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Maharey backs Mayors Taskforce for Jobs

06 April 2000

Maharey backs Mayors Taskforce for Jobs

The Minister of Social Services and Employment, Steve Maharey, today commended Mayors from across New Zealand attending the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs meeting in Christchurch for taking local political leadership on the jobs issue.

Over thirty Mayors are attending the Taskforce meeting which has been formed to provide a national focus for employment and community development initiatives taking place in local communities. Mr Maharey said that the new Government was committed to the development of an effective partnership between central and local government to address unemployment.

"Unemployment remains a top concern for many New Zealanders.

"For too long policy makers have told successive governments that there is a 'natural' underlying rate of unemployment. Labour and the Alliance reject this grim theory.

"The Mayors have told me that unemployment is the social justice issue of our times and I agree with them. Unemployment impacts disproportionately on particular regions, on Mäori, and on Pacific peoples, and on both the younger and older members of society.

"This Government has a clear focus on jobs. We are determined to close the gaps.

"The creation of new sustainable jobs is a commitment both parties made last year on the election trail. We are strongly committed to working closely with local government to identify opportunities for partnership around employment initiatives.

"In my opinion this will require us to re-examine the traditional roles of central and local government as we develop that partnership.

"I commend the Mayors for being proactive and seeking to find common purpose. I have sent them a message of support and promised them that, as the new Minister of Employment, they can expect the Government's full support as we tackle unemployment together," Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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