Home' The Wellingtonian : June 9th 2011 Contents 11
THE WELLINGTONIAN, JUNE 9, 2011
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Time for 'Mum and Dad investors'
Political slogans convey the
essence of an era as readily
as a favourite song or a
Buzzwords like Think Big or
wage and price freeze instantly
evoke the bygone era of Sir Robert
Muldoon, and his fantasies of
command and control.
Similarly, the slogans of 1980s
economic reform such as there is
no alternative and level playing
field sought to convey that a bold
new era of optimism, fairness and
opportunity had dawned for the
Alas, only the fortunately-
placed few were ultimately able to
reap the bulk of the economic
rewards on offer.
Ever since, it has been quite
striking how New Zealand s politi-
cal sloganeering has tried to re-
assure the public, rather than
Jim Bolger s so called Decent
Society, Helen Clark s trademark
Working for Families package
and the current Government s
invocation of Mum and Dad
investors have been variations on
the same theme.
No threats, no visions, but
instead a promise of stability, sup-
port and continuity.
Repeatedly, the political mess-
age to a gun-shy public has been
that this time, this Government is
on their side -- and is not going
prey on them, or steal their
On Budget Day last month,
much was made of the legions of
Mum and Dad investors.
They will apparently enjoy
pride of place when it comes to
options on newly-privatised state
Leave aside that those same
Mums and Dads already own the
energy company assets being
readied for the auction block. As
for Air New Zealand, taxpayers
have already bought our national
Regardless, the privatisations
have been packaged as a rare new
That particular vision seems to
be unravelling in almost record
Last week, Finance Minister
Bill English was warning the
same Mums and Dads that if they
didn t invest as planned, there
were plenty of Asian investors
likely to be more than willing.
He told a Waikato business
audience: We are saying that
New Zealanders are at the front of
the queue, but if not enough of
them show up, it won t be 49 per
cent [being held by foreigners] . . .
Simultaneously, Treasury act-
ing secretary Gabriel Makhlouf
called for New Zealand to be more
open to foreign cash, and to either
scrap its current regulatory
screening of foreign investment
entirely, or at least keep it at a
Interestingly, the Budget small
print (page 23 of the Investment
statement Supplement) set out
several ways that the Government
could ensure New Zealanders
would be kept at the front of the
queue -- up to and including hard
ownership restrictions and quotas
on foreign ownership.
However, the Budget document
noted: No final decisions will be
taken on the precise arrange-
ments that will apply until the
results of detailed scoping studies
have been considered.
Evidently, a key plank in this
year s election campaign -- and a
source of the $5 billion to $7
billion bounty on which one third
of social spending until 2016 will
be based, is relying on options for
which the scoping studies haven t
even been completed.
Clearly, the role of the much-
celebrated Mum and Dad
investors is still a work in prog-
As with most political slogans,
the term seems to conceal as much
as it conveys.
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The instructions also state that all
recycled items need to be washed
first. This eliminates the issue of
having smelly recyclables hanging
around for a fortnight.
We are also only a two-person
household, with limited storage
capacity for an extra bag of
recyclables, and we have a long,
difficult and steep access to
negotiate to get our rubbish out,
but really these are issues that
can be overcome.
A commitment to the care of the
environment and a personal effort
to reduce pollution in landfills
overrides us being slightly
inconvenienced while we adjust to
a new way of doing things.
Common sense dictates that rape
is not about the victim. Surely the
perpetrators inability to control
their urges and desires is of
greater concern to society.
Whether I am or am not
wearing clothes does not give
anyone the right to take
advantage of me.
Society is in short supply of the
essential ingredient of self-
Our young do that which we do.
It is discouraging to know that
the societal myth you asked for
it has such a strong influence in
the 21st century.SHARON SANDERS
I read (June 2) about David
Parsons book on Wellington
trains. I have had a flick through
and found it very interesting.
However, he looks through rose-
coloured glasses when viewing our
inconsistent rail service.
Trains are forever breaking
down or are late.
It is very frustrating to be told
that people who complain about
the level of service delivered
should get a life .
Rise Up Christchurch was a great
catch-cry recently to help raise
funds for earthquake relief in our
We now need a Rise Up New
Zealand campaign to reject this
National Government at the polls
Ordinary New Zealanders are, I
believe, aghast at the measures
proposed in the Budget, which
will drive a further wedge among
ordinary people and destroy what
is a great place to live.
The people don t want asset
The track history has been all
too clear with past National
Governments -- private enterprise
wrecking business, stripping out
the assets then bailing out,
leaving the Government to buy up
and start afresh.
Thanks to Labour we now have
a national airline we can be proud
of, a rail system that works well
for the population and is on the
improve, commercialised farming,
mining, and energy supply -- all
providing regular income streams
to the Government.
Privatisation of parts will just
lead to foreign ownership in a
Lost car parks
The Wellington City Council non-
notified resource consent that has
been granted for a planned
supermarket removes all the
parks in that part of John St,
This is on top of the nine that
the John St heritage centre lost
with the road widening of
On both occasions the council
deemed the heritage shopping
centre as unaffected, even though
we business-owners there stand to
lose 14 vital parks in total.
The council has an obligation to
protect Wellington s heritage, and
removing the car parks the way
the council has done is in conflict
with this goal.
It s concerning that there is no
compromise or balance for the
small businesses at this heritage
centre, and it s shameful that the
council is removing even more car
parks from this community for a
big, new supermarket.
How ridiculous that the John St
heritage shopping centre will soon
have no parks in John St.
We small businesses generate
our own income; we are not paid
by the purse of the ratepayers.
If roles were reversed could
councillors make a living as
retailers without car parks?
How mean-spirited can the
council be? LAURA NEWCOMBE
I would like to suggest an
alternative to the Wellywood sign,
a compromise that would not
waste the letters already
constructed and would be closer to
Wellingtonians innovative spirit.
Consider Well@Vision. But
instead of the a , a stylised e
would be inserted, so it would be
WelleVision with the e stylised
The concept incorporates
Well ington, the stylised e @
symbol for global E-commerce, IT
and electronic communication
adapted to Wellington and
positioned in the centre of the sign
and of the concept, and Vision, for
creativity, movies and
Wellington s general creative
Functionally, the sign when
read from the air would welcome
the air traveller with the first
views (vision) of Wellington as a
plane comes into its final
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