BRONAGH KEY MEETS SHICHIGAHAMA MAYOR YOSHIO WATANABE – NEW ZEALAND’S PM LAUNCHES NEW TOURISM PROMOTION IN JAPAN & REBUILDING KAWERAU’S ECONOMY AS AN EDUCATION LEARNING-POD CITY
New Zealand-Japan Foreign Affairs News: NZ’s PM John Key toured the Sendai region, which was one of the worst hit by the March 2011 tsunami. The PM will meet with Japan’s PM Yoshihiko Noda.
It is hoped that Japan’s rebuild efforts after the quake, tsunami wipe outs, can help inform a cost-effective rebuild for quake ravaged, Christchurch city in New Zealand too. Corin Dann‘s report can be read here.
NZ has the best sushi ingredients right here in NZ (fish and avocados as well as great wines too) so a solid Trade deal with Japan is expected to be signed between both nations. Japan’s current position on APEC’s TPP situation is: “Japan has previously expressed some interest in the TPP trade group, but as yet has made no formal push to join.”
At the moment most Australians drink Japan owned beer in Australia due to past trading with Japan (under private company purchases). These occurred outside of government styled TPP type deals, so Japan will trade where it sees assets of value for Japan with NZ in the way it has done with Australian asset buy ups, like Fosters beer etc. Currently China is looking at purchasing the outright ownershup stake in NZ company Fisher & Paykel. It is a similar situation to the Japanese buy out of the Aussie beer company supply chain.
Why Japan appeals as a trading nation with NZ: Japan has the third largest economy in Te Ao (the world), although like China, USA, and NZ, Japan’s economy is listed as “being sluggish.” This is what NZ foreign correspondent Corin Dann reported recently to NZ.
This is perhaps why food security with Japan is an excellent trade agreement to start negotiating first as people still eat everyday regardless of what Moody’s and the world’s banking buyers and key acquisitors’ design in global economic structuring models and flows (that come with the scripts to adjust economies according) tell others.
In the past 7-10 years, the world has fast learned that only the wealthy got more wealthy, (some nations in the Eurozone for example, have been slammed heavily), largely for the interests of the world’s most wealthiest citizens whims. We have seen banks (and to some degree politicians who have been lead by bankers directs) follow the designs for the wealthy when economic reports have been released, that include increasing debt in some nations, that then follow asset sales announcements further down the track.
Once rising debt fears have been established, politicians (speaking for the wealthy and banks only) then justify the urgency of such sales. The wealthy’s whims have been heeded to too much in such games. Why perhaps the world could do with some change on that front.
For New Zealand our whims are pretty grass roots. In looking for suitable trading partners (Japan being one of twenty or so nations in the APEC cluster of traders NZ could trade with), it’s important to understand the cultural direction of where a nation’s priorities lie. When you’ve found that you can build together on the agreed areas of interest for a win-win. For this reason, I think Bronagh Key and John Keys trip to Japan is most valuable to NZ’s potential to grow.
On the grass roots objectives capacity-building level of sustainable economic growth, that NZ could perhaps sit down and chat to Japan and trading partners about, are these: We seek to rebuild one main city, end child poverty, improve on all other cities in New Zealand simultaneously while the one city is being majorly rebuilt.
We hope to stop the rise of inequality and extreme greed and create several new economies again in certain key areas where wealth is no longer bottle-necked (controlled by a greedy few) and is being more evenly distributed in wealth creation models for NZ, that are as sustainable as economies can be, while paying the nation’s bills, increasing wages, creating new jobs for New Zealand citizens.
NZ is on average $35k-$38k behind on what Australian citizens take home pay packets are per year. As a result our culture is being gouged of our young blood who are exiting in record numbers, or are being disccouraged unecessarily if staying, due to the dynamics of a greedy few. This has to change in order to have peace (true security) to build an economy and wiser culture upoon. So, we really need to just shut up and create new economies to close the poverty divide and allow economic growth to happen more freely.
NZ also seeks to, invest in R&D substantially to reap the ROI years down the track. At the moment our accumulated efforts in our best examples of companies where sustained R&D yielded the best ROI for years down the track repeatedly (eg: dairy giant Fonterra) are been sold off (or have been agreed to in principle to be partially sold off to make way for foreign investors). Without a TPP trade agreement even involved in NZ, food security brokering is already occurring with the might of NZ politicians strong suggestions and CEO/ CFO’s being replaced who diagreed with the wisdom of such partial sell downs.
So, we already see foreign investors muscling into NZ’s most lucrative resources (and big earners) to ensure food security for example for wealthy people seeking a lion’s share of NZ’s food resources companies, all aided by politicians helping them do this. The behavior does not value NZ citizens interests over foreign investors. Also another area that needs to change. This in part, is why I think food supply and food security is a good place to begin talks with all trading partners (including Japan) as it’s very up front. I mean, you can’t eat or drink gasoline or rare earth minerals, can you?
On a grass roots objective level too, NZ aims to be improving our education in more scientific, fun and relevant ways to realign with future world trends, utilize our natural resources more to further green technology from within NZ’s electronic manufacturing capacity, to improve the culture of NZ to be more globally aware of how the world has changed rapidly in the last 7-10 years, and also increasing our marine surveillance requirements for the future for export requirements navigation and safe delivery of goods, for conservation requirements and protection of resources, while the Ross seas and EEZ territories resources can be better managed, utilized and preserved as a part of getting NZ back up to speed as a sovereign nation with the capability, resources and capacity to do just that.
NZ’s early founding fathers and mothers were extremely gifted people at creating an economy out of what was right before their eyes to create with (the story of NZ thus far). Again, we must do what they did. Just create.
It’s good to know Japan and NZ have a lot in common on many of those grass roots key objectives (outlined above), in terms of learning from each other and discussing where common interests could be situated as a normal due diligence of what TPP agreements could even remotely look like before they are even entered into, in relevant ways. Any trade agreement only will be of use to all of NZ, if NZ is deciding its best future direction, concerning the running order of priorities going to the negotiating table with all trading nations beforehand. In particular, Kiwis need to be able to decide what sustainable industries trade could occur in and be looking at creating a huge boost to the NZ economy.
Then once the priorities are decided, NZ should ask: what nations have the culture Kiwis want more of in NZ? and also what allies we’d best like to trade with? Japan is a very respectful nation. Good taste as a rule, contained on many design sensibilities blueprints. Minimalist, not wasteful. Useful. The West could learn many valuable principles from Japan.
Mr Key’s visit is very important to his hometown (Christchurch City) eyeing an increased rebuild effort. NZ needs to trade more to rebuild Christchurch, so it is a catch 22 we will be doing that with Japan (and other nations), to pay for it all. No trade, no sustainable rebuild. The issue is that clear. So wise trade needs to come to the fore more, rather than highlighting rebuild desires alone.
On the home front: The global downturn has caused Japan’s visitor numbers to drop 100,000 people in the last year. Mr Key is on a mission to get more visits to New Zealand. Part of this is launching a Hobbit themed NZ Tourism campaign. Japan’s tourists have been highly valued in NZ in former years.
Other areas of New Zealand (while Christchurch rebuilds) need to be highlighted more with an increased media spotlgiht perhaps, to give Christchurch some breathing space to rebuild, while not crippling the image of NZ too much with an over-emphasise on Christchurch at this time, when faced with such a dip in Japanese tourist numbers. Christchurch needs to be marketed as an experience to visit before exiting NZ for tourists, not as the main draw per se. Just a thought. Personally, I see nothing wrong with visiting Christchurch for the main duration of a tourist’s stay, simply because the people of Christchurch are pretty solid and fun, if you look past all of the debris of the quake and the wider Canterbury region and south, so picaresque.
However, if you want your aesthetic tourism experience as on a global par of tourism destinations, then visit Christchurch last perhaps on your trip to wonderful NZ. Japan however, is an exception when marketing Christchurch as a destination to visit and form stronger trade links with too - due to similar experiences being shared by both nations, surrounding the issue of shared natural disasters experiences and the resilience of the human spirit in recovering from such events.
A suggestion for “new” export – long term education tourism villages: The “education cities” (village planning and city planning strategy) aimed at grandparents living in NZ while their grandchildren attend learning labs and academic acadamies in NZ, is a good one to plan into trade with Japan to align with Japan’s aging population trends, and the middle classes abilities to still earn, while also wanting children.
Maybe three to five more villages on a small scale/ or new cities planned in NZ on a bigger scale, that align with an educational goal for Japan’s people can also be mentioned to Japan’s PM. Eg: what are your needs? and then NZ will build those educational cities in three sister cities of Japan, that will educate Japan’s children while giving their grey power set a Kiwi experience, if Japan sees merit in such trade talks ahead. At this stage, Kawerau is looking like one possibility for Japanese kids to ride their BMX bikes to school on, in such a new educational village, to help grow an economy that is stronger again in an NZ city like Kawerau for example.
(Just some suggestions that could help).
Furthermore, if Japanese children are being educated in NZ, their grandparents being their guardians while they study, then tourist visitor numbers will increase substantially from Japan as parents visit their children in holidays. That way, culture has a bridge, to encourage tourism numbers more from Japan into NZ perhaps. People do want escapism still (the normal attractant of the tourism industry that actually gets people onto planes, the principle of where international tourism, can start) yet more than ever in a world of social media, people will travel if there is cultural relevance, particularly meaning, awaiting the destination they will travel to. Why? Because y0u can see a lot of sights now online in a digital media age, so experiential meaning in a travel destination needs to be up-played these days to offer something real and different. Offering meaning is more where the world is at, even in tourism marketing. NZ has beautiful meaning everywhere, so we are actually quite lucky in this regard.
The education village pods idea provides inter-generational meaning fused with new knowledge being reproduced too, in one way - as a suggestion to create a culture that recongizes more of a long term trading relationship sought with Japan, when setting up a trade deal. It shows good intentions from NZ, if such planning long term was being considered for Japan from NZ.
The Keys’ heads must be buzzing with all of the new ideas they’re seeing. Quite exciting for Christchurch really, this Japan trip.
[Photo caption: Bronagh and John Key of New Zealand meet with Shichigahama Mayor Yoshio Watanabe. Photo: FB].
~Posted by Horiwoodblog, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia-Pacific. 12.9.12~