The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

The Cost Of Living Is Dying …

The cost of living is insane everywhere.




The prices are going up faster than we can blink.

And while there is definitely the suspicion some industries are using this as an excuse to elevate their profits – I’m looking at you fossil fuel and supermarket industries – the reality is for many people, life is becoming more about survival than living.

Here in NZ, the conversation often relates back to the price of food.

Part of the reason for that is because the dairy industry is so influential and economically important.

But right now, you can’t turn on a talkback radio show without hearing people complain about the price of cheese … milk … or vegetables.

Sure, it’s not as bad as it is in the UK at the moment – where supermarkets are putting ‘anti-theft’ devices on cheese, but it’s not far off.

Just recently I heard a 10 minute segment about the price of cauliflowers.

Apparently they’re $12 each in some places and one person interviewed said:

“There’s no cauliflower in the world worth $12”

It’s fair to say it’s a sentence I’ve never heard in my life.

But while the cauliflower conversation may raise a smile … what it indicates is nothing but.

More and more people will struggle.

Will be taken advantage of.

Will wonder if they can cope.

While I hold real concern for a number of groups, one I’m particularly concerned for is youth.

As I wrote yesterday – and all the photos in this post are from our book, Dream Small – many kids in NZ already feel oppressed by the lack of opportunity and the pressure of complicity they face … but now, their situation could be even more tested.

Less possibilities.

More expectations.

Even less consideration.

Even more demands and judgement.

Given NZ already has one of the worst youth suicide rates – per capita – in the world, what could this do to the mental health and wellbeing of the young?

What is this going to do to the dreams they have?

I get it’s hard.

I get there will be many more communities that will require help.

But for all the companies that go on about how proud they are to be from New Zealand, maybe this is the moment they prove it by what they do rather than what they say.

Last year I judged the Effies and read a bunch of entries from supermarkets.

They talked about how their ‘strategy’ had helped them overcome the huge barrier of covid.

All of them … every last one … claimed covid had been a barrier to growth rather than their fast track.

It was an insult to my intelligence.

I would love it if this year, I read submissions from NZ brands who talked about how they used this time to enable a generation. That they recognised the countries future was dependent on the young feeling they could bring their wild hopes, ideas and energy to the fore. That instead of being told to dream small, they were supported to dream big. So the country can evolve and develop so if situations like this happen again, then the nation will be in a better position because it will be stronger thanks to the brains and ideas the young have brought.

I don’t even really care how they do it.

More pay.

Government funded flights for their OE.

A youth venture fund that kids can call upon to help with their ideas.

Tax breaks for youth focused, foreign brands to come into the country.

Fighting against Tall Poppy – or any of the other issues that hold youth back through fear.

And while I know there are a few brands doing it – some of my clients for a start – I doubt I’ll be reading many papers that celebrate that shift, because too many of these ‘proud Kiwi brands’ are more focused on perpetuating and controlling the stereotype than liberating the people who are forced to live by it.

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