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Rodney Should Join 'Mayors Taskforce For Jobs'

Rodney Should Join 'Mayors Taskforce For Jobs' - Bradford

Green Party Employment spokesperson Sue Bradford today called on Rodney mayor John Law to join the 'Mayors taskforce for jobs', a network which stimulates greater collaboration between mayors on local employment initiatives.

"The taskforce was initiated by Christchurch mayor Garry Moore and is supported by more than 30 mayors from all over New Zealand. I am sure Rodney's mayor John Law, one of the best mayors our district has ever elected, will join them soon," Ms Bradford said.

Long term unemployment is escalating faster in Rodney than in most other places in New Zealand. The number in Rodney out of work for more than two years has increased by 58 percent in 18 months.

"The idea of the mayors taskforce is to generate public dialogue on employment issues, to recognize the importance of community economic development and community ownership, and to share 'best practise' in job and training programmes," she said.

"At a recent gathering in Christchurch, mayors set themselves the leadership challenge to help their communities to achieve two employment goals:
- by 2005, no young person under 25 will be out of work or training and
- by 2009, all people in our communities will have the opportunity to be in work or training.

"These are achievable goals. Rodney has a reputation of a leisure place for rich people, but it simply is not true. Poverty and unemployment are big problems for our district, and we should try to find a way to address them.

Ms Bradford asked in the House yesterday if the Minister of Social Services and Employment was aware of the high increase in long term unemployment in Rodney, and what steps he would take to address this urgently. She got a general answer that the 'Department of Work and Income regionalised and tailored its policies to specific areas such as Rodney'.

Ends


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