I’m writing from Auckland, New Zealand and on my literal horizon is Rangitoto, a dormant conical volcano (we think) in sparkly blue Auckland Harbour, ferries whizzing across to the gulf islands and a few shipping container stacks being moved around like a Rubiks cube. On my travel horizon is South and Central America – and specifically the tempting allure of Argentina again. On my “new skills” horizon is getting my spanish past the basic transactional level, completing my freelance journalism course and getting into print and… planning a future out of the office.
As New Zealanders we are thinking about how to increase GDP and productivity to catch up with our archrivals, the mineral ridden Australians and thereby pay each other enough wages to try what will be a new experience for most New Zealanders -saving. Our Prime Minister thinks (or maybe just hopes) we can, our Reserve Bank Governor says we can’t, but most New Zealander’s are probably just wondering if this means they will have to work through their smoko (morning tea) break. At least the grey man from the bank is allowed an opinion here – in Argentina they wouldn’t put up with that and they sack their governors for much less! After years of focusing on peripheral social issues and ignoring our economic performance, we are at least now starting to address our weakening hold on first world living standards and according to Vincent Herringa in Idealog.co.nz we are in danger of becoming New Zealandistan! We may also have more in common with Argentina – ‘a textbook case of wealth squandered’ – than we think.
We are therefore at the first point on the change process – recognizing that we need to. It’s what to do next that is the tricky bit.