OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Taskforce 2025: A Space Odyssey

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  • Logan O'Callahan,

    Totally agree with the sentiments on wealth.

    Not too many people have a problem with the likes of the La Grouws (Lockwood houses) and Gallaghers (electric fences) of this world. They built big businesses by hard graft, making real things and employing lots of people.

    What we object to is the people who get rich quick at other people's expense simply by shovelling money around. The scene that is crowded now with property developers, investment bankers and finance companies.

    My concern is that we're too entrepreneurial, in the wrong ways. It's too easy to start a company, and with no requirement for input capital. It's a form of win only gambling: Want to take a few punts on the horses, do it through a company. In fact, do it through 5, keep the winners and let the TAB take a bath on the rest.

    Since Apr 2008 • 70 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    if you're going to be at Emma's book launch tonight

    Was. Can't believe I missed you again. Not saying Rudman is always on the mark but that particular story had a striking clarity of tone. Well, it struck me.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Jamie Anstice,

    I've been thinking a lot about this business scene recently, as I've got a new venture about to taxi down the runway, and while there are a lot of issues around market size & isolation & access to capital & all those usual things, I think that the Bach-Boat-Beemer checkout point is at a natural inflection in an entrepreneurial business, where the owner who is talented at making boats or software or cheese or whatever reaches a point where to get bigger needs less technical expertise and more managerial skills. There's got to be a conscious decision to get managerial - it's an easy non-decision to keep doing things the way they've always been done.

    I think that NZ accepts entrepreneurs (especially those who make things rather than move other peoples' money around), but distrusts professional managers as at best a bunch of flash harrys who come along after all the hard work has been done & take all the credit & make all the money, and at worst hatchet men for the already ultra-rich.

    I wonder if this is tied into the access-to-capital story - in a lot of places angel & VC money comes from entrepreneurs who have cashed out and then invest in the next round - if NZ business owners putter along quietly and don't have big exits then the capital gets stuck and doesn't roll forwards.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    You should all go and read Chris' excellent post now:

    Nine reasons why New Zealand is not Australia

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    I did. Well worth the few minutes it took...Chris has articulated all the reasons that make me feel so frustrated with pollies advocating "catching up with Australia" as though it were probable or desirable.

    The only additional one that I find relevant is the size of the Oz popul ation- getting to 20 million and growing...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Thanks Deborah, he said it well. Another thing that somebody pointed out in an email to NR, was that Australia didn't have Don Brash's creepy little hands on the Reserve bank levers, through out decade of wage decline by contrast, that Chris talks about.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2809 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    You should all go and read Chris' excellent post now:

    Nine reasons why New Zealand is not Australia

    I did, but there's one passage I found rather over-egged the pudding:

    Australian life is full of fees that are effectively taxes, even though they go by different names. [...] Flying out of Sydney Airport costs $70 in departure taxes, and $7 per head to use the train station.

    Um not free but heavily subsidised public transport is a stealth tax now? At least you can catch a train from the centre of Sydney to Kingsford Smith. Won't hold my breath waiting for any such thing to happen in Auckland.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Reading through it briefly, the report reads like an enormous waste of time and money, but for all that, the amount of xenophobia from some on this thread scares me as much.

    Not wanting to go into battle, just saying...

    people who live in temperate countries (like all the commentators comparing New Zealand to Australia) don’t appreciate what really hot places are like.

    They're rather pleasant actually.....

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    They're rather pleasant actually.....

    That depends. The dry heatwaves they get in Oz were most assuredly very unpleasant. But I do long for the nice balmy temperature of Thailand.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    But I do long for the nice balmy temperature of Thailand.

    I'm actually back in Indonesia this week, where it's a decidedly less balmy and humid high 30s, but either way, give me the swelter of a stinking hot South East Asian day over a chilly Auckland spring/winter/autumn. It always looks rather pretty in the shots but the day to day reality is rather different.

    And then you go south...

    That said, nothing beats Tamaki Drive or Piha late Jan / early Feb..nothing.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    They're rather pleasant actually.....

    Not when I visited the Gold Coast in the autumn of 1995. Talk about thermal shutdown.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4431 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Had some really nice days here recently. But there's virtually no conditions where you can just hang around outside and feel comfortable. The sun is too damned strong. In Thailand, with a lovely smoggy haze above ... oh, that's right they killed that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Not when I visited the Gold Coast in the autumn of 1995. Talk about thermal shutdown.

    heh..it's really a matter of acclimatisation. Welly to the Gold Coast is a shock at the very best of times. Very few of those living there seem keen to move to cooler climes which mostly says it all.

    I had to calm an English friend last week who was having to return to Brighton after 4 months in Asia and Queensland. It took some persuasion to get him to the airport..

    In Thailand, with a lovely smoggy haze above ... oh, that's right they killed that.

    Thai winter at the mo' . As you say, a balmy 25-28 most days.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Absurdities abound, the first of which was the appointment of people like Dr Brash and Mr Caygill who, along with their soulmate, Act Party seat-warmer Roger Douglas, are not just yesterday's men but last century's men.

    Ya know who said that? Garth George.
    Given it's Garth George calling you "last century's men" that means 18th Century.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1722 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    heh..it's really a matter of acclimatisation. Welly to the Gold Coast is a shock at the very best of times. Very few of those living there seem keen to move to cooler climes which mostly says it all.

    I lived in a very hot summer climate all my life and couldn't wait to get the hell away from it.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7412 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    I lived in a very hot summer climate all my life and couldn't wait to get the hell away from it.

    There's always one :-)

    I'm always amused by the Scots moving from the bitterly cold north to the UK, to, ahhh, Dunedin

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    So yeah, I have a collection of vintage winter coats. I'm not planning on moving anywhere that's 25 degrees in *winter*. Jesus Christ, Simon! The horror. :)

    (I suppose 'the world don't move to the beat of just one drum/ what might be right for you may not be right for some', as the Diff'rent Strokes theme song says...)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3669 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    So yeah, I have a collection of vintage winter coats.

    Same, well not vintage, but winter coats, and I have to admit a snowy day in Central Park is rather hard to beat, but what I like about it is tempered positively by the happy fact that I'm not stuck there for more than a week or so. It wears thin as do the endless rain drifts in Auckland between April and October.

    The 25 is rather cooler than it sounds. The Thais all cover up in jackets and jumpers. It's perception.

    All topped off by the acres of fake snow up for Xmas across Asia....Orchard Road has machines that pump it out. Bangkok has sleighs, elves and drive-you-crazy Christmas tunes along the length of Sukhumvit and Chit Lom. I think non-Christians tend to do Xmas rather well because they ain't burdened down by the faux significance of the occasion and just indulge in the garish imagery for it's own sake.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    Ya know who said that? Garth George.
    Given it's Garth George calling you "last century's men" that means 18th Century.

    Come on, fair's fair. This was Garth George in a kick-ass mode we knew nothing about. As in the last par:

    The description of the report by Finance Minister Bill English as "too radical" is the final absurdity. The report is not just too radical; it is economic and social bullshit, a serious waste of taxpayers' money, and every copy should be recycled into toilet paper.

    If he hadn't described Mike Moore as venerable and captivating, I might have said I loved every word of it.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 646 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    There's always one :-)

    I moved from the far north to Wellington, Because I like the weather better down here.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2809 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I've always said that it isn't the weather, it's the cold, draughty, damp, leaky homes and huge electricity bills that are the killer. We're slowly fixing that up, and when we do we're going to feel a lot more comfortable.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2137 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    if our national character is not to generate wealth, then as a nation we simply won't have the tax take/private income of other nations

    In terms of public spending, that assumes that we continue on the same path in two areas:

    - our taxes are maintained at the low end of the OECD. If we increased them to British, let alone Scandinavian levels, we could have much better public services, as well as a fairer society.

    - we spend a fortune on the apparatus of social authoritarianism. Measures such as closing prisons, cuting police numbers and legalising and taxing drugs would free a substantial "freedom dividend" that could be spent on more useful public services. (Interestingly, California is being forced to start along this route by their near bankruptcy. They can't afford to pay the jailers and they need the taxes from dope).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4501 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    we spend a fortune on the apparatus of social authoritarianism. Measures such as closing prisons, cuting police numbers and legalising and taxing drugs would free a substantial "freedom dividend" that could be spent on more useful public services.

    Now we're talking.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7412 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Oh I certainly agree we could attempt to achieve a similar level of public spending, the fact remains that would need to be at higher-percentages of taxation than nations that are producing greater wealth.
    I'm not the guy who says wealth is everything, we have to sacrifice every 3rd child of a Decile 1 school to achieve it. But at least let's recognise that either public or private spending is going to need to be at a lower level than comparative nations. Rather than this dream that we can continue to have top-notch public spending at a 30% tax rate.

    And hell yes we waste spending on historical moral crusades.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1722 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    I'm a Southerner and
    I suffer in hot weather.
    I hide from the noonday sun
    come out with the early moon-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

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