Mike Hosking: We are economically our own worst enemies

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 16 Sep 2020, 7:51PM
Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern. (Photo / File)

Mike Hosking: We are economically our own worst enemies

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 16 Sep 2020, 7:51PM

We are one of the most open economies in the world - heard it before?

Yes, you have. It’s the Prime Minister sprooking our Covid success. She is comparing our economy to others. The fact it’s all a myth is separate to the fact she’s making the comparison.

Most of the world is open they’re not crippled the way we are with a handful of cases. But the comparison part is important, because over the next two days the government are going to be bending over backwards to avoid comparisons, because when we look to Australia, it will be confirmed they’ve spanked us economically: Their lockdown was superior and the facts and the numbers will prove it.

Grant Robertson last week on this show told me it’s not a game of rugby. It certainly isn’t - we don’t know how to host games of rugby. The Australians do, as we also learned last week with the championship debacle. 

The government’s line is that Australia has a different economy to ours. That’s true too. But, and here’s the bit they won’t mention, that’s also our fault.

What do Australia have in their arsenal that has served then up a fortune for generations? Natural resources. They dig gold, literally and figuratively, out of the ground and sell it to the world.

We don’t. Why not? Because we have chosen not to.

Our call, no one else’s, from Taranaki and its oil to the west coast and its coal and gold. To Waihi and the endless resource  trouble they’ve had adding jobs and bringing in income, we have selected not to be a part of a global market that offers billions every year to those who want it.

So what then happens? We become more reliant on what we do want to do. As it turns out that’s dairy and tourism.

One of which is now buggered - lack of diversity will bite you every time. The other this government has spent a lot of time on making increasingly difficult - ask any farmer.

We are economically our own worst enemies.

The money, the revenue streams, the jobs are all there. We just don’t want to exploit them.

So when the figures are produced and yet again Australia teaches us what good economic policy and decision making is about, don’t let the Robertson’s pull the wool over your eyes with spin.

They have been out played, as it turns out given last week, off the field, as well as on it.