ZB

Mike's Minute: New Zealand's tall poppy syndrome as worse as ever

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Mon, 30 May 2022, 10:04am

Mike's Minute: New Zealand's tall poppy syndrome as worse as ever

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Mon, 30 May 2022, 10:04am

Depressing, and yet encouraging as well.

Lani Fogelberg, a young entrepreneur, serves it up the way it is in the Herald on Saturday. It's a must-read, if you missed it.

Depressing because it’s a realistic take on the country as it currently sits. But encouraging because we are seeing, at long last, an increasing series of people speak out on the way we are being led and why we are where we are.

Fogelberg talks of the celebration of the Lotto winner and yet the dissection of the person who grafted for their two million but is suddenly a tall poppy. Free money is good, money worked for is to be taxed and you are to be brought down.

She worries about the brain drain. Don’t we all? She says if she knew what she knows now, she would have quit the country. She is far from alone.

Simon Bridges, by the way, wrote a solid piece last week in the NBR talking about the slow decline of the country. That sums it up well.

It's a pattern. This is not something that occurred to us last week. Some of us have been arguing this for years. It's just that of late in the post-Covidish era, we have the circumstances that exacerbate the demise.

The Lotto winner is celebrated because a Lotto win could be any one of us.

The success story is not so widely celebrated because that isn't universally inclusive. A lot of people, too many people, don’t want to work hard, dream big, chase a goal or strive for greatness. That’s fine, but one of the out-workings for too many is they use that lack of determination as an excuse to bring others down.

That attitude is tragically to be found in too many places in this country.

One of the real crimes is the tone that's set from the top. A government's greatest overarching role is to inspire and lead, to offer opportunity for success, and to forge pathways for growth and excellence.

But this current government doesn’t know how to lead and I don’t even think they like the idea. They encourage the opposite, they reward the loudest noisemaker, scratch the biggest itch, and at times look like they condemn if not outright dislike the grafter and go-getter.

Fogelberg's story is the story of too many. There is no bright future for a country when the successful want out.