Call for pay freeze stunt (Local News, August 31). I agree it is just a stunt in the realm of things. It's got nothing to do with debt reduction.

The question should never have been asked in the first place - who in their right mind turns down a payrise anyway?

The wages are not unrealistic in the first place and in my view, there's no job more cut-throat than politics so they all must have a passion for public service or they wouldn't be there, or would you rather them chase the big bucks and go in the private sector.

I reckon we are getting value for money.

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However, to say you support the Prime Minister's lead is buttering up the voters in my view, and riding on her coat tails of popularity. There is a big difference between national politics and regional politics.

I have to congratulate Raj Kumar on his comments - he hit the nail on the head when he said if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. (Abridged)

Gavin Muir
Rotorua


Economic growth
Accounts of the Infometrics Report (Local News, September 1) suggest that it has been cherry picked by local vested interests to create a narrative of mindless "positivity".

In my view, the Rotorua Economic Development CCO really needs to explain the strengths, weaknesses, advantages and threats to our economy.

The Economic Development lead, Dave Donaldson, has minimal influence over economic growth and should look harder at wider indicators, and persuade the council to adopt more prudent financial management.

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Why? New Zealand's dollar and investor confidence are being squeezed by fears over emerging markets. Business confidence is down to 2008 GFC levels due to infrastructure deficits, demographic changes, vague migration settings, a surge in minimum wages and banning new oil and gas. Locally we suffer from two long-planned arterial roads being cancelled, employment growth stalling and rates rising at about five times the CPI.

An analysis of Rotorua's 4 per cent rise in GDP should start with forestry. It contributes about 19 per cent of Rotorua's GDP. The 18 per cent rise in prices over the June 2018 year may not be sustainable, yet even greater productivity in harvesting and via research could be.

Farming contributes about the same to GDP as tourism, without the subsidies. However, the forecast payout for milk solids has been cut by 25c per kg due to increased supply in Europe and the Americas, and cooling demand in emerging markets.

Interim conclusion? Capacity building in RED Ltd should focus on economic development research.

Reynold Macpherson
Rotorua