I am, at heart, a patriot. Not in the sense that I think that we’re better than everyone else, but in the sense that I want New Zealand to prosper, and be the best that it can be. For the last decade, I have been watching New Zealand circle the drain faster and faster. Every election, I get more despondent that the whichever politicians we elect will faff about, and ultimately achieve nothing more than changing the part of the cliff we drive off. Every year, I think about taking my skills and moving to Australia. I could be paid more. Hell, I could happily make double what I’m on now, and that’s assuming I’m not willing to put up with overtime, or working in the piece of hell-on-earth known as Perth.
But I don’t, because I want to make this country better, and sodding off overseas isn’t going to achieve that.
I came across this video today, which struck a chord with me. It’s a twenty minute speech by Sir Paul Callaghan, where he talks about what drives our economy.
Here’s a few choice quotes to whet your appetite;
“The more tourism, the poorer you get.”
“The biggest export earner in New Zealand is manufacturing, it is bigger than dairy…”
“I’m not interested in 60 billion one offs [mining the national parks] at the cost of all we hold dear.”
If we want a country worth living in, we need to drastically increase the amount of money we spend on research, and actively promote STEM fields in our schools and universities. If we don’t, we will end up a third world country, wondering where our best and brightest went, and why we don’t have the funds to pay for our precious RWC stadiums.