We need to start investing in cleaner, greener markets to match our clean, green image.
Today the Greens unveiled their policy which will see a price on carbon put on big corporations in New Zealand. The proceeds (revenue) gained from the tax will be returned to New Zealand taxpayers and businesses, ultimately leaving New Zealanders better off. There is concern the tax will drive away investment, and the revenue gained will only last for a few years as a corporate exodus erupts. This doesn’t have to be the case.
The levels of which companies are taxed can be changed, as can other taxes such as the Capital Gains and corporation taxes. However, in the end, New Zealand needs to start investing in new markets and unlocking more potential. When you see all these opportunities for wealth New Zealand is simply not investing in, you begin to wonder if the National government is really pro-business at all.
As of 2014, New Zealand’s major exports are dairy products (mostly just raw milk) and logs. The exploration for new oil deposits has largely failed, and minerals such as coal and gold are fast running short of any success. This old fashioned way of churning the economy, slowly and slower, is simply not sustainable for the future. New Zealand will fall behind as the power houses in Europe and the Americas open new markets which New Zealand will not be able to trade in.
1. The Internet/technological economy
The Internet Party has announced it’s interest in expanding New Zealand into the new economy. There are dozens of potential jobs in the internet economy. Jobs we are missing out on, simply because our highly trained internet-savvy young individuals are being driven offshore, causing somewhat of a brain drain. New Zealand cannot afford to have so many young, intelligent people to be driven off overseas. To curb this, New Zealand should look at how we can compete with technology. Sure, we cannot even ponder yet how we can compete with the powerhouses of South Korea and Taiwan. But it is entirely possible to kick start. We have dozens of new game developers being driven offshore because of the severe lack of career opportunities for them.
Investing in the technological economy
1. Technology colleges.
2. Technology grants.
3. Robotics research grants.
4. Telecommunication initiative
5. Space program (estimates suggest Australia can start a basic space program from $2b).
6. Extra funding for Science and innovation projects.
2. The Hemp market.
It further confuses me as to why National opposes the legalisation of cannabis. If the party paints itself as liberal, then surely it should do the right thing for responsible cannabis users and businesses and open this new market. Letting New Zealand invest in the hemp market now, whilst still the vast majority of countries have not, will give New Zealand a much needed head-start. Dozens of opportunities to create hemp-based products include hemp fuel and health products worth millions to the economy. Not only this, but if we tax recreational users of cannabis, we can generate an additional multi-million dollar revenue for the Government. Introducing hemp as a legitimate medicine will boost research into the drug, and potentially help thousands of New Zealanders struggling with pain and illnesses – saving money spent on healthcare.
One step to investing in the Hemp market:
1. Small business grants for businesses wanting to kick-start a hemp-based business
3. The Green market.
Now back to the Greens’ policy from today. The extra money gained from revenue will be a boost to small business. Small business should also receive grants if they comply with Green methods – eg installing solar panels, using compost or even having a small windmill installed. Organic farming subsidies would also be a welcomed gain for farmers.
Just one last thing…
I believe the carbon tax announced today will help the future of this country to become more secure and safe. Taxes will limit the amount of polluting corporations investing here, whilst subsidies and grants will encourage greener businesses to invest in New Zealand. We need to start working with the earth, not against it, whatever the cost may be. I don’t think we realise we do not have another planet after this one. Will our grandchildren be able to have the very freedom to breath fresh air? Already our generation is not able to swim in most rivers and even beaches, in fear of toxins and poisons. Gradually the situation will only become worse, the ever thin ozone layer is the only thing protecting our planet from invertible destruction. I don’t want that future for my kids. I cannot bare to think what they will say in the face of rising sea levels, hotter days and drier droughts – ‘why on earth!’ they will think, ‘Why on earth were we not protected from this when we had the chance?’.
So come on, let’s really make a difference. Let’s encourage the Green revolution here in New Zealand. Let’s be on the right side of tomorrow.