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

Gordon Campbell:
On The Greens Proposal To Gradually Lift The Minimum Wage

Heading into the election home stretch, voters have a clear choice about the best way to help low and middle income New Zealanders. They can do so by gradually lifting the minimum wage (as the Greens propose) or by a small tax cut, as the government seems about to announce.

The minimum wage boost – by 75 cents an hour to $15 in December, and then by gradual annual increments to $18 an hour by 2017 – that the Greens are talking about is just one part of a packet of employment measures that would include scrapping youth rates and the 90 day trial period, introducing a redundancy package of four weeks, offsetting any abatement effect of the policy package for those receiving Working For Families, and finally… ditching the exception made by the government (during the Hobbit negotiations) for workers in the screen industry, which denies them normal workplace safeguards and entitlements. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

2014 General Election: Voting Period Begins

The first votes for the 2014 general election will be cast today, Wednesday 3 September, as advance voting begins ahead of election day on Saturday 20 September. More>>

ALSO:

Two Dead, One Injured: Suspect Charged After Ashburton Shooting

Russell John Tully has appeared in Christchurch District Court. Tully has been remanded in custody on charges of murder of Peg Noble and Leigh Cleveland and attempted murder of Lindy Curtis. More>>

ALSO:

John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

ALSO:

Internet MANA: Georgina Beyer Rocks The Waka

“There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority of MANA members and supporters around the country” states MANA Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Update: Inquiry Into Release Of NZSIS Information

The Inquiry would be conducted in private and individuals would appear before her separately over a period of more than a week. She does not intend to name those summoned to give evidence until her report is published. “I can confirm that all persons summoned will be required to appear under oath...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

ALSO:

Maori Council Lawyers' Statement: Supreme Court Decision On Maori Water Rights

“…the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead… the Supreme Court has questioned whether the Crown owns the River at all.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news