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Government Subsidises Imports

Import News from the Importers Institute:

Government Subsidises Imports

The Government is spending millions of dollars on a 'Buy New Zealand' campaign. Importers are the main beneficiaries of this largesse.

Most consumers base their decisions on price and quality. If a locally made product is better value than an imported equivalent, they will buy it. If it is more expensive or of lower quality, very few people would be persuaded to make that purchase, based on appeals to their patriotism.

That is the main reason why producers will seldom use their own money to back up advertising based on patriotism. Now, if they could find someone else to pay, that would be quite different. Well, they have: you - courtesy of a vote-buying deal struck by the Government.

The Labour Party needed votes from the Green Party to govern. One of the conditions of the Greens support was an agreement to spend millions of dollars on a Buy New Zealand Campaign. Labour knows very well that this is a waste of our money, but went ahead and bought the votes with it anyway.

So where is all that money going? Advertising agencies, mainly. The profits will be used by the managers of those agencies to buy, among other things, fancier cars. Luxury car importers benefit.

Local manufacturers will not see any results. We know this, because history tells us that these campaigns have never worked. There are no cost / benefit studies. At best, there are anecdotes from people who work for these campaigns but when it comes to hard data - nada.

This campaign is even worse than usual. In their quest for purity, the Greens decided to exclude from the campaign those goods that are designed and marketed by New Zealanders, but assembled elsewhere. To them, the location of the sweatshop is more important than the real origin of the goods. In response, the excluded producers started their own voluntary campaign, funded through the sale of groovy t-shirts. Well worth a look at

The Greens are also dishonest. MP Sue Bradford claimed that concerns about formaldehyde in clothing is one more reason for consumers to buy local. The fact is that the few remaining local manufacturers of clothing are using imported fabric and the place where the garment is sewn has nothing to do with the levels of formaldehyde that is present in the fabric.

The whole issue of formaldehyde, raised by a TV program, has all the hallmarks of chemophobia. The stuff has been in use as an anti-wrinkle and anti-mildew agent since the 1920's and no one is known to have ever got sick from it, but all of a sudden we are all supposed to be in grave danger. The Greens wasted no time jumping on the anti-China, anti-trade bandwagon.

To understand how the Greens operate, go back to the dihydrogen monoxide issue. Someone sent the Greens an email on dihydrogen monoxide pointing out it is a colourless, odourless, tasteless chemical used in all sorts of dangerous industries and that in gaseous form it causes thousands of burns; in liquid form millions of deaths from overdose, and in its solid state causes tissue damage. More information on

In an email response, Green MP Sue Kedgley's office said she was 'absolutely supportive' of a ban on dihydrogen monoxide in New Zealand. The chemical symbol for dihydrogen monoxide is H2O. That's right, water.


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