Small can be very big (8 Jul, 2014)

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Small can be very big (8 Jul, 2014)

Postby aardvark_admin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:53 am

This column is archived at: http://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2014/0807.shtml

Should NZ be focusing more on supporting small enterprises, especially those of a technical nature?

Wouldn't such a focus, especially where such ventures were based outside of Auckland and other large urban areas, be a great way to help relieve some of the pressures on that city whilst also providing a very healthy boost to the nation's economy and our ability to earn export dollars?

Are organisations such as CI just window-dressing -- because they have proven themselves to really only be interested in "big" enterprise and those who have the right connections?

Could makerspaces be a DIY way for small tech-entrepreneurs to get the technical support they need for their projects?

Is there a makerspace near you and if so, do you have any involvement with it?
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Re: Small can be very big (8 Jul, 2014)

Postby Stevesub » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:36 am

I know that you do not want to go down this path but I do know a couple of people who maybe able to help with Venture Capital - one out of Singapore and is a major company, the other out of the USA (a Kiwi) who is a private individual who has funded may small enterprises. You do not have a lot of options from what I can see.
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Re: Small can be very big (8 Jul, 2014)

Postby goosemoose » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:41 am

Unfortunately in this country businesses only get ahead when they're run by accountants, lawyers and salespeople (the shit talking brigade). So it's no wonder that there are plenty of these small time businesses out there not achieving their so-called full potential. The one guy I know about has designed and made some pretty niche electronic circuits that he sells to some pretty reputable organisations worldwide and to ordinary Joe Blow radio enthusiasts. He makes only a few dozen pieces and could upscale if he wants but, probably like most of these kitchen table outfits, he's not interested in tax breaks, bureaucratic process and OSH laws, he just wants to make and design stuff.

Anyway if they shoved a shit talker down his throat he'd probably lose interest pretty quickly and take up bowls. It sure does have potential but you'd probably have to convince these guys to take it from hobby to business minus the hassles.
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Re: Small can be very big (8 Jul, 2014)

Postby Kiwiiano » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:56 am

What is sad is that we had an organisation that did much of what you are suggesting, Admin. It was the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. The Southern Industrial Development Division that I was associated with had an open door policy where anyone could walk in and have a chat with the best experts of whatever field they needed help with, for FREE!!
Naturally that had to go when the Act Party hijacked Labour and took over. DSIR was rogered into the Industrial Research Ltd which slowly bled to death and disappeared a year or so ago.
I'd really like to take that Poli who claimed that NZ's tin-shed No8 wire technology is dead and shove his head where the sun don't shine....except it's probably already there.
~ Kiwiiano
“I'm not a total idiot. Parts of me are missing!”
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Re: Small can be very big (8 Jul, 2014)

Postby Anaru » Tue Jul 08, 2014 1:30 pm

I belong to something of an informal "makerspace" in the sense that a group of us keep in contact with each other periodically, some run their own "thing" while others work for companies, we don't all live in New Zealand but the Internet solves that problem.

The reality is that most of us do something that isn't the notable in order to fund what we consider to be the notable stuff, in terms of financing it's pretty easy and probably even more so easier to get support or have questions answered. The hard part is definitely all of the red tape, the current status quo is to do whatever you want without it and within reason and just hope the consequences don't catch up with you - which they don't in most cases so long as you keep a low profile.

I think a massive advantage would be to have an area, somewhere in the country, where a bunch of laws don't apply (within reason), take for example UAV related stuff, the CAA would have little to no authority in that area. Same with the Police (if you wanted to blow stuff up) or any sort of OSH laws, just a place where you can conduct testing or experiments.
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Re: Small can be very big (8 Jul, 2014)

Postby aardvark_admin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:52 pm

Well Anaru, Tokoroa *could* have been a major hub for international UAV development and training - except that the SWDC, when approached with a view to one overseas company investing a seven-figure sum at the airfield to create just that (along with associated jobs, motel-nights, restaurant meals, etc) - opted instead to keep the facility for 3 or 4 locals and a couple of out-of-district flight schools that pay *nothing* to use the facility.

So today (just like virtually every other day), the airfield just sat there... with no activity at all... costing ratepayers $30K per year in maintenance and operating costs.

How do you deal with such foolishness.

I also notice that despite the inpouring of international support for the international model park initiative on their Facebook page, the SWDC still refuses to answer the real questions as to why they aren't getting right in behind this attempt to bring a little economic prosperity to the district.

Remember, according to the Infometrics data for the March 2014 quarter in South Waikato, unemployment us up (now over 10% verus 6% for the national average), retail trade is down almost 30% and guest nights are down almost 8% -- all things that the international model park would clearly address.

That a council can ignore the chance to turn a disused airfield into a major tourist attraction at *no* cost to themselves (being funded by the thousands of dollars already pledged from around the world) beggars belief.

The people of this town deserve better, *much* better.
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Re: Small can be very big (8 Jul, 2014)

Postby Screw » Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:11 pm

aardvark_admin wrote:Well Anaru, Tokoroa *could* have been a major hub for international UAV development and training - except that the SWDC, when approached with a view to one overseas company investing a seven-figure sum at the airfield to create just that (along with associated jobs, motel-nights, restaurant meals, etc) - opted instead to keep the facility for 3 or 4 locals and a couple of out-of-district flight schools that pay *nothing* to use the facility.

So today (just like virtually every other day), the airfield just sat there... with no activity at all... costing ratepayers $30K per year in maintenance and operating costs.

How do you deal with such foolishness.

I also notice that despite the inpouring of international support for the international model park initiative on their Facebook page, the SWDC still refuses to answer the real questions as to why they aren't getting right in behind this attempt to bring a little economic prosperity to the district.

Remember, according to the Infometrics data for the March 2014 quarter in South Waikato, unemployment us up (now over 10% verus 6% for the national average), retail trade is down almost 30% and guest nights are down almost 8% -- all things that the international model park would clearly address.

That a council can ignore the chance to turn a disused airfield into a major tourist attraction at *no* cost to themselves (being funded by the thousands of dollars already pledged from around the world) beggars belief.

The people of this town deserve better, *much* better.


Then the people of the district must sort it out, no-one else can. People tend to be creatures of habit too and don't want to rock the boat.
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Re: Small can be very big (8 Jul, 2014)

Postby aardvark_admin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:49 pm

Sadly Screw, you are correct.

It's the old "she'll be right" Kiwi attitude sinking the boat once again.

It's so very sad that the very spirit that once made this nation great -- the no crap, we can do it, let's give it a go attitude -- has been crushed out of the general populace by an unrelenting series of governments who've said "just give us your money and we'll take care of everything for you"... and "here, we've funded Shortland Street and NZ's Got Talent so you won't get bored while you're ignoring us as we surveil you and engage in increasing numbers of "unlawful" activities designed to appease our foreign overlords.

Proud warrior race? Pfffftt!
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Re: Small can be very big (8 Jul, 2014)

Postby roygbiv » Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:16 pm

Regarding your experience with CI, very likely that you are not in the right demograph for them (and it may be a case of window dressing as you say). There is nothing like an idea that will make you a truck full of dough. Unfortunately, the truck full of dough and what comes with it may just takeover everything. The fact that you help people and share ideas is rewarding in other ways, an admirable attribute.
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Re: Small can be very big (8 Jul, 2014)

Postby Arthur » Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:13 am

Hey Bruce where in your submission to the SWDC investment fund is a mention of the quote below and the name and numbers of investment?

"Well Anaru, Tokoroa *could* have been a major hub for international UAV development and training - except that the SWDC, when approached with a view to one overseas company investing a seven-figure sum at the airfield to create just that (along with associated jobs, motel-nights, restaurant meals, etc) - opted instead to keep the facility for 3 or 4 locals and a couple of out-of-district flight schools that pay *nothing* to use the facility."

or is this more recent than that

My association with the council is close and while I am not a member of the council I am aware of all the business they do in open meetings. I am unaware of any approach from you or any other person with a seven figure sum to invest in the airport (that would be big news if it was real). It hasn't happened that you have approached the council with any offer like that, It may be that you will respond that it,s commercially sensitive so they cannot revel it, bullshit Is the call and I am sure the mayor will back that.

Just because they are not with you doesn't mean they are against you but you have an ability to alienate all persons for or against your ideas!
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