Who Should Be Allowed to Buy Property in New Zealand?

Not too long ago houses were for living in and property was for doing something productive with. But these days, property is seen as something to make money out of just by owning for a while then selling.

It is a problem. Every time someone buys a house they don’t intend to live in, land they don’t intend to farm, or a commercial premise they don’t intend to run a business in, they make it that much harder for people who need a home, want to be farmers or to run their own business. Continue reading

New Zealand Needs More Cooperatives Not More Corporations

Does New Zealand really need more multinational corporations and mega-wealthy people setting up shop here?

The government’s recently announced plans to develop ‘the New Zealand Investment Attraction Strategy’ with the aim of attracting multinational corporations and wealthy entrepreneurs to New Zealand is hardly innovative thinking. The idea that our future prosperity depends on convincing the very wealthy to live here and multinationals to relocate their research and development facilities here is a slap in the face to local innovators and businesses. And to universities and government research centres that struggle for funding. Also ironic, given the billions of dollars in our superannuation fund, ACC funds, and Kiwisaver scheme which are largely invested overseas. Continue reading

Social Services: A Safe Bet, A Good Little Earner

The Minister of Social Development is clearly gearing up for TISA, (trades in services agreement). She announced recently that she was considering opening up government-funded social services to profit-making businesses – in other words, multinational corporations. Corporates seeking guaranteed profits from government coffers instead of gambling on the share markets or currency trading. Continue reading

Social Bond(age)

Not-for-Profits providing social services are not working hard enough, or smart enough. The people they support are not trying hard enough. Both need a corporate investor, whose profit margin is at stake, wielding a big stick to chivvy them along to lift their game. Hence the need for social bonds. Or so it is implied.

There are so many reasons why social bonds are a bad idea, and downright insulting to both service provider and service users, it is hard to know where to start. Continue reading

Mean(s) Testing

Everyone deserves a liveable income whether in paid employment or not; our society relies on a great deal of unpaid labour to function. A liveable income for everyone is only fair. And being fair is something that most New Zealanders pride themselves on.

The flip side of this is the amount of time spent worrying about unfairness. It is good to worry about unfairness if it is confined to worrying about people missing out on basic entitlements and taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen.

Unfortunately these days it seems to have gone the other way. The focus is on people getting things others don’t think they are entitled to. Mainly directed at those who get very little by those who have already got a lot. Continue reading