Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: The Prime Minister Has Spoken

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  • John Farrell,

    I was living in Helensville at the time. If you think Auckland is small, Dunedin is mindblowing. A few months after we moved here, my mother in law died. The lady my wife asked to look after our mail while we went to the funeral in Christchurch turned out to be one of her cousins....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    True that, John. When I was in my twenties, I found that smallness somewhat claustrophobic. Now, I love it.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Oh, and have you been back to Helensville? It's changed hugely - all those lifestylers have really given it a new lease of life. The banks have returned, and everything! Mum lives in Kumeu now, but she still goes up there all the time.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

    We left there 2 years ago - we spent a night there when we were in Auckland last October.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    ...when i was a kid my mum used to tell me about her second cousin who had this amazing yacht called the Buccaneer...and point it out at the regattas...

    ...when i was at university, a friend's mum worked at Crown Lynn. you can imagine the high opinion she had of the asset strippers...

    ...sort of like the high opinion i had when the Auckland Star was closed and my mum lost her contracting job of over 20 years...

    hi cuz!

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Wow, yourself, Sacha. I would never have thought you would have known who my Dad was. I look forward to talking to you about him, someday, with some alcohol involved, of course.

    It now makes sense why one of the first things you spotted at our place was the Titan vase Jackie.Plus did you know how handy Sacha is to Kingsland? :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    hey cuz! And I used to work at the Auckland Star, too! Bloody hell, the world just keeps getting smaller and smaller. BTW, did you read that Clark history, Stephen?

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Sorry, David, we seem to have somewhat highjacked the thread.......

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Ceramicjacking, a new urban threat. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    i had a quick look when you brought it over, but i haven't had a chance to read it properly yet. we will be sorting out mum's stuff at some stage, so i will hunt it down...thanks!

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    btw, great post David. i have lots of comments but not really time at the moment to do it justice. y'know, menat to be working...helping all these Japanese companies with their propag..., i mean, IR.

    will try to write something later...

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    oh very good, Sacha

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    hey cuz! And I used to work at the Auckland Star, too! Bloody hell, the world just keeps getting smaller and smaller.

    Heh. My grandad wrote for the Star - did a TV column (and I think some racing coverage at some point too). I have a heavy old three-drawer filing cabinet as proof, which I think he liberated from the office when the paper closed. Sadly it's probably going to be surplus to requirements before long...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1611 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Sadly with my family's rather outlandish political views we hid in the bush, but your post rings bells for me. Since I've been wherever the hell I am, I've been approached by three separate organizations seeking assistance marketing their products locally, none of them from New Zealand. Patriot that I am I naturally refused.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Defunct Companies of New Zealand.

    Much more to be added, I'm sure.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    You mean Jackie's dad was George from that pie company? I hear their crockery was almost as good as the Railways. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    Tom, not George.

    pie company? eh? your ellipses seem to be flying over my head now...

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Your cynical view of leadership and it's ability is a little dissapointing.

    The point I am making is all the inspirational leadership and great "new" ideas in the world will count for sweet fuck all if the other guy is better trained and better resourced. As they say in sport - the good big guy will always beat the good little guy.

    People and companies succeed not because of some mythical advantage convered by race, culture or class but because they have systems in place that identify and support opportunity, advantage and success.

    If we don't have the correct tools and culture, then sure - we'll see all sorts of victorious skirmishes, but ultimately we'll lose the war.

    Success is entirely predictable.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Sorry, Mr Walker. You have a real world advantage. Riffing off defunct companies in the news again of late. Pay no heed.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    let me see, my sister worked for two of those companies...
    Databank Systems and Progressive Ents back in the dark ages when they owned said nursery rhyme star...

    man, i could really use some of those pies in tokyo...bastards.

    don't forget chicken spot or homestead.

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    This is what kiwi exporters in the more traditional products are up against:

    The EU promotes the world's biggest agricultural aid program and spends almost €53 billion in subsidies - half of its annual budget. Non-traditional farming companies receive an important share of the aid, which contradicts the original idea of production incentives and price support. Further, farmland ownership already entitles landlords to subsidies regardless of agricultural use. The Queen of England and airport caterers are among recipients of this giant subsidy system.

    Link: EU subsidies for all!

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    The solution is re-assert the importance of the export sector over that of the money men. All those old "heresies" need to be dusted off and applied judiciously and intelligently to help our productive export sector... Tariffs and import restrictions to ensure we have a healthy balance of payments

    You just contradicted yourself there Tom. Those "heresies" of which you speak are antithetical to "our productive export sector." Protectionist economic policies shore up inefficiencies and discourage producers from seeking to improve productivity through capital investment in technology. They also benefit the few - the producers - to the great detriment of the many - the taxpayers and consumers. The money to pay for these measures doesn't magic itself out of nowhere, it must come from behind the border over which imported goods must cross. And if you think that domestic producers will compete strongly on price, you're deluded. Why would anyone compete against a government-imposed price buffer when they can just cream the extra profit? To do so would be completely against the producers' best interests.

    There's also the small matter of our international reputation. There's plenty of scope for our trading partners to wallop us with increased tariffs and quota restrictions if we decide to go backward, and you can be sure that they will. That would cost us far, far more than any notional gain. One of the reasons we beat the pants off British farmers by every measure except "food miles" is that we don't prop up under-performing operations. If we want to keep that marketing advantage, we need to continue to let production be a Darwinist, gladiatorial system.

    Protectionism is a loser's game. It costs domestic consumers, and it costs in lost opportunities for trade. Why would we do that to ourselves? We can't very well preach to the rest of the world that they need to ditch protectionist measures if we return to them ourselves. To quote "Joshua" from War Games, "the only way to win is not to play."

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Bringing War Games into that has got to be worth some points.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Glad you appreciated the pop culture reference, Mark :P

    I took a paper on international economics a couple of years back, and one of the clearest messages the lecturer imparted was that protectionism costs far more than it gains. Take monopoly rents, apply them to an entire industry, then support them by government fiat, and you've got a recipe for inefficiency and waste.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    While I mostly agree with you I don't really see the difference between that and Fonterra - private monopolies are just as bad as public ones, often worse since there's no public in put to counter the worst excesses of monopoly

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

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