Simon Ward Comment on Associations
This is a note I received recently from Simon Ward of A-Ward Attachments, Simon is frustrated that those who he expects to represent his interests will not even engage in an open discussion. I post it here to underline how disjointed the representation of the real economy is in New Zealand. Fundamentally we have to decide as a nation what is important, what is worth defending and what matters in the medium term.
The commentary that petrol will be expensive if the dollar falls is true, however if you don’t have job maybe that does not matter so much. Further a cheap flat screen TV for some might mean a flat line economy that leaves many short. The decision starting point is – what really matters?
"John can you drop this on your blog:
Why pay money to all these associations, when they don’t listen and they follow their own agenda?
Over the past few months I have tried to get Export NZ, EMA, Business NZ, Chamber of Commerce and the NZMEA to get together and start applying real pressure to our government. Pressure to address our high New Zealand dollar but did they all want to help their members? “NO” only one agreeing to do so and that was NZMEA.
I get emails Messages from all my associations like this one from the Executive Director of Export NZ “EMA”, which states:
“The high New Zealand dollar is proving challenging for some exporters. Export NZ welcomes debate and discussion on what can be done to keep our exporters globally competitive. ”
But there is no portal to contact them, so I send several emails and phone calls and I finally speak to Catherine Beard, Export NZ Executive Director. I asked her to join in a discussion with other associations to combine forces but after stating she had her own agenda and is not interested in her members, she cut off the phone conversation. This is my email summary to her with no reply.
“ As a long term member of Export New Zealand and former winner of several different Export Awards, this would normally give one some recognition but clearly not with you.
I have firstly asked you if you would like to join other manufacturing and exporting associations to discuss a joint approach on forcing the government to address our over-valued dollar, you have declined to do this as you are firm that you have your own policy and that’s that.
I have also asked you whether, as a member, I can put forward to the rest of the association members a question, if they would like for you to join the discussion and if they as members would like Export NZ to ask the government to change the restraint on the reserve bank and again you have said “No”.
I’m confused, as I joined Export New Zealand so I could start discussion and have a larger voice if needed, and right now the continued high dollar and growing deficit is where I need a very loud voice.
I find your actions unacceptable for an association leader. Do you have anything further to say about this, before I put forward a formal complaint. ”
Michael Barnett, from the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, replied and asked what I had in mind but once I told him he has not returned an email since.
Phil O-Reilly from Business NZ was in the USA on a government paid trip and palmed me off to one of his flunky’s because he was ‘too busy’.
This frustration has made me question why we pay so much money to associations that were formed to be our voice but are now little more than cheer-leaders on the Government gravy train. ”
The upshot of all this is the real economy matters to the real economy right now, today, for the rest they will lament the loss of real economy only when its gone and things turn really sour.