The curse on world trade at the moment has not yet made itself evident in New Zealand.

That came home to me last weekend when family returned from a holiday in Singapore, where they used to live, and my son-in-law remarked on how flat its economy seemed.

Ships stood empty in the straits, he said, the place lacked its usual bustle, the mood had sunk as low as the growth rate.


He's a diplomat by instinct and profession and does not rush to judgment, he observes carefully and reports cautiously. He wouldn't have mentioned this malaise unless it was