This morning I was pointed to an article with comments from Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen. The gist of the article was that Cullen is challenging Kiwi businesses to lift wages in order to reverse the huge trend to outward migration from New Zealand. The thinking goes that NZ employers paying more will attract migrants here and deter Kiwis from moving away.

Nice thought but…. from the perspective of a New Zealand employer, in the past year or so we’ve been lumbered with the following;

1) Increased holidays (a move from three to four weeks paid leave for employees)
2) Added time in lieu requirements when employees work on a public holiday
3) Added Kiwisaver overheads (a semi-compulsory retirement saving initiative)
4) Increased compliance costs (they only go one way – up!)
5) Huge exchange rate impacts

While all of these initiatives are arguably positive – they all have the same effects – increasing costs for businesses. Bear in mind that NZ is a nation of SMEs and you’ve got significant pain going on here.

And then the Minister has the gall to suggest that we as employers need to do a little more to attract employees…..

Election year anyone?

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • Excellent points Ben. This socialist government has put up lots of barriers via legislation which are the causes in the first place.

  • Ben, you can’t expect Michael Cullen to know what it takes to be a real employer! He hasn’t had a job where he worked for a profit making entity in 30 years (although he probably considers collecting taxes a business). In order to raise his own salary and those of his employees he just has to ask for it and if he’s in government at the time he can approve the request himself. He just doesn’t understand that real businesses must increase the number of customers to increase profit and raise salaries. While you might fault his understanding of how a business works, you can’t fault him on how easy he made it to increase his own wages. And that makes it a no-brainer for him to suggest you do the same as an employer. I’m surprised he didn’t actually add the phrase, “the way I did”, when he said, “Kiwi Employers need to raise salaries”.

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