READER REPORT:

New Zealand should be profitable

CHRIS & ANNETTE SCHNACK
Last updated 05:00 01/12/2012

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The very idea that New Zealand borrows $300 million per week is frightening. Below are some ideas that could help save some of this, remember the old adage your grandmothers told you: look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.

WELFARE

The system needs a massive shakeup, practically everyone in the country would know of someone swinging the lead in relation to sickness and DPB benefits. These should be tightened up and also New Zealand Super should be asset and income tested as in Australia.

JUSTICE

There is a tremendous backlog of cases that should be fast-tracked. Time should be more important in the justice system and much of it is wasted awaiting reports (some of them needless and self obvious), bringing back guilty parties for sentencing when it could be done at the original trial.

There are several other areas where the system falls down but one area, which isn't strictly to do with the system, is to use more retired folk on jury service and allow people who work and contribute to the economy, carry on working instead of wasting time and money listening to endless legal arguments, many of which have no relevance to anything except the pretence that the justice system is fair and ethical. Also there is no need for prisons to be built like comfortable apartment houses.

HEALTH

The ambulance-at-the-bottom-of-the -cliff approach to health costs megadollars and what is needed is a good proactive health system e.g. everybody over 60 should be tested for Vitamin D and supplemented where necessary. There are several other tests which would be beneficial to the general population, however the main thing is to get rid of the ever-increasing burden of administration, there must be better ways of doing it, and this applies to all Government departments.

For example, the money spent on vehicles could be reduced considerably by paying (realistic) mileage allowances as many people drive vehicles to work. Several years ago we came across 30-odd vehicles owned by Kapiti and Coast Health parked for the weekend in a yard at Paraparaumu, the various uses these vehicles had could be covered by paying mileage allowance on private vehicles.

IMMIGRATION

New Zealand needs a policy of only taking in the self-sufficient or those who can contribute to society, not bludge off it.

EMPLOYMENT

Despite the knockers and foretellers of gloom, the Labour party's idea of building low cost housing is excellent, some of these could also be rent-to-buy like the old State Advances Corporation.

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We have to get builders building houses, we also have to get builders and other tradespeople training apprentices especially as some trades are dying and will be needed when the country reaches a stage of enlightenment regarding the need for self-sufficiency. Investing money in people to build, manufacture and repair things makes far more sense than cosying up to film studios.

EDUCATION

There is a plethora of tertiary education institutions AND many of these seem to be there just to generate income and supply legions of young people to the ever-increasing student debt system. Also, many turn out graduates of drama, music and similar courses for which in a country of this size there is virtually no employment and they all expect the state to donate them a living. As mentioned above, go back to apprenticeships, also hospital-based nursing training and government teachers training colleges. Also get teachers pay fixed up and stop politicians interfering in things.

GENERAL

New Zealand should be a profitable country but there are many things holding it back - political correctness, out of touch judges. We must bring the Treaty of Waitangi into the 21st Century if it must be slavishly adhered to and introduce intelligence tests for people contemplating a political career ... the list goes on and on.


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