OPINION: Niagara Sawmilling Company governing director Ken Richardson offers a wider perspective on the Tiwai negotiations.
There has been much publicity recently regarding the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter's power contract negotiations and the possibility of the smelter closing.
There is no doubt the smelter is absolutely vital to Southland, as are all exporters, as New Zealand's economy is totally reliant on export.
The smelter is not alone in being in survival mode and it is not an exaggeration to say many of New Zealand's exporters are in crisis.
If the Government is to intervene to assist the smelter it also needs to urgently intervene to assist all exporters and a realistic exchange rate is urgently needed.
I noticed Labour's David Cunliffe is criticising the Government but the Labour government performed no better.
The Government has stated it will not look at devaluing the dollar as it would give New Zealand consumers less buying power.
However, as New Zealand is totally dependent on exports, when the exporters start hitting the wall New Zealand consumers will have even less buying power.
The Government also says if the dollar was devalued the overseas debt would increase (remember we are borrowing $350 million per week) but, again, if all exporters are not assisted and start hitting the wall New Zealand will end up like Greece and Spain.
There is no doubt the economy of our country is directly related to the gambling instincts of foreign currency traders who are nothing less than parasites and are not contributing anything to New Zealand's economy and here lies the real problem.
Speculating in foreign currency is not part of the real world, is totally unnecessary and should be banned.
Currency traders are nothing more than casino gamblers and they are wrecking the economy.
To think more dollars are traded in New Zealand every day by the currency parasites than the dollars required to fund our total exports and imports for a year is totally unbelievable.
It is absolutely critical the New Zealand dollar be devalued and the exchange rate frozen.
Recently Switzerland froze its currency, but our Government continues to say this cannot happen.
Another reason the Government says it will not intervene with the currency is that because to retain power it needs to keep favour with the average voter, who does not see past tomorrow.
There is no doubt democracy as we know it in this country is not working and I am sure everyone is sick and tired of watching the news every night with the main issues being the political parties scoring points against one another while the country is continuing to borrow $350m a week and is slowly going down the gurgler.
It appears we need a political system something like Singapore's, which I understand operates on a one-party system with members of Parliament being voted in just like they are in our country but with no childish backstabbing and being obsessed with scoring points against each other while the country is slowly going broke.
The way our political system works the only way a party can retain power is to make promises it cannot afford to keep and then it either does not keep its promises or, if it does, borrows more money from overseas to keep our country afloat to put off the evil day when the country will hit the wall.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Did you set a Christmas budget for presents this year?Related story: Southlanders spending up large
You won't convince Jillian Allison-Aitken that books aren't the perfect Christmas gift.
Speedway in action (+gallery+
Follow the adventures of Janelle King who is working in Kenya
You're missing the fit Russian blokes ... in tights!
Looking for a silver lining