Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


More Kiwis needed to grow NZ exports

More Kiwis needed to grow NZ exports
 
Bruce Wills is the President of Federated Farmers and published in the New Zealand Herald on 30 November 2012.  Federated Farmers CEO, Conor English, also featured on the Q+A Economic Growth Special, which aired 2 December 2012.
 
Recently, the International Herald Tribune supposedly blew the lid on New Zealand's ‘clean green 100% Pure' brand.
 
That New Zealanders don't do moderation is evident in the comments extracted by the journalist who wrote it.  I won’t go as far as the email Mark Unsworth sent to Russel Norman about Massey’s Mike Joy.  The one that ended up on Facebook quickly followed by the NZ Herald, but what Unsworth wrote will have many in the Horizons Region nodding in agreement.  Sometimes, as President of Federated Farmers, it can feel as if you are a lone voice. 
 
We want people and the media especially to look at what we do and how we do it, because when people come on-farm, they learn we are way up there in terms of environmental performance.  
 
The International Herald Tribune piece and the comments of Dr Joy reveal a twist in our collective psyche.  We seem to delight in telling anyone who will listen, just how bad we are. The larger the stage it seems, the wilder the claims.  I tend to believe that for all of our faults and we do have them, we do more good in this world than bad.
 
Reflecting on what we told the same American journalist writing from Hong Kong about New Zealand, I was struck by the paucity of coverage when agriculture does well.  Take Dr Jeremy Hill becoming the first New Zealander to head the International Dairy Federation in 109 years.  Or, as I was reminded of in an email from a contact at the Department of Conservation, what about the limited coverage of Tim Aitken and Lucy Robertshawe; Marks & Spencer's number one farm supplier on earth?
 
Ironically, one the solution to our myopic view of the world is more people. 
 
Scale Up or Die,” released recently by the NZIER, argues convincingly that successful exporting nations are not only closer to their markets, but have large home markets as well.  It is the domestic market that helps create the scale needed for export success.
 
One hundred and twelve years ago, New Zealand was a nation of one-million people versus the 4.4 million we have today.   The most recent 1.2 million of us in only the past 32 years.
 
The NZIER argues we need 15 million Kiwis by 2060 because, "If New Zealand's biggest impediment to better economic performance is an absence of scale, there is only one way to overcome this over the long term and that is to grow the population through more migrants."
 
It is certainly a plan bolder and more convincing than finding new ways to tax people or regulating our way to greatness. New Zealand exports are more likely to grow if successive governments target a population of 15 million by 2060 because more people bring more capital and more ideas. 
 
They also bring more problems over land use and the environment.  That seems solvable with local government reforms underway and a hierarchy of land-use; reusing previously developed land first, increasing densities and leaving greenfield as the last resort.  The advantage of this is that it makes better public transport economically feasible.  Given Labour’s proposed ‘KiwiBuild’ seems yet more single level houses, the one sure-fire way to reduce section price is to build up, making the residential footprint more efficient.
 
If we can add more people without adding to the sprawl, I can confidently say that in terms of value and in terms of productivity, New Zealand farming is the star turn. Globally, New Zealand agriculture is Hollywood and Wellywood all rolled into one because New Zealand's core competitive advantage is food production.  More people, more capital and more ideas will spur on the value add.
 
It is why perhaps New Zealand’s brand should be about getting "NZ Inside". 
 
Between 2012 and 2050, ANZ expects New Zealand to capture an additional $500 billion to $1.3 trillion in agricultural exports. This is an immense opportunity so striking the right balance between growth and the environment is important. With good management and good science we can continue to improve how we interact with the environment and grow the economy. We can grow more jobs with an ever lighter footprint.
 
The solution is not complicated either.
 
It is trusting Kiwis to make their own spending decisions so Government just needs to spend less. It is about focusing on outcomes rather than process. It is about trusting the collective wisdom of a community to decide water limits for themselves and not some distant judge.
 
We produce safe, quality food in a world that is crying out for more. We have great water nestled among some of the best scenery on earth. We are an educated and innovative people with an exciting future. We are the ‘lucky' country but could be even luckier, with more Kiwis.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news