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Oram questions government's math skills!

PRESS RELEASE - For Immediate Release

4th September 2012

Oram questions government's math skills!

Rod Oram economic and political commentator who also happens to be involved with numerous projects in the innovation space suggests that the Kiwi government sums just don’t add up. “Of all developed countries, New Zealand is the most dependent on its natural environment for earning its living in the world economy. We do that very well as highly efficient producers of low value commodities. The government thinks that will make us wealthy. It has set a target of trebling the exports of food and beverages by 2025. The problem is the simple arithmetic doesn't work. There are serious physical constraints in the dairy industry and other parts of the primary sector. Even a doubling seems unlikely.”

“It seems many governments and business are ignorant, have their heads in the sand or simply don’t want to know about some of the challenges that the coming years will present. We are facing major economic and environmental risks, not just locally but internationally, Andrew Martin the publisher of a blog that focuses on trends and sustainability said. Most folks don’t want to address the real issues and hope everything will be alright. Prominent business leaders like Richard Branson, Jim Rogers, Bill Gates, Dick Smith and Warren Buffett are talking about some of these issues trying to raise awareness, yet many choose to go about doing the same thing, hoping to get a different result!” Martin said.

So what are the answers? Oram suggests “The answer to the strategic challenge is two-fold: to produce far greater value, sustainably, from our existing industries; and developing new ones that are at the forefront of clean technologies. The first means doing something far harder than building a nice brand for a lamb chop or a tin of infant formula. It means investing in demanding new science such as nutrigenomics so we can make highly specialised foods, tailored to individual's genes that can deliver very substantial health benefits. The second means drawing on our strong skills in biology-based economic activity to open up new fields such was synthetic fuels. Above all, we must learn how to make money from enhancing our natural environment, not devaluing it more”.

“New Zealand has the potential to prosper in the face of global economic and energy challenges, yet it is currently highly exposed with two of its major industries, tourism and export agriculture, both reliant on cheap energy and the need for international markets to continue to grow. There are some great things happening in New Zealand at a grassroots level, we just have to move away from our traditional view of business as usual and be more innovative and open to new ways of doing things.” Martin said.

Tomorrow’s Business Forum has come about from Martin’s extensive research in the areas of energy, finance and economics. What better way to generate some discussion than having a progressive entrepreneur like Dick Smith who understands the major trends, a young innovator and leader like Sam Johnson and someone who understands the New Zealand landscape such as Rod Oram.

Both Smith and Oram are outspoken about some of the pressing issues that face economies and society at large. At the end of the day most people resist change and some of the things these guys talk about upsets the status quo. The great investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett once said “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who has been swimming naked” I hope most Kiwi’s would rather be informed and open to new ideas and possibilities than caught with their pants down!

The Tomorrow’s Business Forum will be held Friday the 14th of September in Queenstown. Any profits from this event go toward a local Queenstown Lakes District community engagement initiative Shaping our Future. For more information and bookings visit www.tomorrows-business.org
or call: 03 44 11 481


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