Fewer jobless

May 2, 2013

Unemployment dropped in North Otago in the three months to March, in spite of the loss of more than 100 jobs at Summit Woolspinners.

. . . Figures released by the Ministry of Social Development on Friday indicated that the number of people claiming the unemployment benefit at the Oamaru Work and Income service centre fell from 172 at the end of December, to 146 at the end of March.

The number claiming the domestic purposes benefit also fell, from 349 at the end of last year, to 338 at the end of last month. Southern regional social development commissioner John Allen said some former Summit employees were still out of work following the closure of the plant in February, but many had already found new work in the area.

”The local labour market is reasonably buoyant and we’re seeing former Summit employees find work in a range of industries including meat processing and manufacturing jobs. Seasonal employers are continuing to recruit, again in meat processing, or have just finished hiring for the upcoming season. There are also a number of vacancies for skilled trade workers.

”Most of the employers we work with appear to be positive about the labour market, especially the engineering, construction and agriculture sectors, although this can vary across industries and seasonal factors can impact on benefit numbers.” . . .

A drop int he number of unemployed is a sign of economic recovery.

It could also reflect a change in emphasis with benefit reforms. Those who could work are being treated as job seekers and getting more help to find jobs.

That’s better for them, their families, society and the economy.

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Tall poppy syndrome hits risk takers

November 22, 2012

Ministry of Foreign Affairs chief executive John Allen says  New Zealanders have a dismal view of risk takers.

. . . Allen . . . said New Zealand needed more people who took risks.

“When they fail we will just stand them up and point them in the right direction.”

Until New Zealanders changed their attitude to wealth and until New Zealand companies had stronger balance sheets and the capacity to invest in markets like Asia and the US, this country would not deliver its potential for success.

“We have to change our attitudes to business itself. We have to ensure we are sticking up for people … far too often we see people taken down and taken down in a very overt and difficult way,” Allen said.

“Too often we are timid and stand on the sidelines. The reality is it’s up to us to stand up and talk about this. I believe absolutely that exporters have the drive to deliver that success.” . . .

This is the tall poppy syndrome at work.

The best way to deal with it is to ignore it and let results prove the naysayers wrong.

I don’t know any successful business person who hasn’t had some learning experiences – at least some of which have been very expensive.

If they’d listened to the gloom merchants and others who delight in others’ failures they might have given up. But the good ones picked themselves and their businesses up and  both are stronger for it.

You should only listen to other people when they’re right and the ones Allen refers to aren’t.

They’re people without the courage and/or ability to try themselves.

It’s best to leave them to their own misery and surround yourself with positive people who understand not everything goes right but that doesn’t have to be permanent.

New Zealand is a wealthy country in many ways but not in financial terms and we won’t improve that by revelling in other people’s failures.


Let’s have more outsiders

September 6, 2009

John Allen was described as an outsider on Q&A this morning, the first non-diplomat to serves as secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

If he’s only half as impressive as he sounds, he’s a very good advertisement for recruiting more outsiders.

You can read a transcript on the interview by Guyon Espiner here or watch the interview here.


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