Post by JohnO
There are as many caveats to this scenario as there are upsides, one of the more significant being New Zealand's Achille's heel: its chronically lagging infrastructure now needed to support any possible future rapid growth. But it's encouraging nevertheless
(The definition of 'careening' suggests the writer has (unwittingly?) been somewhat puckish in his choice of descriptive verb.)
One doesn't need to be to clever to fire up an economy with an ocean of cheap money. One does need to be clever to dig oneself out of the debt legacy that is created.
Difficult things done well often appear easy to others, but the issue
of spending to keep the country going is interesting. The money has
largely gone to subsidise employees in firms that are most affected by
Covid. Some companies are doing very well, and do not need assistance,
but the business subsidies do appear to have enabled rent to be paid,
food and essential supplies to be bought, and demand for many other
services to be maintained. But good news for the majority does not
sell news bulletins - so we see with every Covid decision an immediate
call for further subsidies - usually from bars and restaurants which
are apparently essential for news reporters, and from tourism
operators - anyone who can be relied on to say what a disaster Covid
has been for them. We are now also getting pleas for government
assistance, or exemption from Covid restrictions, from various
My perception is that the support being given by government has broud
approval from New Zealanders, and also tacit support from National and
Act. Neither of those parties are arguing in favour or either more or
less support for employers; and neither are suggesting either more
support or concern over debt levels - although they are clearly
happy for hte government to face requests for more support from
numerous business leaders that would normally argue for less
involvement in business by government and for lower taxes . . .
Similarly there is little sympathy for those stuck overseas in general
- I have heard of abuse shouted to those exercising in an MIQ facility
- ironically to a New Zealander who had travelled representing a
government department as part of his job.
We can be proud of the achievements of both our government and of the
"team of 5 million," but there are further testing times ahead;
including probably long lasting changes to tourism.