Contrary to other economically developed nations, New Zealand is not only bucking trends indicating stagnation or decline, but thriving in a global economy as a new center of manufacturing in the Pacific. Steve Collie, a New Zealand native, supports the country’s political directives driving success for the kiwi nation.
The tiny nation in the South Pacific historically derived income from its abundant natural resources and agriculture. However, the 20th century saw the country’s rise as a major trading and export economy. By 2013, the World Bank considered New Zealand’s economy as “very competitive,” with exports accounting for 30% of its GDP.
Consistently rated as one of the best countries for business, New Zealand currently ranks second in the world. While the same pattern of consumer debt-spending contributed to its recession in 2008 alongside most other developed nations, aggressive reforms and a steep decline in interest rates helped raise the country out of its economic slump. By 2010, New Zealand was posting a 2% annual growth in economy.
“Our robust economy is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our workers and citizens. New Zealand enters the modern era as a major economic force,” Steve Collie says.
The country is even projected to out perform its closest commonwealth neighbor, Australia, in a few short years. The Australian economy, long dominant in the Pacific region, is showing signs of slowed growth. In real terms, industries such as Australia’s mining sector are seeing less demand. On the other hand, New Zealand’s dairy exports are taking off.
New Zealand’s economy is even making waves across the world. A recently published piece from The Telegraph applauds the country’s efforts at progressive tax reform that rewards business and job creators. In contrast to traditional Labour party directives in the United Kingdom calling for increased taxes and heightened government spending to curb economic decline, New Zealand’s exemplary tax cuts show the rest of the world how a speedy economic recovery can be fiscally responsible as well.
Matthew Lynn says, “In 2010, with the global economy still reeling from the crash, New Zealand started shifting taxes from earnings to consumption. Sales tax was increased from 12.5pc to 15pc. But the top rate of tax was reduced from 38pc to 33pc, and taxes were cut along the income scale. “
However, blue collar industries that are contributing greatly to New Zealand’s meteoric rise. During the 20th century, developed nations in Western Europe, North America, and the Pacific witnessed a cultural shift away from “unskilled” blue collar labor economies to those based on international banking and trade.
Though speculative economics and a keen manipulation of finite natural resources has granted millions the world over a highly sought-after “white picket fence” lifestyle, New Zealand is once again leading the way for a resurgence in blue collar labor as a viable economic growth factor.
In 2014, blue collar trades have come to encompass so much of the country’s economy that leading industry training groups are reporting that the economy would diminish by 2021 if funding for trade programs were to decrease.
“New Zealand is outpacing a sluggish global economy, any major changes to government could have a dramatic effect on the nation,” Steve Collie says.
As New Zealand moves forward, opportunities for expats are increasing as well. The recent launch of an “entrepreneur work visa” is just one of many such programs aimed at attracting an invested economic intelligentsia as well as cultivating home grown talent.
New Zealand’s immigration minister, Michael Woodhouse said, “New Zealand needs to attract talented, enterprising, well-connected business people to invest and grow businesses.”
The program will work on a point system, assessing applicants’ ability to support job creation, export potential and business experience. A minimum capital investment of $100,000 will be required to ensure applicants have the means to create high-quality businesses.
“The blue collar industries are taking a front seat and driving New Zealands economy. I think its best that we stay the course, and keep moving in this direction. Its obviously working,” Steve Collie says. “The economy is functioning as intended, exports are up, manufacturing and other blue collar jobs are all adding jobs and helping the nation progress. I dont see it ending any time soon, either, as long as no major changes are made. “