Some influential people aren’t buying the prevailing view that New Zealand is doing better than Australia:
The Prime Minister’s powerful Business Advisory Council has delivered her a cutting message that Australia is “co-optimising” the economic consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak better than New Zealand.
“Australia is currently co-optimising the wellbeing of the Covid outbreak and the wellbeing consequences of the economy better than New Zealand,” said council chair Fraser Whineray, who is chief operating officer at Fonterra. “If we don’t marshall the best possible team for both recovery and reform, we will exacerbate the slide against our greatest comparator and lose even more of our most precious asset, our people.”
“That risks a younger generation not only inheriting greater debt, but also makes Aotearoa a less desirable place to live with substantially less wellbeing. “
Contrary to the Prime Minister’s oft repeated claim we didn’t go hard and we didn’t go early.
The requirement on incoming passengers to self-isolate, was lax and mandatory quarantine was late.
The government then went from being too slack to being too hard.
Their insistence that only businesses they deemed essential to operate, rather than permitting any business that could operate safely to do so, was nothing short of economic sabotage and it’s people who will pay the price for that.
Whineray told the Herald that while New Zealand was tracking well on specific Covid medical matters, “in the ‘Wellbeing Bledisloe’ we are behind”. . .
Remember last year’s Wellbeing Budget? Have you any idea how any measures on its impact are tracking? Do you believe that the eye-watering amount the government is borrowing will give value for money?
Since early April, the council has been pushing Ardern to setup an organisation to mirror Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s high-powered National Covid-19 Coordination Commission, informing her that it did not believe her advisory council was the best placed for that purpose. Instead, it recommended members’ capabilities – and that of many other business leaders – would be of most value to NZ’s future in a properly mandated Business Recovery Taskforce and a Reform Commission “each chaired by a senior business person with great mana.”
The Government had instead floated an Infrastructure group and a proposed entity comprising academics, unions, officials, NGOs and business.
In a not so subtle appeal to the Prime Minister’s tendency to burnish her international brand, Whineray’s letter said that putting in place a recovery taskforce and the reform commission would be a “courageous masterstroke for New Zealand’s ascendant international reputation”.
“With the likelihood of a year until a vaccine can take us out of our Pacific isolation, our approach would appear to be well short of the ‘public:private’ bench strength already assembled and operating across the Tasman. . .
Looking forward, because of the way Australia is approaching the next two stages it is like to go well in front,” wrote Whineray. ” We can choose to stick with our current strategy or look to reset.
“To avoid the endemic problem with the public sector’s misallocation of new Zealanders’ resources held by the Government in non-core activity and low productivity within the public sector we need a very strong business in involvement alongside central Government.” . .
Good leaders understand their weaknesses and make sure they have people around them with different strengths who can compensate for them.
One of this government’s big weaknesses is private sector business experience.
We’ll all; pay for its refusal to take advice from people with it.