Back to low-cost, low-value under Bash-Act-NZ1st
Back to low-cost, low-value under Bash-Act-NZ First-United
It’ll be back to the days of low-cost, low-skill, low-value commodity exports and a declining standard of living if United and NZ First help Don Brash and Act to form a government after the next election, Labour’s long-term coalition partner, the Progressive Party, says.
Progressive leader and Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton told the opening of the Metaform exhibition at the Dowse gallery in Lower Hutt that if New Zealand wants to lift our living standard up to the levels of other developed countries, we must have design led manufacturing excellence.
“The United States exported in the Year 2000 the same weight of goods that it exported in the year 1900. Yet the value of its exports increased several hundred fold. Selling more of the same did not make the difference. The difference was the value of creativity and design,” Jim Anderton said.
But Jim Anderton is warning that both NZ First and United continue to offer support for a Brash-Act government.
“Those four parties have a lot of trouble working together, but they all agree on policies that will slash high-skill, high-value jobs. None of the centre-right parties are committed to industry development, skills training and regional partnerships – all of which are lifting the potential of the New Zealand economy. A Brash-Act government supported by United and NZ First will take us back to the no-growth nineties.
“But we have a great deal to celebrate in New Zealand and we shouldn’t go back. Our economy was one of the fastest growing in the developed world over the last four years. This week, unemployment dropped to 4.4 per cent of the workforce. Unemployment is lower than it has been since 1987. We have 61-thousand more jobs than a year ago.
"New Zealand has experienced sixteen consecutive quarters of employment growth. The Pakeha unemployment rate is 3.3 per cent.
"The Pacific rate is 6.6 per cent and the Maori rate is under double figures at 9.7 per cent for the first time in nearly two decades. The government accounts are in surplus. We shouldn’t go back with Dr Brash,” said Jim Anderton.