Shut down MED to make real progress

Welcome to 2012, a year about which I am feeling very positive.

Like many other Kiwis, I have set some New Year resolutions.

I went for a run at 730 am on January 1; if my resolution was to make my body hurt, mission accomplished.

Regaining long ago lost levels of fitness is an important goal for me this year.

My main goal is to take ownership – not to sit on the sidelines, complaining about local government, central government and the negative aspects of New Zealand society we too often see highlighted by the media.

I will make a positive difference to my community through my efforts.

I will not blame others for the problems that exist and I refuse to join the cry of the masses and abuse governments for not solving problems that are of our own making.

I will advocate policy that government should implement to ensure Kiwis are free to achieve to the best of their abilities and have equal access to quality healthcare.
I believe our limited government resources can be better focused to deliver a better New Zealand for all – economic and social wellbeing.

I am currently researching what I term ‘Corporate Welfare – Robin Hood in reverse. Evidence gathered to date suggests the formation of the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) following the 1999 election has been an abject failure.

Insanity redefined

The stated purpose of MED was to “create the conditions for businesses to succeed and New Zealanders to prosper.”

It is time to cut the crap; our growth rates have been abysmal, we are not catching Australia, we are falling further behind.

The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result. It is obvious MED has not delivered its purpose and we have kept it for 13 years!

The National Government must show real leadership.

It should announce the closure of MED; nobody voted for it and I cannot think of another government department that has failed as miserably.

The compliance, monitoring and policy development work can and should be performed by the Commerce Ministry, Treasury and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

MED must go

MED is surplus to requirements.

The annual savings could be given back to the taxpayer and/or applied to education and health. A well-educated population that is healthy will create prosperity, not a Government Department.

Here are a few statistics.

Between 1985 and 2000 (pre MED) New Zealand enjoyed productivity growth of 2.8%.

Between 2000 and 2008 (with the help of MED) New Zealand enjoyed productivity growth of 1%.

Way to go MED, thanks for the assistance!

The National Government needs to change the approach we take to economic development – by all means use New Zealand Trade & Enterprise to address market failures for New Zealand companies but in all else get out of the way, create an appropriate regulatory environment and allow New Zealand businesses to grow the economy and create jobs.

It is never the Government that creates real jobs despite what the politicians tell you.

Therefore, politicians should focus on doing their own jobs well and let the business community focus on growing our economy through sustainably growing their companies.

The above is a combination of blogs by Adrian Dixon, an experienced consultant and strategy specialist. He provides his expertise to a wide range of private and public sector organisations in New Zealand and around the world. He was on the panel of judges for the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards in 2009 and 2010. He is a passionate Kiwi focused on advocating great public policy via his blog http://cutthecrapnz.blogspot.com/

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