Why the grass is no longer as green in Australia for kiwis as it used to be and why the fight for equity is doomed to failure.

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Information about Why the grass is no longer as green in Australia for kiwis as it used to...

Published on February 19, 2014

Author: MatthewTukaki

Source: slideshare.net

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The following is the transcript of a speech given by Matthew Tukaki at a jobs forum in Sydney, Australia on the 19th of February 2014. Mr Tukaki is Chair of the SDGP2015 which is being held in Sydney the week before the G20 will be held in Brisbane this coming November. Mr Tukaki is a New Zealand citizen who has been a permanent resident in Australia since 2000. He is the Chairman of the Pacific Energy Corp, the Sustain Group and a member of the Governing Board of the United Nations Global Compact, having been appointed by the UN Secretary General in 2013. Mr Tukaki is also Chair of the Deakin University CSaRO Board and is formerly the Head of Drake Australia, one of the oldest and largest employment companies in the world.

www.sustaingroup.net Why the grass is no longer as green in Australia for kiwis as it used to be and why the fight for equity is doomed to failure. The following is the transcript of a speech given by Matthew Tukaki at a jobs forum in Sydney, Australia on th the 19 of February 2014. Mr Tukaki is Chair of the SDGP2015 which is being held in Sydney the week before the G20 will be held in Brisbane this coming November. Mr Tukaki is a New Zealand citizen who has been a permanent resident in Australia since 2000. He is the Chairman of the Pacific Energy Corp, the Sustain Group and a member of the Governing Board of the United Nations Global Compact, having been appointed by the UN Secretary General in 2013. Mr Tukaki is also Chair of the Deakin University CSaRO Board and is formerly the Head of Drake Australia, one of the oldest and largest employment companies in the world. It has long been lamented that the grass for tens of thousands of New Zealanders is indeed greener on the other side of the Tasman. While that statement may have been the case five years ago the story being painted of an Australian economy in peril is going from fiction to fact. It has been more than a decade since unemployment stood at 6% in Australia and back then the economy was in recovery mode and things were looking up. Today the closure of the car industry will not only mean the loss of thousands of direct jobs employed at plants run by Ford, Holden and Toyota there are also the indirect jobs in the down flow, such as car component makers, that will be lost. The number of these indirect jobs numbers around 150,000. Where once Australian manufacturing employed more than 1 million people the prospects don’t look good. In mining the trend for jobs is also on the way down with many involved in infrastructure projects designed to get commodities to market coming to a conclusion. With an ongoing drought impacting much of regional New South Wales and Queensland the agriculture industry is also on the slide. Many observers believe that those that find themselves on the unemployment scrapheap can transition through to a growing housing and construction market – but let’s not fool ourselves, as unemployment rises and confidence wains there are much fewer people wanting to build new homes or who have the capital to renovate existing stock. When we dive deeper into the demographics we see a challenge in the fact that the gap between Indigenous Australians in employment is still just as wide and as mining begins to decline the very royalties being banked on my indigenous communities will also fall – putting at risk many development projects. Youth unemployment numbers are above 20% in some regions such as the Illawarra of New South Wales. In New Zealand a different story is unfolding with successive Labour and National Governments being able to take credit. New Zealand’s dairy industry is going from strength to strength with the real story of Fonterra being the fact that it is one of the world’s largest players – not bad for a country of only 4.5 million people who not only feeds itself but has the potential to feed many more around the world – an important fact when you realise that with a growing global population of 9 billion in the lead up to 2040 food security reigns supreme. The fisheries sector is also a burgeoning market as is education, international consulting and technology. GDP stood at (US) $166.9 Billion in 2012 while the World Bank estimated it to be $181 Billion in 2013. That represents an annual growth rate of 2.7%. Unlike many Australian industries, New Zealand began its push into much more diverse

www.sustaingroup.net markets in the 1990’s and has continued to do so ever since. Notwithstanding, New Zealand expatriates sit in powerful institutional positions across the globe and are able to better inform New Zealand business on growth and new markets. Very few Australian’s hold these positions and New Zealand’s reputation in the region is much secure than Australia’s. Australia is currently fighting battles on all sides with countries such as Indonesia with spying through to India with the management of international students and East Timor on the issue of trade negotiations. The we have my fellow Maori where the potential to turn Treaty into economic opportunity is far ahead of what has unfolded for Indigenous Australians on the other side of the Tasman. Maori economic development represents a significant opportunity that should not be underestimated. For a country like New Zealand who has had to deal with multi-billion dollar natural disasters there is also another reason why New Zealand stands above the Australian economy in terms of potential and growth. Unlike our Australian cousins we don’t lie back and wait for the good times to roll – we seek out opportunity. Unfortunately for those New Zealanders who are waging a campaign for access to a greater number of services provided by the Australian Government timing is everything. There are real concerns and arguments that could be mounted by the many hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who live in Australia that don’t have access to services if everything goes to custard. But, at a time when tens of thousands of Australians are being laid off, an economy in trouble and political stalemates abounding the fact is Australian’s can fast turn against their kiwi cousins – and they will, when they don’t see the argument of equity and access but see taxpayers funding foreigners. The double edged sword for New Zealand is that if the flow was to reverse and many more New Zealanders were to arrive home that needed taxpayer support then that could put at risk the very gains the New Zealand economy has made in recent years. Welcome to the Mexican standoff. So, the grass, for now, is not as green as it used to be on this side of the Tasman and the challenge for New Zealand is to maintain momentum while also considering how it can both manage the diplomatic channels between the two great lands of the South and the number of passenger arrivals into New Zealand where people are ticking the undocumented box of “home to stay, didn’t quite work out the way we thought, need a job or some help.”    Data provided by the World Bank For comment: matthew.tukaki@sustaingroup.net About Sustain: www.sustaingroup.net

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