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The Letter – Monday, 13 November 2006

The Letter – Monday, 13 November 2006

The Letter Limited -

The Haps

Stadium farce continues. PM attends dedication of war memorial. Is unemployment increasing? League and Rugby win. Critics praise “Out of the Red” as a must read business book.

A farce

Trevor Mallard told the trustees of Eden Park to keep the “hammer down” on their plans just days before announcing the government’s preference for the waterfront. The threat to shift the final to Christchurch is not credible as a 60,000 capacity stadium is too big for the city.

Re Nationalised

If the ARC had not bought out the port’s private shareholders would anyone be considering putting a stadium on the middle of the country’s biggest port? At that time the ARC councillors gave many assurances that the port would be run commercially.

Economic transformation

Mallard issued papers last week claiming that one of the government’s strategies for “transforming” the economy was to make Auckland internationally competitive. (This is recognition of research that indicates that in the global economy it is cities that compete rather than countries).On Friday he claimed building a port stadium would make the city internationally competitive. If that is so, why not build a convention centre in the middle of the runway at Mangere Airport?

Even lefties

It is not often we agree with old time lefties like Brian Rudman. Rudman is right when he reminded us all that the trustees of Eden Park at first said that for just $40 million temporary stands could be built which would meet the World Cup requirements for the park. Auckland does not need a permanent 60,000 capacity stadium at either the port or Eden Park.

Biggest ever

The Port Stadium will be the biggest building ever built in NZ. When the Aotea Centre was constructed it was the largest building ever built and normal procedures were also by-passed. Ratepayers were told the cost was $49 million tops but critics think it cost over $172 million. Fletchers have already been awarded, on a non contested basis, the building of the platform. The stadium is so expensive that no other NZ firm has a balance sheet big enough to tender without bringing in an overseas partner.

The two Ms should both resign

How could the National party allow Murray McCully, Mallard’s rugby mate from the parliamentary team, to set the party’s policy?

Unemployment rising?

Economists are assuming that the recent slight rise in unemployment figures is a sign that wage inflation is easing. The number in employment fell by 9000 while the number of unemployed rose from 4000 to 83,000. The fall in employment was virtually all female both full and part time. We are mystified as to why this should be and The Economist reports a similar unexplained drop in female employment in the US. If it is a trend it will have an impact on economic growth. In contrast Student Job Search says it has a record numbers of jobs with double the number paying $20 an hour.

More workers

The September Labour Department household survey says there are 3,221,900 working aged people (up 10,000); 1,024,000 not in the labour market and 2,201,000 in work (down 0.2% but the second highest total ever).

More Immigrants

The net number of permanent migrants is 1,100 positive, a key statistic. Most immigrants go to Auckland and this explains the new rise in Auckland house prices.

More sickness beneficiaries

Muriel Newman in her columns says Labour is manipulating the welfare figures. Sickness and Invalid benefit numbers have grown a third under Labour to 123,000. On an equivalent population basis in 1973 just 22,000 were on these benefits!

Government led wage inflation

Muriel records that 2,651 public servants earn over $100,000 - the 32 chief executives earn between $200,000 and $500,000 each. The top earner was the ex Commissioner of Police, earning over $680,000. Why the size as there was no shortage of suitable applicants for the job. For more details go to

What about the living?

We too have to admit to being moved by the ceremony in London to commemorate NZ’s war service. In spending $3 million Labour has gone overboard. We just wish that Helen Clark was as concerned about living servicemen as she is about dead ones.

Even Vietnam has a US trade deal

Last week Vietnam with US support has become the 150th member of the WTO. Vietnam, the USA’s old enemy, now has a trade agreement with America! Something that NZ has still not achieved.

Best All Black team ever?

Apparently when national teams win, domestic violence falls. Politicians are convinced that an All Black victory helps the government. An unbeaten tour could even boost consumer confidence just prior to Christmas.

A business book!

“Out of the Red” is being praised as a must read book for those in business. “This is an important book for everyone in business” NBR Editorial. “His observations…ring very true”. Institute of Directors magazine. “Richard has real insight into business success”. Don Braid, Managing Director, Mainfreight. “Market it in the US of A with a new title; HOW TO PREPARE YOURSELF TO MANAGE A BILLION DOLLAR COMPANY…A STEP-BY-STEP SELF-HELP GUIDE FROM THE POLITICIAN WHO USED THESE SIMPLE RULES TO SAVE NEW ZEALAND FROM BANKUPTCY’. John Langdon, managing director Dominion English Schools. Just $29.95, or five for the price of four, ($119-80), free post and packaging, from


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