Goldsmith Update - April 2015

Goldsmith Update
Thursday, April 2, 2015

I’m writing at the end of a four week session of Parliament, as the House rises for the Easter break. Let me begin by wishing you and your families all the best for this special time of year.

The past week has been dominated by cricket and the by-election. All involved worked hard and gave it nothing but their very best. In Government we carry on, continuing to work hard alongside all New Zealanders.

Reserve Bank statistics out this week showed the net household wealth of all New Zealanders to have passed the $1 trillion dollar mark. That’s something to celebrate.  It was $781 billion and falling when National came into office in 2008.  Since 2009 it has steadily risen.  Housing and land values comprise $563 billion; net financial wealth is about $455 billion.

This Government is keen to see continued growth in financial wealth, particularly, since it deepens the domestic pool of money available for investment. Ultimately, it’s investment that enables businesses to grow and to provide good employment.

In the areas I’m responsible for, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the Government’s reform of financial markets legislation, currently being implemented, is designed to improve confidence in New Zealand’s capital markets so more Kiwis are prepared to broaden their investments beyond residential housing.

We’re also working hard to make it easier for small businesses to access the capital necessary to allow them to continue to grow. Under the recently passed Financial Markets Conduct Act, small businesses may raise up to $2 million in 12 months through licensed equity crowdfunding platforms.

This means that Kiwi businesses, like Invivo Wines, have more options to raise money and fund their growth, without all the red tape that was previously involved.

I was pleased to visit one of the crowdfunding platform providers, Snowball Effect, recently in its Parnell office. It was great seeing an example of a fundraising pioneer in the heart of the Epsom electorate.

In Epsom, it’s school fair season.  I’ve been dragging my poor children around the sites and in the course of these sunny afternoons have been pleased to receive plenty of advice from fair-goers on how the Government could address a variety of problems.  Probably the best fair this year was at Victoria Ave Primary, which had a stall dedicated to throwing items at plates – to smash them.

I was soundly beaten in a rowing contest by Victoria Ave Primary School board of trustee’s chair, Bob Weston

More sadly, on Monday I attended the funeral of a well-known Mt Eden resident, Bryan Bartley, ONZM. Bryan was an engineer, for many years general manager of Winstone Ltd, in charge of quarrying and engineering.  Later in life, he and a friend developed the Barmac rock crusher, an invention which is used all around the world. His family and friends paid tribute to his legacy, which one summed up as a great role model and encourager for everyone his life had touched.

The Commerce portfolio is quite broad.  Last Friday I found myself in the countryside looking at Ryegrass trials with representatives of the New Zealand Plant Breeding & Research Association and the NZ Grain & Seed Trade Association.  They are interested in intellectual property laws as they relate to the growing and development of plants.

With John Duncan, Warwick Green and Tom Bruynel at the DLF Seeds Research Centre, Ryans Road, Christchurch

It is a privilege every day, as a Member of Parliament, to meet Kiwis of all backgrounds, engaged in ceaseless activity to grow their businesses or to strengthen their communities.  My goal as a Minister is to spend as much time or more talking to people actively engaged in the sectors that I’m responsible for as Minister, as I do with officials in Wellington.

I’m always interested in suggestions of people to visit and of improvements we could make.

Hon Paul Goldsmith
National List MP based in Epsom

P: (09) 524 4930