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Reader Comments on Aardvark Daily 6 Oct 2000

From: Richard
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Leaving NZ

First let me begin by saying I love this country, I was
born and raised here, this land is in my bones and I will
be buried here.

I have grown up watching successive governments blunder,
hurt the ordinary, good people, blindly follow ruthless and
dead-end ideologies spouted by those who got a free
education and made me pay for mine.

I watched and learned as other damaged economies grew and
prospered and wondered why ours wasn't. I watched as old
economies changed and fostered growth in new directions and
wondered why ours wasn't. I have watched as labourers in
poorer, Second-world nations have increased their standard
of living and joined the First-world and wondered why we
have slipped so very low.

I watched as hardworking people mortgaged everything they
had to build a new industry in this country only to be
savaged by insane taxation and out-of-control, deregulated
corporations (Please understand, I LOVE big-business,
indeed, I want to own one myself one day :)
Corporations employ more people and create more wealth than
anyone else - but there is only real benefit when there is
real competition and there is none here.

I have watched people unable to get decent healthcare as a
system they helped pay for is left to crumble. I watch as
assets held in trust for me, a shareholder in this venture
we call New Zealand, since my Great-grandparents built
them, be hocked-off in "bargain-basement sellouts" only to
have the new owner rape the former for every penny they can

Now it is my turn. I have a great idea for a new business,
that could make a great deal of money and employ many of my
friends. Problem is, after leveraging myself to the hilt to
get it going, I have to buy the equipment from overseas
suppliers with an emaciated dollar.

Then paying taxes on money the business "may earn", paying
my income tax, GST, resident witholding tax (why tax
savings when we can't afford to retire without them?), tax
on dividends, student loan repayments, ACC, etc, etc...

I wonder why don't I just take those job offers I have from
Oz, Germany, the UK, Hong Kong and the US and join my old
pals all over the globe.

I am tired of fighting, tired of being a tall-poppy and
tired of being kicked in the guts, tired of voting for self-
aggrandising, out-of-touch, dinosaurs (in ALL parties) who
break promises (I now regard most NZ politicians lower than

Then those same dinosaurs and poppy-mowers wonder why I
think those crowded, smog-filled shores look greener than
the home I love so much.

Two words: Hope & Opportunity.

God I will miss NZ.

From: Alan Wilkinson
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Future for young NZers

With four other friends and partners I am now an IT company
owner and employer of a growing number (> 40) mostly young
New Zealanders who haven't left NZ yet.

Frankly, New Zealand has three assets but many
liabilities.  The assets are: some smart people, a
beautiful environment and an historical stability.

The many liabilities include:
a) geographic isolation

b) a control-freak government

c) a democratic majority in favour of big government and
   whose deep insecurities are easily stroked by those wishing
   to further erode individual rights
d) general widespread inexperience in business, self-
   reliance and entrepreneurship

e) excessive taxation and a huge dependent social class of
   welfare beneficiaries

f) excessive and increasing bureaucracy in almost every
   aspect of life.

For very many talented Kiwis, the balance sheet is
inexorably tipping in the direction of a permanent exit.
The beneficiaries and advocates of present policies do not
want to know, but their own future is absolutely at serious

From: Stan
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Permanent OE Kiwis

I am amazed at Edwin's reaction to Richard Poole's
initiatives to retaining NZ key assets, its people.
Perhaps I should say it might be better for NZ to have less
Edwins and more Richards, people who are positive thinking
and have the guts and passion to say and do something about
it.  Heaven forbids if our Bruce Simpson ever becomes as
dulled as one of those kiwis potrayed by Edwin.

As for this Goverment, the analogy of the Emperor who walk
around in his 'magic' garment is most fitting (pardon the
weak pun).  It took a child to point out he has no clothes
on.  Pull your head out of your arse Mr Anderton (and all
your cohorts) and see the light.  This country is depressed
with no direction (except to spend money on Arts -
yeah.....)  No positive outlook on the horizon except more
expensive fuel cost, lower salary increase, lower exchange
rate and loosing its key assets - its young people.

Maybe the next time Edwin open his mouth, he might want to
explain what positive steps he has done for this country
(voting for Labour or Alliance does not count at all)

And my final (I can believe what I am reading this
catergory), it is ironic for this government to accuse Dr
Brash of "unnecessarily heightened economic jitters with
his warnings".  Come on.... Mr Anderton has done this so
many times.  Shall we lynch him too?

From: Craig Humphrey
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: The Brain-Drain...

Well... it's quite surprising to see the reactions of
various people over this topic... the Government with its
head in the sand... the Business Round Table getting
theirs chopped off for helping out....


As someone who has recently returned from overseas (18
months working in London, 18 months working in Frankfurt),
it wasn't NZ's political, financial or (working)
environmental situation, that brought me back.

I took a 50% pay cut to come back, so that was hardly an
incentive.  My employers probably think they are paying too
much... and I suspect that's the general train of thought
for IT workers.  And I'm inclined to agree, IT workers are
overpaid, world wide... but I'm not complaining...

My reason for coming home was because my father died and my
wife and I wanted to spend time with my mother.

While we were away, we had heard about the downturn in NZ
and warnings from friends and family not to come back.
While I agree with Helen Clark that Kiwi's do come back to
NZ to raise a family (that's certainly still my intention),
what she hasn't looked at is that people are waiting longer
to get married, and longer still to have children.  These
means that Kiwi's are staying that bit longer overseas...

Now that I am back in NZ, working in a full time position
that I enjoy, the possibility of relocating to Auckland
next year (we have a house there)...  I still have a
nagging in the back of my mind, that perhaps NZ is no
longer a long term place to live...

Seeing the Olympics in Sydney, and having a (kiwi) mate
working over there... it looks tantilisingly like a better
place to be... you get a similar lifestyle and attitude,
better weather, more oppertunities and (cringe) cash...

And what's more, it costs about the same to get from Sydney
to Auk/Welly as it does to go from Auckland to

I could go on, but I've probably said too much already
(feel free edit this Bruce) but NZ really is in a ditch at
the moment and while businesses are scambling to emplploy
skilled people, the government is doing it's best to send
them overseas...


From: Edwin Hermann
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Piss off then!

Dear Editor,

Excuse the language in this email, but here's what should
be said to Mr Poole:

What's the point in making a big hoo-har by full page
advertisements and Holmes appearances?  You say you're
50/50 about going overseas.

Well, stop your whinging and go.  Fuck off out of the
country.  We don't need arrogant pricks like you.  If you
don't like the country, piss off, because the country
probably doesn't like you.


Maybe I should appear on Holmes because I'd like to go to
the movies tonight, but it's so expensive... not sure if I
should go.

Get a life Mr Poole.


From: paul reynolds
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: "Real Kiwis"

what's a 'real Kiwi" ? -  as in "it's nice to see that
there are still some "real Kiwis" with a great attitude to
sorting this country out"

 I am Scottish - I have been here for 10 years - and like
to think I share our ambition that NZ become a vibrant
player in the new economy... do I count ? ...  do my views

For ten years I have watched /listened/read politicians
and other commentators talk of 'ordinary New Zealanders" -
'real kiwis" and the like ....   every time it happens it
feels like another exclusion .. another slap in the face.
As someone with such a public international perspective ...
frankly I'm stunned to see you using this tone ...

Aardvark responds:
In today's column I used the term "real Kiwi" as opposed
to "New Zealander" in an attempt to distinguish between
a mindset and an accident of birth.

It was exactly NOT my intention to attribute the "real
Kiwi" attitude solely to those who were born here -- but to
symbolicly indicate that it is a state of mind and could
apply to anyone in this country regardless of their
country of origin.

Let's not forget that I'm really an AWOL Aussie :-)

Perhaps I should have better qualified the term, my

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