This blog's been ignored since October last year when I joined the group behind kiwiblogblog (now deleted). Since we pulled pulled that pin, I've concentrated my efforts mainly at Public Address (which, IMO, remains the standard-setter in NZ) with some forays into kiwiblog and the Standard.
The impending NZ election is terribly distracting for me, it'll be the second I've missed having moved to Sydney just after the 2002 election. I respect the work of both Deborah and Idiot/Savant but perhaps there's a few things I might contribute to the debate here too...
Like starting with this largely irrelevant piece of faux-policy; National's immigration policy. Though it claims to be designed to "bring more kiwis" home, it contains almost no policies that appear likely or even intended to do so. In fact, the 'typo' in the title gives the game away - immigration is usually associated with the arrival of people into a country who are in fact citizens of another. And this policy may do that, but the mislabelling pretends it'll do something else: stop NZ citizens from leaving. It won't.
National's game-playing about migration is well established and analysed (including by the incredibly numerate Mr Pierson). Net Permanent and Long Term Departures (PLTs) are currently higher than they have been in a while and in an environment of skill and labour shortages, that's a problem. It's a problem because it may constrain the economy and could lead to wage-inflation. But it's often over-stated and the solutions are far from simple. David Farrar makes this very point in response to my question:
David, do you have a view about what element(s) of National’s immigration policy will impact on emigration? You’ll think I’m being very partisan, but I can’t see anything that is intended or likely to directly impact on PLT departures.I tend to agree.
[DPF: An immigration policy tends to only affect immigration not emigration. You can’t stop people emigrating. The economic policy is more likely to impact on PLT departures and/or NZers returning.]
So first, can someone tell Lockwood his policy will not slow emigration and secondly can the National Party please tell us how they'll improve economic growth at a rate beyond what Labour's done these last 9 years?