Daily Archives: May 5, 2012

Dunedin and the southern region’s business future

THE CLIMATE
(we’re sluggish, indebted and unproductive, working long hours for unremarkable results, there’s little or no ability to pay all our living expenses even if we can afford a mortgage — few Dunedin businesses are on the global map, very few of our citizens invest in ‘research and development’ or know what export truly involves — there is splendid isolation, no cohesion, and a striking absence of astute regional leadership)

Our economy is drifting in very dangerous shoals. The only plausible avenue to sustained growth will be export-led. The high value of the dollar precludes this. Unless we act now the painful process of rebalancing our economy will be forced upon us at some future stage. At that point the pain will be even greater.

### ODT Online Fri, 4 May 2012
Opinion
Boosting export sector only way out of malaise
By Peter Lyons
We are living in a world of zombie economies including our own. These economies are characterised by high debt levels, stagnant or shrinking economies and policies of austerity that offer no solution. Finance Minister Bill English is promising a budget of little hope. He offers austerity almost with relish. It fits his ideological bent towards smaller government. A further unexpected $1 billion budget shortfall precludes any positive spending initiatives. Meanwhile the governor of the Reserve Bank wrings his hands over the high New Zealand dollar which is shredding our export sector. He has maintained this ineffective stance for a number of years.

Positive economic management appears beyond the scope of our policy makers.

New Zealand has been in or on the verge of recession since 2007. Most of the Western world has followed a similar path.
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LOCAL SENSELESSNESS
(where the ad hoc stadium spend has crippled the council, all the time missing the bigger outlook of how to serve the South Island’s contribution to export-led economic recovery — oh hey, the council’s junior bureaucrats and mayor say let’s play dress-ups with a few central city warehouses and six suburban amenity centres — the Dunedin City Council has to undergo major attitudinal and structural change)

Apart from the ongoing clusters, there has never seemed to be any straightforward strategy to push economic growth in the city or the region.

### ODT Online Sat, 5 May 2012
Planning for future of Dunedin Inc
By Dene Mackenzie
Dunedin’s economic development draft strategy will be released on Monday. For the first time, the document will be signed off by stakeholders representing diverse areas of the city. There are several things business editor Dene Mackenzie hopes will be included in the new 10-year plan. For about 25 years, Dunedin’s economic strategy has doddered along. Past plans have included Dunedin City Council officers travelling to visit large-scale manufacturing enterprises in a bid to persuade them to establish themselves within the city boundaries, through to catchy slogans and billboards at airports. During that time, the city has seen its large-scale manufacturing base shrink with the loss of thousands of jobs.

Reviews of city council funding strategies need to be undertaken and the strategy must be inclusive of the needs of the business community. It seems that, often, funding decisions are applied on an ad hoc basis, when better value could be extracted from ratepayer funds.

More than 90% of Dunedin businesses are said to have no intention of exporting in the future and the city captured only 2.5% of the country’s recent migrants. That must change for the city to grow and prosper.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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