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Give it a go, bro - your entrepreneurial ideas

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.

More by Niko Kloeten

Comments and questions
47

Re the last five paras of this article:

Niko Kloeten you are Sarah Palin, and I claim my five pounds.

Thank-you.

--
Adam

Adam, I'm flattered you think I'm Sarah Palin but I can't see Russia from my house and I'm not into moose hunting.

Brilliant idea about the mining. Tourists (nz second biggest earner) would much rather see tailings and open cast mines than forests and rivers.

also you might want to do some background research to why France has higher productivity than the US.

Niko, you are flattered I think you're Sarah Palin?

And you committed that to print?

And the NBR lets you publish stuff.

Curious times we live in.

--
Adam

I was referring to her looks. Her intellect... not so much.

"Give it a go, ho!"

That would balance the sexist first idea, right? :-p

What a lightweight result. A "think positive" marketing campaign with a cheesy line and a plan to make possum gloves. Brilliant. We should can the little buggers for food like we did during the last Depression.

The KiwiCard's ok but there's nothing original about a VC fund.

And as for mining... there may be gold in them thar hills ( and under towns ) but Australia we're not.

Actually, this makes me want to get on the next plane back there.

Hi one look at the people there and I knew it was a lost cause; quite a few wannabees and even more small time operators, with a good smattering of failures.

Tourism is our second biggest earner, yet the government spends $50m promoting New Zealand as a destination against Australia's $500m. Spend more, get more.

Great idea and when the gold is gone and the company claims bankruptcy (having taken all the profit)or perhaps just fills it in with hazardous waste and claim management corruption. The tax payer well pay all the reinstatement costs and still be no better off.

i agree mining gives little to nz unless a nz company intends using our resources for our own good rather than insist overseas multi national corporations take all the profits ???

How about starting a trout farming industry - it fits with NZ's competitive advantages as a quality producer of foods & our clean green image. Our NZ brand is already associated with the sport of trout fishing - I can imagine the export market potential for NZ trout to be very good.

Trout farming is good, but bigger than that.

We farm the lands and quite well and make a bob or two from that.

We pillage the seas.

Surely the nation who learns to farm the sea (lakes and rivers) the best will have a huge competitive advantage in the world. With resources diminishing daily this is a way of being 'green' and smart. What’s more we are surrounded by water.

Some forms of this are not new, build on the existing ideas, critique and expand...

Here's a crazy idea, let it digest....
Move to a “Resourced Based Economy”.
Every year a company has to make more profit than the last year? A little backwards and often leads to quality and jobs being sacrificed once a market penetration threshold is reached.

Why not encourage to automate as much as possible and raise funds by means of public (local only, by means of literally local ie - 100km radius) investment?
We have the technology to manage resources, systems and energy superbly. Let’s utilize this to grow organizations that make and produce locally.

I am sick of seeing people buy things they don’t need with money they don’t have from far away. It's pointless!

Make a little of everything locally and put the ownership back onto the employees and local investors.

This would of course reshape the business, industry, economy to a more localized spread. People would work on improving efficiencies and a lot more would be spent on R&D, which would balance the disheartened who lose their jobs due to being replaced by machines. In-turn the workforce would shift accordingly and people will become 'improvement/efficiency bees' rather than specialized 'worker bees'.

When facing a problem our thinking should be "do we have the resources to do this". Instead of the stigmata "Do we have the funds to do this".

That Auckland roadwork’s debate at the moment is a prime example - building a tunnel will save homes and further future proof traffic, but instead they are doing a half-arsed job "because it's cheaper".

A resource based economy would require a higher degree of centralization and this would have to be managed through a more secure form of governance to avoid corruption and inevitably lead us to a Totalitarian state that we seem to be surging to at the moment.

What people want is a high level of living standards for everybody. A resource based economy opposed to a money-ism system will offer this. Unfortunately it is a paradigm shift that we are not ready for.

Inevitably this will be forced upon us.

The question is what format will it be delivered in?

The Govt offering free liposuction to overweight people to reduce the obesity epidemic - then use all that fat to make biodiesel !!!

"Give it a go bro" is so down-market and single focused. We need something that is inspirational to those who CAN set things alight-productivity wise. THAT phrase is condescending and an embarrassment. Possum farming,trout farming,the free flight idea with debit card . All good . Try tax breaks for producers,bring back a young persons wage so employers will be more prepared to take them on,no unemployment to people under,say,20. Drop the age of super entitlement to 64,or 63,on condition those persons taking it up have to spend 1 day a week back in their old job-training under 20's. For that contibution to their country they get a whole weeks super and 4 days for fishing,or whatever.There's a small start from me.Also make running a small business less "paper work" intensive. All that time is NON PRODUCTIVE.Too many govt.forms.

How about just charging a reasonable price for power instead of gouging us for $4bn?

That'd immediately hike productivity through lower input costs.

How about some *sensible* support for R&D rather than taxing one company then giving that money to a competitor by way of a grant?

And the best one of all...

How about turning off all TV for a week so that people actually find out there is more you can do of an evening than simply blob out on the sofa?

How about we set up a small cyber-business center to show folks how they can go about setting up small businesses and sell their products/services online to a global market? There are now millions of kitchen-table enterprises earning sizable sums of money all over the globe. Here in NZ we could box above our weight if we offered support and educational services to those who wanted to do this.

The entry costs are low, the markets are global and with a low Kiwi dollar, the rewards are high. Remember, if we're all going to get uber-fast broadband we better be ready to use it for more than p0rn and illegal music downloads!

You are absolutely correct. Give small, innovative and successful NZ businesses the chance to grow and compete in the global economy. We earn next to nothing in NZ - if the Government is really interested in growing NZ Inc, it needs to help. We don't earn enough here to be able to complete with the larger markets overseas on a personal level. The financial downturn has ensured the banks are tight with funds, it would be good for the Government to invest in something which will provide a return.

Much like subsidised Doctors visits for the health of our nation, businesses need subsidised advice to help get them through the tough times. Healthy businesses will lead to a healthy economy.

Every business should qualify for an amount of subsidised consultancy advice from whichever "approved" source they chose, it could be from business consultants to develop a business plan, marketing firms for a marketing plan, accountants for cash flow and budgeting, Human resources firms to improve employee productivity, Information technology for smarter systems.

Don't go throwing good money after slim chance start-ups, help existing business stay in business, grow and improve.

Half our nations problem is based on this DIY mentality, small business owners who try to do everything themselves without asking an expert ultimately limit the potential of their business.

Slogan: We're Fourth!

I really liked the idea about head-hunting/recruiting new immigrants with vital skills. More people need more stuff. People who aren't necessarily well versed in Number Eight wire mentality might demand better services, higher standards and diversity of products. All of which will encourage the economy to both grow here and expand internationally.

Turn us into the Green Gourmet Food Basket of the World.
No added colour or preservatives (or crates)
Export to the world and charge them heaps.

We are not bereft of ideas in this country although reading the reports from yesterday's group masturbation you would think so, what this country needs is infrastructure to get the ideas produced.

Stable cheap,electricity supply and a high speed fibre optic network would be a start not egotistical half wits who think there ideas are fabulous.

2 ideas that need action?

1. Build a 4 lane highway from Whangarei to Bluff...fix the Cook Strait ferry service to suit. This would hugely increase national wealth and productivity...use the Cullen Fund to do it!
2. With a population = to a small city elsewhere in the world (we are f-ing tiny!!) NZ needs to bat as one in the international marketplace...the concept of selling through a NZ Inc is very compelling...incentives from the State would be required.

This is the BEST we've got??? Not good...

I own a small business "New Zealand Limited" complete with the appropriate nzlimited.com web address.

With the excessive amount of entrepreneurial hormones running around at the moment I would like to ask - what type of business do you think "New Zealand Limited" should be involved in ?

How completely underwhelming. Possums!! Maybe enterpreneurs who go to conferences are not the same as enterpreneurs who make money.

How about every business sitting down and thinking how they could produce the same as they do now with fewer people? That is what productivity is about. Yes it would create more unemployemnt short term, but these people are then available to work somewhere else rather than being unproductive in their current job

Give It A Go Bro..

Create New Zealand as a 'Safe Haven" society that protects everyone from the negatives associated with recreational drug use and its black market economy.

A Safe Haven society would make New Zealand an attractive tourist destination, a great place to live and again a world leader. We were the first to win women the vote. What is to stop us being the first western country to achieve a Safe Haven status.

Let some of our brilliant entrepreneur minds think about this.

First we need hard data and research to motivate people and spring board effevtive decisions.

So employ people to collect urine samples ,to test for drug analysis, from those who make court appearanceS and who are admitted to mental institutions.

Employ people to dessiminate infomation on all aspects of recreational drug use, and drugs used in combination with other drugs and alcohol. Begin a grassroot health education campaign that provides detail of what happens to the rational brain and the emotions when RECREATIONAL drugs are used.

Research the most effective detox and treatment methods Establish LIVE IN detox and rehab units in locations all over the country...Each facility creating employment...ranging from gardeners, chefs, outdoor pursuits people. counsellors, massage therapists, musicians etc ...the aim to detox all traces of drug from the body and heal the whole person.

Then put the 'entrepreneur mind -set' to work on how to teach people to drink alcohol responsibly and how to make the hospitality industry good custodians.

How to in effect SOBER UP New Zealand and keep us safe.

These are the excessive amounts of money taken out circulation in the NZ money-go-round and transferred overseas or to the dead weight of government. Examples:
1) The $4.5bn routed from NZ consumers over 5 years by electricity companies - 75% went to the government, I guess
2) The millions of dollars in excess telephone charges we pay because of the RMA making mobile costs unnecessarily expensive, and the lack of action by the Commerce Commission to control the excess charging by the duopoly of Vodafone and Telecom - the excess profits end up as dividend to overseas shareholders
3) The billions of dollars that goes overseas because of the ridiculously high rates if interest in NZ (3-5% higher than the UK or the US, yet our default rate and consequent risk is probably no worse)

There are probably quite a few other valid examples.

Instead of trains, how about electric bus-sized cable cars circumnavigating the entire country, stopping at smaller rural towns, rest area’s etc and places of interest along the way for – Tourism, freight, fishing, sightseeing, possum hunting eco tours etc.

Tourism boost, jobs in construction and tourism industries alone would certainly help with tax revenue generation for the government, let alone jobs throughout the country across many industries and hopefully also generate some much needed patriotic fervour and pride as we take collective pride as we embrace a massive, country wide “SOS” initiative like this.

A project of this magnitude would obviously take bold courage to implement of course, with hurdles to overcome like never before faced… but the positives and end-game vision:

- 1st choice tourist/investment destination world-wide
- NZ leads the world in eco tourism / photo opportunities
- Huge employment boost in numerous industries
- 1st country to offer “car free” sight seeing of the entire country – HUGE “green” kudos on the world stage
- We have plenty of hydro power to run such a cable car network.
- Power line network can be (mostly) under-grounded adjacent to track

I’m sure there’s plenty of impacts and negatives also – but a nation wide project could also help collective morale, pride, mana and our respective futures. Maybe something as huge as this will be shot down in flames, bet remember it wasn’t so long ago that the idea of Auckland’s harbour bridge needing to be 8 lanes wide was poo-poo’ed because of cost/logistic/short sightedness and lack of courage… and now look at us.

Just my 2 cents worth anyway…

Scrap Min Wage & Introduce Tipping - a good way to increase productivity and encourage self responsibility. The Tipping culture is actually a great way to introduce our "low skilled" work force to some fantastic life skills and realities of doing business.

NZ's No.8 wire culture is largely fading due to the lack of necessity to innovate - doing it tough for a bit might actually be just what this country needs to get back to reality and cut out the deadwood for some productive new growth.

Bollocks to subsidies, govt interference, and entrepreneurial summits (agree real entrepreneurs are busy making money). Just give people control of their own lives, and a more reflective share of their own sweat i.e. Tax cuts.

Turning off the TV is also a great idea posted above... if we are so hard done by how is there enough time in the day for the ridiculous amounts of horse s#!t TV this country watches - worse than P.

Secondary Tax rates?

We don't need summits to come up with silver-bullet ideas. New Zealand business people and wannabe business people are full of ideas, and will put them to good effect (and for the benefit of all) if they are given a business enabling environment.

In other words, local and central politicians and bureacrates should get out of the way so business people can do what they do best: earn money; and in the process create jobs and pay taxes.

I would suggest the major force for low productivity is actually our massive level of debt.

Probably half of all our money is spent servicing interest.

When I receive my pay, I spend part of that paying my loan, I boy food - part of which pays the supermarket's loan, the transporters loan, the producers loan.

It's a massive drag - sums of money flowing out of the economy, not improving our productivity, efficiency, development.

Sure, we borrowed a billion here or there to build a school, to build a road, or a new high-tech factory - but for that billion, we'll pay that back and another through interest.

Interest isn't productive.

Great networking opportunity and fun, but hardly the platform from which the genesis of a great idea will evolve to change the fortunes of NZ. I do however, like the novel idea of the free travel incentive in return for a $10,000 spend-up in NZ, but this was muted BEFORE the talkfest.

And, until such time as teleporting or, broadband technology becomes a viable option by which to deliver a cow carcass to the other side of the world, the tyranny of distance will continue to be NZ’s greatest obstacle to wealth. (with the exception of the creative arts/ film, and some service industries)

In the meantime, here’s my two cents worth for the melting pot…

1) Close down all NZ diplomatic and trade posts, and sell off all the real estate that NZ owns. In their place, rent suitable space in strategically located hotels in any of our key markets. Put in place a lucrative export incentive program to all bona fide exporters (or, potential exporters). Provide subsidised or, free accommodation (in the hotels), for those exporters in our key markets.

2) Some of NZ most cleverest people beaver away on projects in their own, back yard and/or, small workshops, their smarts known only to a close few. Develop strategies to seek out these unassuming Einstein’s (many unmotivated by money), and encourage and support them to bring their ideas and projects to market, and commercialise their collective brilliance.

3) The Patent Office to put all of its records on-line.

4) Change the Copyright Act removing industrial design/three dimensional models etc, from its scope .

3) Encourage business to form close and strategic alliances with schools and gain access into the innovative minds of tomorrows consumers.

4) Watch children at play. The prepared mind will spot many new ideas and opportunities.

Pathetic! Makes the jobs summit sound productive! The suggestions from this summit are short term band-aids at best and fortune cookie gimics at worst.

Why don't we hold a "long term unemployed summit" and see what they come up with?

It's not hard to see how NZ's productivity could be improved.

First, the inputs. Isn't it amazing how a country the size of NZ can spend millions to try to create competition in the electricity industry, only to end up with a system where we're all being ripped off for power? Where power supply is undependable, reliance on fossil fuels is increasing and ownership of the infrastructure is going offshore?
Maybe we were actually better off when there was one national power provider. Think Big projects actually got done, leading to NZ becoming one of the greenest power systems in the world.

The same thing aplies to telecoms. Committees, reports, commissions and rafts of regulation are needed to create 'competition' in the mobile phone and broadband space, yet we're still paying high rates for mobile calls and competitors end up having to do deals with each other to be able to offer national coverage! Absolutely ridiculous. Now the buggers are talking about getting together to form FibreCo so we can develop a decent national broadband infrastructure. Again, doesn't it sure look like we'd be better off going back to the state monopoly?!

And what about our appalling public transport systems? We're having a huge argument about how to spend $2bn getting traffic around Auckland. What about getting people into NZ? A passenger arriving at AKL Airport faces a $75, circuitous taxi ride to get into the CBD. The bus option is hopeless; AKL aspires to be the First City of the Pacific and it has no train link between the airport and city centre.

Then there are NZ's has numerous competitive advantages -- things we have that other countries would LOVE to have. A clean, green brand, a cheap currency, imaginative and hard-working labour, open space, sunshine and a beautiful outdoors. Are we really exploiting these to the maximum? Tourists and businesses should be flocking here. Why aren't they? SEE ABOVE.

John Key to do a U-turn on tax credits for R&D, this was a very short sighted policy decision:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/taxation/news/article.cfm?c_id=335&objectid=10536575

Develop a university-business cluster environment to bring together expertise, entrepreneurs, and capital to commercialize spin-offs- as is done in Silicon Valley with Stanford University, or on the East Coast with MIT+Harvard, or in the UK with Cambridge. The number of companies and patents created as a result of these institutions is huge, in comparison the number of patents originating from NZ is miniscule. The University of Auckland is trying with its own incubator program but in comparison it is vastly under-resourced and under-capitalized. Initially government could devote more funds for this purpose, but eventually this can become a self-sustaining environment as firms in the cluster start to fund research projects and the VC community grows in size, a virtuous circle.

Invest more in NZ universities - compared to leading institutions in the US and Europe they are under-funded and have a low research output. In addition they have been surpassed by numerous new institutions in India and China. They cannot attract or afford leading faculty from overseas and that is reflected in the quality of teaching and research. As a side benefit of increasing university funding to raise their performance, high fee paying international students will be attracted to NZ in greater numbers if our institutions are ranked among the top 100, or ideally the top 50. Not only that, but they will be able to attract the best students.

The main suggestion is that Treasury should be charged with educating the public in all relevant languages about economics. Tax kills growth which creates prosperity. The goal is to reduce government spending and so reduce income tax which strangles the poorest more than the wealthy. GST is not much better.
People in power love income tax and GST because it gives them the power and you nothing. Look for a direct connection instead of the horseshoe........
To achieve a property owning population, transfer most / all government assets to the citizens in locally owned trustee corporations. Then tax is no longer needed for capital or maintenance.
1 All schools be transferred to local ownership similar to private schools and get parliamentary government out of delivery. Local votes mean better democracy and less deadweight costs. Rob McLeod report mentions it cost $12 million through government but only $10 million direct. The goal is to get the direct connection. [Transfer surplus education officials into the police force for public education duties.] Teachers get paid locally.
2 ditto for hospitals. Local ownership. Local payment for health professionals. Get the direct connection. The horseshoe through government is wasteful of your wealth. Get rid of surplus advisory committees. Let them sell their wares privately.
3 All government spending on R& D be transferred to a corporate trust funded by a [direct connection ] business tax preferably a mix of turnover / payroll / minimal profit tax to minimise effects but only in return for equity participation in R&D results and much lowered corporate tax rate. Private / corporate R&D spending gets a full credit.
4 A new Business corporate trust takes over unemployment which is funded by another mixed source tax as above. Ownership of productivity meaning a new business using the previously unemployed is owned by the corporate trust and can be sold as a going concern. I trust business will not tolerate unemployment for too long before they find useful business opportunities. Government has no incentive to lower unemployment except the Labour way - hide it. Sell Work and Income to the new trust for one dollar.
5 It is obvious that many humans arrange only a few years ahead at most. Seat belts are compulsory. Make seat-belt superannuation compulsory until a certain level has been achieved. No subsidies. Anyone can choose any means of saving but proof must be given to authorised business managers. Who are they? Obviously accountants can fulfil that role easily. Maybe investment advisers once they are also regulated and a few years has elapsed to weed out the system. Make seat-belt health insurance compulsory. Make seat belt education compulsory.- whoops it is already - sorry hadn't noticed.
6 Anyone who needs support is funded by a direct connection between the wealthier and the poorer which may change during a lifetime. That is the only place where wealth and income comes into it. Compulsory philanthropy. So everyone pays their own way for their own health, education, superannuation food travel cars etc although many may be funded for a while by a direct connection subsidy from the perhaps temporarily wealthier. Some of course are permanently wealthier so they pay all the time. But it is a direct connection through a local corporate trust with locally elected directorate. Regioanl differences may also need subsidies. This is government fromt he bottom up.
Remove the wasteful top down government horseshoe and make direct connections.
All this gives asset wealth and decision ownership to the citizens.
Parliamentary government’s only role is to govern between citizens and not to deliver what the citizens themselves can deliver better. So justice, police, customs, parliament, legislative drafting, and a few others are all that should be left in government. Tax goes down. Productivity goes up. Income goes up. Wealth goes up. Enjoy your newly acquired holidays overseas.

If this is New Zealand's brightest entrepreneurial thinking in action then frankly it's better to do nothing.

Where is there any idea that actually earns a brass razoo of foreign currency in a recession?

For eg, where is the suggestion of a tax regime that actually supports, even compels exporting rather than house building and consumer junk importing, where is there a mention of the internet and ideas that plug in to the exloding global digital economy? sorry, wrong, don't get too excited the answer lies in possum fur and paying people to come here.

The Kiwi charactor flaw is revealed again... an expectation of a first world lifestyle with no or very little effort that is someone else's responsibilty.

Come on, does anyone in their right mind actually believe that the nation's STANDARD OF LIVING can be rescued by having a 30 something varsity trained marketing drone who normally does beer commercials create a cheezy publicly funded TV campaign called "give it a go bro"?

Give what a f____king go you morons!

how about you all stop being douchebags and get a job, stop typing shiz on here

It should be pretty simple surely - where are we, what are we good at; where is the world going that allows us to fit in and even get there first.

Climate change addresses many of these issues once we get over the assumption that dealing with it will destroy our cultures and business.In fact where does so much of our money go now - off shore via dividends to owners of many of our strategic resources; and a continuing absurd reliance on overseas oil product.

Dealing through both of these through subsidising directed R&D and exploring the possibilities off a real commitment to solar technologies would put us at the forefront of a wave that is gonna come and either leave us floundering in it's wake or riding it's potential. Anything else is largely trivia.

I'd put money on it...

Give tax breaks to returning kiwis who have been overseas for more than, lets say, 5 years. We do it already for new immigrants (on overseas investment income), but I suggest going one step further and really encouraging expat kiwis that we want them here and that the tax breaks will soften the financial impact of them moving home.

In 3 years time you'll have a whole new raft of exciting new businesses started up.

One of the largest expenses which always increases at a greater rate of inflation is healthcare. We should create centres of excellence - eg one children's hospital for the whole country etc where possible, rather than spreading services thinly so people only have to travel acceptable distances. Why? If we want world beating healthcare services we still need economies of scale. Healthcare provision should also be open to paying foreigners. Actually making money out of health tourists will help keep the system free for NZers.

This is reasonably radical compared to current healthcare provision, but centres of excellence in all walks of life is what we should strive for if we want to punch above our weight, and maintain our lifestyles.

Unless we have a quantum shift in mindset and approach we will never create the wealth needed to put us near the top of the OECD.
The jobs got to be done properly and in order to do this we need to duplicate an industrialised first world state.Therefor the following is needed.
Create a diverse range of industries in a huge scale outside of the agricultural industry.Banking,Finance,IT,Manufacturing etc.
Entice industry to relocate to NZ with lower corporate tax rates and lower plant set up costs.
Increase the population to around 15-20 million to create the critical mass needed to support this new industry.We need one city the size of Sydney are two to three other city states the size of Auckland.
Massively increase infrastructure to a first world standard from one end of the country to the other to support this new industry with state of the art road,rail,airport and accomodation.
However the most important factor is to instill an attitude and philosphy of "winning" at industry and creating wealth and that we need to win this badly at all costs.

...sounds nothing better than a Communist Party summit in the USSR.

Here's my list:
1. Clean up every last hectare of gorse and blackberry and plant native trees. Why?
a) We have a natural world monopoly on our indigenous timber.
b) The timber is much better and more valuable than Pinus radiata
c) We've got a bunch of people sitting on the dole at the moment.
d)We keep the greenies and Kyoto people happy and maintain our 'clean green' image.
e)We can work towards reducing nasty timber additives which also affect our balance of trade as we have to import them.
f)The government could fund some of this using the super-fund, and using the returns they'll get in a few decades reduce taxes now and maybe scrap the bureacracy of Kiwisaver.

2. Now that the government owns the rail network, electify it and open it up to competition.
a)When spot electricity prices are low transport firms should be able to drastically reduce their costs by using trains rather than trucks.
b)Tourist or freight operators who want to have a go on lines that currently only haul coal once or twice a week could have a go.

3. Merge Air New Zealand and RNZAF engineering operations. Since the government owns both, both are basically transport operators, and the government seemed to think Air NZ was a strategic asset, it makes sense to merge as many operations as possible, achieving higher efficiencies. Might lose some jobs initially, but it would keep Air NZ competitive, and keep government defense expenditure down.

4. Utilise NZ's boatbuilding expertise from the likes of the Americas Cup to build wind powered cargo vessels using modern materials - at least for the trans-Tasman route.
a) Employ people building and designing the things.
b) Employ more people sailing the things than a oil powered vessel.
c) Reduce uncertainties over running costs, and improve balance of payments - labour less prone to dramatic price fluctuation than oil.
d)Provide cheaper export costs for NZ manufacturers.
e) Enable a complete eco-friendly supply chain, to make NZ more competitive in markets trying to use carbon emissions as a trade barrier.

5. Ban software patents, and create workable copyright law to protect content developers. NZ has lots of small scale software developers who don't have the resources to compete against litigious international lawyers who try to extort patent royalties on dubious grounds, knowing that the little guys can't afford to defend themselves, even if they're in the right. It's hard to exploit the number 8 wire mentality if someone sues you and says they've patented number 8 wire so you can't use it in your creation unless you pay them (lots) first.

6. Impose carbon duty on all imports from countries that have not put in place some form of carbon tax at a similar level to any introduced in NZ. NZ can't save the planet alone, so NZ industry shouldn't be at a competitive disadvantage against other countries that do nothing.

I know a large number of parents in Auckland who have become taxi drivers for their children, (they spend their spare time driving their offspring to school, day care, soccer, rugby, swimming lessons, ballet, drama group, music lessons etc, etc).
Their Volvo's and SUV's clog up Auckland's roads, slowing commuters and commercial traffic, burning fossil fuel and lowering productivity across the board.

I propose a system of mini-buses for door to door delivery of children.

To work, this would need to be safe, efficient and sufficiently economical that it would reasonably gain wide-spread use, especially in busier suburbs.

Safety should be fairly simple, (vehicle choice and standards, driver screening and training etc).

Efficiency could be achieved with a web and text based booking system, a fleet with GPS and locators, and some software for minimizing total travel time. Giving the fleet access to bus lanes and reserved short term parking spaces for loading and unloading would also help.

Ideally this would be run with a very low per ride price margin, (just above cost), to achieve reasonably wide use rather than to fill a small expensive niche market.

Promotion of the system through schools, clubs etc would be useful.

Discounts could be offered for parents who block-buy multiple rides.

A state sponsored voucher system for economically challenged parents might also be considered (better this than cash benefits that can be spent at the pub of the TAB).

Govt should build a refinery and start extracting and processing NZ sweet light crude oil,

-our continental shelf is massive and very abundant with oil and liquid gas, we have the resource, the infrastructure investment would pay off in a short space of time, and be a proper asset.

Stop the massive fuel tax, it stifles production,

Give us an option instead of giving our scarce valuable resources (and associated profits) to foreign capital.

The Govt needs to enter production and sell NZ'ers their own oil with knowledge that $ comes right back to NZ, instead of giving foreigners all the profits.