Is New Zealand overborrowing?

General view of the Otago Agricultural and Pastoral Society show parade in front of the...
General view of the Otago Agricultural and Pastoral Society show parade in front of the grandstand on Thursday November 29, 1923. — Otago Witness, 4.12.1923
Dealing with the industrial life of the dominion, the president of the New Zealand Employers’ Federation Mr T. Shailer Weston sounded a warning note yesterday at the annual meeting of the Employers’ Federation in Wellington.

He said: "There is no good disguising the fact that this country has yet a long path to travel before all post-war problems of reconstruction and readjustment are left behind. Although the Government has reduced its expenses of administration, there is the ever-present tendency towards renewed extravagance immediately the pressure of hard times lessens in the slightest degree. There is also a steady and astonishing growth in local bodies' borrowing. Government loans, although admittedly for works more or less reproductive, continue to be heavy, and taxation has not yet been reduced to a limit which shows a reserve available to increase the national revenue in the face of any sudden emergency. There is a real danger if our Government is tempted to take advantage of easy interest terms and borrow heavily for extensive new public works that labour which would be more safely employed in private undertakings will be diverted to public works. The proportion of our population dependent upon the continuance of those for a living will be increased. Works which are not an immediate necessity will be undertaken, and when the time comes — and inevitably it will come — when borrowing has to taper off it will be more difficult to redistribute the population living upon public works."

When country comes to town

The chief opportunity of the year for the meeting and mingling of town and countryside is that presented by the Summer Show. In this fact lies a great part of the permanent value of the event. The drift apart of rural and city interests is never in the interests of either, and anything that tends to promote their harmony and good understanding is clearly for the good of the country as a whole. Yesterday the Otago Agricultural and Pastoral Society opened its forty-seventh annual metropolitan summer show at Tahuna Park. A cold wind came off the sea in the middle of the morning with the threat of an unwelcome change, but the day continued fine and conditions in the afternoon were very pleasant. The heavy scent of the lupins borne in from the sandhills pervaded all the ground. The attendance was very gratifying, being quite twice as large as that on the first day last year. The gate money was about £52, as against £25 2s 6d taken last year. — ODT, 29.11.1923