Solid Energy never should have invested stacks of money into research. That should be a small and varied R&D done by universities - lower cost, lower risk, or a specialist govenment enterprise similar to what the original Department of Scientific and Industrial Research used to be, now it focused on Environmental research, no help to our economy. Solid Energy should have begun scaling down, until they had more of a viable value added commodity.
The current alumium* smelters are old and need to be renewed, or scrapped. Also why import Bauxite from Australia, when we have varied natural resources right here in the land and seabeds. There will be some similar facilities that could be adapted. The main advantage of refitting Tiwai Point is the cheap hydro electric power - only other use for power would be to lower the national power price, not bad for us, though not good for the power companies books - unless people increase their power use as a result, possibly.
Currently the Glenbrook Steel Mill has a lot of waste slag, a large component of this is Titanium. Presently there are several universities studing new cost effective methods for extract this valuable resource.
We can produce steel cheaply for our local market, and value adding industries. Certainly beats the worries over fraudulent steel coming out of China.
We could possibly also keep a portion of the Alumium* smelter going for local recycling.
- I use the original Alumium name.
If NZers do not want to work on farms, the farming industry needs to examine the working conditions. Why don’t people want to work in remote areas 6-7 days a week for crap pay? With no social life? Not to mention how difficult it is to farm and make a living with the milk price volatility for Farmers that own their own farm - could be a reason they are not able to offer workers better pay rates.
New Zealanders do want to pick fruit the issue is it’s a seasonal job, people want stability. The industry knows this and they are focusing on helping workers gain more skills and move up into orchard managerial positions.
The other issue is transport, they need to make it easier for workers to get to and from the orchards, the commute for a low paying job can be a real disincentive, especially with our high petrol prices.
Some transitional immigrant work force is required and needed.
We don’t have major immigration problem, yet. However we could easily go the way of UK.
Many immigrants only use nz citizenship and a way to get into australia. They come here, then vanish across the ditch, with all their so called skills.
The UK also have a major issue with generations on the benefit - not prepared to work.
I’d like to see some partial work for the benefit in new zealand.
Where instead of doing ‘job search’, they work part time for 3 days, weed clearing on farms, road side weed management, grafitti removal, scrapping/recycling centre, etc
They are picked up from a designated point (transport not an issue), their work monitored, and they get a reference. This gets them into work, ready for work, tested for work, they get feedback on problems - punctuality, sobriety, workplace relations. If their are problems they, can be sorted out. Then they search for work themselves, though they are given help, and courses, as is currently done.
Currently WINZ just wants everyone off their books (looks bad for the government books) and they put people into low skilled jobs, that they don’t necessarily want to do. I’d like to see a lot more help with getting people into a career and giving them training and more follow up.
I think manuka honey is not the best value added product, but other products; manuka honey yogurt face mask , manuka oil, bee propolis, wax pellets, pollen etc - these health supplements are of high value and very popular with large consumer markets (eg China).
Many of the specialist (wood carving) could be centred in rural towns that are dying - to revitalise them, but also create a tourism draw. Learn carving and/or maori traditional carving etc.
Here is a great story from the far north - they need more commerce.
Why don’t we have more summer touristy holiday destinations up there? The beaches are fantastic, the summers are hotter, and less humid than northland (due to less rainfall).
@Lammerlaw have to agree.
After living in Auckland for 15 years, I could no longer afford the ridiculous rental rates.
That is a major factor too, in addition to the speculative housing market.
Though I do not feel this is solely caused by immigrants, they do play a large factor.
Many buyers are brain drainers that are returning home with high value foreign currency, they are happy to speculate also. Property is an obsession for nzers, and our houses are not high quality (old uninsulated).