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“The Greatest Trick”.

MEA Media Release, Friday 8 February 2008.

“The Greatest Trick”.

The New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association, (MEA), says that Michael Cullen’s claim that it is the responsibility of employers and by inference nothing to do with Government, to close the wage gap with Australia and increase investment to lift productivity, is more about politics than practical management of our economy.

“Existing policy settings have created two economies, the largest spread between inflation rates and interest rates in the developed world, and an exchange rate that is laying waste to our external sector pushing business and people out of New Zealand. Unfortunately, the response from the Government is a choice between; “it’s not our fault” or “there is nothing we can do”, says Chief Executive John Walley.

Mr. Walley says to pay higher wages, companies need more margin but costs are increasing across the board and returns for exporters have been decimated and margins are small to non existent.

“Business models are changing, not because people want to change them, but because the pressures are there. There is sufficiency buoyancy in the job market associated with the domestic economy at present to keep people in some sort of work, but highly productive jobs are leaving, highly productive people are leaving and productive investment is falling away. Playing politics, as opposed to changing policy, might work for a while but for how long?”

“With 2008 being an election year, our representatives in Wellington need to show leadership and be prepared to grasp the nettle and deal with the issue that monetary policy is failing our export sector and ultimately everyone. When you run out of ideas in politics the only solution is to convince most of us that nothing can be done or that someone else is to blame.”

MEA – the authentic and independent voice for manufacturers and exporters.


The New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (MEA) is a national organisation that was founded by the Canterbury Manufacturers Association (CMA) and the New Zealand Engineers Federation (NZEF). The MEA is New Zealand's only sector focused and independent voice of manufacturers and exporters. MEA members make nearly $2.0 billion in sales and have an export value of around $1.0 billion. Our organisation can trace its beginning to the early history of New Zealand.

As a legacy of the hard work and careful financial management of the past, we have a significant asset base that enables our independence and extends our activity. Subscriptions fund only a small part of our current operating costs.

Membership is open to all manufacturers and exporters and others at the discretion of our Council. Enquiries should be directed to mea@mea.org.nz

ENDS


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