Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Bye bye buy NZ

Wellington businessman Jim Donovan celebrates the end of the ‘Buy Kiwi-Made’ campaign with a cracking post that thoroughly explains how, to the extent such a campaign would have been successful, we would have succeeded only in making ourselves poorer.

As Frederic Bastiat so convincingly demonstrated decades ago, "it is better to buy from another what it would be more costly to make oneself."  That remains true whether than someone else comes from our village, our city, our country or the other side of the planet.  What we save in buying cheaper allows us either to buy or produce even more.  If we spend ten dollars on a Chinese T-shirt instead of forty on the locally-made equivalent, we have thirty dollars in our pocket to buy a book, a CD, or dinner for two at Middle East Cafe.  Which means that the economy (and ourselves) is richer by that book, that CD or that dinner.  Everybody wins.

‘Buy Kiwi-made’ made sense only to those who never look further than their own nose when formulating or commenting on policy.

Donovan does however leave out one reason to celebrate the campaign’s demise: less time in our lounges for louche loser Oliver Driver.

That’s got to be something to celebrate, whatever your political views.  Read his post.


  1. Spot on. I would buy an imported product I want, over a "feel good" NZ one, any day.

    A good example - I'd sooner drink a heavy Aussie, South African or Californian Shiraz over an NZ Merlot.

    I'll buy a Chinese T-Shirt to, because it satisfies my needs, and saves me money.

  2. It was Jeanette Fitz who pressured the Labour government to adopt that policy in exchange for the Greens support. Stupid Greenies.

  3. I agree with you Peter. I make one exception though. I Do try and buy locally made food. Chinese tomatoes or peanut butter may be cheaper but I am not sure I need extra melamine in my diet.

    Brian Smaller

  4. Brian,

    PC's point is that if your only reason for buying something that was made here is that it was made here then that's no reason at all.

    Your exception relates to (perceived) quality. Another might relate to guarantee redemption. But that's no longer an apples with apples comparison, is it?

  5. Andrew,

    Brian's point is that if you're only reason for posting is to miss the humour of his post then that's no reason at all.

    Your exception relates to (perceived) seriousness. Another might relate to lack of funny bones. But that's no longer an apples with apples comparison, is it?


  6. Clunking Fist

    You shouldn't make things up. Read what he wrote, not what you'd like him to have written.



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