Rural V's Urban CommoditiesWednesday, Apr 11, 2001
The New Zealand Manufacturers Assn is concerned that business analysts who were confident that a strong primary commodity sector meant the New Zealand economy could grow strongly, even though the growth outlook in our trading partners has deteriorated significantly may be proven incorrect
However, the release of the NZIER Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion shows the domestic economy is much weaker than has been indicated by financial sector analysts and this is causing urban business to move into a critical stance on the benefits of a supposed boom in the rural industries.
This is a further early warning of a move by the “city suits” to apply pressure for a more expansive urban economy at the expense of rural industries.
It could be that the NZ farmer has become a bit cannier about how resources are applied to the farm business following such a long period in the economic wilderness.
It is ironical that the knowledgeable urban folk know how to use the word “commodity” in a derisory manner on farming but are unable to recognise that a washing machine is now a “commodity” in its urban market.
The past 15 years seems to have induced a greater degree of business skill at farm business level – a fact that eludes the Manufacturers Assn. The old days of leaders grand standing and demanding a better this or that has been replaced by informed highly attuned farm businesses that have already built in the expected market changes before they have occurred.
Those urban folk still persist in gaining their knowledge of rural attitudes from Mainland cheese or Toyota commercials and it is showing.