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NZ presents some of the most alluring property in the Western World; particularly given the greater easy of residency, the low cost of property, and the liveability of the country. In addition, there is no capital gains tax, transfer taxes, VAT/GST or wealth taxes in NZ, so rest assured that NZ property is tax-effective! Learn more now!

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Australian refugees to NZ

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At face value, John Key might look like a great humanitarian for considering the intake of 800-odd refugees that Australia wants to send off to Malaysia. The problem with the move is that he might be giving people smugglers the belief that NZ is an open door. This could be bad news for both:
1. Australia - because people will come to Australia with the expectation of ending up in NZ
2. New Zealand - it will be directly targeted by people smugglers knowing that the media news can be used to 'sell NZ' to prospective refugees.

Consider this - Afghanistan is a huge source of heroin; so might we see more sophisticated vessels bringing heroin and people to NZ, which is relatively lightly patrolled for refugees. NZ should be careful to avoid this can of worms. Of course both Australia and NZ are relatively isolated, however if resources from heroin trafficking were to enter into the people trafficking market, using GPS systems, there seems little reason why NZ could not be targeted.

The risk might be low. But it appears that Key is intent on helping to embarrass the Australian Labor Party. For NZ, it is a small number of people. A token gesture. But its not a trade I would so keen to entertain.

The problem with this issue is that Western countries should be doing more to secure political freedom in these countries so refugees are not compelled to engage in trade with people smugglers. The best way of doing that is adopting coherent political systems. John Key last night proved to me he is not about that. He is dangerously anti-ideological or pragmatic.

John Key presentation

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I attended a political presentation by the PM John Keys tonight in Wanganui. Was curious to hear him speak publicly. He is quite the charmer. The fact however is that he is unchallenged by competent opposition. The opposition really is bad; and the media does not help by making it a contest about National and Labour.
Some of the worrying aspects of his speech:
1. His lip service to reducing the size of government or 'limited government', and yet everything he speels out entails him being the centre of economic activity.
2. Misleading statements - He professed to creating 45,000 jobs; and yet he did not create them at all; the private sector created them. He made a favourable comparison with Australia which was not accurate. Suggestion in a 'select' period that NZ was growing when Australia was not. This is because Australia has been so hot, and then they experienced a 'non-farm' correction in commodity prices, and a flood in Qld, affecting farm commodity sales. Hardly a fair comparison.
3. Superficial policy. The concern is that his policy is very superficially based. i.e. Its a very pragmatic, results driven agenda, which will not achieve its target in many area precisely because it is so configured. He can have his targets, but he won't be around when they are realised. The problem therefore is - who does his policies benefit. i.e. Did John Key anticipate the US & European financial crisis? Did he take any steps to protect NZ'ers. No. Any yet there were thousands of bloggers on the internet advancing arguments about the risk of financial meltdown.
4. Climate change - John Key supports the argument that there is anthropogenic cause of climate change. This is indeed a pity. It probably won't matter because Australia will not adopt the scheme. (or it will be reversed)...so NZ won't as well.

This was of course a political campaign presentation.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Greens Party policy in NZ

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What is really surprising is that the Greens Party of NZ actually offers the best outline of its policy - see its website here. Presentation however is one thing; so let's look at the detail.
1. Equal tax burden - they want to adopt an ecological tax.
This strikes me as a silly idea, and its hard to fathom how they would achieve an 'equal tax', or what it would look like. They also want to have a $10,000 tax free exemption; which strikes me as realistic given the amount of rates ($2,000 per annum) that people pay, however this needs to be better spent.
2. Capital gains tax - they don't say what their tax rate would be - but it would exclude the family home and it is probably greater than Labour's 15%. John Key argues that taxing assets with a capital gains tax will result in people 'gifting' assets to their kids or sticking them in corporate structures. It is a fair criticism.
3. Monetary policy - The Greens are actually the only party I reviewed which is against asset price bubbles it seems. I laud them for that; the question is how they intend to prevent it.
Of course the problem with the Greens is that they are a party which is 'untested', so who knows what they could do in power.
4. Conservative 'green' policies - My concern about the Greens is that they strike my as another green 'Conservative' party. Why? They doubtlessly will have no intellectual framework for advancing their values. i.e. Promotion of national brands strikes one as nationalism, but maybe they have a 'local' desire for sustainability. This is of course the problem. What value is not sustainable?
5. Nationalist policies - They want to restrict land ownership and trade on silly nationalistic terms.
6. Human rights - They can be lauded along with the other parties for their support for political rights; but repudiated by their lack of protection for economic rights.
7. Climate change - The idea that 'our greenhouse gases must be cut as quickly as possible' strikes one as a policy which is intended to enslave humanity.

Interesting, despite some favourable aspects to the Greens, they contain elements of the worst aspects of the other parties, i.e. The dogmatism of Conservatism, the ignorant welfare statism of Labour, and the nationalism of the ACT Party. They offer a clearer outline of their policies than all the other parties, but then perhaps that is where it ends in terms of coherence. The greatest risk of a Green Party is not knowing what they are capable of in power. They are an untested quantity.

Labour Party policies

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Labour Party policies or values would have to be the weakest of the major parties and here is why. They don't even profess to represent anything. I looked around their webpage and could find no hint of principles or values. Just a lot of reactionary slogans and placards. Phil Goff is really doing a poor job. Based on Australian precedent, we might expect a late change in leaders, and this new leader might just benefit from the 'honeymoon period'. It is hard to see how that could get them the leadership though, as John Key makes the better presentation. He is very believable as a leader. All that Phil Goff can do is criticise him from being 'too pretty'. Hardly a winning argument.

What we can garner from the Labour Party website is the party's:
1. Opposition to privatisation: This strikes me as silly for several reason. Everyone is well versed with the value of privatisation in terms of resulting in better service, more vibrant corporate activity and innovation. It avoids constraints of the enterprises capital expansion. The only reasons to retain their investment is: If the asset is not fully valued. The stronger argument though is to avoid a conflict of interest, i.e. Non competitive practices, market participant and regulator. The problem is less of a problem given that the government's participation is largely passive. My concern is the structure of the privatised industry is more critical than whether the players are private or public. Basically, the argument is over the wrong issue.
2. Fairer tax system, increase jobs: There is a real difficulty creating jobs in NZ, so its hard to see how a 'fairer tax system', i.e. higher corporate and progressive income tax structures are going to increase jobs. In fact, it is likely to be an incentive for more NZ'ers to leave the country. That would mean fewer jobs. The idea of taxing $150,000 incomes at 39% would force people to adopt corporate structures again to reduce their tax. The notion that this would cover a GST exemption for food strikes me as nonsense. Unless they means test it??
3. Taxes on capital: NZ has no tax on capital gains. This is actually an appealing policy for immigrants coming to NZ, who can leave their assets offshore. Labour is looking at adopting a 15% capital gains tax. Given that much of these assets have been acquired unfairly, strikes me as a reasonable source of income, even if the expenditure is unreasonable.

What you realise with Labour is that they cannot even get their web marketing together. There is this site Our Own Future and Labour Party. Its poorly conceived, and is that all they can say about policy. How uninspiring. I swear that is the only policy I can see details on. It seems to be a global Labour Party trick to pull policy out of the hat at the last moment to avoid controversy or accountability.
I frankly think that they might be on a winner with a capital gains tax. Not because I want to see a capital gains tax, but simply because land, the principle source of asset, is a system of extortion. Land speculation does not produce anything and means working people are effectively subsidising the landowners easy lifestyle. I support property rights, but only insofar as they apply to 'improvements', not land. Land was acquired by grant or subsidy; and later-day citizens are being extorted when they buy it.
Frankly, they would drop the GST, adopt a capital gains tax, and adopt a $5,000 tax free exemption. Its currently $2500 I think. I am actually expecting Labour to do better than the polls suggest. I think I'd prefer Labour based on these policies.

Policies of National Party NZ

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Looking at the values of the National Party NZ, it is apparent that John Key and his party are not big on principles. Its pure pragmatism. i.e. Try anything once, and if it works, try it again. This is just as anti-intellectual as the ACT Party of course, and it offers no clues as to which direction they are going in...which might explain why John Key has achieved very little. To be fair to him, there is little you can do when you have a high level of private and public sector debt, an embedded welfare mentality thanks to a decade of Labour administration (aka Helen Clark) and a weak global economy resulting is a strong NZD. My sympathies. So what is National's policy direction:
1. The National Party seeks a safe, prosperous and successful New Zealand that creates opportunities for all New Zealanders to reach their personal goals and dreams.
Hmmm...that has the Keyesian 'utopianism' stamped all over it. Safety? I guess they are not a Conservative Party then. Prosperous. How? Well, here are a few clues. They "believe this will be achieved by building a society based on the following values":
2. Loyalty to our country, its democratic principles and our Sovereign as Head of State
Its hard to imagine how nationalism is going to advance the nation. In actual fact nationalism has done a great deal to destroy democracies, because its a form of collectivism, i.e. A repudiation of the 'personal goals' they profess to subscribe to. Sadly they are committed to democracy, which is the contemporary system of extorting wealth from taxpayers, and legitimatising it with notions of 'mandates', the 'common good' and 'majoritism', which is no better than minorities directing your life, and incompatible with their values stated earlier.
3. National and personal security
This is of course personally sensible; but then in NZ was invaded by a group of people professing values of freedom, and a desire to free us from tyranny, I would be on their side.
4. Equal citizenship and equal opportunity
What precisely does equal citizenship mean? Well, rest assured its not equal 'rights', as if that concept would mean anything under National's. Might I suggest it means 'equal slavery' or 'equal suffrage', which is perfectly compatible with their conception. It doesn't suggest freedom, but then I never believed that pretense anyway.
5. Individual freedom and choice
Don't be fooled by this conception of freedom. Its not freedom from imposition; its the freedom from starvation 'unconditionally', i.e. Your freedom to impose on others freedom. This conception is perfectly compatible with National's tyranny. Choice? Well, you have the choice of a two-party majority. i.e. You have a choice of two types of poison, and there is a competition in name only. Both of the main parties are two sides of the same tyranny.
6. Personal responsibility
This is another empty statement because what does 'responsibility' entail? Does it mean being independent, or does it mean being more broadly supportive and responsible for your community. This is deliberately ambiguous. It highlights how much these parties are really trying to avoid any hint of 'ideology', or any desire to stand for anything. Basically they are scared to be labelled because they really stand for nothing, and are not able to defend anything. Its why you will never get any respect from politicians. They stand for nothing, they cannot convince you of anything, so they will only advance a program which gives them the opportunity to extort a position in the political market for themselves. Its a shallow existence of moral relativism; and democracy makes it possible. You ignorant forefathers asked universal suffrage, and they got it; universal slavery. I guess it was not the enfranchisement they wanted.
7. Competitive enterprise and rewards for achievement
Its actually difficult to find any prospect of any of the major parties achieving this because none of them have the intellectual capacity to realise why they can't implement this objective. Basically there are 3 reasons:
a. They have no conception of the type of regulation they need. National wants to reduce or obstruct all regulation, and Labour is keen to add more. A distinction needs to be made between protective regulation and distortion. Where does that distinction arise? Well, its a matter of principle, and the major parties are against that, because they are against all 'ideology' which they could be held accountable for. Some of you might repudiate ideology as some 1950s-60s scourge. The reality is that those times were a unfair attack upon liberalism. It was really a disdain for bad ideology - Conservatism vs socialism. It was principles considered out of context.
b. Statutory imposition is not viable as a means of achieving policy objectives because statutory law is arbitrary; and thus it is out of context, so impossible to apply, i.e. Easy loopholed, requiring more amendments to actually catch offenders. Worse still, it actually gives 'offenders' a legal sanction, and causes a great expense to prosecute them through the courts, which you pay for.
c. Their 'moral ambivalence' actually encourages abuses of process which sanction the offenders and cause victimisation. Its no wonder people are cynical and begrudged by the process and want the 'necks of big business', but the reality is, the problem is caused by politicians, who function as salesmen, not moral authorities or statesmen like Thomas Jefferson. Those statesmen are long gone. Sadly, its their legacy which created this system.
8. Limited government
There is no question that National believe in limited government; the problem is they they don't limit it where it needs to be limited, and not in a way which would curtail its growth. The implication is that, by lacking principle, they will never reduce the size of government, nor offer any principled framework for constraining it, which means they pose a threat of escalating fascism, as community desperation growth.
9. Strong families and caring communities
Nice idea, but National does not actually convey a theory of values to actually enunciate what this entails. Let me guess - low crime, no divorces, good Christians who go to church and care for others. Sounds 'pretty', but it will not occur without mass or systematic repression. Japan is the clear example. You want the Japanese system. Well, in Japan people don't divorce because they are can't afford to. Its common for Japanese partners to stay together for functional reasons, not for love, and because they care too much about their reputation. They are so lacking in ambition or personal self-worth, that they live like ants, repudiating any personal sense of value. Caring in Japan? Its a pretense. They lock themselves in their houses to avoid the needy when they call. The US has far higher rates of charity. Its not part of Japanese culture at all.
10. Sustainable development of our environment
What does this mean? The devil is in the detail. There is ultimately no shortage of raw materials for humanity, or energy. We could invest in the technology now if it was a priority. Much fuss is made about resource exhaustion. Paradoxically, it is actually our political system that causes people to engage in such wanton materialism in several respects:
a. Psychological repression as a result of a political system which denies people intellectual engagement forces them to pursue material prosperity as a substitute.
b. Monetary and fiscal stimulus as a means of artificially 'sustaining growth' because they are unable to achieve real productivity gains without artificial means like stimulus and immigration.
c. Inefficient democratic government is the reason why our economy is only able to grow at 2-3% per annum, and is scarcely able to achieve any real productivity gains. The reason is that governments adopt more imposts through statutory law, that the only gains are from takeovers, economies of scale (i.e. population growth) and a little technological gain, i.e. Workers extorting the benefits in many cases, forcing business to engage in unfair market practices. You can see however how the constraints by government force workers and business into conflict, and government, the middleman is not held to account.

So, do I want a National-led government. Its probably the best possible choice of a terrible trio. I would repudiate them all and take to the streets. They are either dangerous or benign, but either way, they are a huge opportunity cost. Don't waste your life. Repudiate them all. Life is too precious. Next we review NZ's Labour Party.

The policies of ACT Party NZ

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In this and the next few blogs I want to consider the values of the 4 major NZ parties at face value. Let's start with ACT Party NZ.
The nice aspect about ACT is that they convey a greater respect for principles and personal autonomy than all of the other parties. Do they personally adhere to their states values; its hard to say since they have not been in government, and much of their politicking is going to occur behind closed doors as members of the National Party Coalition. Reading from their website - they hold the following principles:
1. To promote an open, progressive and benevolent society in which individual New Zealanders are free to achieve their full potential.
This is a nice, flowery notion, but what does it mean? They don't say.
2. That individuals are the rightful owners of their own lives and therefore have inherent rights and responsibilities
This conveys the sense that the party believes people should be personally autonomous and accountable for their own lives. This is admirable, but perhaps it does not resonate with people because they don't feel they are in a position where they are ready for that type of responsibility, i.e. The global economy is weak, the nation indebted. Is there any provisioning by ACT for this context, or are they going to feel the 'full reality' of a global context that they did not create. After all, this economy has been distorted to a point where people cannot get jobs, where people are only spending on basic necessities. Does ACT consider this context, or does it delude itself, and hold its principles out of context? Its not apparent that they think in such terms from their policy positions, i.e. They strike me as religious, disengaged, self-righteous Christian Conservatives. Or are they just anti-intellectual anarchists? Probably a split between both in terms of membership, though I'm uncertain in the party executive.
3. The proper purpose of government is to protect such rights and not to assume such responsibilities.
This is also an admirable position, but again it raises several concerns for two reasons:
a. What do they consider to be the basis of rights. It is traditional not to care? But it makes all the difference. Are they speaking of divine rights, natural rights, albeit probably not social rights, but such issues should not be left arbitrary.
b. We have an answer to my previous question. They say they will effectively 'on no terms' assume responsibility for others. This is a problem because they are dispensing with 'context', i.e. They retain dogmatic 'Christian' principles, which means they are going to struggle to develop a coherent, or relevant justification for their policy. This means their beliefs will never resonate with the community because at each step to 'ground' those ideas in reality, they will fail. That's unfortunate. At face value, they have the best principles. Just its dogma.
The Party shall promote, develop and pursue policies and proposals which:
4. Encourage individual choice and responsibility and the pursuit of excellence in all fields of human endeavour
Given that implicit dogmatism in ACT Party values, we might have to wonder whether the party executive will campaign for abortion, laws limiting pornography, etc. You might not have a problem with such initiatives, but I implore you to consider why these are issues, i.e. Why teens are getting pregnant, why people have perverted sexual values. Far from being an intellectual framework for stopping these values, the philosophy roots of ACT actually advance those 'perverted' values. Recognise that there is a tendency for pastors and Catholic kids to display perverted sexual values. Their minds have been detached from their values; which are 'dogmatically' inspired, i.e. subjective since there is actually no god.
As much as I like the 'pursuit of excellence', it won't be achieved through adherence to dogmatism.
5. Enhance living standards for all New Zealanders through sustainable economic growth and international competitiveness
The problem with ACT, as with other parties, is that they care little how that growth is to be achieved and sustained. The implication is that if ACT were elected today, based on their stated policies, we would have to expect them to cut public servant jobs, cause a lot of unemployment, have faith that the business community will create them; whilst business just sits on its hands because of the global weakness. What does ACT do then to sustain growth? Might it drop the mininum wage? Fine, but there is still no global growth? It can only stimulate spending with monetary policy. i.e. Lowering interest rates. This will unlikely in a global context, even if agricultural sector remains strong because of good commodity prices. Expect them to compromise. Dogma was never going to be sustainable. They are a sinking Christian 'noah's arc'.
6. Enhance choice and diversity, and raise standards of achievement in education
This is of course desirable; though what does 'diversity' mean? The issue here is how they intend to achieve it based on their dogmatic values. This is the problem; it might even spell teaching the Bible in schools. This is seems implausible in NZ, but what Christian could oppose such a well-intentioned policy. Expect rational standards to go out the window. More plausibly, the Left would end up tightening their grip on education, so nothing would be achieved there.
7. Ensure that all New Zealanders have access to quality health care and have security in retirement
This strikes me as inconsistent with their statements about rights; so here we are getting a sense that they are not totally about 'autonomous man'. i.e. They have not even been elected, and yet they are already starting to fail on policy. Its not like this is 'context'; this is aspiration. Reason? No, faith. Interesting to know their justification. Of course, a rational argument is plausible...but do they have one?
8. Maintain social and economic support for those unable to help themselves and who are in genuine need of assistance
This is of course 'welfare statism', so is this not incompatible with their notion of personal responsibility and autonomy. So, we are already seeing some inconsistency in their stated values. Is anyone surprised?
9. Provide for the nation’s security and the protection of individual lives and property
Can't argue with that. Of course a nation has to defend itself; though I'd personally look for a framework of policy-making which did not make me a slave to excessive or expansionary defence spending; as characterised the US in the 1980s. Protection of private property? Most certainly, though I'd personally exclude land because it was initially acquired illegitimately, and its a source of extortion. Land ought to be public, and the basis of 'rational user-pays' taxes, and only property based on 'user improvements' ought to be protected. i.e. People ought not be able to extort wealth through land speculation. They don't create value; they extort it from an expanding population. Harder to do in NZ, but still possible because of lifestyle changes.
10. Explore and implement practical and innovative ways to protect the natural environment
No problem with that. Land should be set aside for public uses, and plausibly for protection of habitats, but not as a dogmatic or servile creed to the greater value of other species.
11. Maintain sound economic management, including (but not limited to) a balanced government budget, price stability and a free and open market economy
Entirely reasonable and proper objective; though they will struggle to do it unless they are prepared to accept principles need to be held in context. i.e. If they dispense with dogma and develop a philosophical foundation for their values. Sadly, this is going to be a problem.
12. Limit the involvement of central and local government to those areas where collective action is a practical necessity.
Ouch! This is such an open-ended proposition; its kind of scarier that it occurs at the end of their principles. i.e. Its kind of like the 'asterisk' directing you to the fine print. This signals to be a complete preparedness to abrogate principles (because of their anti-intellectualism) and to succumb to the mindless 'compromise'. That is the reason why Christians are so immoral. They can't intellectually defend their position, so they end up caving in. Bad news!

Oh well, I held high hopes for ACT. I might just have to establish my own party. That is a hard strategy for me to accept because I know that the political system is based on extortion. Should I sanction it by engaging in it? Or do I become a revolutionary in some sense, undermining the credibility of the major parties?
Let's move on to the next party - National Party of NZ

Sunday, August 21, 2011

One way to Australia?

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Kiwis are seeing the writing on the wall, and and are looking for job opportunities in Australia. They would be advised to retain their homes in NZ, and just go to Australia for work. They have the good fortune of being able to look for jobs from NZ. All you need to do is email a few recruiters with your CV, apply for a few pertinent jobs, display some skills, and then line up some solid interviews before going over there for a week. When you touch down, get some accommodation, i.e. a room in a Sydney backpacker in the inner city area, and seek work from newspaper adverts, as well as the websites. You will then know if you have a chance. Return to NZ, and you will find many recruiters or employers will fly you over for an appointment if you make it to the interview stage.
Get the job - set up in an apartment - and save for your eventual retirement in NZ. If you like Australia, you can always sell your house later when the NZD-AUD is more favourable. There might be a chance of that in the next few years, but its looking rather dim.
The writing on the wall is that Australia is the land of opportunity at the moment, but NZ will eventually catch up! Another 10 years, and it will strike oil.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Buying a car in NZ

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Interesting that Turners Auction made a nice interim profit this half year. I am suspicious of this good result for two reasons:
1. They are I believe taking a position in the market trading stock
2. They are under-quoting on the price of cars

I sold a car through Turners recently. They under-quoted me grossly. They said my car was worth $4000. Interestingly, they ignored the fact that I had bought the same car from them 8 months earlier for $5500. In any respect, I eventually sold the car for $5,000. I think I could have got $5500 for it actually, because whilst we might be in recession, so more local sellers, and fewer buyers; there is a shortage of supply from Japan I think after the tsunami destroyed vehicles by the thousands. Also TradeMe prices told me I could get more.

Turners superficially give very good service. i.e. They have driven me to the bank to get the cash, dropped me off at the bus depot, etc. They were very nice to allow me to withdrawal from one sale to buy a car when the car I really wanted was passed in. Very good Christians you might say. But I sense an undercurrent there, so beware. I still deal with them. They need to make money, and its apparent that they under-quote. Not sure if they are taking equity in sales, or whether they are simply under-quoting to make their cars more attractive buys. i.e. To draw customers. It could be argued that the change in market circumstances demanded that. The reality was however - TradeMe was telling me something else. When you are looking for a sale, best to get a sense of the market at TradeMe. People do go to auctions for a bargain. It does not mean they have to get one. Don't be lured so readily into auctions either if you are not in a hurry to sell. We could have just as easily come back from our holiday and kept the car.

In fact, we only wanted to sell our car and buy a new one when we returned in 3 months. In the process of selling, we found out that you don't have to auction your car. I think its better to actually just leave your car on their lot and wait for trade inquiries through them. That is if you are in no rush. The problem I guess is that as a customer they seem not to direct you to cars in the yard, so it is dealers who are likely to get these cars.

Business in NZ is a struggle. It is a small market and very little money gets spent in the non-food market. As a trader, it can feel like a 'dog fight' sometimes. It feels rather tragic if you are not accustomed to that system of values; and yet NZ has this superficial exterior which yells 'maternalistic society'. Its really a dog fight. In comparison, I find Australia rather materialistic for different reasons, i.e. psychological repression - systematised by statutory imposition.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kiwis - wanted - but we have standards

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New Zealanders are being discouraged from going to Australia - both by the New Zealand media desperate to hang on to its population of Kiwis and new immigrants, and by Australian media, eager to promote a story of wayward Kiwis. The reality is that - life is tough anywhere if you have no skills; if you have no money, or no mommy to look after you. Of course you need money to support yourself to get a job; of course you need skills. The fact that Queensland's sunshine is popular for Kiwis ought to be reason not to go there, because its also popular for Australian teens as well. Why? Well, if you like the lifestyle, its a great place to be homeless because you can sleep under a bridge without worrying about the cold. Unskilled and looking for a job? Try outback Western Australia. They need heaps of line clearers to survey grids for drilling, and other such jobs. But at the end of the day, you need life experience in order to have a life. Most people get an education from home-base...so the starting point is logically a job or skills development in NZ.

In conclusion, Australia is still the land of milk and honey; but if you are a Kiwi rest assured you will still win the World Cup, and you will feel like a blessed champion for a week, and then you will be poor for another decade, before you discover oil, then you will be rich like an Aussie! :)

There is a message here for immigrants to New Zealand as well. Do they need your skills? Are people in your industry leaving your industry to go to Australia? Has this left a local shortfall, or should you be following them as well?

The pricing of petrol and milk in NZ

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I took the opportunity today to pen my opinion on the NZ price of milk and petrol. There is currently an inquiry underway into the price of milk.

Milk strikes me as an important source of protein and calcium in the diet of many families. Toast and cereal strike me as very simple meals that given low-income parents and their children some consistency about their meals. Its not rocket science to make it.
The reason prices for milk and other agricultural commodities is high because of the inadequate provisions made by Asia to address food security issues. This might also be considered a shortcoming for low-income NZ'ers, if that was the only issue they had to contend with. If I look at one country in Asia where I spend a lot of time - the Philippines. Agriculture had little appeal because prices were low, land often divided between family members, and city jobs offer so much more appeal. If these attitudes persist, Asians will be drinking a lot more milk. This is not such a problem for high-intensity market gardening. But it spells high prices for milk, and Fonterra should of course be able to sell milk abroad at 'market price', without having to sell subsidised milk locally.
But I wonder - why does 'healthy' low-fat milk sell at such a premium when the 'animal or butter fat' content is removed for higher value cheese production. It ought to be cheaper, despite the added production cost. Why am I paying so much for mostly water.
I think there needs to be reform to market regulation. If you are going to function as an 'effective monopoly', your product ought to be priced at a 'regulated cost + fixed profit premium', but as soon as you or the industry achieve a 'distributed' production regime, the competition ought to be on.

I am curious. Why are petrol prices $2.02/litre when the NZD is at record highs (up from $1.69 a year ago), the international oil price is $0.85/barrel, well down from $1.40/bbl. I know refining costs are fixed, but this is a huge disparity.

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Japan Foreclosed Property 2015-2016 - Buy this 5th edition report!

Over the years, this ebook has been enhanced with additional research to offer a comprehensive appraisal of the Japanese foreclosed property market, as well as offering economic and industry analysis. The author travels to Japan regularly to keep abreast of the local market conditions, and has purchased several foreclosed properties, as well as bidding on others. Japan is one of the few markets offering high-yielding property investment opportunities. Contrary to the 'rural depopulation' scepticism, the urban centres are growing, and they have always been a magnet for expatriates in Asia. Japan is a place where expats, investors (big or small) can make highly profitable real estate investments. Japan is a large market, with a plethora of cheap properties up for tender by the courts. Few other Western nations offer such cheap property so close to major infrastructure. Japan is unique in this respect, and it offers such a different life experience, which also makes it special. There is a plethora of property is depopulating rural areas, however there are fortnightly tenders offering plenty of property in Japan's cities as well. I bought a dormitory 1hr from Tokyo for just $US30,000.
You can view foreclosed properties listed for as little as $US10,000 in Japan thanks to depopulation and a culture that is geared towards working for the state. I bought foreclosed properties in Japan and now I reveal all in our expanded 350+page report. The information you need to know, strategies to apply, where to get help, and the tools to use. We even help you avoid the tsunami and nuclear risks since I was a geologist/mining finance analyst in a past life. Check out the "feedback" in our blog for stories of success by customers of our previous reports.

Download Table of Contents here.