Should We All Move To Kazakhstan?

I have just finished the 22 November edition of The Listener.  Can I commend an article that appears on page 54 by Rebecca Macfie.  I first met Rebecca in 2004 when she was writing for Unlimted Magazine, and was very pleased when she took on the task of writing the Business column in The Listener.

Rebecca looks at the wake up call from Infratil boss Lloyd Morrison – if we continue current trends we will be poorer than Kazakhstan and Botswana within 17 years.  She also looks at the policy suggestions from David Skilling (NZ Institute) and Mark Weldon (NZX) in their contribution to the debate Economy on The Edge: Swan Dive or Belly Flop

At the Chamber we agree with a number of the policy proposals put forward by Weldon and Skilling and we can only applaud the vision that Lloyd Morrison is challenging us with.  But what interested us most was this paragraph from Rebecca’s article

There is plenty of room for debate about these recommendations, but what matters more than the specific proposals is that outfits such as the NZX and Morrison and Co are willing to put their heads above the parapet to offer them.

Too often, New Zealand business leaders have been reluctant to take a strong stand on important issues.  In part this is a reflection of the tall poppy syndrome.  It has also been an unfortunate by-product of New Zealand politics.  Because of our size, business leaders have been reluctant to talk publicly of inconvenient truths or make suggestions that might be interpreted as implied criticism of Government.

We are arranging a speaking slot for Mark Weldon at the Chamber earlish in the New Year to allow him to keep the momentum up on his policy suggestions.  We will try and get Lloyd Morrison to speak a month or so later on his campaign.

We leave the last word to Rebecca Macfie

The new Government has a choice. It can let the contributions of people such as Morrison and Weldon be sucked into the same vortex that consumed the promise of the Knowledge Wave and the ambition of Labour’s top-half-of-the-OECD-goal.  Or it can find a way of harnessing the brains, experience and patriotic energy on offer.

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