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NZ Companies Beware Warns Peters

08 February 2005

NZ Companies Beware Warns Peters

Rt Hon Winston Peters says the Government’s obsession with a free trade deal with China will eventually destroy a large part of New Zealand’s manufacturing.

Mr Peters comments follow this morning’s announcement of the closure of Wellington’s manufacturing company ASSA ALBOY New Zealand (formerly Interlock Group) as a result of competition from China. Two hundred jobs will be lost.

“The huge source of cheap, unrestricted labour in China is stripping New Zealanders of their manufacturing jobs,” said Mr Peters.

“Chinese manufacturers have been putting pressure on many local companies for some time, and as a result, manufacturing and distribution businesses are suffering. The pattern is being repeated right around New Zealand.

“Last year 60 staff at Invensys Appliance Controls in Mount Manganui lost their jobs when the company moved its manufacturing base to China because it could employ 18 Chinese labourers for the price of one Western Bay worker.

“New Zealand workers with skill and enterprise are being eliminated either by exporting factories and jobs overseas and hiring foreign workers there, or by keeping the business here but bringing in foreign workers instead of employing New Zealanders.

“Now, we are facing the reality of an increasing amount of business restructuring and staff cuts as pressure is placed on New Zealand companies to compete without a shred of Government help in a global market where there are no rules.

“If this continues, globalisation will soon become a dirty word for many New Zealanders,” concluded Mr Peters.

ENDS

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