Greens have a plan

Details are scarce, but we’ll pay $1 billion

Greens voting logo

The Greens sent an email yesterday offering some kind of a national development plan so we vote for them in the election. Russel Norman says:

Yesterday I announced the first of the Green Party’s economic policies to build a smarter greener economy that benefits every New Zealander.

At the centre of our plan is an additional $1 billion of government investment in research and development, including tax breaks for business.

That’s a lot of money, but it’s what’s needed to shift our economy onto a smarter greener footing.

Please share this graphic on your Facebook page to help let New Zealanders know the Greens are ready to lead our economy in a smarter direction.

[image of circuit board inscribed: “$1b innovation boost for a smart, green economy.”]

This election New Zealanders have a real choice about the direction of our economy.

National’s simplified pollution-economy that creates few jobs and delivers uneven results. Or a smarter greener economy where innovation flourishes and we develop high end export products the world needs.

I know which option I prefer!

At the centre of our plan is an additional $1 billion of government investment in research and development, including tax breaks for business.

That’s a lot of money, but it’s what’s needed to shift our economy onto a smarter greener footing.

Under our policy more businesses can participate in R&D through tax breaks, while the government can refocus the grants system towards research into building a cleaner and smarter economy.

Yes you read that right, our plan is for the Greens to work in partnership with business to build a better economy.

Our vision is of a society that develops its wealth by tapping into New Zealand’s can-do spirit and using our smarts, not polluting our rivers and just exporting raw milk [sic] and raw logs to China.

People like Bill Hamilton of jet boat fame, Bill Gallagher who developed the electric fence and Rod Drury who is building Xero into an accounting software giant have shown how Kiwis can truly innovate and lead the world.

We have a rich history in innovation. Let’s honour it, by building a more diverse and robust economy that’s smarter, cleaner and greener.

Thanks,

Russell Norman

Naturally, this reeks of pork-barrel electioneering, and it is never efficient to attempt to coerce industry, but what will they actually do with our money?

We need a lot more detail before agreeing to this.

Incidentally, it didn’t sound right, so I checked, and we don’t export raw milk anywhere except a drop in the bucket to Taiwan. Dr Norman’s research has let him down for the sake of setting a scene.

We’re doing fantastically well in innovating, adding value and setting up free trade zones, and of course showed wonderful tenacity in replacing the lost ‘home’ market of Britain after they joined the EU in 1973. New Zealand is now the largest exporter of dairy products in the world, but of course the Greens aren’t happy with that and they’re trying to get people disgusted with our performance.

Climate-change hocus-pocus

Never mind that dairy exports already have value added (unlike the raw logs), and don’t ask about the details of the proposed ‘green’ subsidies — the Greens will continue stupidly pushing commerce in the desired direction. They have never understood that the only desire commerce truly understands and willingly responds to is that of free consumers with money to spend. When it does that, our innovation is unleashed, our energy abounds, efficiency leaps and our spirit soars.

Government’s job is just to oil the wheels, fix injustices and and punish crimes. It should otherwise stay resolutely out of our way.

He mentions the Hamilton jet motor and the rest; he’s quite right that Kiwis can lead the world in innovation. But they do it when they’re free.

We don’t need or want and we certainly never requested the assistance or compulsion of an overbearing government doling out our own money in subsidies to satisfy some save-the-planet mish-mash of climate-change hocus-pocus.

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Andy
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Andy

I think the Greens planned to print a couple of billion dollars but that idea might have been dumped

Richard Treadgold
Guest

Maybe we should make sure of that; until we know the details, that brassy notion could very well underpin this bold, bright development plan.

Andy
Guest
Andy

An old article on NBR is here
http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/greens-govt-should-print-billions-cover-cost-earthquake-bonds-ck-130269

but then Kiwiblog report a year later that the Greens dumped the plan
http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/06/greens_dump_printing_money_plan_-_for_now.html

and then later, the Greens announced that they would finance a Green Bank which would be bankrolled by the Oil Industry, which Greenpeace NZ had a hissy fit about
http://www.greenpeace.org/new-zealand/en/blog/is-the-green-party-banking-on-an-oily-future/blog/49222/

It’s hard to keep up, and it will get worse once electioneering starts

Andy
Guest
Andy

The greens keep telling us that we should stop exploring for oil and invest in the “multi billion dollar” Greentech industry.

Can anyone in the Greens help me find a job in the Greentech industry? If it is so big, there must be hundreds of jobs going, but I can’t find any.

Maybe I am looking in the wrong place, but Seek doesn’t have any.

Andy
Guest
Gary
Guest
Gary

If you have a memory going back far enough we did have an economy that backed sectors with subsidies, which this is about. What Russell is saying without subsidies, the green tech industries will not survive.
The term used for this type of economy was Muldoonism, and Russell was one person that did not have to endure that part of NZ history.

Andy
Guest
Andy

I’m interested to know why the email is signed “thanks Russell”
When his name only has one “l”
As indicated by Wikipedia and several other sources

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russel_Norman

Maybe “Russel” or whatever he is called didn’t actually write the email and it was Clint?

Richard Treadgold
Guest

When I read your comment, I wondered, too. I’ve just checked.

It turns out to be my doing. The rest of his email has been copied. Rather than include a little bitmap of “Russel’s” signature, I simply typed his name in. But without looking very carefully!

Well spotted, Andy. Here it is as supplied by the Greens:

Hmm. Now that I’ve had to convert, save and upload the file in admitting my error, I might as well add it to the post. [Done. – RT]

Richard Treadgold
Guest

Yes, I remember, Gary. Our farmers have done wonderfully without the sheep subsidies and all the rest. We’re stronger now, resilient and confident — in our laid-back-nothing’s-really-too-much-trouble kind of way we have. Back then, subsidies were probably needed for the size of our economy. Now that we most definitely stand shoulder-to-shoulder with anyone on earth we have no need of them.

So the Greens can be told to take their nose out of our business and stop picking up discarded conservative ideas from the 1950s to help them impose their restrictive political theories on us.

Richard Treadgold
Guest

Who’s Clint Norman?

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

>”Under our policy more businesses can participate in R&D” R&D of what? Jet boat tech, electric fence tech, and the software dev mentioned were not necessarily “re” search into anything. They were either innovators with ORIGINAL ideas who went ahead and developed them (“innovate and lead the world”) but nothing “green” or subsidized. This is the Xero and Hamilton story. That goes on in many businesses anyway (startups usually) and will continue to do so because venture capital chases those people. There are two funds doing exactly that in Wellington and Tauranga that I know of funded by high net worth individuals (“Angels”). Or they are ongoing operations like Gallagher who are dependent on their R&D i.e. it is part of their business model. R&D in business is more about an existing scope of operation and innovation within it (e.g. Gallagher above). The post harvest operator I work for set up the most advanced RFID cool storage system in at least the Southern Hemisphere at the time and which did involve REsearch because the technology was already available. It was a matter of adapting it to the facility and systems. They had to… Read more »

Richard Treadgold
Guest

Nice essay, RC. You give us interesting, explanatory insights, thanks.

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

>”There are two funds doing exactly that in Wellington and Tauranga that I know of funded by high net worth individuals (“Angels”)” Wellington 20/04/2011: A group of original Trade Me investors is seeding a new venture capital fund to help more early- stage companies. Wellington investment firm Movac, which consists of several of the first Trade Me shareholders, has announced a new growth capital fund in conjunction with the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund. The fund, of between $25 million and $50m, aims to crash- start New Zealand’s high-risk venture capital industry, which has been struggling to find financiers following the financial crisis. Movac managing partner Phil McCaw said a growing number of angel-funded companies had no access to critical “follow-on” capital for expansion. “The new fund represents a shift in focus for Movac from start- up angel investment to early expansion,” he said. More>>>>>>> http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/4908248/Wellington-firm-seeks-25m-to-help-companies Tauranga: Enterprise Angels primary objective is to facilitate investments by its members in innovative companies with high growth potential. We invest more than money; our investor members are highly experienced business people who actively support and facilitate the growth of the companies we invest in. We consider… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

>”The titanium industry development in Tauranga is a startup success story on its own.”

TiDA – “Developing New Zealand’s titanium industry to enable the design and development of world-class products using powder metallurgy.”

Powder Metallurgy:
Powder metallurgy begins as a metal or ceramic in a powdered form, which is then consolidated in a variety of different ways to produce high quality parts.

http://www.tida.co.nz/

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

>”Funding and Grants, Business R&D funding [$140m a year from govt]” Apparently needing “refocus” according to the Greens: “….a smarter greener economy where innovation flourishes and we develop high end export products the world needs.” “….the government can refocus the grants system towards research into building a cleaner and smarter economy.” Enterprise Angels – “we invest most actively in things we can ‘kick’ – innovative businesses in the agriculture, dairy, horticulture, engineering, food and clean tech industries” Presumably, the world doesn’t actually want the dairy products it pays us NZ$13.7 billion for each year (29% by value of the country’s merchandise exports), engineering isn’t about “smarter” technology, and the Angels just don’t get it. But why “refocus” to “cleaner” when the Angels have already identified, and are investing in, “clean”? Should the Angels really kick “squeaky clean” instead of just “clean”, to be green? And what exactly are the “high end export products the world needs” that NZ will produce if not the $13.7bn, 29% dairy mainstay? This leads to comparative advantage in respect to international trade. NZ has advantages which provide premiums for what we produce best. It would be insane to… Read more »

Andy
Guest
Andy

The Greens plan is to fund their mates, not just anyone. See the WhaleOil link I provided

Richard Treadgold
Guest

That’s illuminating. How much longer will I continue under the impression and in the expectation that the Greens, Greenpeace, WWF and enviro warriors of all stripes actually behave better than the rest of us? I keep forgetting and being disappointed. Because they ARE us.

Andy
Guest
Andy

I gave up thinking that the NGOs and all the various “hangers on” were better than us a very long time ago

Andy
Guest
Andy

In response to the question “how is Clint?”, Clint is the spin doctor who tells Gareth “UFO Boy” Hughes what to think
See here, for example
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaOMGLINdpw

UFO Boy is so-named for his boyish looks and relevant degree studies in UFO Cults which would make him an ideal energy minister in a Labour/Green coalition

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

>[Whaleoil] – “There is a [Green policy] requirement for businesses that are sold to overseas owners that they must repay their grants” Huh? Current grants are repayable anyway. See ‘Minister announces Business Incubators’ downthread. Relevant bit: “Technology-focused incubators will be able to access a new repayable grants tool on behalf of the start-up companies they incubate. These grants will be administered by Callaghan Innovation. The Government will contribute up to $450,000 over two years to eligible companies resident in technology-focused incubators, matched 1:3 with incubator owners contributing up to $150,000. The Government grants will be repayable out of the company’s revenue.” >[Whaleoil] – “Part of the Green’s economic innovation policy is to keep startup companies Kiwi owned” Why? Startups are sold down eventually – period. That is the point of startups, IPOs, and capital markets. To limit the buyers to a miniscule global sector (NZ) is to limit the selling opportunities (to say the least). Trademe was a 1999 startup sold to Fairfax Media (Australia) for NZ$750 million in 2006 i.e. the proceeds went to the NZ owners who are in turn backing other NZ startups. Fairfax realised around $NZ364 million when it… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Green Party: Trade and Foreign Investment – Policy Summary Just and sustainable production and trade # Reduce our dependence on imported goods, eg food we can grow here. https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/summary/trade Wonderful. We can grow wheat here and in 1972, 1976, and 1977 we didn’t import any wheat above 1000 tonnes i.e. NZ was as close, but not even then, self sufficient in wheat as it has ever been: ‘New Zealand Wheat Imports by Year’ http://www.indexmundi.com/agriculture/?country=nz&commodity=wheat&graph=imports Times have changed, 561,000 t (ignore “1000 MT” units) imported 2011, 475,000 t so far in 2014. ‘NZ history of wheat growing’ ……..wheat production peaked in 1969 (456 640 tonnes). The total yield for 1993 was 219 414 tonnes. ……….. The figures for wheat production in New Zealand do not represent the total quantity of wheat used in New Zealand, however, as we have rarely reached self-sufficiency. Wheat for use in bread making has been imported primarily from Australia to ensure sufficient quantity for New Zealanders’ use. This has been common since the early 1930s. The quantity imported has ranged from none to over 250 000 tonnes http://www.bakeinfo.co.nz/Facts/Wheat-Milling/Wheat-and-Milling-History/History-of-wheat-growing-in-New-Zealand There were complications: ‘NZ wheat growers get less than half the… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

>”I think they [the Greens] are taking their cue from Obama’s US business boondoggles. Except the Greens probably see that as a raging success.”

‘Obama’s Big Green Boondoggles’

Reward cronies, waste taxpayer money, and make no dent in the jobless rate.
By Michelle Malkin, September 14, 2011

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/277124/obama-s-big-green-boondoggles-michelle-malkin

‘Obama’s Green Fiascoes and Boondoggles’

A barrage of news headlines on the Solyndra scandal continue to remind us that President Obama made green jobs one of his administration’s priorities. Those headlines also reveal this initiative to have been a costly mistake
Mark W. Hendrickson — November 18, 2011

http://www.westernjournalism.com/obama%e2%80%99s-green-fiascoes-and-boondoggles

‘Green boondoggles’

President Obama hasn’t abandoned his jobs-killing global-warming agenda, just wrapped it in the rhetoric of “clean energy.”
By Shikha Dalmia, March 2, 2011

http://nypost.com/2011/03/02/green-boondoggles/

‘Obama’s green-energy boondoggles leave taxpayers in red’

China gets the cash meant for American jobs
By Justin Sykes, April 18, 2014

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/18/sykes-obamas-green-energy-boondoggle/

And so on. Greens don’t read this stuff.

HemiMck
Guest
HemiMck

Today on the GETS site – (government tender site) – some jobs for the boys “EECA BUSINESS is seeking proposals from qualified consultants to become programme partners for the Lower Carbon Meat and Dairy Programme. Programme partners will be able to apply for funding to …75% of the costs, up to a maximum of $15,000 per site. “The Programme has targets to support BC [business case] Reports at 50 Meat or Dairy Processing Sites from 1 July 2014 – 30 June 2016. These reports are expected to result in 0.1PJ per year of energy savings and 7000 tonnes per year of carbon emission reductions. [the carbon savings are of course a construct off the energy savings] “To enable energy saving and fuels switching, the Lower Carbon Meat and Dairy programme will rely on consultants to deliver quality and compelling BC reports. This looks like jobs for the boys. Fonterra have dedicated staff all over this major cost component to their business and I don’t imagine need low level “consultant” assistance. The non-Fonterra plants are all pretty modern and likely to be efficient users. Presumably the target is Meat Plants which compared to Dairy… Read more »

Andy
Guest
Andy

Death by a Thousand Consultants

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