Big Business

John Key is big on the facts of life. He starts a lot of sentences with that very phrase lately – as if to scold recalcitrant children; ‘the facts of life are, that we just can’t afford a convention centre.’ Which is true. Whether or not this means the only option is changing the law so that Sky City can have more gaming machines, which lets face the facts – is a licence to print money – and let them pay for the convention centre is debatable.

I don’t think we need to be worried about this being the thin end of the wedge with regards to selling our legislature to the highest bidder – in fact I think this could be a creative beginning to answering many of our economic woes by just letting the market rule.

Governments tend to get in the way of business – but they are useful for bailing it out when the markets crash and burn as we’ve seen over the last few years so I suppose government should get some concessions. Not too many though.

Mr. Key is thinking too small when it comes to the convention centre – the deal with sky city should be just the beginning. Northland needs, amongst many things, an oncology unit. One of the ways we can fund this is to ask the Chow brothers who are about to build a 15 storey brothel opposite Sky City to fund it. Don’t laugh. There are some that would consider the proposal tacky. Sky City itself has publicly expressed its concern that the brothel will be a tacky development. The words ‘kettle’ and ‘black’ come to mind but I just think they’re worried about the competition for the tourist dollar.

It’s a fact that during the world cup the bars and the brothels were the big winners – I guess it depends what kind of tourists you’re aiming for.

If the Chow brothers were offered a change to our immigration laws allowing younger international hookers an opportunity to come and work in New Zealand we could easily turn ourselves into the cheapest wildest little whorehouse in the Pacific. It’s not like we haven’t been there and done that 150 years ago in Russel.

I know what you’re thinking. Why outsource when we’ve got perfectly good hookers here at home? But turn to the ‘Situations Vacant’ pages of any newspaper and it’s obvious the industry is low on human resources. Much better to import the necessarily upskilled labour from abroad.

Bill English has said before that our low wages are a competitive advantage and I’m sure that will be beneficial to the bottom line in any brothel.

Unlike David Parker I don’t worry about becoming Australia’s Mexico. Not when we could become the world’s Colombia.

Big business benefitting from changed legislation is not new.

Leigh Hopper the developer for Marsden Cove and Waterways in Whitianga said mid last year; “We have to face the fact that there is no wealth in New Zealand now. Everyone is struggling to make ends meet. But what we do have is a high-end lifestyle in a stunning coastal environment.” I guess he was referring to hard to sell marinas in Tsunami prone zones. He was lauding the new changes to immigration laws made by this government. Mr. Hopper planned to offer job creation in the way of ‘full property maintenance.’ Translated; the changes to immigration law meant wealthy non-tax paying overseas property owners would be able to spend more time in their gated coastal communities on extended visas and kiwis would get to mow their lawns. Nice happy ending.

It’s not big businesses’ fault if hanging a big red light outside our legislative offices is just another marketing strategy towards growth. Or that it’s getting hard to differentiate between getting the facts of life and just getting shafted.

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