'Buying NZ Property – Download the free sample readings!

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!

New Zealand Property Report 2010 - Download the table of contents or buy this 180-page report at our online store for just $US19.95.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Pike River Coal Mine Disaster: The cost of public administration

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The Pike River coal mine disaster highlights why you cannot rely on government to be engaged in operating or executive roles. There are several problems:
1. They are idiots - they do not know about life. Their entire thought process is antithetical to critical thinking. They are modern-day serfs; not suited to regulation or monitoring under the current system of govt.
2. They have a conflict of interest - The Pike River Mine was owned by the operating & marketing company Pike River Coal. This company was listed in Australia and NZ; but in reality the company was not so independent. It was substantially owned by Solid Energy; a 100% government owned enterprise. You can imagine how little compliance or accountability will result when you have two idiots talking to each other.

In the context of this case - a disaster was imminent:
1. The lack of public oversight
2. The gassy coals
3. The lack of UG mine experience
4. The recruitment of poor staff - those that couldn't get a job in Australia for 2x the wage.

Read this article. The problem here is public adminstration under representative democracy - it does not matter whether it was a Labour Party or National Party government. i.e. Labour cut coal mining inspectors; and National Party could equally care less.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

NZ considering fees on national park entry

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It appears NZ is going the path of Australia and introducing fees upon entry to national parks. There are a number of issues:
1. Fees for what? The problem with such fees is that there should be some service attached to the fee. They should not be for general revenue raising; not to fund wildlife studies, but for the improvement in services that park users want, i.e. Toilets, information centres, walking trails. I frankly think NZ has under-invested in walking trails. I have driven around NZ several times, and you seldom find a walking trail, they are always poorly marked, so you inevitably get lost, wondering whether the trail is the 4WD track. I got lost in Mt Cook glacial walk because what I thought was a side-track to a pond never actually rejoined the trail. Not lost in the sense of dangerously disorientated; but mislead. It should not have happened.
2. Fees for whom? The idea of only charging foreigners is ridiculous. NZ'ers use these facilities as well; charge NZ'ers and keep the fees lower.
3. Fees for extortion: I personally think NZ is already charging excessive fees in some areas, i.e. the fee charged at Rotorua's hot springs is unreasonably high; and I'm inclined to believe its extortion by the local Maori communities who tap into this revenue stream, and probably do no work to maintain it. i.e. Just relying on Pakehe contractors to do everything...and live it up on the cashflow. I have no idea; just suspicious, as this type of jibe is not new to the world. Its the same with Uluru in central Australia. They apparently 'own' Ayers Rock because they saw it first, turned in into a mystical symbol. We really have to stop granting property rights to people who see things first.

Clearly some national parks justify fees; others don't. The greater the attraction; the greater the prospect of having visitors and them being prepared to pay fees....but please, do anyway with the idea of extorting wealth from people; it just stops people from doing anything. I've still not been to Rotorua. I refuse to pay $130 for a family to see a natural phenomenon; knowing that there are bus loads of tourists. They are not spending millions on maintenance and salaries each week...they are doing it because they can.
You can argue that its Maori property (or public Crown land), but I would argue they did not see the value; they had no notion of property rights, and they certainly did not 'earn it', and don't deserve it merely by being empowered by liberals to extort wealth. They can't even find good use for the money.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Maori Holocaust - a point of reflection

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A NZ Maori academic has angered New Zealanders for comparing the colonialisation of NZ to the Maori holocaust in the wake of Waitangi Day. The question is whether the comparison is legitimate - or whether these comments were an effort to extract sympathy concessions from the colonisers.

In some respects you can say that the colonisation of NZ was analogous to the Jewish Holocaust. Consider that a very large proportion of the Maori population died with the introduction of European diseases; there were also battles with the army and skirmishes with settlers which were also going to take a toll on their population as they fought the European colonisers.

But there are some important differences as well. For instance,
1. The Maori did not develop their intellect sufficiently (largely because of their collectivist roots, lack of protracted struggle and small population) such that they confronted resilient, sophisticated enemies nor develop an enlightened theory of values, i.e. A framework for the development of personal rights. They would hence remain collectivist and some defiantly so.
2. The Maori had some element of empowerment in the sense that they were able to launch warfare themselves. The NZ Crown was responsible for Maoris, so as custodians they did tend to take steps to protect them, even if those efforts were under-resources, too little, too late, and subject to rationalisation.

I am inclined to say that there are no descendants able to complain about European colonisation; but this does not end the story. Maoris are today living in a certain context which was the result of NZ occupation. I would however be more worried about the context in which they are living today, not the injustices of centuries past. Why? Well, irrespective of whether they were treated well or not, in many respects they were treated better than the Pakeha (NZ colonialists). The reason is that NZ colonialists had to confront Maori attacks. They had greater resources at their disposal, but they had in some respects been subjected to the interests of the government more than the Maori. Maoris were eventually given land, and their grievances carry more weight today than 'British subjects' because there is some recognition of the plight of Maori....but there is no recognition that Pakeha are suffering; and that is because Westerners are more inclined to repress their subjugation. i.e. Pakeha are economic slaves to the government; forced to provide welfare support to Maoris; not because we like being slaves, but because we are forced to contribute to a form of government which does not solve the problem.
We might ask what was the nature of Pakeha subjugation to the British government; now subordinated to the NZ parliament. Well, its nature is that Pakeha are assumed to have certain rights as citizens; but this is 'conveniently' not a comprehensive or effective range of rights, such that they are actually slaves working for the sake of political middlemen; largely while many Maori live on benefits. We are not accustomed to treating benefits/welfare support as 'suffering' - more as 'support', but this is not entirely accurate because it is akin to child abuse to pander to Maori indulgence, and this is what the Pakeha have done to appease the political influence of modern-day Christian liberals as well as concrete-bound Maori who don't look beyond their short term expenses and consider their long-range self-esteem. There is no doubt that Maoris need support, but it has to be conditional upon certain objective standards. If its not; then the current issues of child poverty, high unemployment, high illiteracy and the current 'guilt industry' are destined to polarise NZ'ers into racial divisions.

Maoris are deserving of empathy; but Maori (in their sustained suffering as a result of poor Pakeha public policy) should not forget that Pakeha are deserving of empathy as well. This might not be easy when you are a sufferer, but its a prerequisite as a believer in justice. We have to rise above our concrete context, and think as intellectuals. Sadly, that message is lost upon both Pakeha and Maori. Its not about whose suffering was worse: its about how to expunge what still remains; a dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs. Let's not turn this into a race issue; but focus instead on the question of delivering our expectations to government. The consternation of Maori ought to be shared by Pakeha and vice versa. Their common enemy is the government which:
1. Denies everyone personal sovereignty - whether Maori or British 'subjects'
2. Specifically a lack of economic rights - the govt right to tax needs to be at the people's discretion otherwise there is no prospect of accountability
3. This discretion need not be a financial discretion - but plausibly an intellectual discretion
4. The basis of our political discourse needs to be rational - not majoritism or 'numbers' based extortion of political influence.

When Maori and Pakeha jointly grasp that possibility; only then will they realise that representative democracy is not serving them; and that only a meritocratic democracy will. A meritocratic democracy is not a aristocracy; its a forum for rational discourse. It is a forum which affirms the interests of the rational; whether they are one person or 1 million; whether they are NZ or foreign citizens. Any other framework is a basis for abuse. If the option existed in the 18th century, it might have prevented the settlement of NZ. Its hard to say; as ultimately this political system had to develop. But unlike the contemporary system, a meritocracy will advance people's thinking, and not result in the systematic 'dumbing down' of voters we see today. More is said on this issue of course in politics blog.

'Buying NZ Property – Download the free sample readings!

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!

New Zealand Property Report 2010 - Download the table of contents or buy this 180-page report at our online store for just $US19.95.

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