From Penk’s Pen

Let’s Not Bank on Good Times Forever

I always say that New Zealand is the best little country in the word and the Helensville electorate is the best within it. And I hope you feel the same!
If we’re going to maintain a high standard of living, though, none of us can afford to be complacent.
I love a good “conversation” about wellbeing as much as the next person (unless the next person is Jacinda Ardern, because no one loves talking about it as much as she does) but there’s more to public policy than that.
First and foremost, ensuring a strong economy means good jobs and the societal benefits brought by Kiwis who are able to work doing just that. It’s well established that contributing to the community through employment is good for individuals’ sense of self-worth, as well as the wider good.
Of course a strong economy also means an ability to provide better infrastructure, lower the cost of daily living and enables us to buy the kind of healthcare and education that we rightly expect. Our hospitals and schools are built on the backs of the hardworking Kiwis like you.
When writing a local column I usually focus on local issues but this time around thought I’d venture a slightly more political perspective.
If you’ve seen the latest statistics for GDP growth then you’ll know that things have been slowing considerably. And the picture is the same for manufacturing, with stuttering stats in that sector too. An area of particular concern for Auckland’s northwest can be found in the challenges of a squeezed seasonal migration market: this makes life very hard for our horticulture businesses, including strawberry growers and variousorchards.
The country isn’t quite in recession just yet but the downward trend on many fronts is ominous. Based on the anecdotal data of my many chats with locals, along with the official numbers, I’m calling it a “precession”. I’d love to be proven wrong about where it’s all headed but we shall see.
Please call my office (09 412 2496) or email ( to discuss any matters of local or national interest.

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