Mannkal Economic Education Foundation

Mannkal Student Internship Blog

Amy Thomasson – Wellington, it’s almost time to say goodbye… for now l Week 6

Amy Thomasson

20 February 2017

My penultimate week here in Wellington has been incredibly exciting, not in the least because I’ve been offered a job at The Initiative, starting after I finish my undergraduate degree in July.

This presents an incredible opportunity to immerse myself even more in all New Zealand has to offer, and I’m thanking my lucky stars that my parents had the good sense to apply for Australian citizenship all those years ago.

I think it’s safe to say that I have fallen in love with Wellington, and I could not wish for a better second home.

Island Bay

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Mannkal – had it not been for their belief in me, I would not have had the chance to prove myself, nor be so lucky as to have a full-time job straight out of university.

My work this week has primarily revolved around researching money laundering, supersonic flight and drones. Unfortunately, what all these topics have in common is cumbersome regulation.

Most notably, the primary reason supersonic flight development stopped dead in its tracks was government regulation – techno-phobic lobbying got the better of regulators and supersonic flight was prohibited in a knee-jerk reaction from government.

Similarly, regulation dictates that drones have to stay within the line of sight of operators in New Zealand, which stifles commercial innovation.

While in France and the UK, drones have been trialed for use by delivery services, developments in the technology are being stifled in New Zealand by excessively cautious rules.

The Government has also proposed anti-money laundering legislation that extends red tape from financial advisers to real estate agents, lawyers and accountants. While there’s little doubt that money laundering happens in white collar industries, many of them already have mechanisms in place to keep tabs on the practice.

This proposal would involve dual regulation, where the Department of Internal Affairs would also monitor these industries and ensure compliance with their own set of standards. For a government that is supposedly committed to less regulation, this seems a bit counterproductive.

Naturally, I had to visit Island Bay this weekend, solely to see whether it would be a feasible place to live upon my return to Wellington. While I enjoy living so central, there is something unmistakably charming about the surrounding suburbs – garage sales lining the sunny streets, churches offering $5 wood-fired pizzas and bakeries producing smells I thought were only possible in my dreams.

Island Bay locals selling their wares

My housemates and I also came fourth in a quiz night on Tuesday. We received free pizza and chicken wings for our efforts, which we devoured while watching Married At First Sight.

A night well spent, if you ask me. I also went to a comedy show that I won free tickets to on Thursday (it’s Fringe Festival over here) that I definitely would have been willing to pay for.

Selfie with one of my housemates before a Fringe Festival comedy show

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