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Key should call economic summit after last week's shocking unemployment figures, NZ Herald's O'Sullivan says; 'Shrugging his shoulders doesn't cut it'; Your view?

Posted in Opinion

By Alex Tarrant

His 2008 government kicked off with the "jobs summit", but Prime Minister John Key now needs to convene a "real jobs summit" following last week's dismal unemployment figures, NZ Herald columnist Fran O'Sullivan says.

Your view? Will it help? What would help?

O'Sullivan writes:

The dreadful news was clearly counter to the advice the Government has received from the Treasury.

But instead of galvanising Key into action - through orchestrating a real Jobs Summit and incentivising employers to take on more workers - the Prime Minister waffled.

Labour youth affairs spokeswoman Megan Woods was more compelling when she said New Zealand was facing a youth job crisis with one in four young people unemployed.

"There are no jobs for them. There are 85,000 young people not in education, training or work in this country. That has increased by 18,000 since National took office."

For Key to simply shrug his shoulders on this score doesn't cut it.

She concludes:

It is four years since the global financial crisis exposed several of our over-leveraged companies as relative basket cases. Some survivors among the externally focused companies can no longer withstand the effects of a high dollar on revenues. They have had to trim staff to stay in business.

The Government ignored the move by opposition parties to launch an "inquiry" into problems the manufacturing sector has faced. Of course the opposition parties were politicking.

But that doesn't mean the Government should not face up to the worrying concerns itself.

For months we've heard how the Canterbury rebuild would be the major economic growth kicker for New Zealand.

The statistics show growth is indeed occurring in Christchurch.

But faith is no excuse for a failure to act. It's time, surely, for Key to call an economic summit to address the issues New Zealand faces.

We owe it to the young people who are yet to even get on the employment ladder to be less ostrich-like as a nation.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current Comment policy is here.

9 Comments

Well considering leaving it

Well considering leaving it where it is will cause a recession if not a depression then "nothing is happening" is a bright alternative.
The best analogy I have is trying to fly a plane higher and higher, at some point it stalls and falls...and falls a long way, maybe even to earth....nasty.....
What p*sses me off is the ppl who have been "sensible" with debt etc are going to be the what sounds like the f ew paying others who are bankrupts debt off aka Irelend.  Or one huge defualt, aka Iceland franky Im going for huge default....either way is bad anyway, might as well aim to make sure those responsible also carry some of the cost.
regards
 

Suggestion #1:  Look at

Suggestion #1:  Look at relocating some of the excellent homes that are currently being crushed at the behest of the Government in ChCh.  3000 homes relocated could generate thousands of jobs plus thousands of affordable new homes relocated throughout the lower south island.
 
Suggestion #2: In Auckland sell as many state houses as possible in the central suburbs and use the money to build attractive modern housing in outer areas.  Not high density infill ghettos.  This would cost nothing (in net terms) but would produce hundreds of milliions of dollars in economic activity and better the standard and affordability of housing.
 
How simple is that?

yep good idea. But it is

yep good idea. But it is unlikely to happen unfortunately, as all colours of govt seem to have problems with "community dislocation". I say stuff community dislocation, there's not much positive with the communties as they stand, build new communities on the city edges that tick all the right boxes in terms of good urban design centred around good community facilities, take the stigma out of existing communities and free up all that prime central Auckland property for high end development 

O'Sullivan in the past has

O'Sullivan in the past has seemed to me to be head of the John Key fan club, so if she's turned, then the Nats, and New Zealand must be in trouble. I note there's not a single comment on page 1 of her article, that seems to think the Nats are doing the right things. Most in fact seem to have observed that the government is doing nothing at all. So if only for their self interest in terms of any chance at reelection, it is indeed time they changed course. Whether a jobs summit is the right answer is questionable, although if it gave the government an excuse to make some desperately needed, if relatively obvious, changes, then so be it.
Ironically there is another article in the herald giving Bill English 8 out of 10 for his performance as Finance Minister. Am not sure which of the record fiscal, or current account deficits, or unemployment, qualify him for that score.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10....
There is though a good but simple article on why selling houses to ourselves is not really making us richer- in fact is just driving up debt, and bank profits.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/property/news/article.cfm?c_id=8&objectid=1084...

I think she is just kicking

I think she is just kicking for touch. An economic summit isn't needed. We do not need more talking, some announcements, a few promises, more delays...
 
We need some real policy initiatives to reflect the problems we have now with a housing market on the boil, the manufacturing and export sectors on there knees and soon out cold. Unemployment rising, the exchange rate rising, private debt levels rising. Not to mention our international competitors manipulating the market by printing money.
 
Bernard's recent article gave the options. The government needs to act.
 

Well I think he's managed to

Well I think he's managed to get un-employment back to the levels it was last time he was finance minister?
Go, BE....
Gerry as a teacher of great reknown has obviously determined BE is worth an 8/10.
 
regards
 

No summit needed as from what

No summit needed as from what I can see - given the failing of the bureaucracy to get their act together - business leaders are producing plenty of sensible directional comment and discussion papers.
 
In the past we'd have looked to a leadership coup to sort the mess out - John, Gerry, Hekia, Paula, Kate all have to go.  Bill and Judith need to get together for a chat - co-leaders would be a refreshing idea from the Nat Party.  And bring Lockwood back to the benches whilst also restoring Nick Smith a place in Cabinet as well.  It's that kind of depth in experience that is needed to run the country.
 

Aero Club Aviation

Aero Club Aviation Newsflash
 
Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee, announces huge increases in the costs of hobby flying. This X St Bedes woodwork teacher states "The increases will lead to improved operations in the future".
 
Wow!
Improved operations for who?
 

  • Private pilot licence up from $56 to $230 per annum
  • Medical up to a fixed $313 (usually per annum)
  • Auditing of the logbook up from $135.70 per hour to $284 per hour.

 
I am so pleased that I am red / green colour blind. Never stood a chance of getting into the pilot seat.
And I am also weak on the art of percentages. Can someone do the inflation sums for me.  Surely a bit higher than 3%!
 
My own hobby plane is a $108 Jaycar Metal helicopter. Such fun.
 
Would the aero club liquidators please step forward now. Well done Gerry. Another crop of flying instructors heading towards Paula Bennet's WINZ queue -  fast.