READER REPORT:

Kiwi ingenuity can save our economy

WILLIAM SCUBY
Last updated 11:30 19/12/2012

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New Zealand has the unique advantage of a reasonable climate, space to enjoy life and a good standard of living. The latter can be improved on, but not by importing more people. Any preference for population growth as a way to improve our economy is extremely shortsighted.  You only need to look at the big cities across the world with slums, substandard living conditions and lack of space.

Here in New Zealand we still have the opportunity to go bush, go to the beach and go to the country without walking in a line to do it, or fighting for a spot on the beach to put your towel.

The way to improve our economy is to stimulate industries like tourism, add value to products already made here, and target niche markets for top-end products and services. We should encourage start-up companies with new products that can be sold at a premium. Once those products go mainstream, sell the companies overseas and start something new.

Sounds silly? It's not. New Zealand doesn't have the facilities or the people to produce mainstream products for the world. Countries with large populations and low wages can do that.

Our government is still too focused on big business. Supporting it is wasting money, especially if the businesses are based overseas. Their profits go over the back of the New Zealand workers and don't really benefit our economy, despite the taxpayer having paid for them to set up shop here in the first place.

We also need to focus on making and keeping our environment clean to attract more visitors, who, after spending their money here, go back home to tell the story. We need to make sure they can tell a good story, so their neighbours will visit us too. 


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