Whilst this blog is designed to share insight and perspectives on the real estate industry in NZ, sometimes there are matters that could benefit from a broader discussion as they that have repercussions for real estate at a macro-economic level. The debate over the proposal for a national holiday to commemorate the life of Sir Edmund Hillary is just one such issue.
A public holiday is just that, a day off work – not typically a time to reflect on the achievements and principles of a great New Zealander. If such a day were instigated, as the years would pass so the memory of the great man would pass with it, and Sir Ed was not a man to take a holiday – he was committed and hard working.
For an alternative approach I would like to suggest a more radical idea (one that was suggested to me today over a coffee by a friend) – why not establish a trust fund for all young people to exemplify the principle of Sir Edmund. We are also not talking about a few small funded scholarships per year – why don’t we be brave and try to make a difference to our country and our economy in the name of the great man.
Let’s get the government to be bold and fore go just 1 day’s tax revenue from all hard working and committed New Zealanders. We all know that the government surpluses are taking up too much space in the basement of the Beehive, so why don’t we create an annuity – a rough calculation would put it at $100 million. They have the money and they sure have plans to get rid of it this year so why not do something bold and meaningful with it – something that we can all share in the legacy of.
A fund of $100 million well managed and administered by valued trustees could kick start our global economic ambitions affording many hundreds if not thousands of scholarships each and every year to help young NZ’ers grow and develop skills in this global marketplace – young people who like all NZ’ers love this country and relish the opportunity at some stage to return home to raise a family and in so doing bring back to this country skill, expertise and cash. Which is key for the long term wealth (culturally as well as economically) of this country – something that I am sure Sir Edmund would have been truly proud to put his name to.