radar as far as tax authorities go.

How about this for a policy: foreign owned businesses operating in NZ should pay NZ tax on all their net NZ revenue, just like the rest of us. If you or I registered our businesses in the Cayman Islands and ran from there, I'm sure IRD would be in touch. If the overseas-based business can't pay tax at what we think is a fair rate, then they should stay out of NZ.

It's pretty well impossible to assess where net profit was generated with a company operating acrooss various borders, who itrade with their companies in other countries. They move their profit to where tax liability is lowest - naturally enough.

elZorro
10-11-2012, 03:59 PM
It's pretty well impossible to assess where net profit was generated with a company operating acrooss various borders, who itrade with their companies in other countries. They move their profit to where tax liability is lowest - naturally enough.

But I think that was Chalkie's point: at least with the books being presented in some form, a minority shareholder can figure out the general picture. And of course, each business will have very good details about their income and expenditure in each country. Letting others know what the story is, and paying tax in that country, is what they have a problem with.

Google are at least paying 12% tax to Ireland, on income they earn from NZ businesses. If they were even less polite, there are many tax havens where the tax is even lower. I do think about that, when IRD sends me hurry-up and interest notices on tax I've already paid on time. Of course if you try ringing them up to resolve things, you'll be waiting in a long queue.

elZorro
13-11-2012, 07:33 AM
Colin James's column for the Otago Daily Times for 13 November 2012

Labour's test: will its values fit the 2020s?

The unemployment rate lifted again in September, on one measure, to 7.3 per cent -- just in time to lift Labour hopes at the party's conference this coming weekend. Actually, it is not so simple.

First, the participation rate -- those at work or looking for work -- stayed high. People are not (yet) giving up in despair. (Emigrants to Australia are another story).

Australia's participation rate is lower: people are giving up. On a participation rate the same as here, Australia's unemployment rate would not be as far below ours as appears at first glance.

Also, the household labour force survey (HLFS) from which the September quarter figure came is volatile and might have overstated the rate. Note that the HLFS recorded a 0.8 per cent fall in hours worked in the quarter while the quarterly employment survey (QES) recorded only a 0.3 per cent fall and its underlying trend measure is still up.

The QES is also a better match for electronic card transactions: though core retail sales were down through the September quarter, total sales, which include fuel and vehicles (both up), were up.

Next, note that high and persistent unemployment in the United States did not tip out the incumbent President. Exit polls gave a clear majority to Barack Obama of those rating unemployment the top issue.

Now add in persistent headlines of global gloom, which will have got through to most of the populace here, including those who take little interest in politics and issues. John Key, Bill English and Steven Joyce can plausibly say our recent economic slowing is imported. They can't fix the United States, Europe, China and Japan.

The point for Labour delegates gathering on Friday for a fuller-than-usual agenda proposing big organisational changes is that economic woe is not enough -- at least not yet -- to tip out Key-English-Joyce.

To lift its chances of a win in 2014 Labour needs to build a case that a government it led then would bring in transformative policies, on the strength of which employment and incomes would ride better through global ups and downs than under the Key-English-Joyce formula.

Conference delegates might note what one conservative American commentator said last week of the Republicans, who not only did not unseat Obama but failed in Senate seats they should have won and overall did not build on the momentum of 2010.

That commentator's advice was to "become a national party again by offering new ideas rooted in old ones".

Labour does not have the Republicans' demographic challenge: they pitched to a white America when the proportions of blacks and Latinos are rapidly rising. With roots among Maori and Polynesians, Labour is positioned to score from demographic change over the next 10 years or so. (Beyond that our more Asian future may tell a different story.)

Labour's challenge is that the "working class" on which it was based a century ago has eroded as manufacturing has automated and as services have come to dominate the economy. Labour needs "new ideas rooted in old ones": policies for the 2020s, reworked from its founding principles.

So, bigger than the delegates' litmus test for David Shearer -- if he doesn't hit it off with them, MPs will get edgy -- is a move to adopt a 50-page base "policy platform" that would be binding on all party members, including MPs.


The draft platform states Labour's "values", which it claims as New Zealand values -- a version of "old ideas" it might "root new ideas" in.

The overarching values are freedom ("to achieve our individual and collective potential"), equality of opportunity, solidarity (mutual rights and obligations), intergenerational guardianship and the Treaty of Waitangi.

Among individual policy area themes: "the growing gap between the poor and rich", as an economic, not just a social issue (though it doesn't assert it is a factor in performance); "Labour is a party of action" in managing the economy; environmental sustainability ("without a healthy environment we cannot have a healthy economy or a healthy society", not a preoccupation in 1916); "real social security, fairness and realising potential", balanced with "responsibility"; "stable, predictable family and care environments" for early childhood; "public education"; "access to good health care" for "all of life", with a focus on long-term outcomes; "strong public services"; and "local democracy".

The platform is work in progress and a section on initiatives will be filled in next year. Its importance now is that it amounts to an attempt by the wider party to reclaim a place in policymaking after being largely shut out in the Clark years.

The test is whether voters click. Too many in middle and less-well-off New Zealand didn't connect in the 2008 and 2011 elections. The new ideas will have to be not just rooted in old ideas but relevant and presented by a relevant leader. Skimming in on a soggy economy would not set up a long spell in office.

This weekend might be a start. Or a stall.

ColinJames@synapsis.co.nz


-- Colin James, Synapsis Ltd, P O Box 9494, Wellington 6141
Ph (64)-4-384 7030, Mobile (64)-21-438 434, Fax (64)-4-384 9175
Webpage http://www.ColinJames.co.nz


Good points from Colin. Will we see Shearer fire up some sound bites, I wonder. It wouldn't be too hard to do better than National with the economy, and employment.

craic
13-11-2012, 10:08 AM
As far as I am aware, the Irish idea was primarily to provide work for the unemployed by offering manufacturers from overseas, cheap land and very low taxes. It was not a tax haven as such but saved the country a ot of money they didn't have and created wealth through employment. I was one of those unemployed in Dublin in the mid nineteenfifties. Every time I hear of poverty, unemployment and hardship here I cringe. I scraped enough for my fare to Belfast and joined the British Army - I didn't have any money to get home had I been rejected. I was seventeen years old and for the next three years I allocated fifteen shillings a week to my parents.

slimwin
13-11-2012, 10:18 AM
Whats a shilling? He He.

craic
14-11-2012, 02:34 PM
It's about twelve or more times the value of some posters thoughts, published here. And about the current value of David Shearer to the Labour party.

fungus pudding
14-11-2012, 04:06 PM
It's about twelve or more times the value of some posters thoughts, published here. And about the current value of David Shearer to the Labour party.

Shearer mightn't look too bad after a week of Cunliffe in the hot seat.

elZorro
14-11-2012, 04:41 PM
As far as I am aware, the Irish idea was primarily to provide work for the unemployed by offering manufacturers from overseas, cheap land and very low taxes. It was not a tax haven as such but saved the country a ot of money they didn't have and created wealth through employment. I was one of those unemployed in Dublin in the mid nineteenfifties. Every time I hear of poverty, unemployment and hardship here I cringe. I scraped enough for my fare to Belfast and joined the British Army - I didn't have any money to get home had I been rejected. I was seventeen years old and for the next three years I allocated fifteen shillings a week to my parents.

Sounds a bit like the 30s depression years over here, Craic. I just find it bizarre that profit from goods and services sold to NZ businesses often all ends up overseas, one of the main reasons being lower taxes there. These business operations rely on NZ infrastructure to help make their profits. The Aussie banks are a big case in point too. At least (under threat of legal actions) they started to pay a sensible amount of tax here.

elZorro
14-11-2012, 04:44 PM
Shearer mightn't look too bad after a week of Cunliffe in the hot seat.

Shearer getting a hard time from the press, on TV this morning with a zillion mics pointed at him. Mike Smith implied that he needs to learn some seven-second sound bites. FP, your mate Russell Norman has got this sorted :)

elZorro
15-11-2012, 06:57 AM
Craic, maybe things aren't going to get any easier.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10847429

National don't believe the statistics. (http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/7951485/English-determined-to-check-account-deficit)

craic
15-11-2012, 03:39 PM
Interestingly, I have absolute proof that futurists are more often wrong than right by a large margin. I have a heap of American magazine going back to just after WW2., mostly Mechanix Illustrated and similar. One of the magazines has a page of predictions about how things, principally technology, will evolve in the coming years. Another has a page entitled "I wish they would invent............" sent in by readers. At a rough guess I would say that the predictors were wrong 80% of the time. The "wish they would invent" crowd were right 80% of the time. In the early fifties we were all told that with the current rate of population growth famine would destroy the entire world within ten years, so now, sixty years later we have an obesity epedemic. The gentleman from the DaVinci Institute can maybe tell us how, if half the world is put out of work through digitalisation or whateveritis who will be able to afford the digitalisd product. Somewhere out there, there is a 'central tendancy' that corrects everything and balances needs and wants.

fungus pudding
15-11-2012, 03:49 PM
Interestingly, I have absolute proof that futurists are more often wrong than right by a large margin.

It's not possible to have absolute proof of the future.

BIRMANBOY
15-11-2012, 04:22 PM
Been there done that..blinding white light at the end of the tunnel....I think he's responding Dr. Ropata.

elZorro
16-11-2012, 05:50 AM
The Hillside Railway workshop has operated since 1875. Under this term of a National Govt we have this sorry situation:
(as posted, with missing words etc, NZResources).



Partial solution for engineering works will see redundancies

16 November 2012
A partial sale of the extensive Hillside engineering workshops in Dunedin will see the foundry operation continue and uncertainty for the balance of the operation.
After what was described as an extensive national and international search for potential purchasers, Kiwirail has entered into a conditional agreement to sell the foundry to the Bradken group.to continue an operation on site, including supplying parts to KiwiRail.
The sale is expected to be completed early next year.
KiwiRail’s freight business will now operate the heavy lift facility and the rest of the site will be progressively closed down over the next few months as work is either completed or transferred to the Hutt Workshops near Wellington.
Kiwirail’s Jim Quinn, said while it was unfortunate the company couldn’t finalise a purchaser for the whole business, he was pleased there will still be some operations continuing at the site.
“As one of only a few foundry operations in New Zealand, Bradken could see the potential for this part of Hillside and we will be contracting some work to them as required. But, as an international engineering enterprise, they will also be able to access a larger business market with more product scope than the foundry’s largely ‘rail only’ focus."
KiwiRail said it could not afford the future operating costs to keep Hillside open in the face of decreasing work.
"Hillside has made an important contribution to the development of rail in NZ since 1875 and this won’t be forgotten. Many will be sad about its
The big issue for Dunedin will be the retrenchments and the Otago Daily Times reported yesterday that nearly 90 workers face redundancy.
Bradken as a global designer and manufacturer employs over 6,000 to supply a wide range of consumable products to the mining and construction, rail and transit, energy and general industrial markets.
The company’s global footprint includes 34 manufacturing facilities throughout Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, China, the United States of America, Canada, Malaysia and Indonesia supported by a global network of sales and service facilities.
Sources: voxy.co.nz and odt.co.nz


So National has set in place a process to drop 90 workers off the govt books, allow the private sector to buy/take the most profitable part of the operation, and then Bradken will compete with the likes of Masport and A.G Price foundries, who are also well established but won't be finding things easy. This was easily done, just by ensuring Hillside didn't get the contract for a new fleet of wagons. Game over.

fungus pudding
16-11-2012, 07:05 AM
The Hillside Railway workshop has operated since 1875. Under this term of a National Govt we have this sorry situation:
(as posted, with missing words etc, NZResources).



So National has set in place a process to drop 90 workers off the govt books, allow the private sector to buy/take the most profitable part of the operation, and then Bradken will compete with the likes of Masport and A.G Price foundries, who are also well established but won't be finding things easy. This was easily done, just by ensuring Hillside didn't get the contract for a new fleet of wagons. Game over.

For a kick-off Kiwirail is an SOE. This is not the govt's decision. But this had to happen. Hillside workshops belong in a bygone era. Of course it's tough for the employees, but the writings been on the wall for decades. Industries come and go and that's the world; and it's progress. Hillside once had over 800 workers who would build anything you wanted as long as you knew someone there. They ran a thriving business in clothes lines at one stasge. Management were allowed no say - it was run by the union. However that's all history. Dunedin will survive. It's amazing how things like this get so much publicity, but growing enterprises hardly get a mention. While hillside has wound down from 800 workers, the Otago University, Medical School, Dental school, Teachers College and the Polytechnic college have expanded by many thousands more employees. Dunedin is an academic city. There is no point in pretending it's a manufacturing place. That's change. There's nothing that can be done about it other than bs type propping up; and that's the sort of thinking that would still have a blacksmith's shop on every corner.

elZorro
16-11-2012, 09:35 AM
For a kick-off Kiwirail is an SOE. This is not the govt's decision. But this had to happen. Hillside workshops belong in a bygone era. Of course it's tough for the employees, but the writings been on the wall for decades. Industries come and go and that's the world; and it's progress. Hillside once had over 800 workers who would build anything you wanted as long as you knew someone there. They ran a thriving business in clothes lines at one stasge. Management were allowed no say - it was run by the union. However that's all history. Dunedin will survive. It's amazing how things like this get so much publicity, but growing enterprises hardly get a mention. While hillside has wound down from 800 workers, the Otago University, Medical School, Dental school, Teachers College and the Polytechnic college have expanded by many thousands more employees. Dunedin is an academic city. There is no point in pretending it's a manufacturing place. That's change. There's nothing that can be done about it other than bs type propping up; and that's the sort of thinking that would still have a blacksmith's shop on every corner.

Of course the flip side to your argument FP, is that most of the gear the Hillside workshops were producing is very heavy. Frieghting it into NZ by ship is now more expensive. The wagons were apparently 25% cheaper by being imported. Except the state now doesn't get the GST taxes, the PAYE, the flow-on profits from that part of the SOE, and will probably have to support some of those 90 families with social security. And then it turns out the imported wagons all had faulty brakes, meaning loss of service. The suppliers of the wagons are stuck here in NZ trying to fix them all. So 78% of Hillside is gone, the new AUSTRALIAN owner is going to keep 18 jobs there. Bet they got the plant at a bargain price.

Instead, National could have grown jobs at Hillside and elsewhere, like they promised to do at election time, but as usual it's just hot air. They cannot see past the market, it has to be done by the private sector, hands off. They can't see the advantages of being the government, what opportunities that provides. It's incredibly dumb, putting it politely.

POSSUM THE CAT
16-11-2012, 09:36 AM
Fungus Pudding where are all the jobs for these graduates going to come from. There are to many unemployed university graduates now. How many Media studies graduates do we need. Free trade is actually going to be arace to the bottom.

fungus pudding
16-11-2012, 09:51 AM
Fungus Pudding where are all the jobs for these graduates going to come from. There are to many unemployed university graduates now. How many Media studies graduates do we need. Free trade is actually going to be arace to the bottom.

Well, put the walls back up as things were when I grew up. NZ manufacturers were so protected that everything we bought was overpriced inferior rubbish - for those who could afford anything that is. Go and spend a year travelling the globe, looking at various countries, their politcal systems, etc and you might just realise how good NZ has got it.

elZorro
18-11-2012, 09:04 AM
Well, put the walls back up as things were when I grew up. NZ manufacturers were so protected that everything we bought was overpriced inferior rubbish - for those who could afford anything that is. Go and spend a year travelling the globe, looking at various countries, their politcal systems, etc and you might just realise how good NZ has got it.

Put aside the progress we've certainly made, and even which parties (supposedly on the left or right of centre) made some of them, and we need to look at what's happening right now, FP. Some very bad signs from National policy are showing up, based on a read of the SST business pages today.

Unlisted farming equipment manufacturer Tru-Test increases its EBITDA to $5.9mill, but this was on sales of over $100mill, and that's a good result? Many others doing worse no doubt. The manufacturing sector is not moving quickly enough to become "bespoke, tightly targeted.. innovating and working on distribution channels' as CEO Greg Muir says they need to.

John Key was on TV3 this morning defending the path of so-called fiscal responsibility, which is to cut govt costs to match the tax and other govt income, and get NZ's budget back to surplus. Except they cut the income back in the first place by reducing tax rates, and by sinking the employed sector with their own redundancies.

Far worse from my point of view is Rod Oram's column, pointing out some things I didn't realise were happening. OK, Rod might not be a National party fan either, but he's generally fair.

He says that the Key govt is producing weak growth and environmental degradation. They're keen on more food and mining/oil outputs at lower cost. Our outputs are not growing as fast as the overseas markets, so the problem is not over there, it's here. [The govt can't tell businesses that we must all tighten up our costs and produce cheaper goods no matter what the exchange rate, and to watch out for the nasty overseas financial situation that is causing them to be careful in their spending, and at the same time trumpet their role in encouraging innovation and high-tech outputs. These things are basically mutually exclusive].

Even John Key acknowledged on TV that the hundreds of thousands of NZ businesses needed to be encouraged to take on more staff. Well, what signals are we being given? Exactly the opposite ones.

Rod went on to explain that this National Govt is working away to severely damage our clean-green image.


Remember Bruce Wills, President of Federated Farmers, Dec 2011: For the record, I don't define ‘clean water' as the ability to drink straight out of the Tamaki River, but the ability to see your hands in water without falling ill afterwards. When you look at all of your daily uses of water, where it goes and what happens to it, what does clean water mean to you?


The Greens have forced the Key Govt to admit in parliament that the once-every-five-year report on the state of our environment has been canned (it was due next month). Instead they'll produce mini-reports. Many scientists thought the printed data was a bit tidied up anyway, but it usually painted a picture of steadily degrading waterways (http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/ser/enz07-dec07/html/chapter10-freshwater/page3.html). The Key govt is also cutting back on the number of NIWA water monitoring points in our waterways. (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10847255)These have been set up over many years by NIWA and others are run by the regional councils. Too many boffins required no doubt, and too embarassing for farmers.

The Key govt is also 'planning to introduce cost-benefit analysis into RMA consents for nutrient loading of rivers'. If this goes through (and I hope it never will) farmers will be able to degrade our rivers if they can show the 'economic' benefit. The Key govt wants to double food and beverage exports by 2025, to do that we'd need 75% more cows. Each cow being about 2% efficient in converting its food energy inputs, that's a great picture for our waterways.

Add this into the issue of us dropping out of the second phase of the Kyoto protocol to join USA, Canada, Russia and Japan, all heavy polluters, while Australia stays in, and we must hang our heads in shame environmentally.

Here are the adjectives Rod Oram uses to aptly describe the current govt: primitive, shameless, incompetent, unprincipled.

David Cunliffe provides more background. (http://blog.labour.org.nz/2012/11/15/national-100-dirty-on-the-environment-and-the-economy/)

Shearer's speech outlined. (http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/the-internaut/labour-conference-2012-david-shearer%e2%80%99s-speech-the-verdict/)

Leadership challenge? (http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/will-grant-robertson-get-chop-lf-131298)

fungus pudding
18-11-2012, 05:36 PM
Far worse from my point of view is Rod Oram's column, pointing out some things I didn't realise were happening. OK, Rod might not be a National party fan either, but he's generally fair.


There doesn't seem to be much point in reading any more of your post after that outrageous statement.

elZorro
18-11-2012, 05:43 PM
There doesn't seem to be much point in reading any more of your post after that outrageous statement.

Do you mean the National govt's policies regarding rivers?

POSSUM THE CAT
18-11-2012, 06:18 PM
Fungus Pudding only the very wealthy think that. Most business owners do not. As the bulk of their customers have no money to spend. 100 customers with $10 to spend is better than 5 with $25 to spend

fungus pudding
18-11-2012, 08:09 PM
Do you mean the National govt's policies regarding rivers?

I mean your ridiculous claim that Rod Oram is fair. He is possibly the most biased commentator around. National can do no right, and Labour can do no wrong. I can't be bothered with commentators like him.

fungus pudding
18-11-2012, 08:11 PM
Fungus Pudding only the very wealthy think that. Most business owners do not. As the bulk of their customers have no money to spend. 100 customers with $10 to spend is better than 5 with $25 to spend

Only the very wealthy think what? I'm not a mindreader.

elZorro
19-11-2012, 06:30 AM
I mean your ridiculous claim that Rod Oram is fair. He is possibly the most biased commentator around. National can do no right, and Labour can do no wrong. I can't be bothered with commentators like him.

Well, he seems to be held in high esteem by his peers in the journalistic world. Don't shoot the messenger FP.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Oram

fungus pudding
19-11-2012, 07:41 AM
Well, he seems to be held in high esteem by his peers in the journalistic world. Don't shoot the messenger FP.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Oram

That's because of his ability as a writer. There's no doubt he can construct a sentence on various subjects, but such awards ignore bias. He's a shocker.

elZorro
19-11-2012, 09:51 AM
That's because of his ability as a writer. There's no doubt he can construct a sentence on various subjects, but such awards ignore bias. He's a shocker.

Is he biased, or just making the effort to point out useful govt policy? Maybe he would make a great politician, or would it kill his energy?

He's emotionally attached to some of these ideas, that's for sure.

Major von Tempsky
20-11-2012, 02:43 PM
Given that only 29% of NZ voters thought Shearer was the best leader of the opposition vs 28% for Russell Norman ..... isn't the fervent PLP support for Shearer coming from the other 3 future leadership contenders Parker, Robertson and Little, who don't want Cunliffe to steal a march on them?

elZorro
20-11-2012, 06:22 PM
Given that only 29% of NZ voters thought Shearer was the best leader of the opposition vs 28% for Russell Norman ..... isn't the fervent PLP support for Shearer coming from the other 3 future leadership contenders Parker, Robertson and Little, who don't want Cunliffe to steal a march on them?

Actually I like the look of the background of David Parker, MVT. He'd make a good deputy for Shearer perhaps. FP will be happy - David Cunliffe is out of the picture for a while. I think he's done David Shearer a favour.

fungus pudding
20-11-2012, 06:39 PM
[QUOTE=elZorro;385728]Actually I like the look of the background of David Parker, MVT. [QUOTE]

Perhaps you should have a closer look at his background.

Major von Tempsky
21-11-2012, 07:31 AM
Hmmm, according to the media this morning "many MPs refused to commit themselves for the February vote".

But then he'd (Parker) would make a good deputy to Cunliffe perhaps.

So, say Shearer gets a bit of a sympathy/dead cat bounce in the next poll and then inexorably, bit by bit his support keeps slipping away in the polls to the next February vote....

craic
21-11-2012, 02:31 PM
This whole debacle means little to the committed Labour voter who has followed his parents and would rather cut off his ear than vote National. Some, and I suspect quite a few, will be glad to see the end of Cunliffe. If he climbs back to the top and gains any significant support, then I suspect that Labour will be in more trouble than they can cope with. All the people he has alienated will be off together with Shearers supporters - we might even see a brand new New Labour.

slimwin
21-11-2012, 07:05 PM
New Labour-now where have I heard that before? Oh,that's right, it absolutely screwed the UK.

fungus pudding
21-11-2012, 08:01 PM
New Labour-now where have I heard that before? Oh,that's right, it absolutely screwed the UK.

And never forget Comrade Jim Anderton formed 'The New Labour party' in 1989 after leaving the original labour mob.

craic
21-11-2012, 10:33 PM
Maybe its aboutime for someone outside th Labour party to steal the initiative and create a party that is based on the principals of the olriginal socialists. The evolution of technology is rapidly reducing the need for"workers" to fill the varius roles and we are reaching the stage where we need to reevaluate the concept of employers and employees. Milliions of "jobs" worldwide are being replaced by bits of technologyand this will not lessen with time. How do we deal with the unemployment that that will cause? I am happy to live on pension and continue to brew the ethanol ( bourbon brand) that allows me to rave on at 11.22 on aWednesday night. I might even cut a cord or so of wood tomorrow to buy some more sugar to make some ethanol or I might do a bit more fencing. Ironically, at 75 I appear to be self employed as well as pissed as aferret. And I am more than happy with that situation

elZorro
22-11-2012, 06:45 AM
Maybe its aboutime for someone outside th Labour party to steal the initiative and create a party that is based on the principals of the olriginal socialists. The evolution of technology is rapidly reducing the need for"workers" to fill the varius roles and we are reaching the stage where we need to reevaluate the concept of employers and employees. Milliions of "jobs" worldwide are being replaced by bits of technologyand this will not lessen with time. How do we deal with the unemployment that that will cause? I am happy to live on pension and continue to brew the ethanol ( bourbon brand) that allows me to rave on at 11.22 on aWednesday night. I might even cut a cord or so of wood tomorrow to buy some more sugar to make some ethanol or I might do a bit more fencing. Ironically, at 75 I appear to be self employed as well as pissed as aferret. And I am more than happy with that situation

Hilarious Craic, but also disturbingly sensible given the picture you painted for us..

I would have very little to show for years of work without the abilities of employees and contractors. We should all move up in income together, it's like the sharemarket. You don't buy a share without ensuring there is a cohort doing the same. Now all I want is a govt that shares that view, I want to see the right messages coming out before I employ any new staff, and invest more in the business.

fungus pudding
22-11-2012, 08:00 AM
. Now all I want is a govt that shares that view, I want to see the right messages coming out before I employ any new staff, and invest more in the business.

The govt. is not holding you back in any way. They want businesses to employ more staff, and have taken several sensible steps to make that easier for employers. So go ahead and employ as many as you want; you're also at liberty to pay them as much as you like. The govt. could help in that admittedly by introducing a flat tax, so as you pay them more, the percentage they pay in tax wouldn't rise, even though they would be paying more tax.

elZorro
22-11-2012, 09:06 AM
The govt. is not holding you back in any way. They want businesses to employ more staff, and have taken several sensible steps to make that easier for employers. So go ahead and employ as many as you want; you're also at liberty to pay them as much as you like. The govt. could help in that admittedly by introducing a flat tax, so as you pay them more, the percentage they pay in tax wouldn't rise, even though they would be paying more tax.

Look FP, that's great coming from you, when you've already stated quite smugly that you'd not be crazy enough to ever employ anyone. How many other right-thinking voters are like you - this is partly why there are so many unemployed.

I want to hear from govt that we're all moving into higher value work, that govt understands employers might need a push in the right direction, because they'll be collecting extra taxes from that work. I don't want to see that govt is ransacking their own companies and laying off staff, in a short-sighted manner. How does that encourage me to do anything apart from hunkering down?

fungus pudding
22-11-2012, 09:29 AM
Look FP, that's great coming from you, when you've already stated quite smugly that you'd not be crazy enough to ever employ anyone. How many other right-thinking voters are like you - this is partly why there are so many unemployed.



Nothing smug about it, and nothing to do with 'right thinking', by which I presume you are talking about political outlook rather than meaning correct. (Incidentally, I have voted Labour more times than I have voted National. I am interested in policies - not parties, although the personel of the parties matters.) I simply choose to operate as a one-man band because I don't like the laws that apply to employers. I have several friends who are owner operators of their own businesses and each and every one of them is nervous, possibly over-cautious, about taking on a new employee. I'll bet you know some who are like that, and you probably are yourself, because the reasons you give for not employing more staff, are illogical.''I'm not employing more people - cos the world's not perfect, I don't like the govt., etc'' is nonsense.

BIRMANBOY
22-11-2012, 10:28 AM
EZ allowing yourself to be "hunkered down" is simply a defensive, re-active posture. Any neutral observer I would have thought would be heartened by seeing the Govt. undergoing cost cutting and belt tightening as is necessary. This shows they have the courage of their convictions and have a vision of the way forward. If you were a pro-active entity you would make decisions for your business based on the actual climate of your business not what the Govt "might" do or the current "global crisis". Trying to solve the "Govts problems" is a sure sign the owner has gotten distacted from what they know best..their own business.

elZorro
22-11-2012, 12:52 PM
EZ allowing yourself to be "hunkered down" is simply a defensive, re-active posture. Any neutral observer I would have thought would be heartened by seeing the Govt. undergoing cost cutting and belt tightening as is necessary. This shows they have the courage of their convictions and have a vision of the way forward. If you were a pro-active entity you would make decisions for your business based on the actual climate of your business not what the Govt "might" do or the current "global crisis". Trying to solve the "Govts problems" is a sure sign the owner has gotten distacted from what they know best..their own business.

BB, I didn't think you were a manufacturer (do you add value to goods?), but feel free to give me some more good advice. Cost cutting and belt tightening is a euphemism for putting previously employed staff onto the dole. Lean manufacturing, just-in-time manufacturing, reducing back office staff, more common phrases. It means the business or govt has given up on ensuring they have good profits to work with. They'll then be joining a race to the bottom - a battle we cannot win from over here. Let's take what we have here and add value to it, and certainly let overseas markets know about all the clever stuff we can do. The Chinese aren't backward at selling their products and services internationally via the web and email, why don't we?

fungus pudding
22-11-2012, 01:56 PM
BB, I didn't think you were a manufacturer (do you add value to goods?), but feel free to give me some more good advice. Cost cutting and belt tightening is a euphemism for putting previously employed staff onto the dole. Lean manufacturing, just-in-time manufacturing, reducing back office staff, more common phrases. It means the business or govt has given up on ensuring they have good profits to work with. They'll then be joining a race to the bottom - a battle we cannot win from over here. Let's take what we have here and add value to it, and certainly let overseas markets know about all the clever stuff we can do. The Chinese aren't backward at selling their products and services internationally via the web and email, why don't we?

So now, are we to understand that you won't employ more staff because some NZ companies don't sell online?

BIRMANBOY
22-11-2012, 02:11 PM
EZ we look forward to you entering the Chinese marketplace and demonstrating you new found proactivity. Euphanisms are a fine thing to use...they lower the "hurt" factor. If you want to call it what is ..how about if we call it getting rid of overpaid, low performing pencil pushers and or the new equivalent and attempting to turn them into employable individuals with new skills and some hope for the future. As an importer/wholesaler I saw the writing on the collective wall many, many years ago and realized the only way to do business (in my field) was to import and market the imported products. Thereby employing myself and others along the way. It would have been an exercise in futility and loss making trying to create a manufacturing entity. What seems to be missing in your various posts is the ability to recognise that the Govt is trying to make the distinction between business that has a chance to compete and those that will inevitably be left wanting. I'm happy to give you some good advice ...what worries me is you wouldnt know it if you fell over it:)
BB, I didn't think you were a manufacturer (do you add value to goods?), but feel free to give me some more good advice. Cost cutting and belt tightening is a euphemism for putting previously employed staff onto the dole. Lean manufacturing, just-in-time manufacturing, reducing back office staff, more common phrases. It means the business or govt has given up on ensuring they have good profits to work with. They'll then be joining a race to the bottom - a battle we cannot win from over here. Let's take what we have here and add value to it, and certainly let overseas markets know about all the clever stuff we can do. The Chinese aren't backward at selling their products and services internationally via the web and email, why don't we?

elZorro
22-11-2012, 02:13 PM
So now, are we to understand that you won't employ more staff because some NZ companies don't sell online?

No, that wasn't what I was saying, maybe you should read the post again FP. We all need to be finding our profitable places in the international markets. The market won't come to us. I have observed clients who do make the effort overseas, they almost always succeed in bringing back a lot of business for NZ manufacturing. It's just there's not enough of them confident in giving it a go.

elZorro
22-11-2012, 02:22 PM
EZ we look forward to you entering the Chinese marketplace and demonstrating you new found proactivity. Euphanisms are a fine thing to use...they lower the "hurt" factor. If you want to call it what is ..how about if we call it getting rid of overpaid, low performing pencil pushers and or the new equivalent and attempting to turn them into employable individuals with new skills and some hope for the future. As an importer/wholesaler I saw the writing on the collective wall many, many years ago and realized the only way to do business (in my field) was to import and market the imported products. Thereby employing myself and others along the way. It would have been an exercise in futility and loss making trying to create a manufacturing entity. What seems to be missing in your various posts is the ability to recognise that the Govt is trying to make the distinction between business that has a chance to compete and those that will inevitably be left wanting. I'm happy to give you some good advice ...what worries me is you wouldnt know it if you fell over it:)

Touchy there BB, yes I can see your agenda now. The National govt has decided which manufacturing businesses will succeed, it is only those with a turnover of 3 mill or more, if they are already spending on R&D. The rest can just struggle on, trying to get up this level. For the bigger firms, doors will be held open. That's very handy, a lot less paperwork for govt. Because it only applies to a few firms, and the fact that they probably don't need this part-funding or incentive anyway, is apparently beside the point. Think of the site visits, the press, the kudos. The National Govt's doing the job. Meanwhile tens of thousands emigrate or join the dole queue.

BIRMANBOY
22-11-2012, 02:59 PM
EZ as usual you are talking fast but but not necessarily with full knowledge of the facts. NZ has a net immigration (inflow) of 2.26 per 1000 inhabitants. Unemployment shows that Nz is ranked reasonably globally being 68 out of 199 with Monaco being #1 (no unemployed) and Zimbabwe at 199 with 95% unemployment. Perhaps you should try complaining to Mr. Mugabe...I'm sure he would be happy to listen to you.
Touchy there BB, yes I can see your agenda now. The National govt has decided which manufacturing businesses will succeed, it is only those with a turnover of 3 mill or more, if they are already spending on R&D. The rest can just struggle on, trying to get up this level. For the bigger firms, doors will be held open. That's very handy, a lot less paperwork for govt. Because it only applies to a few firms, and the fact that they probably don't need this part-funding or incentive anyway, is apparently beside the point. Think of the site visits, the press, the kudos. The National Govt's doing the job. Meanwhile tens of thousands emigrate or join the dole queue.

fungus pudding
22-11-2012, 03:06 PM
No, that wasn't what I was saying, maybe you should read the post again FP. We all need to be finding our profitable places in the international markets. The market won't come to us. I have observed clients who do make the effort overseas, they almost always succeed in bringing back a lot of business for NZ manufacturing. It's just there's not enough of them confident in giving it a go.

So if it's all these other companies not doing there bit, surely that leaves the door open for you. Are you now saying you won't employ any more staff because not enough of these other companies are confident?

elZorro
22-11-2012, 03:13 PM
EZ as usual you are talking fast but but not necessarily with full knowledge of the facts. NZ has a net immigration (inflow) of 2.26 per 1000 inhabitants. Unemployment shows that Nz is ranked reasonably globally being 68 out of 199 with Monaco being #1 (no unemployed) and Zimbabwe at 199 with 95% unemployment. Perhaps you should try complaining to Mr. Mugabe...I'm sure he would be happy to listen to you.

OK, you missed the point on purpose, so here's what I should have written..

Meanwhile tens of thousands of skilled and trained NZers emigrate or join the dole queue.

elZorro
22-11-2012, 03:22 PM
So if it's all these other companies not doing there bit, surely that leaves the door open for you. Are you now saying you won't employ any more staff because not enough of these other companies are confident?

I don't blame the companies for not doing their bit, FP. I'm not running a perfect operation either. But I am giving some other companies an edge, and I can pick up pebbles off the beach anytime I want to (Einstein quote). I'm just saying that for firms to ignore the GFC ructions, to note savings positions with the public cashflow and the general govt tightening up, there will need to be a carrot or two. So National can claim all they like about the brave new world, and spend a few million here and there. That's not going to work for the hundreds of thousands of small businesses. They have to start working on ideas that do target that massive sector. You know they'll never do that, because they'd need too many 'pen-pushers'.

fungus pudding
22-11-2012, 03:30 PM
I don't blame the companies for not doing their bit, FP. I'm not running a perfect operation either. But I am giving some other companies an edge, and I can pick up pebbles off the beach anytime I want to (Einstein quote). I'm just saying that for firms to ignore the GFC ructions, to note savings positions with the public cashflow and the general govt tightening up, there will need to be a carrot or two. So National can claim all they like about the brave new world, and spend a few million here and there. That's not going to work for the hundreds of thousands of small businesses. They have to start working on ideas that do target that massive sector. You know they'll never do that, because they'd need too many 'pen-pushers'.

None of the reasons you have given justify your stance that you won't employ because of the govt. In fact everything in all your posts is no more than anti-National govt. nonsense. National aren't perfect but they're a long way ahead of the current Labour lot, who have no hope of governing without the frightening thought of influence from the Greens. Open your eyes - the govt. doesn't run your business - you do, and while you may not get your beloved R+D credits, there must still be revenue generating avenues open to you. If you can't be bothered, but just want to moan about the govt., why are you still in business?

BIRMANBOY
22-11-2012, 03:37 PM
Oh....ok so I MISSED something (obviously on purpose) because you SHOULD have written it.. but didnt..EZ you should have gone away for the weekend early..might have helped clear your head. Skilled and trained in what?? Pounamu carving? Advanced linguistic neural pathways engineer? Running on empty again bud.
OK, you missed the point on purpose, so here's what I should have written..

Meanwhile tens of thousands of skilled and trained NZers emigrate or join the dole queue.

BIRMANBOY
22-11-2012, 04:47 PM
EZ it would appear that you (along with all your equally needy labour mates) have a fully developed sense of entitlement but a lightly formed view of how and where that entitlement is going to be derived from. As much as you would like to believe that its the Govts yob to help you...its just financially impossible to be hand holding every single small business. At some point the Govt, (whether it be NAT or LAB) has to say..up to you to get pro-active, get out there, stop complaining and pull your finger out. Confucious say man with finger in has limited ability to move hand.
Touchy there BB, yes I can see your agenda now. The National govt has decided which manufacturing businesses will succeed, it is only those with a turnover of 3 mill or more, if they are already spending on R&D. The rest can just struggle on, trying to get up this level. For the bigger firms, doors will be held open. That's very handy, a lot less paperwork for govt. Because it only applies to a few firms, and the fact that they probably don't need this part-funding or incentive anyway, is apparently beside the point. Think of the site visits, the press, the kudos. The National Govt's doing the job. Meanwhile tens of thousands emigrate or join the dole queue.

elZorro
22-11-2012, 05:35 PM
FP and BB, I'm just very pleased I don't think like you two. Where did I complain about how tough it is, because we're doing well and paying good taxes from here. If anything I'm employing more staff each year. And our firm is doing a lot more to help the economy along than you two appear to be doing. Maybe that's because I'm not in it just for me. My firm provides some of the income for several families. My sadness is in seeing National undoing the good work that Labour put in place over two terms. In fact National is undoing the work of generations of workers, and here I mean anyone who works in NZ earning a living.

No matter how crude you'd like to make your posts BB, they don't make any better sense, and I'm a bit like Barry Crump. No matter what I might think, I won't be unseemly enough to put it into writing.

BIRMANBOY
22-11-2012, 08:35 PM
Lets face it EZ...we know and hopefully you do, that underneath the confused posts and contradictory comments that you make...the basic fact is YOU LIKE COMPLAINING. If labour was in power you would be complaining about them. I understand this need. For many people its a usefull distraction from other things that are pro-active, productive or positive endeavors. Reminds me of a cartoon I saw once with a serial demonstrator with a double sided placard..one side was "Republicans ruining the economy" and on the other was "Democrats ruining the economy". Bottom line is he was going to complain about someone, regardless of the facts. This type of behaviour is simply a waste of time. Obviously you believe in your own mind that National is "bad" but there is no real developed grunt behind that ..just a shallow emotional reaction. Sort of like a childs arguement..they cant reason so resort to the tried and true " because". You can be as "unseemly" as you like...doesnt bother me.
FP and BB, I'm just very pleased I don't think like you two. Where did I complain about how tough it is, because we're doing well and paying good taxes from here. If anything I'm employing more staff each year. And our firm is doing a lot more to help the economy along than you two appear to be doing. Maybe that's because I'm not in it just for me. My firm provides some of the income for several families. My sadness is in seeing National undoing the good work that Labour put in place over two terms. In fact National is undoing the work of generations of workers, and here I mean anyone who works in NZ earning a living.

No matter how crude you'd like to make your posts BB, they don't make any better sense, and I'm a bit like Barry Crump. No matter what I might think, I won't be unseemly enough to put it into writing.

elZorro
22-11-2012, 10:46 PM
Lets face it EZ...we know and hopefully you do, that underneath the confused posts and contradictory comments that you make...the basic fact is YOU LIKE COMPLAINING. If labour was in power you would be complaining about them. I understand this need. For many people its a usefull distraction from other things that are pro-active, productive or positive endeavors. Reminds me of a cartoon I saw once with a serial demonstrator with a double sided placard..one side was "Republicans ruining the economy" and on the other was "Democrats ruining the economy". Bottom line is he was going to complain about someone, regardless of the facts. This type of behaviour is simply a waste of time. Obviously you believe in your own mind that National is "bad" but there is no real developed grunt behind that ..just a shallow emotional reaction. Sort of like a childs arguement..they cant reason so resort to the tried and true " because". You can be as "unseemly" as you like...doesnt bother me.

At least your last post was out of the gutter BB. You should have a look over my posts elsewhere, I'm not always in attack mode I'd hope. I'm as optimistic as the next person, maybe more so. But I don't like being lied to by anybody, especially politicians. Take it from me, that in the one small area of govt policy I know a bit about, National have lied about their reasoning. Now I can see why that was, they are committed to gutting the public sector while they are in office. Simple thinking. They have to remove any policies that require staff, and R&D tax credits were potentially just one of them. Despite the very real opportunities this policy presented for the wider NZ. All our trading partners have a policy like this, or remarkably pro-business tax concessions. Don't start squawking again, I'm not proposing that we go this far. But National did the opposite, they took the small incentive away and then set the barrier to other incentives well above most businesses. Some of the cash they freed up from this area was then concentrated in grants to a few big firms, all of whom were already doing well above average. They had to be, or they wouldn't have received the grants, under the criteria.

Then to compound this lie, National MPs are strutting around pretending that they are pro-innovation. They're more likely to take us back 20 years. How long will it take the manufacturing sector to build itself back up again? If as you say, all of these firms were doomed and we are far better off without them, try remembering the fine line between a firm employing hundreds for decades, with the owners enjoying a small profit, and the firm closing down manufacturing completely for the lack of some small incentives, perhaps a simple one-off adjustment, offset by future tax revenues, as compared to unemployment costs. FPA for example (missed out on recent grants because their R&D percentage was too low). F&P spun out FPH. Why couldn't they have spun off numerous other tech businesses, given a bit of room?

If NZ firms allow in overseas shareholders or are bought out, over time the NZ IP is often simply keyed into computers and whisked off overseas. R&D is nearly halted in NZ while this process is completed - it's very obvious looking back - and then it's gone. It's not that these NZ firms were old dogs, they had good IP, they just weren't encouraged during tricky periods of their life cycles. A useful policy would be that any govt assistance had to be held in NZ owned and domiciled businesses for x years, or refunded.

Labour aren't perfect by any means, and I admit the rank and file don't seem to dress as smartly as the business-like National party, but some of their policies were very useful, and I liked the look of NZ when they were in office.

How about you tell us what National are doing that's helping the economy pick itself up.

iceman
23-11-2012, 08:12 AM
Typical result of Labour's ill thought out policies, this one being one of the worst and most stupid Clark & Cullen introduced during their 9 year rampage :

Fourteen Australian-based Kiwi student-loan borrowers may be bankrupted or stripped of their assets for repeatedly failing to repay their debts.

Inland Revenue is pursuing the Kiwi expats through the courts as part of its drive to collect overdue repayments from overseas borrowers.

The first legal action against student debtors overseas was prefaced by a warning letter sent out to 45 people late last year.

That was enough to galvanise most into action, but some remain recalcitrant.

"These borrowers continue to ignore their repayment obligations despite numerous contacts with them by our staff," said Inland Revenue collections manager Richard Owen.

"The others have been able to resolve their situation with our staff and have made repayments toward their student loan debt."

Mr Owen said judgment would be obtained in New Zealand, and Inland Revenue would apply to have it sealed in the Supreme Court of Australia if the borrowers continued to renege on their debts.

That judgment would then be enforced using several possible remedies, including charging orders, asset seizure and even bankruptcy.

Another option was garnishee notices, which would make the debtors' employers send a proportion of their wages directly to Inland Revenue.

Mr Owen said taking legal action was a last resort. However, borrowers living overseas needed to be aware that "they may have gone away, but their student loan has not".

Inland Revenue is also in the final stages of contracting private tracing agencies and debt collectors to act on its behalf overseas.

New Zealand Union of Students' Associations president Pete Hodkinson acknowledged that some people were taking advantage of the student loan scheme.

"If we can get those people to pay, that's fantastic - chiefly because it's their behaviour that's used to justify dropping student support," he said.

But he criticised arbitrary policy changes such as the slashing of the overseas repayment holiday from three years to one, which came into effect in April.

"We don't believe that any student overseas for longer than a year should be considered a criminal because of that shifting of goalposts."

Inland Revenue has collected $42 million in the two years since the start of the repayment drive, or about 10 per cent of the $418m owed by students living overseas that is overdue.

elZorro
23-11-2012, 09:54 AM
Iceman, the earlier cohort was put through university entirely on the taxpayer, and now students are required to pay for a small portion of their tertiary education costs. It's still a lot of money for a student. National has just arbitrarily changed the rules and wonder why students are having trouble paying it back. IRD is getting mean in all sorts of areas, when the big picture is what they should be looking at. Foreign companies running businesses in NZ and using tax havens and royalties, etc to get the profits back out. Overseas owned banks making $700 a year profit out of every NZer - an incredible ROI when mortgage interest costs are under 10% and the margin in theory a lot less. How are they doing it?

Students, unemployed, sickness beneficiaries and pencil pushers, these are the targets for the National govt. If we could only get rid of them all, or make sure they aren't getting a free ride off the crippling taxes we're paying..

But in fact we all have times in our lives when having the state on our side is important. And NZ taxes are light on average. IRD and govt needs to concentrate on the bigger income earners and asset holders, if they're looking for more (proportional/fair) tax income.

iceman
23-11-2012, 02:57 PM
Lots of students and their families have taken on a much bigger loan than they should have or indeed needed, because of the crazy 0% interest policy Clark introduced on the eve of election when polls were showing her down and out. I do not feel sorry for any students having to pay their FREE money back at a reasonable rate when they've entered the workforce.

elZorro
23-11-2012, 04:58 PM
Lots of students and their families have taken on a much bigger loan than they should have or indeed needed, because of the crazy 0% interest policy Clark introduced on the eve of election when polls were showing her down and out. I do not feel sorry for any students having to pay their FREE money back at a reasonable rate when they've entered the workforce.

But the story here is that govt money is not really loaned to students. In previous years those students fees were all paid for. So it's a bookkeeping entry, reducing the overall cost of tertiary education per student. In any case the interest cost wouldn't be much. It was a fair enough election ploy, and note National haven't taken that back, too many votes, and too useful. The student loan cash partially flows into the retail sector, and then govt collects tax on it (GST, PAYE, income tax, levies). So they're doing even better than they were before the student fees were established.

Are 18 year olds ready for the responsibility of $20,000 loans though? That is my concern. Of course the govt would be able to collect the repayments more easily if they could keep graduates in NZ, and in good employment. National is letting the market do that on its behalf, and the market is turning away.

iceman
24-11-2012, 06:07 AM
eZ, last numbers I saw, some time ago (mid 2011 ?), showed that around 88,000 student loan borrowers are living overseas and the total student loan debt stood at $2.3 Billion, with around $200 million overdue. National has introduced various initiatives to make it easier for borrowers to make voluntary payments in line with the the contracts they signed, such as early repayment discounts etc. But at the same time they have got tough on defaulters (basically people that have no intention of paying back) chasing them both in Australia and the UK. This has recouped significant amounts of money for the Government and I understand there are clear signs people now realise the Government is intent on getting the money back so voluntary repayments are increasing. This is good. Remember many of these borrowers are now high income earners, many overseas, and they should be paying the money back. For NZ residents they increased the repayment rate from 10% to 12% of earnings but only for those earning more than $370 per week. Again, good job.

How things were done in the past is irrelevant. The people (students and their families) that took on these loans on very favourable terms with clearly set out obligations to repay, should honour it and pay the money back when they are in the workforce and can pay it back. The young farmer who takes over his farm from his family does not get interest free loans to buy the farm but yet they know and accept they have to pay the loan back, WITH INTEREST !

elZorro
24-11-2012, 08:10 AM
eZ, last numbers I saw, some time ago (mid 2011 ?), showed that around 88,000 student loan borrowers are living overseas and the total student loan debt stood at $2.3 Billion, with around $200 million overdue. National has introduced various initiatives to make it easier for borrowers to make voluntary payments in line with the the contracts they signed, such as early repayment discounts etc. But at the same time they have got tough on defaulters (basically people that have no intention of paying back) chasing them both in Australia and the UK. This has recouped significant amounts of money for the Government and I understand there are clear signs people now realise the Government is intent on getting the money back so voluntary repayments are increasing. This is good. Remember many of these borrowers are now high income earners, many overseas, and they should be paying the money back. For NZ residents they increased the repayment rate from 10% to 12% of earnings but only for those earning more than $370 per week. Again, good job.

How things were done in the past is irrelevant. The people (students and their families) that took on these loans on very favourable terms with clearly set out obligations to repay, should honour it and pay the money back when they are in the workforce and can pay it back. The young farmer who takes over his farm from his family does not get interest free loans to buy the farm but yet they know and accept they have to pay the loan back, WITH INTEREST !

Thanks for the data, Iceman. The average bad debt from the overseas graduates is $2,200 each based on that, but I'd be unsure that all of the debtors are in full-time work. Sure, they should honour the contract. Part of having student loans is the govt making sure that those who go on to tertiary education have a good think about how committed they are. Not a bad result in itself. How hard should the govt chase this overdue debt with possibly thousands of individuals, when it took them years to rein in the big Aussie banks for dodging NZ taxes worth a lot more?

While it may be very hard for many farmers to make a good annual profit from a substantial investment, the entire cost of the loan interest on the land and their living quarters is an expense against income, and unlike our graduates overseas, this income will generally keep coming in, they cannot be easily made redundant. Farmers are also usually able to buy and sell their major investment at suitable times in the value cycle, providing a tax-free capital gain.

POSSUM THE CAT
24-11-2012, 03:39 PM
Iceman Even at $370 per cash in hand who could afford to make payments on there student loan. Let alone a gross $370.00 Are you dreaming just as hard as these idiots in the Govt. that set it.

iceman
25-11-2012, 09:47 AM
Iceman Even at $370 per cash in hand who could afford to make payments on there student loan. Let alone a gross $370.00 Are you dreaming just as hard as these idiots in the Govt. that set it.

PTC, the point I am trying to make is that there are many many people that are now earning good money with no intention to pay. I don't agree with that attitude. Simple really. Those that struggle, such as people earning net $ 370 p.w., have many many ways to "cut the cloth" to suit their repayment ability, just contact IRD and deal with it. So NO, I don't think I am dreaming at all.

POSSUM THE CAT
26-11-2012, 07:17 AM
Iceman are you suggesting a token payment of 1cent that would probably cost at least $5.00 to process or are you prepared to come up with your solutions to living on $370.00 per week especially in Auckland.

iceman
26-11-2012, 07:33 AM
Iceman are you suggesting a token payment of 1cent that would probably cost at least $5.00 to process or are you prepared to come up with your solutions to living on $370.00 per week especially in Auckland.

I think you have twisted my words quite a bit PTC. I have been talking about the need for students to pay back their loans. Many of them are now in high incomes overseas and can easily afford repayments. They are the people that are being targeted by recent Government initiatives and I wholeheartedly agree with it.There are various options, including "payment holiday"options for low income people to use. I do not have any solutions for people living on $370 pw, in Auckland or elsewhere and never claimed to, but don't think the solutions will be through a student loan scheme !

fungus pudding
26-11-2012, 08:15 AM
Iceman Even at $370 per cash in hand who could afford to make payments on there student loan. Let alone a gross $370.00 Are you dreaming just as hard as these idiots in the Govt. that set it.

Read Iceman's post. He mentions high earners, and others 'when they can pay it back'. And we all know he's dead right.

Major von Tempsky
28-11-2012, 07:18 PM
Hmm, I have 4 adult children and they have all paid their student loans back....does that mean there is something wrong with them....

fungus pudding
28-11-2012, 07:39 PM
Hmm, I have 4 adult children and they have all paid their student loans back....does that mean there is something wrong with them....

Well, they're certainly not normal. :eek2:

Major von Tempsky
29-11-2012, 07:59 AM
One of them lives overseas - in Montreal, and another one of the 4 paid back her loan while she was overseas - London.

So it is possible. You don't have to lie, cheat, steal, vote Labour......

slimwin
29-11-2012, 08:14 AM
I'm presuming they did useful courses that gave them job prospects at the end. No underwater sheep farming papers.

iceman
29-11-2012, 08:15 AM
One of them lives overseas - in Montreal, and another one of the 4 paid back her loan while she was overseas - London.

So it is possible. You don't have to lie, cheat, steal, vote Labour......

Well done by them. Most of the defaulters could just as easily as your children pay back the money us tax payers LENT them for free, but for many of them the feeling of entitlement is above the feeling of responsibility when it comes to dealing with the Government, i.e. us taxpayers

fungus pudding
29-11-2012, 08:52 AM
Well done by them. Most of the defaulters could just as easily as your children pay back the money us tax payers LENT them for free, but for many of them the feeling of entitlement is above the feeling of responsibility when it comes to dealing with the Government, i.e. us taxpayers

That can't be right. I distinctly recall Dr. Cullen being challenged when he made the loans interest free, that there would be less incentive to repay any faster than they absolutely had to. He dismissed that and absolutely assured us that they would now repay faster their loans because the overrall debt would be less with interest gone.

BIRMANBOY
29-11-2012, 10:48 AM
Cullen always was completely convinced his thinking was faultless...smart guy but certainly did not get it right there. Interest free but wheres the buy in, where's the responsibility, where's the penalty. A good idea but lacking sufficient substance would be the report card. Maybe we should automatically revoke any degrees or certification unless repayment terms are being complied with. If you dont pay your house mortgage payments the banks will certainly take action. Whats the difference?
That can't be right. I distinctly recall Dr. Cullen being challenged when he made the loans interest free, that there would be less incentive to repay any faster than they absolutely had to. He dismissed that and absolutely assured us that they would now repay faster their loans because the overrall debt would be less with interest gone.

elZorro
29-11-2012, 02:12 PM
Cullen always was completely convinced his thinking was faultless...smart guy but certainly did not get it right there. Interest free but wheres the buy in, where's the responsibility, where's the penalty. A good idea but lacking sufficient substance would be the report card. Maybe we should automatically revoke any degrees or certification unless repayment terms are being complied with. If you dont pay your house mortgage payments the banks will certainly take action. Whats the difference?

Isn't it already enough of a penalty for students, that they have to pay for an increasing proportion of their tertiary education?

I'm all for the creativity behind the Hobbit movies, but to ensure this transitory project stayed here, the government and local bodies coughed up nearly $100million, defrayed against the higher employee taxes and spend no doubt. So it's a business transaction, commonsense. But the tax benefits went to a smallish group, some domiciled overseas. Could we have done a sweetheart deal like this on something that had longer-term and tangible benefits for NZ?

Student loans are spread around hundreds of thousands of NZ-trained students, and the outstanding amount is only $200mill. It's a business deal, that money will come back in the end. With interest, effectively, from higher productivity. Cullen's no mug.

fungus pudding
29-11-2012, 02:23 PM
Isn't it already enough of a penalty for students, that they have to pay for an increasing proportion of their tertiary education?

I'm all for the creativity behind the Hobbit movies, but to ensure this transitory project stayed here, the government and local bodies coughed up nearly $100million, defrayed against the higher employee taxes and spend no doubt. So it's a business transaction, commonsense. But the tax benefits went to a smallish group, some domiciled overseas. Could we have done a sweetheart deal like this on something that had longer-term and tangible benefits for NZ?



Not easily. Most of the benefits are simply a rebate.

slimwin
29-11-2012, 04:11 PM
The sweetheart deal only had to be coughed up because some dim-witted unionists (most not even from NZ) thought they could get free money on top if what was already a fair industry wage. The actual actors were not complaining. How about we send that bill to the union.

iceman
30-11-2012, 07:41 AM
Has anyone been studying Labour's new housing policy and what do people think ? Sounds great. Build 1.15 houses on average PER HOUR over the next 10 years and all costing under $300,000. I'm in :) Mind you, Labour's finance spokesman got his numbers wrong when asked about this and said it was indeed ONLY 0.15 per hour. OMG, lets pray he will NEVER be our finance minister and that we don't get a Labour/Greens/Winnie Government with this lot in charge !!

fungus pudding
30-11-2012, 08:25 AM
Has anyone been studying Labour's new housing policy and what do people think ? Sounds great. Build 1.15 houses on average PER HOUR over the next 10 years and all costing under $300,000. I'm in :) Mind you, Labour's finance spokesman got his numbers wrong when asked about this and said it was indeed ONLY 0.15 per hour. OMG, lets pray he will NEVER be our finance minister and that we don't get a Labour/Greens/Winnie Government with this lot in charge !!

The proposal is beyond belief - and they know it. It's a vote getter for the gullible. If Labour believed it possible they should do it now; they'd gain enough kudos to clean up in the election. There's no cost involved they say, no law changes required, so nothing stopping them issuing bonds right away, even though they're in opposition. They could start taking options on sections priced under $100,000 today. Perhaps 150,000 in Queenstown, 350,000 in Christchurch and 500,000 in auckland - they are the areas they identified as highest demand. Go for it Labour - get them signed up before Christmas. Show those skeptics!

slimwin
30-11-2012, 08:25 AM
That's something i don't hope for too. The housing policy needs to be looked at though. I'm all for cross party consensus on ideas that are good instead of the default mode of rejecting ideas because the other party thought of it. Land availability has to be a big part of the equation. Economies of scale can only do so much.id like to know what it would do to existing prices as well.no point putting tens of thousands into a negative equity situation.

fungus pudding
30-11-2012, 08:41 AM
That's something i don't hope for too. The housing policy needs to be looked at though. I'm all for cross party consensus on ideas that are good instead of the default mode of rejecting ideas because the other party thought of it. Land availability has to be a big part of the equation. Economies of scale can only do so much.id like to know what it would do to existing prices as well.no point putting tens of thousands into a negative equity situation.

I agree that policies from all parties should be considered, but this one is off the wall when you spend an hour going through figures.

iceman
30-11-2012, 09:37 PM
Same here FP. No doubt at all that we need some policy changes in housing (and superannuation, working for families and interest free student loans) but with a half arsed democracy like we have in NZ today, it will probably never happen. I am really missing eZ responding from the extreme red/green fringe to the last couple of days discussions. Surely he is not too embarrassed !!

elZorro
01-12-2012, 08:21 AM
Same here FP. No doubt at all that we need some policy changes in housing (and superannuation, working for families and interest free student loans) but with a half arsed democracy like we have in NZ today, it will probably never happen. I am really missing eZ responding from the extreme red/green fringe to the last couple of days discussions. Surely he is not too embarrassed !!

No, I'm not worried, the policy does seem to require the completion of one house every 1.2 hours (10,000 houses a year or 833 houses a month) but on the other hand there were consents issued for 1762 dwellings in NZ last month alone, the best since 2008. Maybe 1200 building teams would be needed on sites, with many others in the wings supplying materials. How strong would the economy be with this sort of 10-year project? Would it enable people living in garages on the backs of sections to be housed properly for once? Not to mention the taxes flowing to govt from the enterprise, and the amount of unemployed who would be given trades training and employment in many different areas.

The other question is whether the all-powerful private sector would do this sort of thing under its own volition. No, we wouldn't, not enough profit, but the govt, and only the govt, will be able to see the other side of the returns.

I agree that to get lower cost sections near Auckland will be the hardest part, but with such a large project with a big capital base, surely some stable land can be reclaimed from somewhere. Good planning would ensure these houses didn't impact on other real estate overly much, and that they didn't become run-down areas in later years. In any case, everything's relative. No doubt our older state housing areas look palatial in the eyes of slum-dwellers worldwide. New housing would be built to much better insulating standards for example.

craic
01-12-2012, 08:43 AM
In my early days (1960+) in the industry, State Advances could build adequate houses without reference to local bodies and their building regs. They had their own set of rules. As an example, they could use OB Rimu untreated for framing while all the others had to use copper-chrome-arsenate treatment and many other variations. Virtually all of the bungalows they built from the mid-forties are still standing and provide more than adequate housing. Local body-imposed costs have risen over ten-fold in recent years and this and other factors like the use of inadequate building materials and their subsequent costs have sent the local bodies into a state of seige where they are buried under their own regulations. Also the idea that any new house should provide the full cost of all its water,sewage, roading according to a formula that is generous to the existing ratepayers, is nonsense. The growth an advancement of a town should be spread among ratepayers because they are the ones who gain from that growth. an example - Mains water comes to my front gate, a gate which I share with my neighbour. He has a mains water supply while I rely on rainwater. The council ran a pipe to our front gate for him for about $2000 to supply my neighbour with town water. I suggested that they run two pipes to the gate in the same trench and collect $4000 for the same work plus an extra water rate each year. They refused unless I paid for the mains along the road to the next property at a cost of thousands. I declined and decided on an extra tank for rainwater afor $2500.

fungus pudding
01-12-2012, 09:53 AM
No, I'm not worried, the policy does seem to require the completion of one house every 1.2 hours (10,000 houses a year or 833 houses a month) but on the other hand there were consents issued for 1762 dwellings in NZ last month alone, the best since 2008. Maybe 1200 building teams would be needed on sites, with many others in the wings supplying materials. How strong would the economy be with this sort of 10-year project? Would it enable people living in garages on the backs of sections to be housed properly for once? Not to mention the taxes flowing to govt from the enterprise, and the amount of unemployed who would be given trades training and employment in many different areas.

The other question is whether the all-powerful private sector would do this sort of thing under its own volition. No, we wouldn't, not enough profit, but the govt, and only the govt, will be able to see the other side of the returns.

I agree that to get lower cost sections near Auckland will be the hardest part, but with such a large project with a big capital base, surely some stable land can be reclaimed from somewhere. Good planning would ensure these houses didn't impact on other real estate overly much, and that they didn't become run-down areas in later years. In any case, everything's relative. No doubt our older state housing areas look palatial in the eyes of slum-dwellers worldwide. New housing would be built to much better insulating standards for example.

'Stable land reclaimed' would have a market value of over $100,000 Are you saying the Labour party intends subsidising sections?

elZorro
01-12-2012, 10:23 AM
'Stable land reclaimed' would have a market value of over $100,000 Are you saying the govt. intends subsidising sections?

When you say "market value" I assume you mean what a property developer would likely want for it? Wouldn't the govt be capable of arranging the purchase of a rugged farmlet, which values land at well above its earning capacity if farming, but still well below urban section costs per Ha, and using its large capital base to turn it into flat ground for building on? Preferably near existing services.

The private sector won't do this by themselves in any big scale, it's too risky to see through. But the govt would know that all sections will be built on, because they'd be ready for the next phase with their (I presume) contracted building teams from the private sector. Without any risk, margins can be a lot lower, and in any case the govt has added tax benefits that a property developer can't hope to match.

10,000 houses in a year, and maybe some of these could be apartment or terraced dwellings, and one completed every 1.2 hours, day and night. National MPs threw scorn on those figures in the house, and at first glance it looks fanciful.

But this report shows that up to 30,000 dwellings were consented in one year in NZ, just a few years ago. Who's looking silly now?

http://www.globalpropertyguide.com/Pacific/New-Zealand/Price-History

I noted Craic's point, there have been a lot of extra costs loaded into property development. As part of the issue with a tight economy, regional councils rely on fees from property improvements to defray their general ratepayer costs. I think you did the sensible thing under the circumstances, Craic. Setting up tidy semi-rural urban developments on marginal farms, near existing urban areas, could benefit all nearby landowners with improved services, free of charge. Yes, there would be some negatives too.

I just had a quick look at a drystock block on google, it's 25km by road from Papakura, but each 0.1Ha section unimproved would cost $10,000, and you could probably fit about 200 dwellings on the farm. 10km from SH1 might be a bit too far, but I'm just making a point. Each Ha on that existing farm could not be earning the owner more than about $3,000 a year.

slimwin
01-12-2012, 10:50 AM
So who's going to rebuild ChCh then? Creating huge amounts of builders will just mean huge amounts of unemployed builders ten years into their career. It all sounds like a great idea but also a fantastic pipe dream. I doubt the people living in garages can afford to pay anything for a house so it would have to the govt paying for all the housing. And by the govt I mean us. I'd be willing to donate money to an education program teaching people if they can't afford to have one child then they can't afford 4,6 or 10. It's all got an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff feel and sure as poo going to lead to another generation of welfare dependant people producing welfare dependant generations.

elZorro
01-12-2012, 11:08 AM
So who's going to rebuild ChCh then? Creating huge amounts of builders will just mean huge amounts of unemployed builders ten years into their career. It all sounds like a great idea but also a fantastic pipe dream. I doubt the people living in garages can afford to pay anything for a house so it would have to the govt paying for all the housing. And by the govt I mean us. I'd be willing to donate money to an education program teaching people if they can't afford to have one child then they can't afford 4,6 or 10. It's all got an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff feel and sure as poo going to lead to another generation of welfare dependant people producing welfare dependant generations.

Yep, I must admit there is that possibility Slimwin. I'd assume these new houses would be purchased by families with at least one good income. A stronger economy over the next 10 years gives everyone time to get organised. It stretches to opportunities in the forestry sector, where our timber is used internally in housing framing instead of going offshore as pruned logs. Having newer housing stock available at a sensible price will free up older rental housing in more urban locations. Nothing wrong with your idea for education programmes. First things first, every school leaver should have a good opportunity to enter the workforce. Where are the trade and manufacturing jobs now?

fungus pudding
01-12-2012, 11:51 AM
When you say "market value" I assume you mean what a property developer would likely want for it? Wouldn't the govt be capable of arranging the purchase of a rugged farmlet, which values land at well above its earning capacity if farming, but still well below urban section costs per Ha, and using its large capital base to turn it into flat ground for building on? Preferably near existing services.

The private sector won't do this by themselves in any big scale, it's too risky to see through. But the govt would know that all sections will be built on, because they'd be ready for the next phase with their (I presume) contracted building teams from the private sector. Without any risk, margins can be a lot lower, and in any case the govt has added tax benefits that a property developer can't hope to match.



Private developers are champing at the bit to do just that. The problem is to get land rezoned residential in high demand areas. Local bodies tightly control zoning. If such a propositon does become available pvt. developers swoop on them now if they are in an area where there is demand. Cost per ha looks low on rural conversions, but then surveying and development, or supplying services, roading, sewerage, drainage, water, electricity, phone connections, curb and channeling etc. etc. will bring the cost to over $100,000 per section. The govt. won't be able to do it cheaper - they'd put it out to tender just as pvt. developers do already. The bond part of their scheme is nonsense. Money isn't the problem. It's affordability, and bonds won't help.

P.S I should add that the rugged land you speak of is no help. By far the cheapest land to build on is a level site, where a dwelling can be built on a concrete pad. Get away from that, and costs sky-rocket.

elZorro
01-12-2012, 12:47 PM
Thanks for that FP. While researching something else I fell over this little gem, maybe you are right about private developers. Although ex-MP Bob Clarkson behaves like a Labour person - he had the idea first. At least near Tauranga, $300,000 is possible. Only some of the dwellings will be at the cheaper end. I think he's bought a big bulldozer, so must be under way.

http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/news/1000-cheap-homes/1261051/

fungus pudding
01-12-2012, 04:18 PM
Thanks for that FP. While researching something else I fell over this little gem, maybe you are right about private developers. Although ex-MP Bob Clarkson behaves like a Labour person - he had the idea first. At least near Tauranga, $300,000 is possible. Only some of the dwellings will be at the cheaper end. I think he's bought a big bulldozer, so must be under way.

http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/news/1000-cheap-homes/1261051/

What on earth is 'behaving like a Labour person' meant to mean?

slimwin
01-12-2012, 06:13 PM
Taito Philip Fields, Donna Awatere...?

elZorro
01-12-2012, 06:16 PM
What on earth is 'behaving like a Labour person' meant to mean?

Well I mean with a bent towards socialism, trying to correct the free market if it needs it, recognising that a society or country is judged by how it looks after the weakest, etc. Although some of the comments after that article imply that the actual story is more complex than it looks. However those numbers give me some hope that Labour's idea is not fatally flawed at all. It could well be a goer.

slimwin
01-12-2012, 06:37 PM
Thinking that the left is the only parties with social awareness is simply incorrect. The disagreement is over how to get to a solution. Dragging society down to make people equal has helped no country ever. The much vaunted Scandinavian model has just implemented welfare reform in recognition of their burgeoning welfare problem. Looking after the weak (hate that term) is a must but not at the expense of those that create the means to support a viable country.
Of course if we mined a little more like the Nords we'd have the means.

fungus pudding
01-12-2012, 07:41 PM
Well I mean with a bent towards socialism, trying to correct the free market if it needs it, recognising that a society or country is judged by how it looks after the weakest, etc. Although some of the comments after that article imply that the actual story is more complex than it looks. However those numbers give me some hope that Labour's idea is not fatally flawed at all. It could well be a goer.

He's not 'correcting' any market. He is simply meeting a need in the market. That's what developers do. That is what all manufactureres do. It is what all service companies do. And it all works well apart from the odd distortion when some govt. can't wait for market adjustments that always arrive eventually, so tries to gain a few brownie points or votes from the gullible, and stuffs everything up in the process. e.g australian govt. gives first home buyers $14,000 towards a first home, which immediaterly puts houses up by ........, you guessed it ....$14,000 Problem becomes how to get rid of it. Or American govt. - mortgage interest made tax deductible. Now it's bludy impossible to get people to pay the mortgage off. Romney was going to remove the deductability and drop tax rates to compensate, which would have been an excellent scheme - unfortunately most of his other ideas were not.

elZorro
02-12-2012, 09:02 AM
All that might be fair comment FP, but NZ's population is destined to rise in the next decades. Average house prices are already 7x the average wage, and this is well above historical averages. The housing market is only slowly changing to reflect this, part of the reason being the object of the developers understandably preserving some profits. With many families on reduced incomes and in tough times, a big housing policy like this has much to recommend it. There is a big market there for cheaper homes, and private developers (in general) won't be targeting that sector because there is no profit to be made, just substantial risks.

Central govt has all the cards here. A booming economy will increase the tax take, provide training in a wide range of skills that are useful in many other jobs, reduce welfare dependancy, and of course this effort can be geographically targeted to where the biggest needs are. The Christchurch rebuild is also important, but in that case it is a replacement of housing stock rather than additional good quality housing in a city like Auckland, where a big proportion of new NZers live.

It's also a straightforward transaction: the house is built alongside services to a target price, and it is sold, freeing up the capital quickly. The private sector gets to be as involved as it wants to be.

Slimwin, I still think this type of idea benefits everyone, and the sooner it gets started the better.

fungus pudding
02-12-2012, 10:18 AM
All that might be fair comment FP, but NZ's population is destined to rise in the next decades. Average house prices are already 7x the average wage, and this is well above historical averages. The housing market is only slowly changing to reflect this, part of the reason being the object of the developers understandably preserving some profits. With many families on reduced incomes and in tough times, a big housing policy like this has much to recommend it. There is a big market there for cheaper homes, and private developers (in general) won't be targeting that sector because there is no profit to be made, just substantial risks.

Central govt has all the cards here. A booming economy will increase the tax take, provide training in a wide range of skills that are useful in many other jobs, reduce welfare dependancy, and of course this effort can be geographically targeted to where the biggest needs are. The Christchurch rebuild is also important, but in that case it is a replacement of housing stock rather than additional good quality housing in a city like Auckland, where a big proportion of new NZers live.

It's also a straightforward transaction: the house is built alongside services to a target price, and it is sold, freeing up the capital quickly. The private sector gets to be as involved as it wants to be.

Slimwin, I still think this type of idea benefits everyone, and the sooner it gets started the better.

There have been times when house prices were extremely high in relation to wages. Most notably when Bill Rowling introduced his infamous spec-tax (to stop prices rising) I am eternally grateful to Rowling for that. it allowed me to effectively retire in my early 20s. The market dried up overnight and prices which had been rising anyway, simply skyrocketed. The moral of that story is keep the govt. out of the way. The market will sort itself out far better than any govt. interference. Sweat equity, family benefit capitilisation, housing corp discount lending or state advances - you name it; every one of those schemes has driven the market up, and that's exactly what will happen with Labour's scheme the moment they introduce a subsidy in any way; and to do as they claim they will have to. I note in an earlier contributor mentions Habitat housing struggles to build at those prices and that's with free labour and god knows what else donated. Labours scheme is nonsense, which means they are extremely gullible themselves to believe what they say, or more likely they don't believe what they are saying, but just throwing out silly stuff to attract gullible voters. And that's irresponsible.

elZorro
02-12-2012, 12:04 PM
There have been times when house prices were extremely high in relation to wages. Most notably when Bill Rowling introduced his infamous spec-tax (to stop prices rising) I am eternally grateful to Rowling for that. it allowed me to effectively retire in my early 20s. The market dried up overnight and prices which had been rising anyway, simply skyrocketed. The moral of that story is keep the govt. out of the way. The market will sort itself out far better than any govt. interference. Sweat equity, family benefit capitilisation, housing corp discount lending or state advances - you name it; every one of those schemes has driven the market up, and that's exactly what will happen with Labour's scheme the moment they introduce a subsidy in any way; and to do as they claim they will have to. I note in an earlier contributor mentions Habitat housing struggles to build at those prices and that's with free labour and god knows what else donated. Labours scheme is nonsense, which means they are extremely gullible themselves to believe what they say, or more likely they don't believe what they are saying, but just throwing out silly stuff to attract gullible voters. And that's irresponsible.

I think there are a number of inaccuracies in your last post, FP. Labour's third government was in for one term at the end of a 12-year stint for National, in the early 70s. Here's a bit of background on that time. The late Norman Kirk started it off as PM, and died in office.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Labour_Government_of_New_Zealand

This was (like now) a bit of a tough time world-wide, with the oil shock coming up, NZ selling less to the UK, and Labour made moves to give the country its own identity. Labour wanted lower-paid people to be able to afford houses, and freed up capital for that, including setting up Housing Corp. So I'd guess lower-priced housing valuations did better than the inflation rate, which would have been significant for your portfolio. Sure enough, you are correct FP, there was a spike in house costs during that term. But they have risen a lot more in the decades since, strongly related to borrowing ability rather than household income available.

'Govt interference' was not generally bad for the outcomes over that 70s period, from what I read in the Wipipedia article. They achieved a lot in three years. A few years later a lower interest Housing Corp mortgage helped us into our first home, and we made a 50% capital gain in 5 years (but interest rates from the bank mortgage - once we changed banks to get one (Muldoon policy) - were up to 20% at times).

I fail to see how an increased number of lower cost houses being for sale under Labour's current idea, will drive up property values artificially. Maybe it will clamp or even reduce prices elsewhere, is that the issue? You need to be honest about that.

Now about the costs for these houses. Flatpacks start low.. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1290552/Tesco-launches-DIY-flatpack-home-9-999-19-998-Clubcard-points.html)I don't see any maths from you about the advantages a govt-scale project would bring to housing costs. Habitat for Humanity probably use infill sections at a high cost, so they don't have to spend on services. A bigger project will get in and do that all cost-effectively, for multiple sections at once. And then the govt has all of the other benefits that developers do not have: every worker taken off the dole and given free work-based training by contractors will reduce govt spend, and all the new cash washing around will have taxes and levies collected. The banks worldwide are loaded up with deposits, interest rates are low, but relatively few want to take the risks with loans.

Buying your first house, and paying an interest bill that is less than your old rental cost, is often a no-brainer though. As long as you have a stable job(s).

Libertarians beware, Bernard Hickey thinks the financial institutions need a major shake-up.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10851311

Major von Tempsky
03-12-2012, 08:27 AM
I see Labour under Shearer is now doing better in the polls. This means the right wing of the party (Shearer) has triumphed over the left wing (Cunliffe).

How mush longer before Labour evolves into Roger Douglas again? :-)

fungus pudding
03-12-2012, 08:43 AM
I see Labour under Shearer is now doing better in the polls. This means the right wing of the party (Shearer) has triumphed over the left wing (Cunliffe).

How mush longer before Labour evolves into Roger Douglas again? :-)

Never unfortunately.

elZorro
03-12-2012, 08:58 AM
I didn't think Shearer was a right-wing person, probably more central than some. I wouldn't want to see a closet libertarian like Roger Douglas in control again, in my lifetime.

FP, Iceman et al, before you put a line under the '100,000 houses in 10 years' posts, can I just make the point that all your arguments seem to be in tatters.

iceman
03-12-2012, 02:16 PM
I didn't think Shearer was a right-wing person, probably more central than some. I wouldn't want to see a closet libertarian like Roger Douglas in control again, in my lifetime.

FP, Iceman et al, before you put a line under the '100,000 houses in 10 years' posts, can I just make the point that all your arguments seem to be in tatters.

I've been traveling for 3 days eZ so can't wait for you to enlighten me on what new arguments in favour of the "1 house per hour for 10 years and all under $300k" has been unearthed while I've been traveling. I would have traveled for only 2 days if it wasn't for the inefficiencies, strikes, demonstrations and general chaos caused by the dreadfully corrupt socialist Government here in Argentina. You would love it !!

fungus pudding
03-12-2012, 03:40 PM
I've been traveling for 3 days eZ so can't wait for you to enlighten me on what new arguments in favour of the "1 house per hour for 10 years and all under $300k" has been unearthed while I've been traveling. I would have traveled for only 2 days if it wasn't for the inefficiencies, strikes, demonstrations and general chaos caused by the dreadfully corrupt socialist Government here in Argentina. You would love it !!

No, they're not all under 300k.Only a percentage, but some will be over 400,000 and more. Latest waffling was something about the expensive ones would be subsidising the lower priced ones.
I can't understand why Stonewood, Signature homes, Gardners and all the other house building specialists haven't thought of that before. Pure genius stuff. In fact if the same theory was applied to cars, overseas trips etc, nobody would miss out on anything. You'll have noticed that in Argentina.

elZorro
03-12-2012, 09:15 PM
No, they're not all under 300k.Only a percentage, but some will be over 400,000 and more. Latest waffling was something about the expensive ones would be subsidising the lower priced ones.
I can't understand why Stonewood, Signature homes, Gardners and all the other house building specialists haven't thought of that before. Pure genius stuff. In fact if the same theory was applied to cars, overseas trips etc, nobody would miss out on anything. You'll have noticed that in Argentina.

Yes, most companies have loss leaders, but they try to apply sensible markup rules to them as well in the beginning, and I say the same thing, all businesses need a profit centre. The fact remains that the gap between rich and poor is widening in NZ, you can see it in the relative house price comparison graph above.

National has advised the voters that they're going to help sort that out. For example, they've set up a Dragon's Den idea where IT firms can pitch ideas that could be taken up by the public sector, i.e. the private sector gets a helping hand contract from the taxpayer, for new services that should be useful. I still prefer the R&D tax credits which are far more flexible, cheaper, and could be widely accessed. Guess what happened from this National initiative?

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/8026121/Technology-trial-ends-but-no-offers

Out of all the IT firms that pitched to govt, not one contract was offered. Which leads to one of two conclusions: (i) our IT firms are hopeless, the whole lot of them, or (ii) there was never an intention to do anything, it was simple vote-catching.

Here is the actual message: Govt depts will be buying goods and services at the lowest value they can, get used to it. If NZ businesses don't match overseas prices, we'll import the stuff in preference. IT firms: we've been kind enough to let you pitch your ideas. None of them match our small budget and high expectations, so try peddling them offshore.

fungus pudding
04-12-2012, 07:42 AM
Yes, most companies have loss leaders, but they try to apply sensible markup rules to them as well in the beginning, and I say the same thing, all businesses need a profit centre. The fact remains that the gap between rich and poor is widening in NZ, you can see it in the relative house price comparison graph above.



The main factor in house prices is affordability. When interest rates are high, prices will be low, and although the outgoings may be the same, the debt will be lower. High interest rates provide the best time to buy. Interest rates and commodity prices are the opposite ends of a see-saw, and the world is in a period where interest rates are low. Ths nonsense of some buyers subsidising others to get a price below what the market can provide isure as hell won't have the higher priced buyers queuing up. There is no way of running this scheme without massive taxpayer subsidies, which in itself would be self defeating because it would demand drive the market prices up - the inevitable consequence of subsidies.

elZorro
04-12-2012, 08:25 AM
The main factor in house prices is affordability. When interest rates are high, prices will be low, and although the outgoings may be the same, the debt will be lower. High interest rates provide the best time to buy. Interest rates and commodity prices are the opposite ends of a see-saw, and the world is in a period where interest rates are low. Ths nonsense of some buyers subsidising others to get a price below what the market can provide isure as hell won't have the higher priced buyers queuing up. There is no way of running this scheme without massive taxpayer subsidies, which in itself would be self defeating because it would demand drive the market prices up - the inevitable consequence of subsidies.

FP, the housing scheme would surely boost the economy, and maybe that would help some into higher priced homes. But surely, the problem is that in Auckland anyway, there are no lower priced homes. The barrier is set too high. This scheme would aim to provide an affordable range of housing that might suit families on a single modest income. It might not be an immediately profitable operation for the state, but it doesn't need to make a short-term profit. It won't need taxpayer subsidies, because it removes other costs the state would otherwise fund.

It's clear that the scheme is addressing the fact that NZ has had many recent years when our home construction teams built 25,000 to over 30,000 dwellings a year. Now they're building an average 15,000 a year, with many of those former team members probably on the dole or overseas. Why shouldn't Labour suggest the planning and building industry (and the country) needs a project like this, and that the industry needs a bit of a tune-up in how to produce cost-effective housing? I agree it's more about how to get the land at the right price. It needs a bit of lateral thinking.

fungus pudding
04-12-2012, 08:53 AM
FP, the housing scheme would surely boost the economy, and maybe that would help some into higher priced homes. But surely, the problem is that in Auckland anyway, there are no lower priced homes. The barrier is set too high. This scheme would aim to provide an affordable range of housing that might suit families on a single modest income. It might not be an immediately profitable operation for the state, but it doesn't need to make a short-term profit. It won't need taxpayer subsidies, because it removes other costs the state would otherwise fund.

It's clear that the scheme is addressing the fact that NZ has had many recent years when our home construction teams built 25,000 to over 30,000 dwellings a year. Now they're building an average 15,000 a year, with many of those former team members probably on the dole or overseas. Why shouldn't Labour suggest the planning and building industry (and the country) needs a project like this, and that the industry needs a bit of a tune-up in how to produce cost-effective housing? I agree it's more about how to get the land at the right price. It needs a bit of lateral thinking.

Labour's proposal is hardly lateral thinking. It's plain nonsense. The end.

elZorro
04-12-2012, 11:07 AM
Labour's proposal is hardly lateral thinking. It's plain nonsense. The end.

Maybe Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson did sort out a few things that were wrong with the economy FP, but plenty of expensive mistakes were made along the way too (Railways for example). And it was several years of extreme pain for many NZers. The levers of power can be used in other ways that are just as effective and less painful, hopefully making sure the market becomes a strong employer in higher-value goods and services.

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2012/12/03/five-minutes-with-noam-chomsky-europe/

Housing is one product that will always be built here, so it's a special case. It's also capable of generating work for a huge variety of trades and suppliers. Labour's proposal merits more investigation. The end.

elZorro
05-12-2012, 03:36 PM
I was sent this link by a friend in Sydney.

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/a-warning-as-market-pipes-tune-in-america-20121204-2at9o.html

Maybe this is a big part of the picture, the general population is distracted by advertising and marketing. And they're also finding it harder to keep up, with rising energy costs.

POSSUM THE CAT
05-12-2012, 06:03 PM
elZorro: those educated (brain washed) in universities will take at least another 10years to get anywhere near understanding it. When the common man has known this for at least 10 years. Put interest rates up not down & watch the decrease in borrowing for stupid reasons. With mortgage rates at 10% watch the house prices come down. Like they did in the early 1980s.

elZorro
05-12-2012, 06:34 PM
elZorro: those educated (brain washed) in universities will take at least another 10years to get anywhere near understanding it. When the common man has known this for at least 10 years. Put interest rates up not down & watch the decrease in borrowing for stupid reasons. With mortgage rates at 10% watch the house prices come down. Like they did in the early 1980s.

I just watched the video from the SMH article PTC. It's really good. Spells out what the general populace expect from their elected members.

FP: The answer is not less government, it's better government.

You're probably right, a higher interest rate would soon see house prices drop, although that would imply section prices would have to drop right back first. Some opportunistic sections in years-old developments have been doing just that already.

elZorro
08-12-2012, 07:27 AM
Dunne on tax changes needed for multinationals. (http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1212/S00046/dunne-explains-nzs-tax-approach-to-multinationals.htm) At least the big rort is being noted.

Cullen Super Fund an international award winner. (http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/8045374/NZ-Super-Fund-takes-top-honour-in-New-York) A great legacy.

A spinoff from Waikato University, Endace, is/has been sold to a US rival. R&D kicked this business off, some pros and cons about that in this article. But from a NZ taxpayer perspective, as long as the R&D stays here, the govt has made a great investment, probably already paid back.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10852481

Endace has probably employed and helped work-train over 100 tertiary qualified staff for at least 5 years. If they were on an average $100,000 salary, the income tax alone would have returned $15mill to govt during that time. Add in their GST, fuel excise taxes, profits made by other suppliers to Endace, and the balance sheet for $10mill of R&D is OK. But Selwyn Pellett is right: if that $10mill was paid back and recycled (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/mergers-acquisitions/news/article.cfm?c_id=257&objectid=10852704)straight away to several startup businesses on the sale, what else could happen? I'll be watching warily from the sidelines in Hamilton to see if Dr Ian Graham's super high-tech spun-off business (http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/news/endace-founder-ian-graham-named-engineerings-entrepreneur-of-the-year) really does stay in NZ and prosper even more, under its new owners.

fungus pudding
08-12-2012, 08:18 AM
I just watched the video from the SMH article PTC. It's really good. Spells out what the general populace expect from their elected members.

FP: The answer is not less government, it's better government.

You're probably right, a higher interest rate would soon see house prices drop, although that would imply section prices would have to drop right back first. Some opportunistic sections in years-old developments have been doing just that already.

Yes. Better government with less interference.

elZorro
08-12-2012, 08:40 AM
Yes. Better government with less interference.

Well, I can see that you're still convinced that the market has almost all of the answers. And look where that's taking us. John Key said the other day, while looking at the poll results, that he's not expecting next year to be any better for the economy. Or the next year, or the one after that. Couple that attitude with a hands-off approach from National, and we'll be seeing a lot more hunkering down from the market, and more unemployment. You should be wishing for govt interference FP.

elZorro
08-12-2012, 11:05 AM
Following on from the recent poll, a centre-left coalition would take power if an election was held now. The Greens are still getting good polling levels. I'm heartened by this article, and note Russel Norman and David Clark achieve prominent mentions. Both of these gentlemen appear to me to have their feet on the ground, and are passionate about NZ for all the right reasons.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8052977/Labour-leader-looks-to-outsiders-for-deputy

craic
08-12-2012, 06:20 PM
Maybe we should have some balance with the HB headline today that Heinz-Watties have moved production in some areas frm Australia to NZ creating an extra 500 jobs. If Russell Norman, the recycled communist gains any share of power, then i'm off.

slimwin
08-12-2012, 07:01 PM
I met Russel Norman once. Don't know where his feet are but I know where he keeps his head stuck.

elZorro
08-12-2012, 07:16 PM
I met Russel Norman once. Don't know where his feet are but I know where he keeps his head stuck.

I haven't met him, but he almost always sounds sensible on TV, and in written articles. He does his research.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10851514

Craic: should I go back over how many Heinz Watties jobs have disappeared overall in NZ?


Heinz Wattie's has reported a 5 per cent fall in net profit to $61.5 million, reflecting the costs of relocating sauce and beetroot production back to New Zealand.
It is a step in the right direction though, and they are still big employers.

Is Russel Norman a communist now? I don't think so.

fungus pudding
08-12-2012, 07:18 PM
Following on from the recent poll, a centre-left coalition would take power if an election was held now. The Greens are still getting good polling levels. I'm heartened by this article, and note Russel Norman and David Clark achieve prominent mentions. Both of these gentlemen appear to me to have their feet on the ground, and are passionate about NZ for all the right reasons.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8052977/Labour-leader-looks-to-outsiders-for-deputy

They are both dangerous meddlers.

elZorro
09-12-2012, 06:19 AM
They are both dangerous meddlers.

FP, does that short sentence mean you think they might meddle with policy, or you know they do? Do you have examples with poor outcomes, or is it just a one-line put-down?

craic
09-12-2012, 07:29 AM
A friend who is high up in the canning industry here tells me that his company, not HZ/Watties, would move almost everything here if they could rom Australia but the unions block it. For the record, I did a season at Watties -3 months - over Christmas 1963 when they paid six shillings an fivepence an hour. Seven to eight shillings an hour was the going rate elsewhere but the attraction to the Canneries was the overtime and weekend work at time-and-a-half or double-time.

fungus pudding
09-12-2012, 08:49 AM
FP, does that short sentence mean you think they might meddle with policy, or you know they do? Do you have examples with poor outcomes, or is it just a one-line put-down?

They promote measures to lower our dollar even further - we're already too low compared to the Aussie $, our major trading partner. That's just one example. The off the planet housing scheme is another - Norman's total nonsense about carbon emissions which he is going to fix .......pardon my laughter.
The current govt. to its immense credit has kept hands off and that's absolutely the best thing. Time will correct the world situation - not govt. tinkering. NZ is doing comparatively well and will continue to do so without one man, or a govt. committee of non-acheivers telling us they know best. Go for a wander around Europe or the states and get things in perspective. Or better still go for a wander around some of the commie parts of the world, and ask yourself if that's really what you want for NZ.

elZorro
11-12-2012, 07:09 AM
They promote measures to lower our dollar even further - we're already too low compared to the Aussie $, our major trading partner. That's just one example. The off the planet housing scheme is another - Norman's total nonsense about carbon emissions which he is going to fix .......pardon my laughter.
The current govt. to its immense credit has kept hands off and that's absolutely the best thing. Time will correct the world situation - not govt. tinkering. NZ is doing comparatively well and will continue to do so without one man, or a govt. committee of non-acheivers telling us they know best. Go for a wander around Europe or the states and get things in perspective. Or better still go for a wander around some of the commie parts of the world, and ask yourself if that's really what you want for NZ.

OK FP, you're saying the market will correct itself. John Key is saying that's at least three or more years away, and he should be better informed than most. I'll have to take your word for it that NZ is doing relatively well, maybe that's one tradeoff a small-scale employer makes - not much time for flitting off around the world on junkets until the business has achieved critical mass. All your fears about the next government must surely be encapsulated in Matthew Hooton's article:

http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/wr-opening-salvo-dump-rental-properties-now-lf-133603

- in which the libertarian view of "tinkering" as always failing, is brought forward as though it is a truth. The market itself does the same thing, only in smaller bites. They buy out competitors, try changing things, go belly up or wait years for their investments to recycle. Their method is also a giant experiment. The difference is that the market does most of its work with a profit motive, and usually the govt will do things with the whole of the country in mind. The govt also has the big benefit of holding most of the cards.

For example, the Kiwibuild idea is gaining momentum, and it would at the very least employ many who are at the moment unemployed. It will provide work training, and will start up a lot of businesses, and require goods from many others. It will also bring the lower end of the housing market back a bit, and the first worry for libertarians and conservatives, supporters of the free market, is who will take up those homes. My guess is there will be some landlords with empty properties, some of the time.

Newsflash - maybe the path to sustainable extra income for small-scale property investors is a bit harder than buying a cheap rental, spending as little as possible on it, and charging market rentals to wait for the more substantial and normal tax-free capital gains. It used to be a no-brainer, now it's not.

elZorro
16-12-2012, 09:47 PM
This report was nearly binned from my desk: what a treasure trove from some parliamentary reporters, their rankings of our MPs. This will be partly based on how personable the MPs are, and I detect a favouritism for the National Party, but I'm biased myself.

http://static.stuff.co.nz/files/Roll_Call_2012

The National grades are significantly higher than the average Labour ones, but John Key (graded an 8) is advised to start looking like he enjoys the job. Chris Finlayson gets the vote for the Politician of the year. John Banks and Brendon Horan got poor grades (and that was before the furore, so they're not bad judges).

FP take note, Russel Norman got a grade of 8 and they thought he "looks and sounds like the leader of a much larger, more mainstream party", while David Parker achieved the highest Labour grade with Phil Goff, (6.5). David Shearer: lacking instincts for politics, said to run a chaotic office. That's a pity, his grade was a 4. Tough to shake those perceptions.

elZorro
18-12-2012, 06:48 AM
Colin James's column for the Otago Daily Times for 18 December 2012

Forgetting, fumbling and forging ahead

This was the year our most forgettable resident, Kim Dotcom, a small, insignificant, undemonstrative, law-abiding, eighth-acre suburbanite, skipped out of the Prime Minister's and ACT leader's consciousness.

Their brain fades about spooks' briefings and trifling $50,000 cheques locked Key and Banks into a tight embrace that made last year's tea party look chaste.

Banks will take ACT out of Parliament in 2014. Till then (the Maori party having gone into opposition in all but formality) he is Key's majority. So Key became curiously incurious about an inconvenient police report on Banks. Legal technicality sufficed. Ethics can be niggly.

With that incuriosity added to Key's devolved governance, last term's political management slip-ups this year grew to stuff-ups.

Key's personal rating on TV3's poll dropped from a 49-55 per cent range in the last half of 2011 to 37-43 per cent over the past six months. Handling his job well: from 68-76 per cent down to 52-59 percent. Honesty: from 49-64 per cent to 42-49 per cent. National: from 50-55 per cent to 46-51 per cent.

The levels are still pretty good but the direction is not.

That masks Key's recent sharpening: much better briefed at media conferences; exactly the right tone and substance in response to the galling Pyke River report (until needled by Labour); active involvement, even down to annotating papers, in some policy areas. An executive Prime Minister lurks under the jokey, blokey ex-trader.

And he has leeway. Labour's opinion poll party support is just back to its 2011 electorate vote of 35 per cent, its real support then.

The Greens are also where they were a year ago: stable polls and ambitions to be a not-so-junior partner with Labour. That emboldened Russel Norman -- a standout media performer of 2012 -- to stake out economic policy territory too far outside the mainstream for Labour which is hunting middle-ground traction.

Worse for Labour, Ministers talked up Norman as the real opposition leader in an "anti-growth" "Greens-Labour" combine. They could do that because David Shearer was media-inept and David Cunliffe couldn't resist a self-harming media splash at Labour's conference en route to a coup attempt in February. Ministers made fun of all that.

The downside of that fun was its manner: teenage barracking, led by Key, debased Parliament's question time. Paula Bennett took first prize by provoking Speaker Lockwood Smith to snap on August 16 that she was "showing less discipline than a 3-year-old child". Bennett's courtesy and gravitas did not flag: on November 29 she told Jacinda Ardern to "zip it, sweetie".

Smith is off to the diplomatic corps. He has been one of the best Speakers. But even he could not tidy up after the teens.

Labour's problem was the plausibility in the ministers' fun.

Shearer still lacks enough knowledge of policy, politics and the country and has yet to convey much of his inner substance.

Labour has latched on to a slogan with potential: "active government". It has promising MPs -- David Clark is my new MP of the year -- but no stars yet. It has done some policy rethinking, notably on aspects of monetary, economic development, social support and health policy. But it has a long way to go.

So for 2012's standout politician, turn to National. (No one in the tiddler parties qualifies.)

Amy Adams settled fast into the cabinet. Nikki Kaye showed initiative in education on the back bench. Paul Hutchison's gutsy, dispassionate speech on Louisa Wall's gay marriage bill was small-c conservatism at its best.

Chris Finlayson fully earned very high praise for innovations and energy on Treaty of Waitangi claims, most notably getting the Tuhoe deal at last through the cabinet and making the Whanganui river a legal person.

But his guardianship of the constitution from Key's and others' insouciance was wanting. And, while he is a man of fine culture and elegant charm, he is too often snooty and snarky.

Bill English is still the cabinet's anchor. Without him, it would be strategically adrift. But this year he was not quite the superminister of the first term.

The cabinet's engine was its other superminister, the minister for GDP growth which he has made National's dominant theme, trumping other interests.

He is often too linear for the tortuous trade he is now in. He is short on political history: "voodoo economics", his putdown for Labour's monetary policy, was a 1980 phrase describing what became the very orthodoxy, current since 1989, he was extolling -- an orthodoxy last week chipped at by two high priests of money, Ben Bernanke and Bank of England boss-to-be Mark Carney.

But he gets the cabinet's business done. His hardball management has made him seem at times to be the government, swatting aside nuisances in public and behind closed doors and dousing whiffs of green with GDP air freshener.

Only four years an MP, Steven Joyce is the cabinet's operator, across swathes of politics and policy. He is my pick this year.




-- Colin James, Synapsis Ltd, P O Box 9494, Wellington 6141
Ph (64)-4-384 7030, Mobile (64)-21-438 434, Fax (64)-4-384 9175
Webpage http://www.ColinJames.co.nz

Colin picks David Clark as the rising new MP of the year, and Steven Joyce as the politician of the year.

slimwin
18-12-2012, 10:06 AM
He really can't give a balanced opinion on anything can Colin? He should use a red font.

elZorro
18-12-2012, 05:55 PM
He really can't give a balanced opinion on anything can Colin? He should use a red font.

Slimwin, you don't have to look far to see columnists with a bent in the opposite direction. They swamp out any with a left persuasion, more's the pity. Anyway he did pick Steven Joyce, last I heard he was on the National team. Steven Joyce (ex marketing guru) and the pro-National lobby group Business NZ, all a bit too cosy for me.

I don't like their policies on innovation, destined to fail. Today I was driving past millions of dollars of R&D at a CRI. The gear was out in the rain waiting to be pulled apart for scrap parts. This is what could happen at the rebranded IRL in Auckland. Divvie that money up into smaller private sector businesses, is what I'd like to see.

National having trouble meeting their surplus forecasts, as many expected. These forecasts have been major election planks, which makes it all the more disappointing. More borrowing ahead.

http://www.sharechat.co.nz/article/fba4f2b6/debt-management-office-expands-bond-programme-by-6-5-bln.html

Why fuel excise taxes had to go up.

http://www.3news.co.nz/Petrol-price-hike-linked-to-budget-surplus/tabid/1607/articleID/280858/Default.aspx

elZorro
21-12-2012, 07:17 AM
A sad day today, as the Hillside Workshops close with the loss of 90 jobs. A small part, the foundry, will trade on under Australian ownership.

The Cullen Super Fund continues to do well in tough times, with a useful tax divvie to the govt (so far) of $2,450million. National cut payments into this fund back in 2009, they have not been reinstated.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/8104889/Growth-assets-boost-super-fund

fungus pudding
21-12-2012, 07:31 AM
A sad day today, as the Hillside Workshops close with the loss of 90 jobs. A small part, the foundry, will trade on under Australian ownership.

The Cullen Super Fund continues to do well in tough times, with a useful tax divvie to the govt (so far) of $2,450million. National cut payments into this fund back in 2009, they have not been reinstated.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/8104889/Growth-assets-boost-super-fund

It's sad for a few people, but excellent news for over 4 million others.

iceman
21-12-2012, 07:35 AM
A sad day today, as the Hillside Workshops close with the loss of 90 jobs. A small part, the foundry, will trade on under Australian ownership.

The Cullen Super Fund continues to do well in tough times, with a useful tax divvie to the govt (so far) of $2,450million. National cut payments into this fund back in 2009, they have not been reinstated.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/8104889/Growth-assets-boost-super-fund


National had no option but to stop payments to the Cullen Fund. Although I must admit I would have preferred they had totally stopped Labour's worst bribes such as WFF and interest free student loans, but that wouldn't have gone down very well with the 80 odd % of voters that are net beneficiaries from Government and they would have become a one term Government. So cutting funds to the Cullen Fund was the only option politically !

elZorro
21-12-2012, 07:54 AM
FP and Iceman, both outcomes reflect a govt that embraces the free market, but won't be using the levers to ensure NZ keeps up with the pace of larger economies.

The Hillside workshops could have been flat out making wagons for the last year or so and into the future, instead of helping to fix slightly cheaper Chinese-made ones. The most profitable part of Hillside has been sold to an overseas owner, who will now compete here with NZ businesses.

WFF and the student loans help pump up the economy and were supplied as an offset to increased costs for taxpayers in the same areas, they are not excesses or bribes. An excess would be more like reinstating fully taxpaid tertiary education for NZers, that we were able to afford at one stage. Before we all had to start trimming our margins on consumer and non-tech goods and services back to meet international prices, so that we tread water, or worse.

The answer is to hold and improve our manufacturing base, embrace smart manufacturing in the widest sense of the word. Not kill it off.

iceman
21-12-2012, 08:00 AM
they are not excesses or bribes.
The answer is to hold and improve our manufacturing base, embrace smart manufacturing in the widest sense of the word. Not kill it off.

You forget one small thing. The money the Government is handing out in those bribes came from us taxpayers in the first place. So it is not pumping up the economy at all. It is just redistribution, taken from the productive sector of society.

POSSUM THE CAT
21-12-2012, 09:37 AM
Iceman it was actually a subsidy to the productive sector of society. Because with out those so called in your opinion bludgers spending their money on goods & services provided by the productive sector you rave about. They would go broke.

fungus pudding
21-12-2012, 09:39 AM
Iceman it was actually a subsidy to the productive sector of society. Because with out those so called in your opinion bludgers spending their money on goods & services provided by the productive sector you rave about. They would go broke.

Or they would find profitable employment.

elZorro
22-12-2012, 10:00 AM
Or they would find profitable employment.

Perhaps, FP, since you are probably doing quite well in your operation, you could employ someone as a gesture of good faith..

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/columnists/chris-trotter/7940612/Thrown-on-the-industrial-scrap-heap

fungus pudding
22-12-2012, 11:53 AM
Perhaps, FP, since you are probably doing quite well in your operation, you could employ someone as a gesture of good faith..

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/columnists/chris-trotter/7940612/Thrown-on-the-industrial-scrap-heap

I don't need anyone; neither do the railways. Never forget, necessity is the mother of invention. We could still have a blacksmith's shop on every corner, and a million other things that have died out, but the price for propping up industries that have run their course is that new industries will not be found or develop, leaving us all worse off. Have a look around you at how many people are employed in jobs that didn't exist twenty years ago. Hillside has shed about 90 jobs every decade since it started. Do you think the whole 1,300 workers should have been kept on? Or is it just this last lot that you're concerned with? Have you ever seen the run-down old buildings and wondered at the price to rebuild and modernise the place? I suppose you'd like to see NZ plants such as Trentham start making cars again. We are heading in the right direction, and the inevitable result leaves more people better off.

POSSUM THE CAT
22-12-2012, 12:27 PM
Fungus Pudding what is it you do that is so essential that it cannot be done by someone, somewhere else cheaper. Or by some machine. Wait until you become one of the expendable class. Even lawyers, accountants, teachers,even doctors as nobody will be able to afford there services.

fungus pudding
22-12-2012, 12:58 PM
Fungus Pudding what is it you do that is so essential that it cannot be done by someone, somewhere else cheaper. Or by some machine. Wait until you become one of the expendable class. Even lawyers, accountants, teachers,even doctors as nobody will be able to afford there services.


"Even lawyers, accountants, teachers,even doctors as nobody will be able to afford there services." Sorry, but I can't traslate that into anything meaningful, so I'm not sure what you are getting at. Suffice to say, that you will almost certainly not be working in any field your grandfather worked in, or in any field your grandson will work in. Things change, and it's inevitable that sopme people get caught in that change. The only way to prevent that, is to stop progress. Then we all suffer. Go and spend a month or two wandering around a country that has resisted change and ask yourself if that is what you really want.
'Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the world is unfolding as it should.'

POSSUM THE CAT
22-12-2012, 01:39 PM
Fungus Pudding take the average Russian are they any better off now than they were under communism or the Czars. Yes the world is changing but is it for the better. For you at the moment it is. For a lot of people it is for the worse.
So what is next. Islamic Fundamentalism. A return to the Lords of the Manor of old England. The gangs of Somalia?

fungus pudding
22-12-2012, 01:47 PM
Fungus Pudding take the average Russian are they any better off now than they were under communism or the Czars. Yes the world is changing but is it for the better. For you at the moment it is. For a lot of people it is for the worse.
So what is next. Islamic Fundamentalism. A return to the Lords of the Manor of old England. The gangs of Somalia?

The world is in a constant state of development and improvement. If you want to go back in time, go and bury youself in the depths of Borneo, There's heaps of other places, but that's not too far for you to go.

POSSUM THE CAT
22-12-2012, 02:28 PM
Fugus Pudding yes The World is in a constant state of change. But a constant state of improvement No!

fungus pudding
22-12-2012, 02:55 PM
Fugus Pudding yes The World is in a constant state of change. But a constant state of improvement No!

Please yourself, but I doubt you'd enjoy NZ back in the fifties, sixties or seventies when we were so far behind the rest of the world. I can't get my head around people like you who moan and groan about a handful of jobs. Sure it's not good for those immediately affected, but the country can't run on protecting ineffeicient industries. And if you are really concerned about human impact have a look at some Hillside employees. They don't look too deprived. I know dozens who have worked there over the years, and some who have just finished. At least those who can't find work, and some of the older ones might struggle, will get a benefit. I have also seen the poverty so common in China. I know where a little money, or work, is most needed.

elZorro
22-12-2012, 06:26 PM
Please yourself, but I doubt you'd enjoy NZ back in the fifties, sixties or seventies when we were so far behind the rest of the world. I can't get my head around people like you who moan and groan about a handful of jobs. Sure it's not good for those immediately affected, but the country can't run on protecting ineffeicient industries. And if you are really concerned about human impact have a look at some Hillside employees. They don't look too deprived. I know dozens who have worked there over the years, and some who have just finished. At least those who can't find work, and some of the older ones might struggle, will get a benefit. I have also seen the poverty so common in China. I know where a little money, or work, is most needed.

FP, I agree, it's amazing what Chinese manufacturing can put out, and they deserve every cent the western world sends their way. It looks like Bill English is the common denominator for high unemployment in NZ, when he's working the levers. It must be great for low inflation figures. We're all too scared to put our prices up.

Except for those lucky businesses that have an edge no-one else has. If they need a better margin to cope with cost increases, they can charge for it, within reason. How is National urging businesses to get into that position? Wait, I remember, they'll figure it out for themselves.

Mostly, they'll take a one-off business sale return, and let someone else run it into the ground and sack everybody. I note you neatly sidestepped the question of when/ in what century/ you'd become an employer. Surely you'd like to show the rest of us what a sensible business looks like?

POSSUM THE CAT
23-12-2012, 09:23 AM
El Zorro FP is to thick to realise that without customers all businesses fail eventually even his. We are heading to worldwide glut of product that nobody has money to buy.

elZorro
23-12-2012, 11:48 AM
Just been shopping in the centre of Hamilton, PTC. It's relatively quiet in there. Outer malls are busier. But any inland town retailer geared up for Christmas and not busy right now, must be in trouble later on.

In the SST today, a couple of points made about how baby boomers (my generation) were short of work in the 70s, so many started their own businesses. The same happened in the USA, and an economic upturn resulted. Of course energy costs as a portion of income would have been lower, the web hadn't been invented, there were no home or business computers. People were still buying goods that had often been manufactured close to home.

Generation Y now needs to try their luck with their own enterprises, but they'll have to use a new set of tools, and be careful about what areas they have a go at. But I have to say, the new tools, like computers and software packages, interface devices, media players, engineering tools, are just incredible as starting points, and not very expensive. The outputs should generally be very profitable and capable of being exported, if the startups want to see investor interest and results.

I head into 2013 still confident that things can improve for NZ, but unlike FP I'd like to see more govt involvement in nurturing some of these startups. The current govt is not even talking about startups, they're saying hunker down for 2-3 years.

FP, Belgarion, PTC, Iceman, Craic, MVT et al, I appreciate your thoughtful posts - there are always two sides to every story. Merry Christmas to everyone.

POSSUM THE CAT
23-12-2012, 12:47 PM
ElZorro Just a bit older than you. Went back to my home town of Gisborne in September. Left early in 1994. The small city is like a morgue been dying rapidly since Ruth Richardson's mother of all budgets in 1991. I would hate to see the unemployment statistics. Go back occasionally to get my car serviced properly now that I am not physically capable of doing it myself. I have heard & seen some horror stories. Like $3 per litre replacing $8.00 per litre oil the oil filter being given a wash to make it look like it had been changed. But still charged for on the bill. Heard an even worse one from A car dealer in Auckland recently. He noticed oil on the car yard and ran the car that was sitting in that area up on ramps found silicone all round the sealing area of the oil filter. The service people had drained the oil spun off the filter and drained& rinsed it out, And put it back with silicone so the oil would not discolour so quickly. The things that are being done to make a living in business these days, are in some cases horrific. I would go back to the import restrictions & other bugbears of the sixties & seventies like a shot. Brought my first house in 1969 for less than 2years Wages 40% deposit required. Merry Christmas to you & your Family & other Sharetrader Members