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CTU Spin Out Of Control

6 July 2004 PR 143/04
CTU Spin Out Of Control

The Council of Trade Unions should do its research before making negative claims that insult the integrity of groups doing good work advocating for business, said Charlie Pedersen, Vice President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

Mr Pedersen was responding to a bizarre press statement from Council of Trade Unions Economist Peter Conway.

In the statement, Mr Conway said new research showed lobby groups have used misleading data to exaggerate the importance of the small business sector to try to influence government policy on employment law and other issues.

Mr Pedersen said that Mr Conway may be an economist, but in this instance he either hasn't read the research or is twisting the facts to fit the CTU's spin machine.

"First, Mr Conway provides no evidence to support his outrageous slur on business lobby groups.

"Second, it may shock Mr Conway to learn that the new research he is referring to does not include farming -- which represents seven percent of the New Zealand economy and employs tens of thousands of people," Mr Pedersen said.

Downstream processing of farmed goods accounts for a further 10 percentage points of the economy.

"The CTU should be ashamed for taking cheap political potshots using a worthy report into firm dynamics," Mr Pedersen. "Researchers Duncan Mills from Treasury and Jason Timmins from Motu are owed an apology.

"The CTU is the only group here trying to mislead, and it is disappointing for the report's authors that their good names have been sullied by the CTU.

"Federated Farmers will always go in to bat for small business -- the vast majority of farms are owner-operated or employ only a few people -- but it won’t do so using misleading statistics," Mr Pedersen said.

"Small firms are the powerhouse of the New Zealand economy. They should be nurtured in a fair regulatory environment so that the best can grow into big firms."

ENDS

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