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141 More Jobs Lost Because Of Failed Policies

Hon Jim Anderton
Deputy Prime Minister

News release

4 February 2000

Another 141 jobs lost because of failed policies of National

The overseas sale of Coats Spencers' knitting yarn business with the loss of 141 permanent jobs in its Mosgiel plant will be a devastating blow to a region that is already under pressure, Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton said today.

As Minister of Economic Development and Minister of Industry and Regional Development, Mr Anderton will visit Otago next week and discuss not only this closure, but also future development prospects and initiatives with business, union and local government leaders.

"Any loss of jobs is a blow to individuals, families and local communities. The loss of jobs in regional areas is also a blow to the whole economy, because when regions are weak, the economy as a whole is weak.

"These jobs have effectively been lost overseas. This is yet another example of the urgent need for the rapid transformation of New Zealand's economy and an economic framework that provides investment and support for employment and industry.

"The previous government took the view that the textile industry was finished and simply ignored the consequences. It actively undermined the industry through the rapid removal of tariffs and a totally unsupportive business environment. When a country unilaterally dismantles tariffs, it loses industries and jobs, which is why most other developed countries have not tried to copy New Zealand's failed experiment.

"Unlike the last Government, I do not take the view that the textile industry is finished. I'm in contact with textile industry figures who are working with this government on an exciting, high-tech, job-rich future for the industry.

"I am determined that the industry and enterprise base of New Zealand will be broadened and I am committed to strengthening the development of regions that are currently in decline.

"The Government cannot perform instant miracles to transform New Zealand's industrial base, but I am giving my best shot to the rapid implementation of far-reaching economic, industry and regional development initiatives. The Labour-Alliance Government will have its industry and regional development framework in place within a few weeks and begin the reconstruction of New Zealand's economic base," Jim Anderton said.

ends

Further comment: John Pagani 025 570 872 (04) 471 9172

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