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The straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Media Release, 21 April 2008.

The straw that breaks the camel’s back.

The New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA), says that the debate over the particular reasons as to why companies such as Fisher and Paykel are moving production and jobs out of New Zealand is a “side show”.

“Fisher and Paykel’s decision was made long before the Free Trade Agreement was signed. Therefore, any debate about compliance costs, the exchange rates, import prices, and the FTA is much like claiming the last straw alone broke the camel’s back - diverting, but not much help”, says Chief Executive John Walley.

“The free trade deal may have been the final straw for F&P, but there is no point in arguing or scoring political cheap shots over this or that reason. It is the cumulative failure of policy and the impact of all factors that is driving our firms’ offshore and making New Zealand an increasingly uncompetitive place to be productive”.

“Some of our companies will relocate outside of New Zealand because they have no choice if they want to remain competitive. Policy settings can accelerate, slow or even stop the process. Arguments that it is inevitable for all the “dirty bits” to go offshore is a self fulfilling prophesy. If we do our best and they have to go, so be it, but if we fail to even try, we will lose good productive activity that could have stayed here supporting complex supply chains and vitally, future opportunities”.

“However, if we don’t try to reduce the burden, safe in the knowledge that we can’t do anything anyway and that somehow the weightless economy will save us, all we can expect is more of the same”.

“Our exports will simplify. Our scope for returns to knowledge will fall and we must all learn to get by on less”, says Mr. Walley.

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


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