#103: Economy on the Edge

This newsletter contains the original hyperlinks to the source articles, some links may have now expired. Editor.

Edge Message #103 from Brian Sweeney, producer NZEDGE.COM

This has become a mini-magazine. Pour a coffee.

The view is from Raumati South, Kapiti, looking towards
the top of the South Island.


It’s a great Saturday coming up – a New Zealand general election, and an All Blacks test match (vs Scotland). Having a vote is a right, an obligation, and opportunity to influence the future. See how Americans have just taken their democracy seriously. New Zealanders living overseas can vote from now until Election Day, Saturday, 8 November (NZ time). You can still enrol online from anywhere in the world (takes an estimated three minutes), download your voting papers, and post or fax. Your vote must be received in New Zealand by 7pm NZ Daylight Time on Saturday 8 November. Do not waste a moment. Vote now. Go to http://www.everyvotecounts.co.nz (thanks Kea) to check your elegibility and process your enrolment.


Edge is a useful metaphor, in fair times and foul. The paper by the NZ Stock Exchange (NZX) and the New Zealand Institute “Economy on the Edge” is the response by their respective CEOs Mark Weldon and David Skilling, to the extreme volatility of the international financial system, and the risks and must-do’s for New Zealand.

Weldon and Skilling say they have been compelled to put forward urgent ideas that represent a material response to the global economic situation. With doctorates from Columbia and Harvard respectively, they know a thing or two. Weldon has been leader of the NZX since 2002 and has consistently staked positions designed to strengthen the fundamentals of our economy. A politician with guts and imagination would appoint Skilling as Secretary of the New Zealand Treasury to rev up our local and global economic position. “Economy on the Edge” should be read as a primer for the type of bold responses that New Zealand’s under-performing economy needs to take in a rapidly changing world. For the past five years Weldon and Skilling have provoked and pushed against a general climate of no-can-do-ness and macro-economic inertness.

Their proposals include: more dynamic management of the taxation system to encourage greater investment; more dynamic management of the $25b government-owned commercial sector; investing some of the $30b of state financial assets at home to maximize the national interest; more dynamic stimulus to our savings environment (including making saving compulsory); encouraging resourceful international New Zealanders to turn their brains and energy; ways to manage credit and capital channels to overcome heavy reliance on foreign capital.

To their proposals I would add a punchy global marketing campaign promoting New Zealand’s uniquely skilled people, innovation culture, sophisticated worldview, terrific global timezone for international operations, stable and non-corrupt systems, ease of doing business …I’m talking double-page spreads in The Economist, TV ads on CNN, sponsoring Davos, direct marketing to the world’s top 1,000 CEOs. Being known as a pretty place to visit is a pretty thin marketing proposition in these new economic times. Right now is precisely the time to be repositioning New Zealand in the world – smart edgy ideas amidst the chaos of the center. 1000% EDGE. Read More



If New Zealand had a US-style Cabinet, then Lloyd Morrison would surely be in it. He and his HRL Morrison team have built an outstanding company, Infratil, investing in New Zealand and international infrastructure including airports, transport, energy, ports and public utilities – and he has several alt careers including being an invaluable New Zealand classical music producer, and instigator of a national dialogue on our identity as expressed in the New Zealand flag (which nzedge.com adopted as its symbol). He has now initiated a search to define and drive towards a national goal which will define a world-changing national purpose. Acting with purpose leads to a more fulfilled life. He cites Ireland, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan as examples of national purpose in action. Conversely, in the absence of purpose, current forecasts have New Zealand’s GDP per capita slipping below Kazakhstan and Botswana by 2025. “There is no clearly articulated goal we are pursuing and no solid plan of how we can get there. As a result, there is no definition or accountability for policies or policy-makers. Consequently, we continue our steady decline. NZ needs to embrace a common objective that will provide the means to deliver what we are seeking as a nation. This goal must be catalytic in terms of driving positive change that makes the outcome achievable.” Lloyd Morrison’s starter-for-ten is that New Zealand should aim to be back in the top 10 countries in the world based on GDP per capita by 2025. I believe such a goal is possible and is congruent with the goals of nzedge.com. The collective intelligence of New Zealanders everywhere could make this happen. There are other goals, of equivalence and of a subsidiary nature. You can email Lloyd atmeasurablegoal@hrlmorrison.com with your ideas for a national goal, and contribute to the forum on www.blog.nzx.com. The presentations in the 7X7 videos listed below are instructive about the actions and activities to get this country going forward, not in reverse.



#43 in our series of
New Zealand Edge Heroes. 5800 words. Story by CJ Williams

Motivated by a desire to be more than just an ordinary doctor, Archibald McIndoe pursued greatness – and became much more than an ordinary surgeon. Appointed Plastic Surgeon to the Royal Air Force in the midst of World War II, McIndoe brought plastic surgery to the forefront of burns treatment and became a pioneer of what is known today as ‘therapeutic community’. McIndoe was born in Dunedin 1900 and educated at Otago University. He started his world-changing career at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota (“He was the quickest man to open and shut a stomach that I ever saw”). In London, in a fortuitious stroke of luck in the midst of a personal despair, he formed a partnership with the pioneer of plastic surgery himself – fellow New Zealander (and cousin) Harold Gillies. During World War II he challenged outdated methods for treating severe burns, and pioneered the ‘therapeutic community’ which saw him dispense with hospital rules in order to meet the psychological needs of his badly deformed patients, and help them re-form their lives in society.

CJ Williams is a BA, BSC (Hon) and MSC graduate of Victoria University, with majors in History, Sociology and Psychology. He is a social and behavioural scientist, multi-media producer and writer of various forms. His main area of interest is the interplay between free choice, fate, individual behavior and social environment. He wrote the nzedge.com hero story on Harold Gillies.



#28: TAMA HEIHEI KAHI MARO, November 2008

Whanganui River. Photographer: Mark Brimblecombe

The Whanganui River wends its way through the lives of many people. For Den it has been the feature of the past month as he recalls some of its sons, Rangitihi Rangiwaiata Tahuparae MNZM, ‘Tahu’, and Gabe Tawhiti, separated both by time and type but linked by their mutual awa. Gabe was a street warrior, stabbed to death in Wellington. Then, as now, there was anger and hurt. The River elders encouraged redress through the law and a quest to find ways for healing and peace. The ‘Gabe’, a fiercely contested Black Power rugby league trophy, was the result. Den recounts the build up to the 2008 match up at Mamaku. Tahu was a tohunga knowledgeable both in ancient tribal lore and the protocols of Parliament and the Crown. He translated Winston Churchill’s riposte to Hitler, when the latter said that he would wring England’s neck like a chicken. Churchill reportedly said “Some neck, some chicken”. Tahu’s rendition was “Tama heihei, kaki maro” and Den reckons that stiff necked roosters, both sinners and saints, better get ready for difficult times. He shares thoughts from prison reformist Kim Workman, criminologist John Pratt and counter-terrorism expert Dr Pete Lentini, examines the issue of free market behaviours and our suppressive approach to those who dare to be different. Lots of Baxter (4,231 words) Read More


#27: LET HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN , September 2008

Signs of the Times – Denis at work 1973

Portrait of the activist as a young man; Paulo Freire, Latin America liberation theology and reflective action; pro-social change, community action, personal responsibility, and making change yourself; criminalisation of gang membership, differential sentencing tariffs; Black Power, the UN, their Waitangi Treaty claim, and Moana Jackson – jurisprudence expert; negative expenditure in the criminal justice sector; growth of the Maori family and the gang environment; moving forward, becoming engaged, less alienated and less marginalised leading to the end of “gangism” through a natural and sustainable process in contrast with the present “make war” suppressive approach; turning your life around and second chance education; Maori volunteerism; the political use of the court of public opinion; James K Baxter – “Ballad of the Junkies and the Fuzz”, “Ballad of Calvary Street”; “Zion”. (3,079 words) Read More


#26: JURASSIC ROAR, August 2008

New prison, Horsham Downs, north Waikato

Sir Brian Lochore’s “Jurrasic Roar” about belting kids; a 71% increase in New Zealand’s prison population; Government’s views on Maoriness as a “criminogenic”factor; the late Laurie O’Reilly, champion of the primacy of children’s rights in law and his promotion of non-violence within the whanau of our nation; sitting down with the FBI (Full Blooded Islanders) and the Darksiders/Black Power in Wellington with Police to work out an action plan; research with Edge Te Whaiti on the family, education, employment, lifestyle and community aspirations of Mongrel Mob Notorious chapters in Tokaanu, Putaruru and Auckland; (they are similar to most New Zealanders); breaking the cycle of failure to stop young people getting emeshed in the criminal justice-industrial complex. (5,664 words) Read More



7X7 is an ideas forum I started in Wellington in 2000 with media and cultural producer Jan Bieringa as a way of presenting innovation and radical thinking in the capital’s technology, entertainment and design industries (the idea came from TED in 1998). Jan and I have recently produced the 2008 of 7X7 series “The Big Think: Transforming the New Zealand Economy” is now online – featuring 35 videos (of roughly seven minutes each) over five themes – Foundations, Trailblazers, Directions, Connections and Imaginations. Moderated by economics journalist Rod Oram, generously sponsored by the Wellington City Council (Absolutely Positively Wellington, Creative Capital, Heart of the Edge) and presented by SweeneyVesty and Blair Wakefield Productions. Provocative, insightful, and at times mind-bending.

Session 1: Seven Foundations
7X7 co-producer Brian Sweeney on developing global edge in everyday life
Journalist Rod Oram with seven synergies to transform New Zealand’s future
Economist David Skilling makes the case against merely “keeping on keeping on”
Economist Brian Easton questions whether affluence leads to well-being
Journalist Michael Field on the possibilities of a Pacific Union to enhance our region
Scientist Jacqueline Rowarth on attracting brains and creativity to NZ’s primary industries
Ecologist Morgan Williams on harnessing and managing our natural capital

Session 2: Seven Trailblazers
Xero entrepreneur Rod Drury on why broadbrand is vital for reaching global markets
CEO Nick Lewis on how their Celsius website encourages sustainable action
Comvita CEO Brett Hewlett on the possibilities for NZ in the global “wellness market”
Grove Mill Winemaker Dave Pearce in support of a voluntary carbon market
Aquaflow’s Barrie Leay on a wild algae biofuel solution to world energy supply
NIWA marine scientist Craig Stevens on clean energy for population, climate pressures
Chef Martin Bosley on New Zealand dining rituals, pleasures and global aspirations

Session 3: Seven Directions
Engineer Gerry Te Kapa Coates on what carbon neutrality means for New Zealand
Fonterra’s Andy Shenk on innovation and sustainability for global dairy
Trade Union President Helen Kelly provides a direction for the workplace of the future
Venture capitalist Nick Gerritsen on connecting world-changing people and networks
Development leader Chris Pickrill on Christchurch as an internationally competitive city
Scientist Peter Gluckman on national ambition in science, research and technology
NZ Post CEO John Allen celebrates diversity, reframes our thinking on achievement

Session 4: Seven Connections
Maori businessman Paul Morgan on learnings from Wakatu Inc, inter-generational business
Business leader Charles Finny on a national export strategy playing to our strengths
Victoria U’s Sally Davenport on attitudes for creating the New Zealand powerhouse
Entrepreneur Branton Kenton-Dau on embracing our identity as “the Land of New Zeal”
Environmentalist Guy Salmon on collaborative governance process in Nordic countries
Designer Megan Hosking on the power of the Internet to transform sustainability
Poet, artist Greg O’Brien on the deep questions of McCahon’s Storm Warning

Session 5: Seven Imaginations
Mobile surgeon Stu Gowland on innovative ways to provide future health services
Scientist / MoRST CEO Helen Anderson makes the case for creativity and innovation
Scientist Paul Callaghan declares the power of optimism, self-belief to fuel success
Radio NZ Political Editor Brent Edwards on the Australia-New Zealand relationship
Geo-spatial expert Gary Nairn on capitalizing on a spatially enabled infrastructure
Wendy McGuinness on aligning industry and national brand with sustainability
Waitangi Tribunal Chief Judge Joe Williams looks out fifty years at our changing culture



Photos Above: Scott Dixon, Sophie Pascoe, Jemaine Clement and Sam Neill.

New Zealand headlines in this month’s sampling of global media appearing in Los Angeles Times, Swimming World Magazine, Variety, Yorkshire Post, Christian Today, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Bloomberg, The New York Times, Telegraph, Chicago Sun-Time, Freeskier, Science Daily, The West Australian, The Phnom Penh Post, Khaleej Times, The Japan Times, The Washington Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, New Mexico Business Weekly, Bangkok Post, Deseret News, The Independent, Women’s Wear Daily, Houston Chronicle, Washington Post, BBC News, The Epoch Times, Guardian, Sports Illustrated, Oyster, Weston & Somerset Mercury, The Norway Post, National Geographic Adventure, Metro UK, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Indian Express, The Guardian Irish Independent , Telegraph-Journal, Daily Mail, The Economic Times, USA Today, Times Online, Stars and Stripes, Metro UK, San Francisco Bay Guardian, The Age and The Boston Globe include:

–  Canterbury opens first retail outlet in Europe, plans for store in NY
–  Living Cell gets go-ahead for human pig-cell transplants
–  Air New Zealand at global “forefront” in reducing carbon emission
–  Michael Hill buys 17 jewellery stores in Chicago and Missouri
–  Peter Newport, Airsports CEO, takes virtual Sky Challenge to Spain
–  Karen Walker influences hipster NY mag with eyewear collection
–  New Zealand Fashion Week reviewed in Australian Vogue
–  Rebecca Taylor, Nolita NYC designer, has movie star following
–  Jamie Fergus, jeweller, part of Coast-garde ’09 exhibition, Sydney
–  Icebreaker’s customers able to trace origins of garment to sheep
–  Grant Harrison behind US bike-share programme, Freewheelin
–  Minus 5 ice bar chain opens in Las Vegas complete with chapel
–  FEW, surf fashion label, shows spring ’09 collection in San Diego
–  Rachel Hunter launches budget fashion label ‘Rachel’ at Warehouse
–  Jeremy, Simon, Dareen Doherty win with ‘Swarovski Mouse’
–  Darrell Poole’s neck protection device an invention from the shed
–  Don Subritzky auctions his WW2 spitfire to fund more restorations

–  New Zealand’s anti-nuke stance praised in NY Times editorial
–  New Zealand defence repeats history with closer US relations
–  Georgina Beyer one of 31 GLBT icons, including Mapplethorpe
–  Christchurch a model municipality according to Canadian expert
–  Anand Satyanand, Governor General, on state visit to India
–  Kevin Roberts keynotes with Nobel laureates in Buenos Aires
–  Sian Elias, Chief Justice, explores indigenous rights in US
–  Fonterra experiences melamine-in-milk nightmare in China

–  Ross T. Smith, photographer, exhibits images of ‘Paraha’ in Alabama
–  Justin Pemberton’s doco Nuclear Comeback wins at eco film festival
–  Te Papa’s Whales, Tohor? exhibition opens in Washington DC
–  Francis Upritchard, sculptor, tells Guardian “art needs to be used”
–  Dead C, Dunedin noise-rock trio, making money and records
–  Naked and Famous amongst four NZ bands at CMJ Marathon, NY
–  Rhombus, Wellington band, to headline at NSW music festival
–  Rhys Darby first NZ comedian to go global with stand-up DVD
–  Gin Wigmore, Ladyhawke applauded on Hollywood gossip blog
–  Ladyhawke releases “melodic”, “dramatic” debut album in UK
–  Shigeyuki Kihara, artist, debut exhibit at NY’s Met Museum of Art
–  Anne Noble’s ‘Ice Blink: Antarctic Photographs’, beyond conventions
–  Dean Spanley “immaculately cast” and “nicely handled”, Variety
–  Parachute Band, Christian rock group, to release album in UK
–  Jemaine Clement, actor, gives “hipster cred” to teen fantasy film
–  Max Gimblett paints in black for Berlin ‘Edges of Darkness’ exhibition
–  Craig Johnson to direct film about Dubai’s “modern-day emigrants”
–  Ruth Harley, new chief of Screen Australia, “extremely capable”
–  Tim Finn on solo album ‘The Conversation’ and his 40-year career
–  Anna Paquin gets a tan in Louisiana for role in HBO vampire series

–  New Zealand’s pies sampled in 2-week gastronomical jaunt
–  Kay McMath, sensory scientist, proves ice cream better in cone
–  Overlander a scenic “fuss-free ride from Wellington to Auckland”
–  Coromandel Peninsula, tourist mecca for pottery and glow-worms
–  Queenstown and surrounds finds tourists “perpetually awestruck”
–  New Zealand geography “trumping religion” in magazine spread
–  Nick Wood, entrepreneur and now owner of luxury destination club
–  Shotover Jet part of Queenstown’s “adventurous atmosphere”
–  DOC does “brilliant” job creating outdoor gym with Great Walks
–  New Zealand a “wonderful combination” of global cuisine
–  Mollies, Auckland 5-star boutique hotel, “unashamedly romantic”
–  Possum fur a lucrative luxury for Oregon-based company
–  Canterbury by train; mesmerised on the TranzAlpine
–  Kaitiakitanga and high environmental standards keys to tourism
–  Waiheke Island “pastoral and pinot” 20 minutes from Auckland

–  Rod Dixon, 58, readies to run NY Marathon 25 years after victory
–  Phil Keoghan wins 5th Emmy as ‘Amazing Race’ leader
–  Wendy Smith, skydiver, leaps from plane at record 9000m over Everest
–  New Zealand wins four of six titles on offer at Golden Shears, Norway
–  Silver Ferns win series against England, now bound for Australia
–  Earl Bamber, Wanganui teenage racing driver, 2nd in China’s F1
–  All Blacks to don new Adidas-sponsored shirt for HK Bledisloe
–  Rob Thomson, completes cross-continent solo skateboard odyssey
–  Byron Kelleher, Toulouse No 9, “multi-dimensional” on field and off
–  Lake Rotorua to host 2009 World Blind Sailing Champs
–  David Pocknall, Texas-based geologist and amateur golfer tees off
–  Graham Henry, ponders Tri-Nations win and “those vexing” ELVs
–  Byron Kelleher, Toulouse scrum-half, Top 14 player of the season
–  Nick Willis, 25, Beijing bronze medallist wins Fifth Avenue Mile, NY
–  Waitemata Harbour, location of inaugural Louis Vuitton Pacific Series
–  All Blacks retain TriNations title beating Wallabies 28-24
–  Paige Hareb, 18, Taranaki surfer, no. 2 junior in world wins in NSW
–  Sophie Pascoe, 15, wins four swimming medals at Paralympics
–  Scott Dixon nets 2nd US IndyCar Series championship in Illinois
–  Glenn Turner, “fast-scoring strokemaker”, honoured in London
–  Alistair Eason, Janina Kuzma, plummet for wins at Treble Cone
–  Nick Evans has debut as fly-half for Harlequins, at Twickenham

–  James Fraser, founder of Avant Gardener UK, digs London jungle
–  New Zealand’s 2,065 native plants grow alongside 22,000 exotic
–  Cook Strait weta walk long distances for amorous encounters
–  Fox Glacier trekking awe-inspiring challenge on crampons
–  EDay sees 15,000 carloads of electronic waste saved from landfill

–  Duncan Laing, Olympic Gold Medal coach of Moana Pool; Dunedin, 77
–  Rob Guest, OBE, singer, musical star, Phantom; Melbourne, 58

For full stories see /category/newzedge/, a 7,000-story whare of international activities by New Zealanders 2000-08.




All Blacks Grand Slam Test Feast and a match with Munster
Scotland (Edinburgh, Nov 8), Ireland (Dublin, 15 Nov), Munster (Limerick, 18 Nov), Wales (Cardiff, 22 Nov) and England (London, 29 Nov).

New York City, 6 November 6-8.30pm
‘Third Gender’ in the Pacific: Art and Human Rights’ Panel discussion featuring Auckland Samoan- born multimedia and performance artist Shigeyuki Kihara, currently exhibiting at the Metropolitan Museum, and Joy Liddicoat, Comissioner, New Zealand Human Rights Comission) 116 East 16th Street.

New York City, Wed 19 November 4-8pm Essenze – New Zealand Inspired Design
Opening of new showroom, Metropolitian Design Center, 909 Broadway @20th St; “The edge of the world is closer than ever before”.

Dave Dobbyn “Anotherland” tour
Amsterdam (Sugar factory, 22 Nov), Edinburgh (Cabaret Voltaire, 26 Nov), London, (Carling Academy, Islington, 27 Nov, 12 Acklam Road

Taiwan, 13 December, ‘Le Folauga’ exhibition opens at the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts;
a snapshot the current state of contemporary Pacific art from New Zealand, featuring Edith Amituanui, Fatu Feu’u, Niki Hastings McFell, Ani O’Neill, Michel Tuffery, Jim Viviaere and other artists.

World’s Edge 42º South Wellington 2009
Cumulus World’s Edge 42º South is an international design conference to be held in Wellington November 2009, convened by the Victoria University School of Design in association with the University of Otago Institute of Design and Auckland’s UNITEC. Referencing nzedge.com – “Radical stuff starts at the margins, change comes from the fringes, innovation happens on the edges”- the conference promises “a design conversation about a future world – about innovation, progress and sustainability, and about our cultural, social, economic and spiritual well-being.” A subtext of the conference is “our search for identity which has long driven cultural production in New Zealand and given life to new bodies of work across literature, design, film, music and fashion.”

Send International Datebook event details to isobel@nzedge.com.
See also http://www.keanewzealand.com/events/index.html.



Best regards from Wellington. Brian Sweeney, Producer, nzedge.com


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