Friday, 12 October 2018

12 October 2018

Here's our Friday newsletter.  If you do not wish to receive this communication from us, please scroll to the bottom and unsubscribe.

Thank you, everyone, for the feedback. My apologies for not replying individually to all the messages. I have a day job, that also extends into most evenings. For those of you who don’t already know, I’m an elected representative in local government. My days go like this.

Onto a sample of news and views that got my goat or piqued my fancy this week:


The sense of entitlement is strong in this sign. What would be the need for working at all?


I have a friend who has a handful of rental properties; it’s her sole income. She has always required that Work and Income clients have their rent paid directly and made this a condition in the Rental Agreement. But she has recently learnt that beneficiaries can cancel this arrangement at any time without notice to the landlord, by requesting Work and Income to direct all of their payment to their own bank account.  This is sometimes done when the beneficiary is having trouble meeting more immediate bills for which they are in danger of being cut off from services. They know there is a considerable time lapse between ceasing paying rent and the landlord’s ability to evict, and when that eventually happens, sometimes after many weeks or even months, Work and Income will put them up in a motel, settle the rent arrears on their behalf, which they then pay back on drip-feed over time. Work and Income should uphold these rental agreements, or beneficiary tenants should be put on income management. By failing to protect landlords, the government is contributing to the homelessness problem, not assisting it.


For those of us who suffered severe post-natal depression for years after the birth of our children, having a super-mum paraded through media every week brings back feelings of inadequacy and failure. I genuinely feel concern for those mothers who are struggling now, for whom childbirth, breastfeeding, and bonding, is not the positive experience portrayed on TV and in glossy magazines, who can barely cope with the thought of having to make a visitor a cup of tea, let alone contemplate a return to work or career. If you’re a mum who identifies with this, please know you’re not alone – seek help now.  And to dads, brothers, sisters, parents, friends – if you think this is someone you know, please give them the support they need.

Thankfully I’m long over my postnatal depression days, but I am really feeling a lack of confidence about business confidence.


So our Prime Minister has the food supply in her sights.

Anything the government controls tends to end up in short supply or poor quality provision – education, housing, health, e.g. In contrast, we currently have no shortage of food, and the quality is better than ever. The fact is the NZ market is just not big enough to support too many major players. If we are to attract more competition into the market, regulating margins is not the way to do it.  If the big chains are indeed ‘creaming it’, then new players have room to be competitive. Regulate the margins and you regulate competition. If supermarkets are forced to work within certain margins, they may turn to the growers (where the buyer sets the price, not the seller), and put the squeeze on them, in order to replace margin with volume to maintain profits.

If the government goes down this track, what’s next? Broadband and mobile phone providers? Power companies? Breweries? And how in all practicality will this work, and what will it cost to administer and enforce?


The result of the teacher unions’ collective bargaining, and state control over teacher salaries is capped earnings. These pay scales are shocking. No-one is allowed to be a tall poppy. Everyone is reduced to the same level, regardless of passion or ability or results. Partnership schools and paying good teachers more would give teachers like Eileen Gilmour the opportunity to be valued more highly. “She resigned from NZEI in protest a few years ago.”


Residents of North Auckland have been waiting for years for a much-needed transport infrastructure which will relieve strangling congestion.

Xenophobia in the form of fear that a Chinese company might be able to come in and build this bridge is so misplaced. (I suspect the mood would be different if the investment was coming from a ‘white’ country.) The majority of contractors and people employed will be New Zealanders; all these people and businesses will pay tax in NZ. The Chinese investor will want to make a profit as a return on their investment. This may be sent back to China, or it may be invested in another infrastructure project. Either way, it provides the incentive for them to want to invest in the first place. That’s fair. Without it, this won’t happen. Foreign investment is vital to developing our infrastructure because our economy is just too small to support this level of capital investment otherwise.


Feel free to send me your funnies for next Friday!

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