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Looking back on 2012

Looking back at 2012

Looking back on 2012

Image by Ludovico Sinz

I have been writing in the print media with various opinion pieces in the Herald and Dom Post over many years. I have also had an online presence in the news section on the Gareth Morgan Investments site since the late 90’s, but last year was the first year I have had a personal blog and got active on social networks.

It has been an exercise that I have enjoyed a lot. It’s been good to be able to talk about the various projects that myself and the Morgan Foundation has been working on over the year.

What has also been great has been being able to have you participate in the comments on my blog, on my Facebook page and Twitter.

I find the public a rich source of knowledge. Of course there will always be the odd dropkick comment, but we get some real gems too so that makes it worthwhile. I also believe that, when informed, the public are capable of making wise decisions to the benefit of everyone. Hopefully my blog in some way helps contribute to the important discussions that need to be had in New Zealand.

I thought it would be an interesting exercise to go through a look at the most popular posts of 2012. Housing was an issue that people were passionate about as was the growing gap between rich and poor and some of the issues around the environment.

Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know some of the issues that you may want us to take a look at. We may not be able to get to them all, but if there is something’s there which look like they will be good to talk about I will do my best to get on to them.

If you missed out on anything last year here is a sample of some of the top blog posts from last year.

 

Economics

Unemployment on the march: Whose fault

Personally I wouldn’t blame the exchange rate, the government, or any lack of entrepreneurship. The world is really struggling if you hadn’t noticed and the ability of our firms that export or compete with imports, to maintain sales, is being whacked… Read more

Housing affordability – The problem is not a lack of supply.

Contrary to the findings of the Productivity Commission the fundamental issue with housing affordability is not lack of available land. That Commission has done the debate a major disservice by pointing the figure at land supply, the councils do not agree with them and that is a damming indictment of that piece of work… Read more

 

Environment

No right to profit by trampling over others

The Horizons Regional Council’s victory at the Environmental Court which found that farmers deserve no special treatment and should follow the rules like anyone else when it comes to curbing their pollution, is of major importance. It’s late but better than never.

The vast majority of farmers are environmentally responsible and many are passionate about not despoiling waterways in any way. This is a victory for them and round condemnation of the ignorant rump in that fraternity who arrogantly think they have some sort of birthright to generate wealth for themselves off the back of environmental destruction… Read more

100% Muddled Earth

In this its second term, a yawning gap has appeared between the actions of National and the clean and green rhetoric it trots out on the international stage. Our 100% Pure image has most recently been called out by the New York Times who called it as “fantastical as dragons and wizards” – a reference to the forthcoming Hobbit movie launch… Read more

 

Tax and Welfare

Benefit tightening won’t reduce unemployment

It is tempting to call the National Government’s Social Security Amendment (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Bill the most irrelevant sideshow in the circus that is tighter targeting of social benefits… Read more

John Key and capital gains tax in New Zealand

Acknowledgement by John Key that a capital gains tax only makes sense if it includes residential property is acknowledgement that we’ve got taxation of capital in New Zealand all wrong. I couldn’t agree more with that observation.

Coming on top of Labour’s promotion of a capital gains tax going into the last election, as well as the endorsement of those taxes by the Greens, suggests we at long last we have a cross-party agreement that taxation of capital in New Zealand is a mess… Read more

 

Morgan Foundation

New Zealand’s own Mother Teresa

Deep in the heart of rural Bangladesh, home to some of the most impoverished people on earth lies the Kailakuri Health Centre, creation of Dr Edric Baker a New Zealander who has devoted the last 33 years of his life to creating a unique formula of providing health care for the impoverished of this populous country…. Read more

Checking out a Morgan Foundation project on Pemba Island, Tanzania

As part of the water and sanitation project we carried out in 2008 with UNICEF NZ, there’s been 16 medium depth (20 metre) handwells dug on Pemba island Madagascar. Pemba is the poor cousin of Zanzibar…. Read more

 

 

 

  • Vickie Ferns

    Looking forward to reading your blogs this year Gareth. I note this morning that you have penned an essay on the property market and in particular comparing it with what has happened around the world. I wish NZ writers would do that more often as it can seem that we are the only country doing something when in fact the ideas have come from overseas and you don’t find out until you leave the country or we live in a bubble when in fact we’re very much a part of the world even if we’re the last stop.
    I’ve been thinking about what would be interesting to read this coming year and although I know you have written a book on climate change which I am yet to read, it would be good to have more on this very serious subject. I have found some extreme views on the internet such as The Dark Mountain project where he writers have opted out of society to grow chickens and such like as they believe there is no hope. Guy McPherson writes in his Nature Bats Last blog that due to methane gas release in the melting ice of the North Pole all life on earth will be gone by 2050.Frightening, he is still hoping for governments to act but believes the people have to lead the most important challenge humans have faced. So sad that in an effort to make our lives easier we have been drinking from a poisoned chalice. I’m hoping Guy’s views are just extreme. The New Zealand Government should follow Australia’s example and offer the citizens half the cost of solar panels. My brother has had them put in at his home in greater Sydney, it has brought down the huge electric bills considerably. I haven’t researched if this was rolled out all over Australia. You probably know Germany has the greatest coverage of solar panels backed by their government.
    Everything is so very serious that some lighter blogs would be welcome too.
    Hope your family had a great Xmas/summer holiday.
    vickie

    • Vickie Ferns

      Forgot to add that Solaitaire Townsend has criticized The Dark Mountain project for almost cheering in the demise of humans in an article in the Ecologist http://www.theecologist.org in 2010 and she believes we should still have hope.