Honey wars wage on, The folly of political goals, The innovation activists

In NBR Print today: The country’s honey industry is split into three warring factions, all protesting theirs is the only true manuka honey. Each group has scientists in its corner producing papers angled at legitimising their manuka grading methodology. After three years of scientific research, the government has released a manuka honey definition, which it hopes will give consumers in export countries confidence they are getting the real deal. But the industry is not convinced it will work. Calida Smylie reports.

Rob Hosking says governments love targets because they give politicians the chance to sound bold and visionary. “But there is the political problem that, in setting a target, ministers also pin a giant “kick me” sign on their own backs, while simultaneously handing their opponents a large pair of steel-capped boots.” And specific economic targets  are a legacy of the era in which governments were seized by the illusion they could “control” the economy. “The history of New Zealand’s attempts at such matters, since the late 1960s, has been one of missed targets and quite a lot of kicking in delicate places.”

Fiona Rotherham finds concern about what more could be done to boost New Zealand’s economic growth has spurred a group of business leaders to action. The group has a five-year goal to double the growth rate of GDP per capita through innovation. Educationalist Frances Valentine says on present performance, “we have just as much chance to be a tourist destination of the rich and famous as we have of doubling our GDP.”

In Hunter’s Corner,  Tim Hunter  writes that Allied Farmers has suddenly noticed the upside in a huge lawsuit against auditor PwC.  “Yet the company could have done that after High Court hearings in 2015.” If the litigation ever gets to court it will be an eye-opener for investors in Allied, Hanover Finance and  Property Ventures Ltd.

As more funds flow to digital advertising, internet giants are leaving little for the rest of the New Zealand media and marketing sectors, Nathan Smith writes. The change may mean more effective exposure for businesses but the price may be the loss of Kiwi channels.

In Media Watch, David Cohen writes that as Cyclone Cook passed by the major cities, the mainstream media approached the man who helped create much of the initial excitement. “We dodged a bullet,” MetService’s meteorologist Nick Zacher explained.  “With that the media dodged the kind of critical comments that one sees abroad when a weather fetish gets out of control.”

All this and more in today's NBR Print edition. Out now.


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