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Some Recent Photos

Some recent snaps from travels, which I have just dug out of my telephone:

Manapouri Click on the image to see it full size.

This one is lake Manapouri,
from my recent trip to the
deep south (last weekend)


This one is Te Anau from
the same trip. The day was
just perfect. No better place
to be!

Margaret This one is Margaret Stanley,
who works with Phillip Matthews,
and Mark Todd, and I on the
Corporate Regulation project

Taupiri_range This one is the Taupiri Ranges,
taken today - and a glorious day
it was too. At about 7.30am.

Enjoy this beautiful country!

KiwiSaver Admin - problems were predicted

Well, last year, we ran a whole day of KiwiSaver implementation workshops with InvestmentLink and the central issue that we hammered on about more than all the others is the one I heard discussed on the radio - problems with reconciling payments.

Roger Kerr was quoted talking about problems with reconciling what had been deducted by employers, sent to which fund managers, and whether balances were right. Some fund managers felt that this would be dealt with handily by the IRD alone. But there is a clue in the word 'reconcile' - meaning to bring together, usually two or more things. Which is why a solution which started with employers payment data, which was subsequently compared to IRD payments received, and fund manager payments received would have been more robust.


Sorry it's been blog-lite as I have just enjoyed three wonderful days in Queenstown and Invercargill. Yes - Invercargil was wonderful. A crisp blue sky in the morning - a big sky because the land is flat - and great weather. A brilliant last day driving up through Riverton (morning tea by the beach), Manapouri, lunch in Te Anau, and back to Queenstown for afternoon tea before boarding the flight back to Auckland. No internet for three days - I am re-charged and ready to rip into it!

Happy anniversary day!

It always happens and it always will

The note of panic and uncertainty in the editorials on big falls in world sharemarkets this morning was a stark contrast to the words of the general manager of one investment company I visited yesterday. He said simply: "It always happens, and it always will... things go in cycles".

Yet for all that, when one witnesses vast forces at work - even if it is only the massed fear of investors trying to bail out before prices fall further - one can't help get a bit excited. Whether one is a seasoned manager of a global sharebroking business, or just a journalist writing in a finance column.

There has been some genuine news. A massive rate cut by the US Federal reserve. Large falls in markets as investors re-price risk (a polite way of saying that they suddenly worry that what they are holding isn't worth as much as they thought). Even the odd bright spot.

Amusing, for those of us not in such time sensitive jobs as traders are, is the use of language by reporters. The anthropomorphising of sharemarkets must surely be unhelpful. "New Zealand fights back" shouted one Herald headline. Like some plucky little David in the face of a global goliath. Or like some patriotic call to arms.

Since when was paying too much for shares were a patriotic duty? For every seller there was a buyer in the market - should they have paid more? Maybe we should have a law requiring them to do so, otherwise they are shirking the 'fight' aren't they?

There is an economically rational theme that could be teased out - it was noted in one article that PGG Wrightson was the only share to rise over the last month (and that only modestly). Maybe there is a primary exports and commodity price underpinning which is helping NZ at present. It was missed. Like perhaps most of the lessons of recent turmoil will be.