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Firms Say ‘No’ to Govt Money for Offshore Productn

News Release
21 February 2008

Kiwi Firms Say ‘No’ to Government Money for Offshore Production

The majority of New Zealand businesses are not happy with the Government providing money to companies which can then use the assistance to expand their offshore manufacturing.

Some 54% of those questioned in the latest Grant Thornton International Business Report survey, either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the Government stance on this issue. Only 30.7% agreed or strongly agreed with the idea (the remaining 15.3% sat on the fence).

The biggest reaction came from those in the “strongly disagree” bracket (28.7%) with those in the “disagree” camp not far behind (25.3%).

Grant Thornton New Zealand spokesman Peter Sherwin said the outcome was not a major surprise, but was somewhat more conclusive than expected.

“There is obviously a strong underlying feeling that New Zealand goods should be New Zealand made if the Government is going to provide any assistance,” he said. “This sentiment may have even been heightened by the Government’s own Buy Kiwi Made campaign.”

Other results from New Zealand-specific questions in the survey showed a small majority (52%) of firms felt the fluctuating Kiwi dollar was having either a negative impact or strong negative impact on their business. Of the remainder, 36% said it had no impact, with 12 saying it had a positive, or strong positive impact.

“Those with no impact were chiefly in the categories not affected by exports or imports,” said Mr Sherwin.

Asked what impact the New Zealand Greenhouse Emissions Trading Scheme would have on their business, 63.6% of company owners said it would have either no impact (45.3%) or a positive impact. Another 38% said it was a negative impact or strong negative impact, while 8.7% declared they did not understand the scheme.

ENDS

About the IBR
The International Business Report surveyed more than 7,500 owners of medium sized businesses in 34 countries. In New Zealand, Consumer Link surveyed 150 businesses. For the purposes of the IBR survey, a medium-sized business in New Zealand was seen as employing between 10 and 149 people. The research was conducted by Experian Business Strategies Limited and Harris Interactive. All figures were correct at time of going to press. To find out more about IBR and to obtain details of IBR reports and results please visit www.internationalbusinessreport.com.

About Grant Thornton International
Grant Thornton International is one of the world's leading organisations of independently owned and managed accounting and consulting firms providing assurance, tax and specialist business advice to privately held businesses and public interest entities. The strength of each local firm is reflected in the quality of the international organisation. All Grant Thornton International member firms share a commitment to providing the same high quality service to their clients wherever they choose to do business.

About Grant Thornton in New Zealand
In New Zealand, Grant Thornton has independent firms in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington. From market-leading services for the owners of private businesses, to audit, to insolvency and capital markets services for corporations, and to innovative taxation and wealth management services for individuals, Grant Thornton in New Zealand helps business owners achieve success and realise their ambitions.

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