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Greens push Labour on Kiwi-made campaign

12 September 2005

Greens push Labour on Kiwi-made campaign

A 'buy Kiwi-made' campaign to promote local business is the key part of the Green Party's Green Solution number three, announced by Co-Leader Rod Donald.

The central thrust of the campaign is a $15 million funding package to promote Kiwi-made products and services to Kiwi customers.

"New Zealanders are devoted to the All Blacks the Silver Ferns and other national sporting teams. We want to foster the same loyalty towards New Zealand businesses and the people who work in them. "Australians have a strong sense of identity and strongly backed local products, New Zealanders could learn a lot from them. What is needed is a change in mindset so that people understood the cheapest prices are not always the best value. As well, buying Kiwi-made keeps our families, friends and neighbours in work."

Mr Donald said details of the specific details of the campaign was a matter for negotiation with Labour after the election. Finance Minister Michael Cullen has already agreed in principle to the programme.

"For this awareness-raising programme to work we also need country of origin labelling on products so that Kiwis can easily identify local goods.

The Greens also wanted to ensure that Government procurement supported local manufacturers as much as possible, within the constraints of Closer Economic Relationship with Australia and the Singapore Closer Economic Partnership.

"The Greens want the Government to undertake an import/export audit, which would look at everything we import to see whether it could be made here and also examine everything we export to see if value could be added through further processing.

"Once we've identified which goods we should be making for ourselves we can then help to make that possible, whether by finding venture capital, importing expertise and training kiwis or investing in new technology.

"As Auckland University economist Tim Hazeldine says, 'imports may be the spice of life, but not the meat and potatoes of a healthy national diet'," Mr Donald says.

ENDS

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