DOC decision to source from Asia

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9 years 4 months ago #34515 by Mich
Did anyone else read the recent Stuff article about DOC's decision to source souvenirs sold at visitor centres etc from Asia instead of using New Zealand resources/materials (including possum), and feel annoyed/amazed by it?

It seems for reasons which include apparent free trade obligations a Government Dept that you'd expect to be a leader in purchasing items for sale made out of pests that they're trying to eradicate has turned its back on supporting NZ businesses that make them.

To quote a DOC official:
"DOC does not favour New Zealand-made products over those made in other countries," said DOC commercial channel manager Jake Downing.

"This procurement policy, like that of other government departments, reflects the principle of open and effective competition between domestic and international suppliers and also meets New Zealand's obligations under international treaties and trade agreements."

How disappointing is that? Makes me think twice about supporting DOC! [:(!]
Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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9 years 4 months ago #454666 by Ruth
I fail to see the point of buying a souvenir of your visit to somewhere, made somewhere else! What a stupid policy.

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9 years 4 months ago #454670 by jeannielea
I agree its a crazy policy. Not only because as Ruth says NZ souvenirs should come from NZ but also because some of them are made in Asian countries from products such as paua shell that they import from NZ. So we are really only encouraging cheap labour. As far as I'm aware tourists have always bought souvenirs and many don't quibble at the price anyway.

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9 years 4 months ago #454673 by ronnie
I have first hand experience of Asian tourists who will only buy product that is NOT made in Asia. They fail to see the logic of coming all this way to buy something made in their own country.
Unfortunately, it is a sign of the times that our products/souvenirs can be made cheaper overseas than here. I get emails/phone calls from Chinese factories at least once a week offering to make our products for us much cheaper than we can make them !!!!!!!
Whilst it may make sense economically to have them made there, I know the quality will not be as good as what I can achieve.

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9 years 4 months ago #454674 by igor
I have never supported DOC because I believe they are a bunch of dicks. This just sort of thing confirms my belief.

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9 years 4 months ago #454686 by kate
It's a stupid decision and whoever made it should be fired....and fed to penguins :D

Web Goddess

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9 years 4 months ago #454688 by Akzle
Replied by Akzle on topic DOC decision to source from Asia
this is key's "market driven" dictate....

i can't wait until all NZ workers are paid a bowl of rice for a 90 hour work week. y'know, to compete with the chineses...

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9 years 4 months ago #454700 by reggit
ALL the government departments are being forced by their Ministers to toe the line on purchasing arrangements, and part of that is not preferring NZ made over imports...that's what free trade agreements get you.

It's all about centralising deals, standardising products and not allowing any deviation from policy handed down from above...:(

Don't blame the departments themselves, they aren't being given a choice... :( Our elected representatives must get a chuckle about the public blaming the departments and staff, rather than them, for policies like this.

It could get worse, too. I read that in the US, some local council (their equivalents to ours anyway, whatever they call them there) who tried to support local suppliers under the 'buy local' policies they had adopted, were taken to court by other, non-local, suppliers as having discriminated against them/contravened free trade arrangements in place...[:(!]

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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9 years 4 months ago #454708 by Mich
Kate, I love your suggestion!

Seriously though, it's getting to the point where one has to actively look for things made here - in fact it's been a long time since I've seen any promotion for "Buy NZ-Made". Does it still exist? I try whenever possible to support NZ businesses but it's getting harder.

This really disgusts me - in fact, that comment from official "Jake Downing" brought it home with a bang how little the Government (whatever Government, doesn't matter which one is in power) really cares about honest, talented kiwis who are trying to make a living, producing quality items. There is no such thing as open and effective competition between us and overseas ('specially Asian) suppliers - as far as I can see our own people will always be undercut by overseas suppliers. We've lost so many skills as a country over the years and it's an outrage. But I suppose while people are encouraged and prepared to buy cheap imported stuff (often they're forced to for financial reasons, I know), things won't change. I just find it terribly sad.

Jan, having purchased some of your products, I know how well made and beautiful they are. I'm so glad you're resisting having them made overseas.

Sorry to vent, but I've had a trying day dealing with crap customer service from two businesses, and this just made me grumpier. But, fortunately, I'm of an age where I can complain without feeling guilty, LOL. I'm sure I'll feel better tomorrow. :-)

Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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9 years 4 months ago #454716 by muri
Its not the first bad decision DOC has made and it wont be the last..

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9 years 4 months ago #454717 by Andrea1

Mich;455746 wrote:
This really disgusts me - in fact, that comment from official "Jake Downing" brought it home with a bang how little the Government (whatever Government, doesn't matter which one is in power) really cares about honest, talented kiwis who are trying to make a living, producing quality items. There is no such thing as open and effective competition between us and overseas ('specially Asian) suppliers - as far as I can see our own people will always be undercut by overseas suppliers. We've lost so many skills as a country over the years and it's an outrage. But I suppose while people are encouraged and prepared to buy cheap imported stuff (often they're forced to for financial reasons, I know), things won't change. I just find it terribly sad.

Cheers, Mich.


Same. I read that this morning and am still completely dumbfounded by the whole thing.

When we send gifts to family in the US, we take pains to by something NZ made, and better yet, made locally (there are a lot of really talented and creative people tucked away in Oxford!). But even our local chemist, which stocks a large range of gift items doesn't sell much in the way of local goods (much less NZ goods!).

Anyway, it's feels like one more nail in the coffin to me at the moment... Dept of Collusion?????

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9 years 4 months ago #454719 by DiDi
I agree with Kate too. The huge frustration is that the general public have no clue about the implications of Trade Agreements and those that do are probably making a small fortune out of it. A previous senior National party member with the initals JS rings a bell.

I know I get political on here and the reason is that I have the time to research what is happening and it seems to take 12 months for "others" to get that it is not pie in the sky and is really happening. I consider myself apolitical so not touting any political party agenda!

I base what I think on what I believe to be transparent and obvious if only people weren't working such long hours to meet their ridiculous decisions to buy top of the market with huge mortgages resulting in that they have no time to look outside the square. NB - I am in Auckland! Christchurch people are no doubt in the same situation.

Mighty River Power would be a perfect example of how I feel about big business and Directorships for mates resulting in this disaster for the workers and not forgetting other local industry. Just scary. One thing I can put in black and white is that I will NOT be voting for National. How must John feel as a commodity trader to see millions written off a Crown owned Company on his watch?

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9 years 4 months ago #454763 by Mich
Perhaps it's time we all got a bit more 'political', DiDi.

I agree that people probably don't have time (or don't see the implications) to think through issues these days, despite the plethora of information that's available to us to help make informed opinions. But it seems to me that even if each of us picked one issue that we feel strongly about and complain to those in power, then at least we could say we've done 'something' to try and stop the stupid decisions that are increasingly being made.

OK, in my heart I know that the global economic thing is all too big now and we can't stop decisions being made based on it (short of some sort of massive catastrophe), but I'm damned if I'm going down without at least drawing my own line in the sand a bit more.

Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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9 years 3 months ago #455673 by Blueberry
What it should make us all is more aware; more aware when buying anything.

Buy as close to home as possible. Whenever you spend money at an outfit that's not local, you're taking money out of the local economy.

The time will come when transport will be the largest cost factor in whatever you need, and if you neglect your local community now, there will not be a local market when you need one.

I'm not talking about buying only local, and if it's not available locally, to go without - i'm not that mad :D .

But i'm advocating to think twice before you spend your money, and actively look for an alternative that is produced closer to home, before you feed someone elses economy.

Of course Key and cohorts want to feel important now, traveling the world and talking big; they will be far away and cushioned by a large bank account once the sh*t hits the fan.(don't get me wrong, Helen and her bubbies were just as bad!) - but you and I, we will need to subsist on what the local market can supply and what we can afford ; Asian made goods will be far down that list.

[;)] Blueberry
treading lightly on mother earth

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9 years 3 months ago #455681 by Hawkspur
I get really disgusted by "free trade agreements" that don't take into account working conditions.
We require imported goods to be comply with our regulations, (like fire safe clothing for kids, and food standards), so why not make them comply with decent work conditions too?
A tariff on any imported goods produced in sub-NZ working conditions, would make NZ produced goods much more competitive on the so-called free trade "level playing field".

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