Is our future in tech? (7 Nov, 2017)

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Is our future in tech? (7 Nov, 2017)

Postby aardvark_admin » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:42 am

This column is archived at: http://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2017/1107.shtml

Norway faces a looming crisis insomuch as it can no longer rely on oil revenues to sustain its position as the 8th wealthiest country in the world.

New Zealand faces a similar crisis because we've already ramped up our dairy production in intensity and scale so much that we're harming our environment and compromising our tourism industry.

Should we be doing what Norway is doing and encouraging a growth in tech industries?

Wouldn't tech be the best way to grow our own economy... given that it's already the third largest export earner we have and given that we have some great infrastructure from both a technical and lifestyle perspective?

Tell us what you think we should be doing to ensure that NZ continues to grow instead of hitting an environmental road-block for its number one industry (dairy).
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Re: Is our future in tech? (7 Nov, 2017)

Postby Malcolm » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:00 am

Re-instate the R&D tax incentives killed off by Key back in 2008 would be a start.
Perhaps undo what they did to IRL/Callaghan Innovation to get back to the important work being done. More funding for the CRIs to pursue more research, employ more graduates so science and technology are an attractive career option. Don't give innovation awards to accounting firms.
They said in the good old days NZ got rich off the sheep's back. But in reality it was the research done by the then DSIR which gave our wool and the rest of the agricultural sector a big leg up.
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Re: Is our future in tech? (7 Nov, 2017)

Postby Muz » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:51 am

Slightly off-track but along the same lines - I have always believed that we should be offering tax breaks/credits to companies who are prepared to get their asses out of Auckland and set up business in smaller provincial towns that have low populations and much cheaper real estate.

Take the pressure off Auckland and spread the population out a wee bit. Technology makes communication easier and I'm sure there are some quiet ports that would like some extra business.
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Re: Is our future in tech? (7 Nov, 2017)

Postby phill » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:53 am

in the days when employment in different countries was largely peculiar to that country .. businesses grew and failed at different rates .. and hence the job market fluctuated at different times in different places

the problem we face now is
automation is ramping up and consumerism has to fall for environmental reasons

almost every country is now faced with potentially huge job losses
so they have pretty much all come up with this fantastic secret new idea
"we will become a high tec country" and we will encourage high tec startup entrepreneurs to come here ( yayyy problem solved )

to me it is looking like 200 people all trying to board a 20 seat buss through the same door at the same time and pretending they are the only ones there

for sure the employment market for high tec startups is large .. but its no panacea for the reality of how many jobs are required

there are logical steps to a high functioning society in the future
we largely have to reverse the direction of a lot of things we are doing for it to succeed .. and thats for everyone to be happy and safe not just a greedy few with enough money for a large team of armed security guards 24/7

retirement age .... dropping progressively down
work days a week .... dropping
work hours per week .... dropping
wage band .... narrowing
manufacturing reliable, long life, repairable, highly efficient widgets ( this is where we should be aiming .. no one on that bus atm )

it should be really fun to redesign a lot of the things we use nowadays to what they should be
Last edited by phill on Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:53 am, edited 3 times in total.
( ,,,,,,,, ....... A E I O U use em sparingly theres probably not enough )
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Re: Is our future in tech? (7 Nov, 2017)

Postby GoGijoe » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:12 am

Im with phil, we can't all be high tech nations,

Australia's a bit of a basket case to be honest, they never went through the 80's liberalisation like we did and some of there work practices could be considered backward by nz standards.

Norways even worse, its like waking up in nz in the 70's, but at least in nz you could have a beer for less than an hours wages, the swede's consider Norway as the lucky idiot cousin who won the lottery.

If Australia fixed up some of its farming practices, replanted alot of the rainforest they felled, they could more or less sort out there water issues, nz will still be a bit of a dog because land values even for farms are so high.
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Re: Is our future in tech? (7 Nov, 2017)

Postby Weasel » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:37 am

NZ a tech player? It has a way to go in order to achieve the types of tech jobs and cost of living required to call it self a "tech place". Fix the tax code, relax immigration from the US and Canada for tech workers and companies, and it might get there :-)
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Re: Is our future in tech? (7 Nov, 2017)

Postby Kiwiiano » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:33 pm

NZ’s biggest tech problem is that there are few any technicality qualified people up at Fort Fumble so our Decision Makers rarely appreciate the consequences of the decisions they make. The privatisation of the CRIs is an example. Huge amounts of time and money are wasted applying for funding instead of researching. One example of mismanagement was a team who spent 2-3 years developing a method of automating pollination of kiwi fruit particularly valuable to ensure good quality export grade fruit. It would have reduced or even eliminated the need to flood orchards with beehives. They were 90%of the way through refining the process when the money supplies were cut off & the program scrapped. A year or so later, the varroa mite arrived in NZ.
One suggestion from me would be to make the cost of fundraising at least tax deductible if not billable to the Gummint. That would sharpen their focus on “How can we avoid wasting money here?”
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Re: Is our future in tech? (7 Nov, 2017)

Postby Malcolm » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:38 pm

Kiwiiano wrote:NZ’s biggest tech problem is that there are few any technicality qualified people up at Fort Fumble so our Decision Makers rarely appreciate the consequences of the decisions they make. The privatisation of the CRIs is an example. Huge amounts of time and money are wasted applying for funding instead of researching. One example of mismanagement was a team who spent 2-3 years developing a method of automating pollination of kiwi fruit particularly valuable to ensure good quality export grade fruit. It would have reduced or even eliminated the need to flood orchards with beehives. They were 90%of the way through refining the process when the money supplies were cut off & the program scrapped. A year or so later, the varroa mite arrived in NZ.
One suggestion from me would be to make the cost of fundraising at least tax deductible if not billable to the Gummint. That would sharpen their focus on “How can we avoid wasting money here?”


Look up what the last Government did to Kiwistar Optics if you want to be angry.
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Re: Is our future in tech? (7 Nov, 2017)

Postby Kiwiiano » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:24 am

Malcolm wrote:[Look up what the last Government did to Kiwistar Optics if you want to be angry.

Or the proposal to exploit the vast amounts of energy that ebb & flow through Cook and Foveaux Straits every day. If there was any rational to that, it was because we already have so much electricity it's not worth metering...to the aluminium smelter anyway.

I did a quick flick to see if there was any explanation re Kiwistar, but nothing obvious came up. Was it simple short-sightedness?
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