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September 04, 2005

There’s more acclaim for pot-smoking than business success 

I am flying out to in a few days to make the announcement that our , Lucire, will launch a US print edition. I’ve been especially blessed with the help of Brad Batory and Phillip Johnson, who have put this function together with incredible passion—so much so that Brad is now under the weather.
   What is annoying is that every media outlet in the country knows about it, and we have had three bites: The Dominion Post, Thread and Lawfuel, which republished our press release.
   TV One, the state broadcaster, knows and was in discussions, but now fails to return calls; as does TV3, the Canadian broadcaster.
   Meanwhile, I’ve received four requests from foreign media, and my first interview was actually with B&T Marketing and Media in Australia. Editor-in-chief Nicola Brockie has received requests for interviews in the UK and the States now.
   Reason for folks ignoring us? Probably the . No one from down here has ever grown into foreign markets this quickly, and with the Hell Pizza billboard attacking President Bush a few weeks ago, I guess anyone who trades with Americans must be similarly evil. Or, there is a problem about my skin colour: singer might be on to something. The editor thinks there is either an edict from someone very fearful of an immigrant succeeding in business, or the fact that —she is part of the majority race, incidentally—does not like it when we talk about our successes. Whatever the case, she and I think we’re getting a raw deal.
   Oh, did I mention that we have some major celebrities coming? And that this event is on the official Fashion Calendar?
   Perhaps I should not take this personally. A few days ago, I received an email from networker extraordinaire, and fellow immigrant, Arnnei Speiser. In it, he pastes a quote from John Veitch on how New Zealand online representation in business, according to one network he is on, has grown by a miniscule amount:
A friend in the USA compiled statistics on 250 new members of Ryze last month. New Zealand does not appear on his list (21 countries). Australia is fifth behind USA, India, UK and Malaysia. Canada was sixth.
The meaning? Business people are leaving the nation and not coming back.
   New Zealand has a all right, and it’s one that says are not welcome. It is a sad day when the country tells you that being successful in business is . As a Green Party MP might tell you, you get more people patting you on the back for smoking weed than for doing well. Until the nation begins changing its tune—and it’s not the regular New Zealander who has to, as Kiwis have been writing me with congratulatory messages—all the money in the world in its tourism campaigns won’t convince a soul in the din of dissatisfied expatriates who had to leave their homeland to realize their dreams. But maybe this is just what the establishment wants: more reliance on dole handouts to maintain power. It’s enough to make you become a conservative.
I am happy to announce that TV One did respond today, but its sole US correspondent is covering Katrina.  
On a related story, the online edition of the National Business Review has caught us—note I said online, where the on-the-ball Kiwi journo seems to dwell. More from NYC, I imagine. See y’all Stateside.  
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