The good, the bad and the ugly

The good: Two promising high-tech companies

Both are in the news today on NBR 24/7 reflect the sort of thing New Zealand needs more of in order to climb up the OECD ladder and catch up to Australia in income per person.

“Emergency assistance provider International SOS is set to release an upgraded version of its travel tracker technology that helps coordinate evacuations and rescue missions around the world’s hotspot.



“International SOS New Zealand manager Jeremy van de Klundert said the company sold its travel tracker technology to businesses around the world so that they could monitor where their employees were at any given moment.



“Mr Klundert said this technology had proved very helpful in the recent evacuation and rescue missions in Mumbai and Haiti. The company has three alarm centres, one in Philadelphia, one in London and one in Singapore.”

Read more here.

The other company was SciTOX, which held its first annual shareholder meeting in Christchurch this week.

“The company has developed a bio-sensor, which uses micro-organisms to measure the toxicity of trade-waste and will enable waste-water treatment plants to charge fees for the treatment of effluent depending on the type of pollutants.

“The device is expected to be popular with municipal authorities, which will be able to more accurately measure pollutants in trade waste from manufacturers and other clients."

Find out more here.

The bad: Property investor bashing

Property investors have emerged as the scapegoat of the week after the Tax Working Group recommended a number of options for whacking these investors with new taxes.

Some in the media have taken aim at property investors, pointing the finger at them for making such an “unproductive” investment.

The general implication was that these people only get into rentals to lose money.

They then rip of the taxpayer by claiming Working For Families, jump into their new Audis and drive through the slums they own, pointing at the destitute tenants and shouting “muhahahaha!” before heading home to swim in their pools of gold coins.

According to the established narrative these evil landlords, along with evil foreigners, pushed house prices beyond the limits of affordability for everyday Kiwi battlers.

The true culprits and the real reasons for the recent house and land price inflation (yes it is inflation and inflation is a bad thing) were increases in the money supply and reductions in the supply of land through the “smart growth” delusions of the central planners who want us all to live in apartments the size of cardboard boxes.

And instead of looking for more creative ways to tax everyone to death the government could grow some Kahunas and cut spending, allowing New Zealand to have lower taxes, higher growth and fewer scapegoats.

The ugly (and, while we're at it, mean-spirited): the government

The government’s skewed priorities were reflected in its decision this week to appeal a Human Rights Tribunal decision that said families that look after their severely disabled adult children should be eligible for taxpayer funding.

This comes from a government that doesn’t bat an eyelid at paying thousands of bludgers to sit around all day doing nothing.

We are, of course, referring to the time-servers at New Zealand’s dazzling array of commissions, agencies and departments, as well as the people who get a sickness benefit for being “addicted” to pot.

But paying a few people to look after their disabled children is apparently a no-no.

The equally ugly: New Zealanders’ economic illiteracy

When the 2025 Taskforce made its controversial list of proposals for increasing New Zealand’s economic performance to catch up to Australia’s, it missed an obvious one.

The only way to really lift New Zealand’s woeful economic performance is to smack every New Zealander over the head with a textbook of Economics 101.

This nation-wide lack of financial common sense was reflected in a poll published by the NZ Herald as its lead story that found 61% of respondents want the minimum wage lifted to $15 an hour.

Of course, the Herald poll didn’t ask the follow-up question: “Do you support higher unemployment, particularly among groups vulnerable to labour market changes such as young people and Maori, as well as the possible collapse of many businesses already burdened by ever-increasing government-imposed costs?”

While it may be tempting just to tut-tut at the stupidity of our fellow Kiwis and forget about it, this survey could be a sign of even worse to come.

The Unite union is circulating a petition to get the minimum wage increased to $15 an hour and, by the looks of the Herald survey, it has a good chance of getting the required number of signatures (10% of enrolled voters) to force a Citizens Initiated Referendum.

Fortunately the National government will probably ignore it like all the other CIRs this country has had.


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10 Comments & Questions

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The author is obviously a property investor. There is nothing wrong with that. The problem is that the tax system is skewed towards property investment relative to "productive" investment. A better balance is needed.

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Enjoyed "The Bad" very much, thanks.

Economics 101 yes - but first Logic:
Correlation does not imply causation.

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You are all missing the point. Completely.

the only causation going on is Marxism. or, Obama-monics 101.

John Key et al, hassimply signed us all up to total impoverished control.

Land tax you say....hhaaaaaa. .......boy oh boy...wait to they bring in land tax enforcement. Read between the lines

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Why? Explain...

All I can tell from reading between the lines in that comment is a big familiar whiff of bias. It's as bad as any left winger complaining about GST increases. Pathetic - at least bring something useful to the comments and actually make a well thought out point, whatever your political leanings.

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the issue we've all got is we've a decaying economy, globally and locally. we've had muddled attempts to bring in global marxism via global warming - that clearly doesn't exist

obama and co will be hurting since that. he's now been told to unleash economic havoc. he's done that with his purposefully reckless announcements re-banks.

not one move by the 'key' government is favourable to economic improvement. in fact, quite the opposite. oh, aside from home heating whilst we are being taxed for global warming. brilliant.

yet, they've imposed heavy duty industry and social strangulation with this ets. now they are about to set upon us more by 'broaden the tax base' on a base that is basically broke and not set for any sort of recovery. go talk to the ird. most of them say its senseless. most of them say the 'recession' is just the start.

the point being; if anyone thinks national are right wing or even centrist - they need their heads examined.

we've got a local government working very much in union with obama's desire for marxism. key reports to helen clark. go and make enquiries and find out exactly what they've signed in carbon-hagen. you'll get a bit of a shock when you do!

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Simon M please point us to where we may find the signing in carbon-hagen.

Your comments are thought provoking and well said.

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Sad to see that Godwin's Rule of Nazi has now become Godwin's Rule of Marxism.

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Richard, if you think an NBR journalist is likely to be a property investor you may just be living in la-la land.

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