An Open Letter to God from the New Zealand Business Community

Unpredictable weather sent by God is affecting business confidence

Last week you decided to spread rain across much of the country, while in other parts of New Zealand you allowed the sun to continue shining.

We respect your right as an all-powerful celestial being to continue determining the weather conditions we, your humble minions, are to experience. However, your weather policy has deeply troubled the New Zealand business community for some time, and your decision to inflict rain upon a number of regions last week created genuine difficulties for some businesses.

Businesses all around the country are deeply concerned about the ongoing effects of unpredictable and undesirable weather patterns. Businesses and consumers work hard every day to minimise the impact of sudden moisture or excessive dry spells, but their inability to plan more than a few days ahead is impacting on our global competitiveness.

We do not think that a weather policy controlled by a divine being bestriding the heavens is the right answer. This model has been in place for centuries, and the results have been devastating to many businesses. Over the last few decades our all-important dairy and agricultural sectors have been hit by droughts, floods, snow, and excessive rainfall, and their ability to compete on international markets has been severely compromised.

The weather policy you propose continuing with has been shown to be incapable of meeting the challenges of a modern economy. History shows that market-based solutions work best, because they encourage innovation and competition. In contrast, a policy imposed upon businesses from above ultimately dulls the incentive to innovate and makes businesses less, not more, internationally competitive.

Of particular concern with your weather policy is its chilling effect on investment across the entire economy. Unpredictable weather patterns, such as droughts and floods, have the potential to wipe hundreds of millions of dollars off the value of New Zealand’s businesses.

This ongoing and widespread capital destruction will continue to severely undermine business confidence, and will ultimately prevent businesses from competing in a global market. The policy sends signals to investors, on whom the New Zealand economy relies, that their investments may be subject to sudden and unpredictable change.

Far from being remote and intangible, this dampening of investment intentions has a direct and real economic impact on those of all walks of life who seek to accumulate wealth by working hard to save, invest and grow. Interest rates will rise, retirement savings held in KiwiSaver accounts will be depleted, and other economic opportunities will be lost. Individuals will be less well-off as a result.

With the good of all New Zealanders in mind we ask you to withdraw your damaging weather policy. We offer to work with you to establish an efficient weather market trading platform run by the private sector, so that businesses and consumers have a range of highly competitive weather providers to choose from.

We would also urge you to consider opening up some of your other divine powers to competition. We firmly believe that New Zealand can be a global leader in the plague and miracle sectors, but the best way to encourage innovation in the supernatural is to deregulate and open these sectors up to competition. New market players will bring in investment funds, which will result in the introduction of new technologies, as well as growth in jobs and opportunities for small businesses.

We stand ready to work with you, Oh Heavenly Father, for the betterment of New Zealand businesses and consumers. We are a small country, but we should be aiming to smite above our weight.

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