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Labour’s manufacturing policy a good contribution

Labour’s manufacturing policy a good contribution

ManufacturingNZ Executive Director Catherine Beard says Kiwi manufacturers will welcome some of the ideas in Labour’s manufacturing policy announced today, however some areas need more work.

“We’re pleased Labour has picked up on some of the recommendations in our recently released Castalia report: New Zealand Manufacturing Sector: Its Dynamics and Competitiveness.

“In particular, there are big opportunities to build bigger and more internationally competitive companies by involving them in larger domestic projects through Government procurement. This requires whole-of-life value to be factored in, instead of just focusing on the lowest price with little regard to quality.

“A continued focus on R&D is welcome. In comparing tax credits with the current system, we do see advantages with the Callaghan Innovation approach. An advantage we are anticipating with the Callaghan Innovation grants programme is encouraging a better R&D ecosystem by getting CRIs and universities working more closely with business. It is important to stay the course with these sorts of policies.

“While accelerated depreciation might be welcomed by some manufacturers, our preference is for tax reform across the board to make our businesses competitive internationally.

“While manufacturers would like a lower Kiwi dollar, we are cautious about any change in the mandate of the Reserve Bank. There are other things that can help take the pressure off the dollar, such as reducing debt and increasing savings.

“Regarding the forestry and wood products industry package, we would prefer Government policies that did not negatively impact on other sectors when it comes to things like building materials. A level playing field is required so as not to distort investment decisions.

“Addressing the skills shortage is definitely something manufacturers would like to see, so we would like to see Labour’s policy on this. Manufacturers tell us that talent driven innovation is their number one competitive advantage.”

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