This isn’t my normal topic, but I can’t resist. I’ve secretly always harbored a dream that NZ might really make something of itself. Do what Germany & Japan did post WWII & Ireland have done recently & recreate their economies. To me, the easiest way to do this was to remove our dependency on the outside world for products. My reasoning? It just seems quite similar to any addiction, at some stage, if you are going to get ahead you have to break the habit.

So I was quite enamoured by the NZ herald article that states

that New Zealand was one of just a handful of places identified worldwide that was well placed to become carbon-neutral for transport, given advances in biofuel technology…..New Zealand could be a world leader in the field and was already getting international attention because it could be self-sufficient given the ratio of vehicles to land available.

Fantastic, love the grand vision, why not!…Then I thought about it, and then I found some problems with this approach.

  1. we need a government who has the long term interests of the nation at heart, not the next re-election, this is after all a 40 year plan!!
  2. If we are the only country that can do this doesn’t that mean other more powerful / innovative countries will solve the oil / transportation issue in their own way & we end up with an orphan technology? (Cuba anyone?)
  3. 25 yrs @ $ 2-3 billion a year…. To be honest if we couldn’t invent something better technically, sooner and with a better NPV return and that didn’t rely on combustion to create energy with $100 -150 billion then we should be shot.

I do applaud the vision though is sincerely hope that one little nation can, & will be a leader in alternate energies for our planets sake as well as for our economy.

So, if we were serious about this kind of nationwide transformation, and we had loads of cash, what do you folks think NZ could do? What is your grand vision?

1 Comment
  • Grand visions are fine, but it’s the execution that really matters.

    The Growth and Innovation Framework was a grand vision, but when was the last time you heard anything about what progress has been made? I agree that economic development aspirations need to extend beyond electoral cycles. It’s just too important.

    The Fast Forward announcement last week appears to signal a shift away from spring-boarding creative sector, ICT and biotech. Everybody accepts we need to broaden our economic base – so what’s the hold-up?

    There are rumours of more funding yet to be announced but it needs to be meaningful. My visionary goal would be (at least) an additional $250 million per annum targeted for blue skies ICT and physical sciences research, tied to a matching commitment from industry partners and investors.

    http://geniusnet.blogtown.co.nz/2008/03/12/fast-forward-fry-up/

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