There is no depression in New Zealand

I partially wrote this during last Sunday’s Voyage NZ show. I didn’t really get to finish it, but what the heck.

Congratulations to the Fabian Society, Scoop and PublicAddress for putting on the Voyage NZ. However it was mostly about looking at the downside.

None of this is new. In fact it echoes what was being said in 1982, in 1992, 2002 and will no doubt be said again in the future.

But let’s step back and look at the realities. We were watching Voyagenz sitting in a lovely theatre, or at home over a streaming video connection. We were wearing clothes made around the world, but many of them by local company Icebreaker, an iconic NZ company which should resonate with the Titanic theme of voyagenz.

We have a new breed of New Zealander and New Zealand companies who are leading the charge. It might surprise many that NZTE and MSI know about and has assisted many of them. I have been lucky to see a few as part of the Better By Design program. It’s no mistake that Icebreaker’s Jeremy Moon is Chairman of that Better By Design program, and the results of the companies who have been through are often amazing.

The Better By Design program was launched under Helen Clark’s Labour government, and is supported and being enhanced by National’s Key government. I expect it will keep getting better and better over time, as successive governments and government employees like NZTEs Peter Chrisp keep the changes coming. Do check out some of the inspiring success stories.

In the high tech sector we have an array of successes, and emerging successes. From likely the world’s only online electricity marketplace to Xero, Litmos and Vend we are leading the way in new areas. We can do this in NZ due to the power of the internet, relatively lousy as it is, and a large an growing group of amazing technical and design led entrepreneurs.

Enough. It’s a story worth retelling, but I feel like a broken record. It’s beyond time to recognize that, in the midst of global economic and local earthquake turmoil, we are doing all right. We can always do better, but let’s celebrate what we have as well.

Published by Lance Wiggs


5 replies on “There is no depression in New Zealand”

  1. Great as usual Lance, i am also very optimistic that things are going to get better soon. Kinda anxious to what is happening in europe during this week end. Monday might be a complete different day altogether. Until next, yours giapo


  2. I thought Silicon Valley and the US Small Business Administration made things easy, but starting up in NZ for us involved:
    1. a four day wait for a company IRD and GST numbers
    2. several super helpful meetings at the IRD offices
    3. loads of helpful people offering support as easily and effortlessly as they give visitors directions around town

    I was blown away by the start up process in NZ. More here:

    “During the last two months as I established ZaReason in NZ, talking with the various organisations that regulate business along with fellow business owners, I am 100% convinced that NZ has managed to create, possibly by accident, a business environment that fosters “good” in its many forms. It is an effortless good. It just is. There is competition without greed; success without dominance; striving without strain. NZ may have problems, but it’s hidden gem is that it has a intangible, unregulated, nearly indescribable “good business” culture at its core.”

    Thanks for your article and thanks for listing examples of the Kiwi businesses that are such great examples of what a great little country like NZ can do.


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