'Kiwi dream' is hurting the economy
We asked you how to fix the economy and were flooded with responses. We'll be running these in the coming days. To contribute to the debate hit the green button below.
It's obvious that New Zealand has an enormous amount of inefficiency in its infrastructure - I'd address this as priority number 1.
We are also over-dependent (as much of the world is) on poorly controlled speculative investment - priority number 2.
Below are the specific areas I think we need to tackle:
1) The "kiwi dream" is a huge problem in our cities. Owning a bungalow house and a car and commuting to and from work is a giant problem in a city of one million people (Auckland). I would designate areas of the inner cities for re-development of (nice) apartment complexes and get people walking to work (euro style) instead of chewing up the economy stuck in traffic. More student accommodation is also needed on university campus sites.
2) Roll out free wi-fi in town centres. Put the pressure on ISPs to deliver a better internet connection - improving our communication links is going to be a huge boost for the economy.
3) Increase funding for the sciences to retain our educated (the idea is to move our economy from total reliance on agriculture).
4) Special tax schemes are needed to encourage high-tech businesses to set up here. This will help keep our skilled IT workers in the country.
5) Constrain speculative property investment by only allowing family units to own a maximum of two properties. (I studied the great depression at school... I don't think that our politicians did.)
6) We need tighter regulations, and watchdogs, on the amount of money banks are able to loan and to ensure they have enough funds to cover these.
7) And then some political reform. MPs must be skilled experts in an area before being allowed to be a minister of it (i.e. hold a PhD and 5 years experience in the field or be a known industry/business/professional leader in the area for at least 10 years). This ought to clean out some of the incompetence.
That's a start.
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