Third world New Zealand

Old Mother Hubbard
New Zealand's cupboard is looking a bit bare too. It's time to halt the decline.

I despair for this country. The teachers want more money, the health sector wants more money, our defence forces are reminiscent of The Mouse That Roared, rich people and landlords only pay tax if they want to.

20% of our population lives overseas. Of those who remain, 12.5% of working age adults are on benefits and 20% of our children live in benefit-dependent families.

We’re still steadily sinking in the economic rankings relative to Australia, and to everybody else on the planet. Our jails are full to bursting—mostly with people who should be working in the community to right those they’ve wronged—the bureaucracies are inefficient and incompetently managed.

Our roads are dreadful but the transport playing field is tilted in favour of the trucking industry that’s wrecking them. Our biggest city and our capital are choked after decades of stupid transport decisions but all we do is build more roads and pour in more vehicles to make things worse.

We set up task groups of knowledgeable folk to tell us how to get out of the mess then we ignore the good advice we pay them big money to provide. There are many influential people who know what’s wrong and how to fix it but we ignore them.

Successive governments have become more and more enslaved to special interest groups, myopically focused on winning the next election, cynically disregarding long term—or even medium term—growth . Unless you—yes, you—get off your backside and start a revolution it’s just going to get worse.

We live in 250,000 square kilometers of the best real estate on the planet, we have plenty of space, we have far more renewable energy resources than just about anywhere but we’ve managed to botch it so badly that everybody wants to bugger off to hot, dry, desertified Australi. As a result we can’t even afford to pay the going rate to replace our rapidly depleting stock of GPs. We can only attract immigrants whom the Australians don’t want or those who hate snakes. Many of those we do take stay here until they get citizenship and then scarper off across the ditch.

We’re spending the education budget training graduates and tradespeople to run Australia. Our universities are going broke, our farmers can’t afford to buy our land, our housing is grossly overpriced relative to our incomes and the only reason we can drive halfway decent vehicles is that we import used cars and buses that the Japanese don’t want.

The industrial base in Dunedin has turned off the lights and the houses the workers used to live in are filled with drunken students.

We can fix this mess inside 10 years.


Some thoughts:

  • Hold our politicians feet to the fire. Make the sods stick to their election promises. Hold them accountable.
  • Force them to stop using unaffordable bribes to elicit votes from those voters who are unsophisticated, the stupid, or myopic.
  • Get rid of the current party political structure. It’s no longer working. They’re all competing against one another to pander to special interest groups. Examples? retirement age; compulsory superannuation; student loans; tax reform; capital gains tax; vital infrastructure; Telecom.
  • Get it into our heads that if we want to spend money on health, police, defence, superannuation and all the goodies everybody wants then we have to earn the wherewithal to pay for it.
  • That means increasing per-capita GDP.
  • By a lot.
  • That, in turn, means we need jobs in industries which generate high wages. It means that, although farming and tourism are necessary, they only provide low-wage jobs and we’re not going to get back to being a rich country without generating high-tech jobs!
  • Create policies which induce people to save, to reduce frivolous spending.
  • Create policies which encourage business to invest in R & D and in high-tech industries.

Don’t believe me?

A picture is worth a thousand words: watch this video presentation “Beyond the Theme Park and the Farm Gate” by Professor Sir Paul Callaghan. It’s entertaining, interesting, authoritative and worrying.

When you’ve watched it tell me where I’m wrong. I dare you. I beg you!

It’s really important.

I don’t want my grand-children to live in Australia. Neither does Dr Callaghan.

3 thoughts on “Third world New Zealand

  1. Sorry to say, but I don’t think it’s going to get much better… we always wait until there is a MAJOR problem before trying to fix it. And by then all the smart people will already be living in Australia.

    It’s the people on the benefits (that are quite capable of working but “don’t need to”) that keep reproducing and bludging off the government. There are going to end up more of them for the government to try and bribe to win votes – the uneducated ones that are out for themselves and don’t think about their futures or their childrens.

    I quite often get emails from Seek saying “move to Australia, we can set you up with a job before you leave NZ” – $70,000 Australian for the same job I do here – does sound VERY tempting.

  2. I agree with you Lana.

    I also disagree with you.

    Why am I having a schizophrenic buck each way?

    What you’re describing is the way things are. What this website is promoting is the way things should be and the way they can be. All that’s required is for New Zealanders to get off their backsides and demand change.

    We already have a major problem.

    The people who aren’t working, but who are capable of doing so, are less to blame than those who allow that situation to continue.

    We—that’s you and me—need to insist that the cynical attitude of our political parties and parliamentarians changes. Every 3 years the opposition garner a few votes by promoting beneficiary bashing then they win the treasury benches and do bugger-all about it.

    We need to create jobs, even if it has a fiscally negative effect, i.e. even if it costs money. In the end it will pay off because it will break the cycle, people in employment, even work schemes, create more jobs for other people through consumption, they have more money, their kids get a better education and so on …

    If people aren’t in work they should be in training and if they’re young and intractable in (gasp!) Boot Camps and/or Work Camps.

    The forests are full of pests and noxious weeds, vast areas need re-afforestation, roadways and coastlines need cleaning and beautification, publicly owned property needs maintenance, little old ladies need their lawns mown, libraries and meals-on-wheels need volunteers.

    A fat and uninspiring Labour Employment Minister called Joe Walding was in China years ago and the subject of unemployment came up. A Chinese official didn’t understand the concept. “Has all the work been done in New Zealand?” he asked.

    We need to stop the cycle of inter-generational welfare dependency. There are obviously those who cannot work, but everyone who can work should not be paid one cent without being available for it.

    This will be the subject of a future post.

    Help me to demand change. You can give up and bugger off to Australia. In the short term you’ll be better off. But the medium to long term outlook for Australia is not good. Climate change is not going to be kind to them. If we can force change we can reverse our decline. It just needs voter education.

    I suspect that we need fundamental political change. The party system is not working. Many people in Parliament understand the issues but the way the system works mitigates against major change. More on that coming soon.


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