Friday, November 17, 2006

How is this not news? (NZ national saving falls to $575 per capita)

Hattip: Stuff

I actually first spotted this as a small side bar in the printed NZ Herald today - but then apparently it isn't even newsworthy enough to post on their website. Fortunately Stuff have deigned to post it - although only as their 21st story within the business section.

Due to how important I feel this really is I have included the whole article at the end of this post. Although given it's not that long that really isn't much of an imposition.

How as a nation we can continue to complain about levels of foreign ownership and poverty while returning appalling statistics like this is beyond me; despite our disposable incomes rising 3.9% our national savings have plummeted to $2.3 billion - or $575 per person. This is reinforcing the
statistic I was initially planning to highlight which is that the median level of share ownership in this country at the moment is only $6000.

Of course most of our companies are owned offshore and return their profits there. As a nation we are too stupid and apathetic to do anything about it. Buying shares just isn't that hard people - and until you do you are abdicating any right to whinge about offshore profits, and morals of offshore conglomerates. There are two main ways that people should be affecting the behaviors of companies; the first to exercise your powers of choice as a consumer - if you don't like the practices involved in providing a product do not buy it and notify the producer why you're not buying their product. Secondly, become a shareholder - when two of the three main stakeholder groups for a company are intrinsically aligned it becomes really easy to mold behavior...

And actually having some real, country generating wealth means we can start to improve the standards of living for the people living here - rather than mortgaging ourselves to selling our land as the only asset we own. It is not real wealth you are sitting on there people, but fools gold maybe.

NZ national saving falls to six-year low
16 November 2006

New Zealand's saving fell in the year to March to the lowest level in six years, Statistics New Zealand said today.

National saving fell to $2.3 billion, from $5.5 billion in 2005, and $7.3 billion in 2004, according to the consolidated accounts.

At the same time, national disposable income for consumption or saving rose 3.9 per cent, following a 5.3 per cent rise in the March 2005 year, the government agency said.

Increased final consumption by households and government – up 6.9 per cent – eroded national saving, on the back of falling agricultural profits and lower export growth.

Time will tell

Hattip: Stuff

At the same time it said its surveyors had costed the waterfront stadium at $902m.

Mr Mallard said Eden Park's latest figures for how much they think the waterfront would cost were "absolutely outrageous" and incorrect.

I hope Mallard is still willing to stand by his claims when the stadium does end up costing that much. In fact one would think this would be a good time to introduce the practice of personal guarantees into politics.
It is a fairly common practice in business where the owner has to place their assets and asses on the line as a guarantee for their culpability - one would think that the governors of our country would be far more truthful and prudent if they were held to the same standards of accountability...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Good on ya boys!!

Spectacular work by the Kiwi's to thump Great Britain in the league on Saturday!
Although I have to admit that there were actually a few worrying signs despite the 34-4 scoreline;
Great Britain's ability to compromise our line with line breaks almost perpetually through the game,
A number of our tries were just luck (OK - I know Stacey is a fantastic kicker, but if 'that' kick hadn't taken the crossbar it was about to be a 20m restart because it was well covered behind the line)
Great Britain was only that far behind because the blew a couple of chances (although personally I think the try being disallowed was the correct decision)
Given the possession and territory stats - surely we should have got more points!

Simpkins showed a worrying decision around Keith Senior and Steve Matai. While I agree with the final decision to send them both for 10 minutes (this option really should get used more) he intimated that originally he was only going to send Matai. When you compare the conduct of the two players; throwing the ball at Danny McGuire, or storming in from 3 people away to throw a punch - I know which one I would be sending first. Whereas apparently Senior only got sent because of his conduct while being called up for the chat...

And for one final complaint about the officiating:
You have got to get consistent - get the ruck area cleared, draw a line and then stick to it. This crap of throwing out random penalties for holding down in the ruck for what are clearly not the worst offences just confuses and frustrates the players and fans.
Similarly there is a reason the lines are drawn at 10m intervals refs - Simpkins was all over the place on Saturday and I have to commend both sides for not giving away a plethora of offside penalties as a result. But it has got to be unsettling for your defensive line when you don't know from tackle to tackle how far you are going to have to recede.