Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Muriel Newman: Languishing Behind Our Neighbours

Languishing Behind Our Asian Neighbours


By Muriel Newman MP

Although Finance Minster Dr Michael Cullen may crow about New Zealand’s four percent annual growth rate, the sad fact is that low single-digit growth – from a small economic base – is dismal. In other words, the New Zealand economy can be expected to double in size every 18 years. In comparison, China expects its gross domestic product to quadruple within 10 years, with most Asian economies doubling every seven

As a result of our low growth rate, we are becoming relatively less well off each day. Yet, while we stand still, other countries are moving forward, propelled by governments driven by a growth agenda. Sadly, within 20 years, we will become a backwater nation unless a progressive growth strategy is implemented. This is rapidly becoming an urgent priority.

New Zealand is a very special country in more ways than one – we are innovative and industrious, with many Kiwi businesses front-footing it on the global stage and competing successfully with the world’s best. We also have a unique and beautiful environment, which we need to preserve and protect – but we must not lose sight of the essential need to move forward and lift our living standards at a faster rate.

While Dr Cullen may be busy boasting about New Zealand’s growth prospects to international audiences, the reality is that the Labour Government has done little to develop the partnership relationships needed for progress. Rather than genuinely advancing the programme of compliance cost reductions, which the business sector has been urgently crying out for, Labour has instead imposed upon business the added burden of its socialist agenda. In fact, latest estimates of that burden run into a cost of tens of thousands of dollars on small business.

If we truly cared about the future of our country, it is now long past time for the commitment to economic growth to be given a prominent place on the political agenda. Economic strategies that imprint the benefits for growth on the public psyche need to be developed.

Of course, business growth must be balanced against social and environmental issues – growth should not come at the expense of environmental and social needs, but nor should environmental and social needs come at the expense of growth.

Unfortunately, some of those needs are now out of kilter: the Resource Management Act is clearly a barrier to growth – and unless the problems associated with frivolous, vexatious and pecuniary objections are addressed, New Zealand will continue to languish behind our Asian neighbours.

Similarly, the demands of social welfare – for people who could work, but choose to remain on benefits in the long-term – are creating an unsustainable tax burden on our economy. This is handicapping our ability to keep pace with our Asian neighbours, who have a far more pragmatic approach to helping the unemployed.

Regrettably, the Labour Government – with its green agenda in the wings – is committed to implementing its socialist experiment, and is looking no further than the three-year election cycle. This is totally at odds with Asian nations, who have in place long-term strategies to raise the standard of living within their countries. As a result, New Zealand risks becoming a pauper in the South Pacific.

In taking stock of New Zealand’s situation, we are more than aware of the brain drain’s negative effects on our economy. We do, however, take comfort in the fact that many of those who leave eventually return. Rather than returning because we offer first-class opportunities, the reality is that many come home to be with family and friends, to raise children, and to enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle.

But we can surely aspire to more: let’s not lose sight of the fact that, as a small nation with a great deal going for it, we can truly become a world beater. We need to learn from those countries, which are creating double-digit growth, and adopt their ideas. This will put us on a path to deliver to all New Zealanders – not least our children – a way of life that matches the world’s best.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Ardern Speech: Justice Summit Opens

If we want to talk about an effective justice system, we shouldn’t start with a discussion about prisons, but a discussion about New Zealand...

We believe in a ‘fair go’. We are fair minded and like to give people a chance. Ensuring everyone is treated fairly is part of the fabric of our culture.

And equally, we are defined by what we don’t believe ourselves to be – and we certainly don’t feel like the kind of place that would have one of the highest incarceration rates in the western world, and yet we do. More>>

 

NZDF: New Chiefs Of Navy, Army And Air Force

“I’m delighted to announce that following approval by Cabinet, Commodore David Proctor, Brigadier John Boswell and Air Commodore Andrew Clark have been appointed by the Governor-General to lead their respective Services,” says Ron Mark. More>>

ALSO:

Christchurch Quake: New Red Zone Payment For Uninsured

The Government will pay former residential red zone owners 100% of the 2007/08 rateable value for uninsured homes, Minister Megan Woods has announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On MP Pay And The REAL P.C. Danger Zone

There has never been anything remotely credible about the way parliamentarians would paint themselves as the helpless victims of the Remuneration Authority when it came to their pay increases... More>>

ALSO:

Repatriation: Remains Of NZ Service People Return Home

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Veterans Ron Mark say they were honoured to be with the families of service personnel as they welcomed their loved ones home. More>>

ALSO:

Cop Shop Top-Up: 1800 New Police Through NZ

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has today confirmed further details around the allocation of the 1800 additional officers, following a $298.8 million increase for Police in Budget 2018... “These 1800 officers, alongside 485 support staff, will really enhance our work to keep people safe, and ensure they feel safe,” says Mr Bush. More>>

ALSO:

Human Right Commissions: Concern On Aged Care And Consent

A new report published by the Human Rights Commission raises concerns about the legal and human rights safeguards for an estimated 5000 elderly New Zealanders in secure dementia units and psychogeriatric facilities. More>>

ALSO:

Greens AGM: Leadership Stands Firm On Waka Jumping Bill

The Green Party leadership have dug in their heels and will not be reversing any of the decisions they have made in government. Former MPs Jeanette Fitzsimons and Sue Bradford had hoped the caucus might be persuaded this weekend to pull its support from the waka jumping bill. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages