The final five ideas from yesterday’s Entrepreneurial Summit have been submitted to Commerce Minister Simon Power but they’re hardly going to set the world on fire.
The top idea to raise productivity was the seemingly sexist slogan “Give it a go, bro” that would be used as a marketing and educational campaign to change New Zealanders’ attitudes and attempt to bring back our much-vaunted “number eight wire” mentality.
Second on the list was the “KiwiCard”, a debit card loaded with $10,000 that tourists could only spend in New Zealand. In return for buying the KiwiCard they would have their airfares paid for by the government. Presumably they would have to fly cattle class.
Number three was “Harness the Possum”, an idea to make money from the 70 million possums in New Zealand by trapping them rather than poisoning them with 1080. Perhaps we should farm them (not using possum crates of course).
Fourth on the list was the “Flying Kiwi Fund”, a venture capital fund for “exciting” businesses in their growth phase. Surely if businesses are that “exciting” people will queue up to throw money at them. Look at Xero – and it hasn’t even made a profit yet.
Rounding out the list was the suggestion to better co-ordinate New Zealand’s research and development and allow entrepreneurs to get their hands on research institutes’ intellectual property.
Some of these ideas are good, but only the hopelessly optimistic would expect them to make more than a dent in New Zealand’s dismal productivity level.
NBR would like its readers to suggest productivity-enhancing ideas of their own.
Here’s one to kick things off – get mining.
Sell off government land that contains billions of dollars of gold and other minerals buried beneath its soil.
This would give the government a chance to pay down some of its skyrocketing debt and give the beleaguered rangers a more manageable workload.
It’s not a sexy idea but it would raise our GDP, increase our tax take and provide high-paying jobs in struggling rural areas. And once the mines were covered over the land could be used for farming or forestry, or even our favourite industry, tourism.
Now it’s your turn. NBR readers, lend us your ideas.