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

A Hundred Billionaires Say “Lend Me Your Ears”

Not wanting to rain on anyone’s parade, but the picture of our Prime Minister and leaders of most of the other nations of the world “speed dating in first class” with corporate leaders and sundry other ultra rich and famous at DAVOS, is not a pretty one. A hundred billionaires bending the ears of the most influential politicians of the day has got to be bad news for the rest of us. Continue reading

The War on Terror is a War We Cannot Win

Getting our military involved in the fight against the Islamic State would be a mistake. It will simply perpetuate the mistakes that have been ongoing since Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq. All US foreign policy failures that New Zealand has bought into for no other reason than we seem to feel that where the US goes we should follow. Continue reading

A Simple Solution to Over the Top Executive Pay Packets

Acting Labour Party leader David Parker totally calls it when he says no company boss should earn more than the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister earns approximately $500,000 and many would argue that is more than enough. That the average pay packet for CEOs is $1.4 million, certainly indicates that CEO pay rates are out of kilter and in no way related to work performance. Continue reading

Don’t Just Get Tough on Crime, Get Rid of Crime

Come election time there is always at least one party, sometimes more, that insists the way to prevent crime and keep everybody safe is to lock up anyone who looks a bit dodgy and throw away the key. This election is no exception.

There are many problems with this mentality, vote grabber though it may be. Yes, there is crime in New Zealand, and even one crime a year is one crime to many. But crime rates are not, on the whole, going up. Locking up people for minor offences costs the country a fortune and turns them into hardened criminals who will commit more crimes on release.

Getting tough on crime will never get rid of crime. It will always be shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. No one can be locked up until they have actually committed a crime. By that time it’s too late. Continue reading

New Zealanders Don’t Like Inequality But They Vote For It

New Zealanders don’t like inequality. Nigel Latta’s programme on inequality on TV1 recently drew so many donations for the people featured on the programme that he has had to start a trust to deal with the excess funds. Every time Campbell Live on TV3 runs a programme about someone down on their luck the donations come pouring in. The programme raised many times the amount needed for a young boy’s orthodontics; a family whose house was attacked by termites were given enough for a new home. The list goes on.

When confronted by concrete examples of the effects of inequality on people’s lives i.e. people not able to afford the necessities of life out of their own income, New Zealanders dig into their pockets and try to make things right. We want everyone to have a fair go, to have a decent life.

What gets lost, though, is the connection between politics and inequality. Continue reading