David Hisco calls for bold moves from the newly elected govt in education, technology, the environment, housing and tourism

David Hisco calls for bold moves from the newly elected govt in education, technology, the environment, housing and tourism

By David Hisco*

With the most resounding mandate in living memory, what’s a third term National Party-led New Zealand Government to do?

In a country with an electoral system designed to prevent absolute majorities and deliver absurdly short three-year terms, this is a rare opportunity for a new Government to think long term.

Keeping their promises around reforms to the Resource Management Act and employment laws is important, but as a nation we shouldn’t be afraid to set our sights higher.

How about this handful of ideas for starters?

Create the best schools in the world

From a business perspective, only education will provide our new, high-value industries with the scientists, engineers and software gurus they need to grow into multi-billion dollar engines of our economy.

But it’s more than that. Education is without a doubt the answer to so many of our most pressing social problems and ultimately the only way to create the equality so many talked about during the election campaign.

Without education, the generations trapped in poverty cycles will never escape. It’s the encouragement of inspirational teachers that sees kids from tough homes lift their sights and see what lies beyond the mean streets of their home suburb.

It’s via education that these kids become equipped for a job that will help them make a better life than the one they’ve come from.  I know that because some of those kids end up working at ANZ, and it is so pleasing to see them take a step their family is all proud of.

Social mobility through education is not a quick, one-term cure. It’s a generational commitment to alter the structure of our society by encouraging our youngest minds to believe they can build a better life.     

There was a time when other countries said New Zealand had the best schools in the world. Many of the managerial classes of Malaysia and Singapore were educated in New Zealand during the 1960s and 1970s through the Colombo Plan. With education being a New Zealand export industry, it is important we regain that global position.

Our educators are great. There are plenty of brilliant ideas for improving our schools and helping teachers to be better educators.

Perhaps the most important shift we need is in attitude. As a society we need to make a conscious shift so we all value education as the most important social and economic input.

It’s only via education, and specifically through our schools, that we can spark a step change in our ability to prosper in the information age.

In my view, it would galvanise New Zealand if our most popular leader in 50 years stood up and said let’s make ‘the best schools in the world’ a national goal.

Let’s encourage technology-based industries

Dairy is a great industry and is the powerhouse of our economy. But our exports need to be more broadly based. Our smart manufacturers are the answer.

We need more Xeros and Wynyards and smaller e-commerce businesses. In the internet-connected world we now live in, distance is no longer the ball and chain it used to be for New Zealand. But we can still do more to lift the importance of technology.

For example, the Prime Minister could consider establishing a Chief Technology Adviser for the country as he did with the establishment of a Chief Science Advisor.

This new role would be accountable for driving and promoting a national strategy to encourage and cajole government departments, academia and the private sector around technology.

We need to be greener

As China and India continue to grow they’ll want more protein and New Zealand is one of the best producers of it. But our future growth of red meat and dairy exports cannot follow the same path as its first 100 years of development. If it does then we’ll undermine the environment - and those industries.

We need to encourage, finance and support the use of technology so we have smarter farming that doesn’t impact the environment, particularly our precious waterways.

Fencing and planting around waterways is a good start. But we should be more aggressive about the use of technology to measure, capture and treat effluent on farms.

If we don’t then consumers and investors will make that choice for us as they trace back how their food is produced and where their investment dollars are going.

Build twice as many houses

Housing affordability is the pressing issue for urban New Zealanders. The elevator of economic progress in New Zealand has always been home ownership for everyone - right across the socioeconomic spectrum. But at the current pace of house price rises we risk creating a generation of disenfranchised, second class citizens – ‘Generation Rent’.

The housing affordability issue is a housing supply issue, pure and simple. In 1974 there were 34,400 new homes built. Last year there were 15,000 - less than half. It’s no wonder houses doubled in price in under a decade in Auckland.

The solution is simple – urgently build more houses. To do that in places like Auckland we need to build more suburbs and allow intensification in existing areas.

The consenting process needs to be faster and less expensive and people shouldn’t be allowed to get development approval and then sit on the land in the hope of a capital gain. And, of course, we need people to build houses - that will mean training and more employment for Kiwis and most likely also the need to recruit more tradespeople from overseas.

Invest in tourism infrastructure

Tourism is the quiet achiever of our economy. It’s time for a big, brave, environmentally-sound tourism development that will create high value-add experiences for the biggest spending tourists from overseas.

There were some high- profile big picture tourism developments turned down during the Government’s last term - the new Milford Sound to Queenstown tunnel and the Fiordland Monorail.

There may have been good reasons for not going ahead with either of these but it was fantastic to see that pioneering big-thinking spirit alive and well in the New Zealand tourism industry.

Kiwis have never lacked for inventiveness. This is the country that invented the jet boat so they could travel at high speed over shallow water and first put skis on light aeroplanes so they could land on high mountain glaciers. 

Our tourism developments used to be notable for their courage too. The Homer Tunnel into Milford Sound was opened in 1954. The Haast Pass was opened in 1960 and the loop highway linking the West Coast to Central Otago was completed in 1965.

What are the next big ideas from our tourism entrepreneurs? What if the Government signalled a willingness to hear them, alongside guidelines about acceptable environmental impact?

So now with the election out of the way, and a very clear mandate from the people of New Zealand, I think it’s time to think bold New Zealand.

----------------------------------------

*David Hisco is CEO of ANZ New Zealand.

This article first appeared on ANZ BlueNotes. It is here with permission.

With the most resounding mandate in living memory, what’s a third term National Party-led New Zealand Government to do?

In a country with an electoral system designed to prevent absolute majorities and deliver absurdly short three-year terms, this is a rare opportunity for a new Government to think long term.

Keeping their promises around reforms to the Resource Management Act and employment laws is important, but as a nation we shouldn’t be afraid to set our sights higher.

How about this handful of ideas for starters?

Create the best schools in the world

From a business perspective, only education will provide our new, high-value industries with the scientists, engineers and software gurus they need to grow into multi-billion dollar engines of our economy.

But it’s more than that. Education is without a doubt the answer to so many of our most pressing social problems and ultimately the only way to create the equality so many talked about during the election campaign.

Without education, the generations trapped in poverty cycles will never escape. It’s the encouragement of inspirational teachers that sees kids from tough homes lift their sights and see what lies beyond the mean streets of their home suburb.

It’s via education that these kids become equipped for a job that will help them make a better life than the one they’ve come from.  I know that because some of those kids end up working at ANZ, and it is so pleasing to see them take a step their family is all proud of.

Social mobility through education is not a quick, one-term cure. It’s a generational commitment to alter the structure of our society by encouraging our youngest minds to believe they can build a better life.     

There was a time when other countries said New Zealand had the best schools in the world. Many of the managerial classes of Malaysia and Singapore were educated in New Zealand during the 1960s and 1970s through the Colombo Plan. With education being a New Zealand export industry, it is important we regain that global position.

Our educators are great. There are plenty of brilliant ideas for improving our schools and helping teachers to be better educators.

Perhaps the most important shift we need is in attitude. As a society we need to make a conscious shift so we all value education as the most important social and economic input.

It’s only via education, and specifically through our schools, that we can spark a step change in our ability to prosper in the information age.

In my view, it would galvanise New Zealand if our most popular leader in 50 years stood up and said let’s make ‘the best schools in the world’ a national goal.

Let’s encourage technology-based industries

Dairy is a great industry and is the powerhouse of our economy. But our exports need to be more broadly based. Our smart manufacturers are the answer.

We need more Xeros and Wynyards and smaller e-commerce businesses. In the internet-connected world we now live in, distance is no longer the ball and chain it used to be for New Zealand. But we can still do more to lift the importance of technology.

For example, the Prime Minister could consider establishing a Chief Technology Adviser for the country as he did with the establishment of a Chief Science Advisor.

This new role would be accountable for driving and promoting a national strategy to encourage and cajole government departments, academia and the private sector around technology.

We need to be greener

As China and India continue to grow they’ll want more protein and New Zealand is one of the best producers of it. But our future growth of red meat and dairy exports cannot follow the same path as its first 100 years of development. If it does then we’ll undermine the environment - and those industries.

We need to encourage, finance and support the use of technology so we have smarter farming that doesn’t impact the environment, particularly our precious waterways.

Fencing and planting around waterways is a good start. But we should be more aggressive about the use of technology to measure, capture and treat effluent on farms.

If we don’t then consumers and investors will make that choice for us as they trace back how their food is produced and where their investment dollars are going.

Build twice as many houses

Housing affordability is the pressing issue for urban New Zealanders. The elevator of economic progress in New Zealand has always been home ownership for everyone - right across the socioeconomic spectrum. But at the current pace of house price rises we risk creating a generation of disenfranchised, second class citizens – ‘Generation Rent’.

The housing affordability issue is a housing supply issue, pure and simple. In 1974 there were 34,400 new homes built. Last year there were 15,000 - less than half. It’s no wonder houses doubled in price in under a decade in Auckland.

The solution is simple – urgently build more houses. To do that in places like Auckland we need to build more suburbs and allow intensification in existing areas.

The consenting process needs to be faster and less expensive and people shouldn’t be allowed to get development approval and then sit on the land in the hope of a capital gain. And, of course, we need people to build houses - that will mean training and more employment for Kiwis and most likely also the need to recruit more tradespeople from overseas.

Invest in tourism infrastructure

Tourism is the quiet achiever of our economy. It’s time for a big, brave, environmentally-sound tourism development that will create high value-add experiences for the biggest spending tourists from overseas.

There were some high- profile big picture tourism developments turned down during the Government’s last term - the new Milford Sound to Queenstown tunnel and the Fiordland Monorail.

There may have been good reasons for not going ahead with either of these but it was fantastic to see that pioneering big-thinking spirit alive and well in the New Zealand tourism industry.

Kiwis have never lacked for inventiveness. This is the country that invented the jet boat so they could travel at high speed over shallow water and first put skis on light aeroplanes so they could land on high mountain glaciers. 

Our tourism developments used to be notable for their courage too. The Homer Tunnel into Milford Sound was opened in 1954. The Haast Pass was opened in 1960 and the loop highway linking the West Coast to Central Otago was completed in 1965.

What are the next big ideas from our tourism entrepreneurs? What if the Government signalled a willingness to hear them, alongside guidelines about acceptable environmental impact?

So now with the election out of the way, and a very clear mandate from the people of New Zealand, I think it’s time to think bold New Zealand.

- See more at: https://bluenotes.anz.com/posts/2014/10/five-ways-nz-should-get-back-to-business/#sthash.TG12gGAg.dpuf

 

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39 Comments

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Nah, as the National Party told us, that's all the stuff we needed five new taxes for and we voted for tax cuts instead.  We need to hold them to their promise.
 

You want a more pioneering tech sector?  Bring back the research and development tax incentives.  This would really help the tech sector and encourage people to develop new ideas. 

Nah, ditto as per above - another left-wing loonie idea;
 
http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/labour-revive-r-d-tax-credit-5934829

If there is profit to be made the R&D should happen anyway.  No nee to subsidize a marginal idea with the Govn purse IMHO.
regards
 

From a purist point of view you're of course right.    But as other countries do similar schemes, they reap the benefits and NZ loses more ground.  It's a case of does the benefits of such a scheme out weight the downside?  From personal experience I have seen this work and work well.

Other countries also provide free tertiary education:
 
Sweden, Norway, Denmark - and just recently, Germany.
 
http://www.zmescience.com/other/germany-education-fees-01102014/
 
But these are hardly economies on which to style ourselves, are they?

What are you a communist?  Anyway why would you want to change anything Team Key will look after me he said so.

As per G W Bush, they're a bunch of godless tax raisers.

no. test your theory and find out.

undercapitalisation is a big problem.

you had a job that paid NZ wages so you're kind of getting buy, with a big mortgage.
you have an idea that is great - you split up "Project Unicorn" into little workable pieces that might generate income.

You now have to work Kiwi hours, do the expected social and family obligations to keep them for hiking off on a benefit.

Around that and with sod all spare cash, you have to test and develop your idea.  find suppliers. setup proof of concept and prototypes.  Bring in skills you don't have.  All which has zero economic return.   Your idea isn't generating income, and you're still carrying the bank and government and family around on your back.

If you're a small business it's even worse, because you're probably strapped for cashflow in NZ's rickshaw economy, and working 70+ hrs supporting the rest of the business and keeping staff morale up.

And big business has big ideas, so sinking big cash in is just not something you can get pst the bean counters and shareholders (who are allow to sue you if you do really badly)

I think it’s time to think bold New Zealand.
 
Presumably within a context of the next thirty years being a continuation of the last thirty.
 
Perhaps it is time to drop the fantasies and think 'reality'.

Na,  His bonuses are reliant on BAU,  growth (and especially debt) forever on a finite planet.  So he'll believe that money can buy any reality he wants.
"Let them eat cake" didnt end well last time, wont this time.
regards

Think bold?   And just where is the money coming from to impliment The Bold?

Time to Get Real New Zealand,  you need inflation and more money to create non-housing opportunities

"[...] people shouldn’t be allowed to get development approval and then sit on the land in the hope of a capital gain"
 
They aren't. By default consents to subdivide have an expiry date. If the government were serious about affordable housing (which they aren't) they would direct Auckland Council to set short expiry dates and to only extend a consent if the bulldozers are already rolling.
 
Currently AC pockets a nifty $750 for rolling over the expiry date in their database - 10 seconds work.

Just the validity period of the consent to subdivide. If the developer starts the subdivision then the expiry date is rolled over. If they land bank then the consent expires automatically and they start again.
 
It is reasonable for a developer to be required to begin a subdivision within a reasonable time once approval has been given. At present councils can and do extend the expiry date as long as developers keep coming up with the fee. As I say $750 for Auckland Council every time they do that.

Sad times for “generation rent”.   I wonder what proportion of generation rentier are foreign nationals?  

think bold
 
Dear Mr Hisco - a bit too soon in the election cycle to trot that out - shades of Muldoon's "think big"
 
in case you hadn't noticed - the peasantry have just voted for - no change - steady as she goes - hold that course - do nothing - don't do anything drastic - no surprises

Damn right - after all, as John said, "we are on the cusp of something special".
 

And with, as David Hisco says, the most resounding mandate in living memory

In this Old Colonial, anchient Westminister system it takes a revolution to bring about any real change.
To bring in those far reaching ideas you, and all of us, Dream about (i say dream because it wont happen) it will take, not just a bloodless revolution but a bloody revolution.
To have the world we all dream about needs a hole new political system designed in the 21st centuary for the 21st centuary and beyond.
Its nice to dream.
 

Tourism only survives on cheap jet fuel, we have past peak oil and so jet fuel will be getting more and more expensive and even rationed. Hence air travel on the scale we have is gone, dont waste time on it and sell airline shares now.
regards
 

I don't think you have been paying attention Steven.  There is a glut in oil we are being over run with cheap abundant fossil fuels.  Don't you read the "everything is ok with the world at 9"?  Everytime I go to a petrol station I am worried the tanks are going to explode with all the new fuel being discovered.  
 
 
 

Lucky you, now profile will use you as his authoritive resource.
regards

Agreed, however the trains not falling off the tracks just yet. With the global air fleet of the main airlines including more and more efficient, longer ranging aircraft and combining this with industry leaders pushing bio-fulled flights and research (wiki-everything says that Air NZ is one such player), we have a wee way on this scale and larger to go for air travel. 
There will be zero emission commercial flights in my lifetime.

As a society we need to make a conscious shift so we all value education as the most important social and economic input.
 
And no better way to prove how much we value it - than to charge more for it.
 
Student fees will have to increase, says university head
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11335202
 
And he's definitely the man to tell us:
 
With a pay packet of almost $620,000, University of Auckland vice-chancellor Stuart McCutcheon received the top pay of university heads.
This amounted to more than $50,000 a month before tax deductions.
 
http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/4267304/470-000-a-year-for...
 
PS - that was his salary in 2010 - sorry about that bit of old news, it'll no doubt have gone up well past the rate of inflation since then.
 
 

Well it worked for him.

Try this and see if you are getting value for money
 
see if you can find Auckland University
 
http://www.smh.com.au/australian-universities-climb-times-world-rankings

92 = in this ranking system. Hardly world class and you can just about bet your bottom dollar the emolument is way closer to the top of the scale compared to the academic ranking.

Gee, that's surprising. I mean they have no fees in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and now, Germany ... so how on earth do any of their universities manage to out rank us, eh?
 
http://www.zmescience.com/other/germany-education-fees-01102014/

Don't forget there are hundreds of univeristies participated in this ranking, 92 isn't at then (bad) end of the spectrum. 

... there are no fees ... never have been any fees , at the University of Taihape !
 
It is every Kiwi's inalieneable right to enrol at the Department of Dagg and to do a short course in Gumbootology 101 ...

It certainly did - he got his for free;
 
https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/about/the-university/how-university-works/...
 
 
 
 

The best things in life are.
 
 Have you seen this
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YR4CseY9pk#t=184

So what value is my NZQA courses that I completed?

"Education" as a product is just a very expensive form of entertainment.
It's definitely not an important  social and economic input (for a start it's a national expense, after all aren't students such rich premium margin customers... or afterwards, crippled with debt for years)

Far cheaper to subscribe to Sky and watch Fox News - it's all the education you need.

Yep 50% of Americans cant be wrong...
regards

Experience in the US has clearly shown that astronomical rises in student fees were not spent on better research or teaching infrastructure, not even on better academic staff.
 
They were given to managers and administrators, arguably the most useless people in the education system.

You don't have to go back to the 70s, as of 5 to 8 years ago New Zealand high school education topped all international rankings (though we have slipped the past few years). I think the path for the next few years is being pretty clearly spelled out as more measurement and less learning.

All part of the plan.
 
ANZ is moving 20 jobs overseas and will not rule out "offshoring" more jobs to cheap labour as it pursues greater cost-efficiency.
The country's largest bank has a global team based in Bangalore, India, which carries out some of its information technology service desk functions. Read more

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