by Roger Dewhurst

I listened to Q + A (TVNZ) this morning with steadily increasing anger.  I heard nothing but bleating, platitudes and an utter refusal to consider cause and effect.  The panel was supposed to consist of professionals.  If these people represent our “professionals”, God help us. 

House prices have gone through the roof because demand exceeds supply and because councils are slow in their decision making and charge exorbitantly for their largely irrelevant paper shuffling.  If central government balanced population against available housing it would go part way to solving the problem.  If councils had a strictly limited time to process applications with a strictly limited fee, most of the rest of the problem would be solved. 

Pegging council staff numbers and salaries would help too.  Senior staff could be required to tender, publicly, for their jobs every three years.  CEOs currently paid more than the Prime Minister would soon figure out that tenders of much over $250,000 would see them lose out on their cushy jobs.

These “experts” or “professionals” fail to recognise that our average standard of living is proportional to the value of useful saleable product divided by the total population.  Quite obviously, but unnoticed by the supposed “experts” the gross useful saleable product is related to the number of people producing it.  Paper shuffling bureaucrats in both central and local government make no contribution.  When their numbers are increasing, as they currently are, the working population is effectively decreased by the same number.   The solution is obvious, savagely lower the ceiling on the number of bureaucrats and their salaries.