regional development

The Chatham Islands are a world we have left behind.

The Chatham Islands (Rekou in Moriori, Wharekauri in Maori) lie about 800kms to the east of New Zealand but given they are on the other side of the 180-degree meridian one might think of them as New Zealand’s most westerly isles, way past Australia.

If we really are serious about regional wellbeing, we may be pursuing it in the wrong way.

Economic theory is not strong on spatial issues. There have been the occasional brilliant contributions – those by Paul Krugman and Gunnar Myrdal come immediately to mind – but most economists are trained with little attention to spatial relations. Which may explain why regional economic policy is so inept.

The city’s motto is 'Palmam qui meruit ferat'. (Let him, who has earned it, bear the palm.) Not sure that reflects a modern New Zealand city. Why does Nelson deserve a palm?

In terms of ambience and style, Nelson City reminds me of the New Zealand I grew up in half a century and more ago. I do not mean that it is not a modern city. The shops reflect today’s customers – gone are butchers, haberdasheries and milk bars – and there is a steady increase of good quality restaurants.

Past policies of banging on about economic growth have failed. A new report argues we should strategise differently with more comprehensive goals.

The response by some regional leaders to Julian Wood’s Growing Beyond Growth: Rethinking the Goals of Regional Development while not unexpected was so typical of much public policy disc

The Northland by-election demonstrates we do not have a regional development policy. Should we? What might it look like?

The government’s announcement that it would be upgrading ten one-way bridges in Northland was a response inspired by the forthcoming by-election. Whatever the politics, it well illustrated the feeble state of regional development policy in New Zealand.