A reminder of a previous post on school PPPs :-
Posts Tagged ‘global corporates’
The Herald has an article which goes into a bit more depth on the question of overseas ownership of land. While we are short of capital and have relied on foreigners since the days of the whalers and sealers the time has come to tighten up. It is now almost impossible for a kiwi to buy farmland from scratch.
The Landcorp Crafar bid is one I supported and in fact called for Landcorp to run the farms in two postings on Red Alert one Landcorp Should take over Crafar farms in October last year and the other use Lancorp for orderly disposal of Crafar farms in May. I’m pleased the government has accepted my advice.
As far as foreign land ownership generally maybe the line should be that there is to be significant benefit to New Zealand that could not be gained any other way?
A Weekend Herald investigation of consents granted under the Overseas Investment Act shows at least 24 countries have been given approval to invest in the agricultural sector, covering 154,855ha and a wide range of sectors from sheep farming to viticulture.
The Overseas Investment Office is currently assessing seven applications involving land totalling about 3678ha.
Under the Overseas Investment Act 2005 any non-urban land of 5ha is deemed “sensitive” and needs approval, while farmland must be offered on the open market before consent can be granted.
Westpac chief economist Brendan O’Donovan says foreign investment generally has been an integral part of New Zealand’s growth.
“Because we’ve always had a capital shortage and we’ve been very dependent on foreign funding and foreign firms,” O’Donovan explains.
Foreign direct investment in New Zealand is currently about $92 billion in total, he says.
“By and of itself there’s nothing that you need to be particularly scared of.”
New Zealanders buy into foreign companies and land, he says. “If you expect to be able to buy land in other countries then you’ve got to be prepared to sell it here.”
Although it is notable that New Zealanders cannot buy land in China, O’Donovan says.
Who this week is saying that he wants more chinese investment in nz but last week was saying he wasn’t comfortable with chinese investment in nz?
Dompost Wally of the Week
Attorney-General Chris Finlayson.
Pecuniary interests registrar Dame Margaret Bazley seemed to be in no doubt that he should have declared a company directorship which he failed to include in Parliament’s pecuniary interests register. Isn’t he supposed to be the Government’s top legal brain?
Wages are the real issue in NZ (as opposed to tax cuts) but they are also the big story of the day in Shanghai. Not, perhaps what people might expect. The story here has not a very pleasant basis. Foxconn the manufacturer for major technology companies such as Apple and Dell, and currently producing millions of I-Pads has been rocked by ten suicides at it Shenzen plant in Southern China. The response has been a commitment to a (relatively) massive wage increase of 122% for workers at the Shenzen plant from the 1st of October, and other big increases at Foxconn plants in China.
It is easy to be cynical about the company’s motives here. There has been considerable concern about the conditions that Foxconn workers have worked under, though the company (and Apple and others) are adamant that these are not sweatshops.
But I am told that the real story here is of the growing strength of workers in the South, and of the days of them accepting such low wages being over. Its really hard to tell as a visitor, but what I read says there have been significant wage increases in other areas as well, as the pool of available labour reduces. Of course we can not forget they are coming from an incredibly low base, but there is a sign of real movement. The response has varied from threats of moving production to India or Vietnam, to the likelihood of increased prices for I-Pads and the like. Whatever the case it seems that the “dignity” of workers as the Chief Executive of Foxconn has described as being behind wage increases may be a very significant factor in the future of this country.
Ok, off to Expo now for Young Leaders Forum and Wellington’s big film and business night. Report to follow.
I’ve just had a set of answers to written parliamentary questions back from Key in which he refuses to list the occasions on which Ministers have declared an interest in Cabinet or Cabinet Committee matters.
He claims that continues a previous practice. I’m not sure if that is correct. I for one was never asked.
If Ministers have acted properly and declared interests then that forms part of the Cabinet minute. Or sometimes they are given a warning that an item is coming up and they leave the room.
Some of us have non-pecuniary interests that we work through with the Cabinet Office or in my case SSC and the Treasury. I wasn’t given papers – including policy papers – in areas I was conflicted.
Seemed to work pretty well. I would have no problem with the fact that I acted properly being public.
To take a contrary view doesn’t look flash.
Maybe it is another issue for #OpenLabourNZ.
If you have earnings of $1m / annum you get – according to the government – a tax cut of $985 per week.
How can that be fair.
With the current scandal surrounding Goldman Sachs and a push for tough financial reform currently winding its way through the US Congress, there’s a lot more to come on the mess created by the financial sector in the recession.
Americans haven’t forgotten the fallout from the impact of Wall Street greed. The numbers are eye-watering. The financial sector took $4.7 trillion in taxpayer dollars over the past year, and the bank-driven economic crisis cost American families $11 trillion in wealth – nearly 18% of their net worth.
The crisis isn’t over, but banks are already back to their old ways – setting aside $74.4 billion for bonuses in the first half of 2009 alone.
They continue to hit their costumers with huge fees. Americans paid more than $38 billion in overdraft fees alone in 2009 (that’s $125 for every man, woman, and child in the US).
And big banks are again breaking their own new rules on executive pay, offering “forgiveable loans” to bankers who need a little extra cash.
So, this coming week a coalition of major community organisations, unions, and religious groups are launching a campaign to challenge the economic and political influence of these mega-banks, beginning with a series of protests in San Francisco, Kansas City, Charlotte, Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C.
The coalition’s short-term goal is to push Congress to enact strong consumer protection regulations on the financial industry. Their intermediate goal is to pressure banks to stop the epidemic of foreclosures and renegotiate mortgages so owners can keep their homes. Their long-term goal is to limit the banking industry’s political clout and its economic influence.
Coalition members believe banking should be reorganised so it invests in good jobs, affordable housing, and environmentally-friendly businesses. Can’t help but agree.
There’s a raft of resources and information on the web about the “Wall Street vs Main Street” battle still being waged in the USA. I like this site in particular.
Over Easter I had a chance to get into our vegetable garden. Harvested the last of the tomatoes, some chillies and got things tidied up for planting more cauliflower, broccoli and broad beans. Most of my life I have had a vegetable garden and have been able to grow some of the food I eat, an enormously satisfying experience I worry is increasingly less common.
Fruit and vegetables have come up quite often in recent conversations. I hear about (and see) the good work happening in a number of our schools where vegetables are grown and compost bins tended. A budget adviser told me that in England there is a requirement for schools to have fruit trees to give students access to fresh fruit. I’m not sure how this works but it didn’t seem to be a bad idea. Both of these approaches provide fresh healthy food to young people (for some, from families struggling to make ends meet and where food is scarce, this is a practical help) and show young people that food is something you can grow (not just buy in the supermarket).
In fact in a country like New Zealand with a natural advantage in producing food we should maximise opportunities to encourage people to grow food. Even those with limited space can grow produce like tomatoes and salad greens in containers.
It is scandalous that fresh healthy food which we can grow easily is as expensive as it is. It is not the producers who are making huge profits from fruit and vegetables but supermarkets are a different story. I was interested in a feature in the Sunday Star Times particularly the comments about industrialised (processed) foods, the food industry, natural foods and about the importance of cooking (another skill that is not as widespread as it once was it seems).
Food is one of our fundamental needs. Despite this as a result of poverty too many people globally including some in New Zealand do not have an adequate and regular supply of the food they need. Food is something that is huge business. If you look at the worlds largest companies food producers and retailers are right up there – huge, profitable global corporates with enormous purchasing and marketing power.
For all of these reasons (and for our health) lets ensure we hold on to the skills of growing and cooking food.
On the local and immediate, one final request following a conversation with a local food bank – if you have surplus fruit or vegetables give it to the food bank. They are generally unable to provide fresh food and some of the food that goes to waste (think ahead to the forthcoming feijoa season) can make a difference.