It is disturbing that immigration has become an election issue. There is nothing to debate. New Zealand is a relatively underpopulated nation. We can absorb more people. We need to absorb more people if climate change causes sea levels to rise and forces our Pacific Island neighbours from their homes. Or if war or lack of access to basic resources such as food and water make some areas of our planet unliveable. Continue reading
Housing is set to be an election issue. Rightly so. Far too many people are without a warm dry home. Far too many people pay exorbitant rents. Taxpayers are forced to stump up a large portion of this rent for people whose employers do not see it as their responsibility to pay their workers a wage that would enable them to afford the extortionate rent charged by their landlords.
Only a few people are able to afford buy a home to live in. Most of those people live in the less populated/popular areas where sanity has prevailed and houses are still regarded as somewhere to live, not an easy way to make a quick buck.
We all get the problem, but this election let’s not just talk about how many new houses the government – or whoever they delegate the job to – should build over the next ten years. Whatever the amount, if nothing else changes it won’t be nearly enough. Continue reading
Our national superannuation fund will never completely cover annual superannuation payments. It will just provide a small top-up, eventually, maybe. The fund currently stands at $30.1 billion, but it could all disappear in a puff of smoke if there is another financial crash. Continue reading
Debt is bad. Saving is good. Or so we are told. The government has been squirrelling taxpayers money away to invest via the Superannuation Fund. It has also been squirrelling away money from ACC levies to invest for the future.
To encourage us to save, most New Zealanders have had at least 3% of their weekly wages spirited away into a Kiwisaver fund. Employers have contributed another 3% per week.
It is doubtful whether anyone really knows what happens to all this money when it leaves our pockets / pay packets. The main goal is to accrue interest, use the money to make more money. This used to be called usury and was considered immoral in many religions, including Christianity. Continue reading
There is a shortage of affordable (and habitable) housing in New Zealand, particularly in popular areas like Auckland, Wellington, and Central Otago. And it is reaching crisis point.
There is consensus now that “something needs to be done” and that the government has a role to play. There are three issues: Continue reading
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