...Catching the Knowledge Wave project stands out as one of the key missed opportunities that also litter New Zealand's history...
Essentially she says we are all talk. But quotes Helen Clark, mentions ex University of Auckland vice-chancellor John Hood and "political, business and social leaders from countries like Australia, Canada, Ireland, Israel, Singapore, Korea, the US and Taiwan."
She makes no allusion to Don Brash, then Reserve Bank Governor. But I was impressed enough by what he said to also keep a clipping.
The headline reads, Let's get radical, challenges Brash. NZ could only climb back into the ranks of the wealthy with a change of attitude and behaviour but New Zealanders had " deeply ingrained cultural characteristics", a disdain for commercial success, no strong passion for education and a tendency for immediate gratification. The economy would not improve significantly while 350,000 working age people received tax-payer funded income support. He suggested lifetime limits on how long able-bodied people could claim state benefits.
But let me finish with Fran O'Sullivan's words:
In retrospect, Catching the Knowledge Wave was too much about conversation and too little about action. It would be too pat to put this down to the heavy infusion of public relations messaging. Although that is a factor.
The real issue is that New Zealand body politic is still far too slow and far too slack when it comes to implementing a big agenda.
The John Key Government's own growth strategy is a case in point. For example, the shambles over the mining strategy and the failure to put some ballast under the PM's financial services hub project. Until recently, NZTE has been a relative shambles ... the list goes on.
It's unfathomable that a private sector operator like Key doesn't put a few more skilled ministers alongside Steven Joyce and Tony Ryall to form a speed team to get major change bedded down.
After three years of economic crises, endlessly debating is no longer an option.
Brash obviously agrees with the final sentence. But the way Key and National reacted to his political re-emergence illustrates exactly why we are going nowhere fast. Perhaps there should be an age limit on becoming the leader of a country. Too young and there is little or less sense of urgency and certainly less context.
Ten years ago my son had barely started primary school. This week he recieved his electoral enrolment form. Ten years is a bloody long time.
As Brash said ten years ago, New Zealand needs to get radical.