Editorial, December Magazine:Self-satisfaction is not all we have, can do better



Time to take a breather and get the work/life balance in order. To stop stressing about the business and turn the cell phone off.

As 2016 becomes a distant memory, there is some decent wind in the sails of the NZ economy. On top of that, another unfortunate earthquake and Auckland’s development have guaranteed plenty of construction work for 2017.

The challenge of course is to find enough skilled tradespeople to be part of all of this. This issue affects our national productivity overall and our export push into overseas markets.

Productivity, as much as any other issue this year, is on everyone’s mind. From the Minister for Business Development, NZMEA, Manufacturing NZ, NZTE, the Productivity Commission, to the company bosses and the production manager on the factory floor.

Lots is written about it. Analysis put forward. Suggestions made. And the grumpiness of under-performing companies is there for all to see.

Some of what I have written about Productivity this year has included suggestions to make staff more inclusive in the decision-making processes, show them the plan and offer them incentives. Wages need to increase for the job well done and New Zealand cannot continue to be a low wage economy festering with resentment between the haves and the have nots.

And there is my every year Christmas wish for a Minister for Manufacturing.

We currently have enough diversification of activities that are truly bolstering our economy and the potential for a better way of life. If this financial boost cannot improve the livelihood of the population, then we need to think again.

In all of this, we are embedded in isolation from the outside world – every day is Christmas on our islands – and in a mindset which is like theatre and politically orchestrated. If the government says we feel good, then it’s okay to feel good. But let’s feel good for the right reasons. Let’s get the rest of the roof on!

You will find plenty to read in this issue including The Year in Review. Business leaders share their thoughts on 2016 and where the new year may take us.

Next year I am introducing Excellence in Manufacturing Awards and encourage your company to come forward and share your success stories, challenges and dreams each month in NZ Manufacturer.

Thank you for your support, suggestions, frank conversations and dedication to a better future in 2016.

Merry Christmas!

-Doug Green, Publisher

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