This Is the DARK Side

 

A Pessimistic View?

Two monks, Theophilus and Gottlieb, are quarreling over whether one may engage in smoking and praying at the same time.
Theophilus, an unbending ascetic, says no.  Gottlieb, an easy-going smoker, says "Why not?"
They meet again some weeks later.  Theophilus triumphantly reports, "I took the issue to the pope.
I asked him point blank 'Is it permissible to smoke during prayer?' and he said 'Absolutely not.'"
Gottlieb protests: "That's not what he said when I asked him."  He smiles sheepishly.
"Of course I did phrase the question a little differently.  I asked him 'Is it permissible to pray while I smoke?' and he said 'Of course.'"

 

This is the photo from the previous page with the colours reversed - in other words, a negative view.

Budget Economic and Fiscal Update Risks and Scenarios Summary

[Excerpt]

There is uncertainty about the path of the exchange rate and the strength of the world economy.  The investment and employment responses of firms to increasing costs and weak profit growth are key judgements, as are the underlying assumptions concerning population growth, labour market participation and productivity growth.

Another uncertainty is the impact of past interest rate increases on domestic demand.  From late 2003 until recently, the effective mortgage interest rate has not increased by as much as the Official Cash Rate and 90-day rates.  However, longer term rates have increased recently, affecting new borrowers, and the effective mortgage rate will continue to increase as borrowers re-finance at higher rates.  It is uncertain when the effect of these changes will be felt and what impact they will have on domestic demand.

The future rate of growth in house prices is another uncertainty for domestic demand.  In the past 6 years house prices have approximately doubled, boosting household wealth and supporting private consumption growth and encouraging further residential investment.  There has also been an increase in household liabilities, leaving the household sector exposed to a slowdown in house price growth as well as increases in debt servicing costs.

The exchange rate is an important influence on the economy …

In the central forecast we have assumed that the exchange rate will remain around its current level until early 2008 when it will begin to fall in response to lower interest rates and slower economic growth.  However, the exchange rate is always a major uncertainty in economic forecasts and recent volatility has shown that sentiment can change quickly.  There are a number of factors which help to explain the recent strength in the NZ dollar and which are likely to continue to influence it in the forecast period.  The large positive interest rate differential between New Zealand and some other countries (particularly Japan, but also the United States) has encouraged offshore investment in New Zealand.

The NZ dollar could appreciate further, especially against the US dollar if growth slows in the United States, or could remain strong for longer than assumed in our central case if export commodity prices remain strong or domestic demand remains robust.  Such an outcome would further postpone the export recovery and narrowing of the current account deficit, and likely bring stronger domestic demand and higher non-tradables inflation.

It is also possible that the NZ dollar could fall sooner than assumed in our central forecast, most likely because of international developments.  Changes in international commodity markets can have a major impact on the New Zealand economy.  International events can also affect the prospects for the New Zealand economy.  Recent fluctuations in oil prices have shown the continued influence of political events, as well as the usual supply and demand factors.  Changes in oil prices are directly reflected in local fuel prices and affect household disposable income and private consumption, as well as inflation.  Increased costs also affect firm profitability and investment and hiring decisions.

There are also a number of non-economic risks which might impact on the development of the economy.  Climatic events can affect agricultural production levels, both in New Zealand and in competing supplier countries with adverse or beneficial effects on returns to New Zealand producers.  Similarly, agricultural diseases can have adverse or beneficial consequences for New Zealand producers, depending on how they affect them.

Source: treasury.govt.nz

The world's best cities for doing business, offering the crucial skilled work forces, stable governance and a good quality of life, according to an annual ranking exercise by Fortune magazine:

Asia:

bulletHong Kong
bulletSydney
bulletSingapore
bulletAuckland
bulletTokyo

Wellington doesn't figure!

Europe:

bulletLondon
bulletFrankfurt
bulletHelsinki

United States:

bulletNew York
bulletSan Francisco
bulletChicago 

Latin America:

bulletBuenos Aires
bulletSan Juan
bulletMexico City

Source: The Evening Post Saturday 18 November 2000

Of course, "negative" can be a relative adjective...

July 2002 - Forbes picking Wellington as the windsurfing capital of the world (well, that's something).

October 2002 - A list of the best cities in the world for expatriates to live in, according to a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit showed Hamburg, Germany; Munich, Germany; Auckland, New Zealand; and Wellington, New Zealand all tying for 24th place.

2003 - the Almanac of Architecture and Design says Wellington has the world's 228th best skyline.

March 2003 - Wellington moved from 22nd to 15th on Mercer Human Resource Consulting's "quality of life" cities ranking.

2007 - Wellington moves to 12th place on Mercer's Worldwide Quality of Living Survey, covering 215 cities.  Of course, their new beach might've helped...

Oriental Bay Beach, enlarged 2004 Source: wellington.govt.nz Wellington City Council

Skin Deep

by Ellie

[Excerpt]

Describing travelling in New Zealand, I feel like the woman who swallowed a thesaurus in an incident described as tragic, awful, calamitous, disastrous and lamentable.  There are lots of ways to describe the country, but it all boils down to the same thing: it's pretty.  The Marlborough Sounds?  Well, yes, they're beautiful.  Fjordland?  Dramatic.  The glaciers?  Remarkable.  The mountains?  Impressive.  Waterfalls?  Sensational.

What about the landscape, surroundings, terrain and views?  Oh yes, they're all charming, dazzling, lovely, spectacular and striking.  And they are.  But nice hills and rivers don't hide the fact that New Zealand is essentially one of the dullest places on earth.

Take the Tranzscenic railway which runs from Greymouth to Christchurch.  It is touted as one of the world's best train journeys.  And while New Zealand remains as far away from most other countries as it is, Kiwis can probably convince themselves that this is true.  But really, it's no nicer than that scenic bit in Staffordshire that British trains go through when they head north.

While Helen Clark, the country's prime minister, was in the UK trying to convince Britons that New Zealand is dynamic and ready for the 21st century, I was touring some of the cities here.  Wellington, the capital city, has a population half the size of that of Luxembourg.  Auckland, with over a million people, is supposed to be a cosmopolitan city.  Nearly a third of the people in New Zealand live there.  But a bustling city it certainly isn't.

One of the most frequently heard compliments about the country is that the people are friendly.  They are, actually, but alas, friendly doesn't equal interesting.  No wonder so many Kiwis spend years working for minimal wages in bars and pubs across the UK.  I would too, if it was the only way to get away.  The national bird is flightless and even the national fruit was brought here from somewhere else - China, in fact...

Source: travel.guardian.co.uk Thursday 28 February 2002

This message was posted via the Feedback form.
Name: Lindsay Robertson
Email: [email protected]

Comments: Regarding your comments on NZ, I feel that some clarification is in order.  You said:

"While Helen Clark, the country's prime minister, was in the UK trying to convince Britons that New Zealand is dynamic and ready for the 21st century, I was touring some of the cities here.  Wellington, the capital city, has a population half the size of that of Luxembourg.  Auckland, with over a million people, is supposed to be a cosmopolitan city.  Nearly a third of the people in New Zealand live there.  But a bustling city it certainly isn't."

Wow, we forgot, everybody loves to live in a bustling, smelly, curry chip littered, noisy, ugly featureless city like Leicester, Birmimgham or Liverpool with great sewers running through them like the Mersey.

"One of the most frequently heard compliments about the country is that the people are friendly.  They are, actually, but alas, friendly doesn't equal interesting."

Please inform me of a a nationality that you would so graciously describe as interesting?  Not exactly one of the most descriptive verbs in the English language.

"No wonder so many Kiwis spend years working for minimal wages in bars and pubs across the UK.  I would too, if it was the only way to get away."

A couple of years in crusty Blighty Land makes us value and appreciate Godzone even more.

"The national bird is flightless and even the national fruit was brought here from somewhere else - China, in fact...."

You forgot to mention the other 50 fruit that are native to our land, some that you will never get the pleasure of sampling.

All on all, I am glad that our little slice of heaven is so far from anywhere, only has 4 million people, doesn't have bustling cities and won't become more polluted and ugly as time goes on...

Well said.

For satellite photos and pictures of Wellington from several different angles and for articles about earthquakes, history, business, the Ohariu Valley, statistics, fireworks, the national anthem, the kiwi icon and more click the "Up" button below to take you to the Index for this Wellington section.
 

Back Home Up Next