Comments

David Thompson Posted:
So very, very true. It beggars belief that we consider ourselves to be a developed nation when so much of our economy is based on selling milk powder or logs. BTW, I own a Plinius amplifier (my second) that drives a set of Theophany speakers.
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David Thompson Posted:
A robust but sobering report. It concerns me that confidence is rising, yet sales and exports are down and "manufacturers and exporters are still lagging behind other sectors". Surely we should wait until we're earning more money before we start spending more?
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siemens Posted:
Yes true! The only thing that will never die in this world is the nature and its science behind it. Great post.
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Kieran Ormandy Posted:
Thanks for the question Steven, Germany has seen increases in manufacturing employment since 2009, and Switzerland has had stable manufacturing employment between 2006 – 2011, even in the face of ongoing Euro-zone issues. Korea has seen increases in manufacturing employment since 2008 and Israel experienced large increases since 1998, while being stable over the last 4 years. Singapore has had increases in manufacturing employment over the last two years. These countries all value their manufacturing sectors and work to protect them, this is reflected in the above numbers and their performance through the GFC. Note data around the above examples was sourced from OECD labour market stats.
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John Walley Posted:
Point one: you should have no doubt what our Association says publically represent the views of our members. Point two: we don’t knee jerk responses, if you trace back our comments around NZPower you will see them link all the way back to our research in 2004 and 2005. All that material is fully linked from our comments above. Point three: you will note our comments on major users, sadly the same advantage does not accrue to smaller industrial users. The perverse incentives of the LRMC approach in all this are well known. Point four: the NZMEA is not like any other Association in New Zealand we admit only manufacturers and exporters into membership, and our public expressions are the views of that restricted membership.
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15/12/11

Brian Fallow: Does NZ really need 28 ministers?


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Brian Fallow comments on the number of ministers used by successive Governments in an article for the Herald.  This trend keeps the smaller parties and the caucus of the governing party happy but dilutes ministerial responsibility:

The division of ministerial labour is getting a bit too fine-grained.

We don't just have a Minister of Justice (Judith Collins) but also an Attorney-General (Chris Finlayson), a Minister of Courts (Chester Borrows) and Ministers of Police and Corrections (both Anne Tolley).

Encountered some dodgy food?

Don't bother the Minister of Health (Tony Ryall) about it, or the Minister for Primary Industries (David Carter) either, or even the Minister of Consumer Affairs (Chris Tremain).

It is a matter for the Minister for Food Safety (Kate Wilkinson).

Wilkinson is also Minister of Labour, but skills and employment are part of Steven Joyce's portfolio, or one of them.

She is Minister of Conservation too, but not Minister for the Environment. That is Nick Smith.

Smith is also Minister for Climate Change Issues but not for International Climate Change Negotiations (Tim Groser).

And so on.

Nearly a quarter of all MPs are ministers, including two-thirds of the Maori Party's and all of Act's and United Future's.

But it is not just about keeping support parties sweet.

It is about managing the ruling party's caucus.

More than 40 per cent of National's MPs, 24 in all, are ministers.

Such a large executive means the odds of a back-bencher eventually getting a ministerial warrant are good enough to keep them in line. Breaking ranks by departing from the party line, as Nikki Kaye did over plans to mine on the conservation estate, is rare.

This system of patronage with the "baubles of office" is especially unedifying in a time of fiscal austerity, ushered in by last May's zero Budget.
 



tags: brian fallow, ministerial responsibility

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