Loading logs at Gisborne
Three days ago I watched a series of lorries barrel through Gisborne carrying unprocessed logs to the port where they were loaded on to a ship.
That wood is heading overseas. Workers in another country will add value.
New Zealand unlocked just a small part of the wealth tied up in those logs.
We ate in The Works, a restaurant housed in an old Gisborne port building. There chefs took locally produced raw materials like fish, meat and vegetables then added value by turning them into $30 plates of food. We sipped Gisborne Chardonnay – a few cents worth of grapes turned into $40 bottles of wine.
At the time I thought how the economy would be boosted if New Zealand could move more of its economy higher up the value chain.
That’s what the Callaghan Institute could do. If the project succeeds, it won’t just move food, agriculture and wood processing up the value chain, it will help our industries capture the crowning heights. It’ll make us richer as a nation.
There’s a danger it could just become another top-heavy bureaucracy acting to widen the gap between innovators and the market. What we don’t need it more paperwork or more red tape. We certainly don’t need officials meddling at the sharp end of the economy.
Let’s hope CI can broker partnerships between innovators and industry. I’d like to see the new organisation get a few early runs on the board to prove its worth.
How often have you read a story about the lack of women working in technology which goes on to suggest promoting tech careers to schoolgirls as a solution?
The idea is dumb and patronising.
Dumb because women face problems with technology careers that a simple marketing campaign won’t fix.
Patronising to think dishonest marketing fools women.
Look at the facts.
Of course many women working in technology love the industry. We could start by asking them about what they like and what frustrates them.
But the real problem is down to the people running technology companies – men and women. Clearly women don’t think they do enough to make women feel wanted and appreciated. They don’t feel they are fairly paid. They worry bosses do little more than pay lip service to ideas of equality and are not acting quickly to stamp out arsehole behaviour.
Fix it please.
Scott Herrick at Cube Rules says careers are over. Herrick is writing about working in the USA, but his comments apply equally to New Zealand where people tend to stick with their jobs longer mainly because they have fewer alternative employers.
The days of our fathers and grandfathers — where grey flannel suits reigned and there was lifetime employment at a company — are over. I just can’t believe people still think that type of employment still exists. Have we seen the layoffs? The outsourcing? The downsizing? The increased productivity?
The National Business Review reports Self-employment can be “a life of misery”.
I wish I knew this before embarking on my new life as a freelance journalist. Apart from dealing with taxes – the word misery doesn’t capture the nightmare – my experience is more of loneliness than anything else. I miss being able to bounce ideas around with co-workers.