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'Buy Kiwi Made' antidote to trade deficit

28 October 2005

'Buy Kiwi Made' antidote to disastrous trade deficit

The Green Party is urging New Zealanders to 'Buy Kiwi Made' instead of imported goods in the light of today's record September-year $5.8 billion trade deficit.

Trade figures released by Statistics NZ show a September monthly deficit of $992 million, a quarterly deficit of $2,725 million and an annual deficit of $5,798 million. The September deficit was the sixteenth consecutive monthly deficit in a row.

"Today's record trade deficit highlights why it is time for Kiwis to take the economy into our own hands," Green Co-Leader Rod Donald says. "The best antidote for our trade woes is for Kiwis to buy locally made goods and services, instead of imported products.

"Next time you go shopping, look at the label to see where that product was made. Often there's no difference in price between Kiwi-made goods and imports, but there's a real difference in value between the two: locally made products keep New Zealanders in jobs and helps our trade deficit down, imports do the opposite.

"Even if a locally made product is a bit dearer, it pays to remember that the cheapest price is not always the best deal."

Mr Donald is working with the new Government to launch a Buy Kiwi Made program. The campaign will build awareness of the employment, economic, environmental and social benefits of buying locally produced goods and services.

"It is time we showed the same loyalty to Kiwi-made products as we display towards the All Blacks, the Black Caps and the Silver Ferns.

"The increase in the level of 'consumption goods' revealed in the Statistics NZ figures highlights both the extent of the problem we face and the power Kiwi consumers have to solve it. 'Consumption goods' - products we consume directly - account for $8,949 million of our import bill. We used to make many of these goods ourselves; by importing them we are exacerbating the trade deficit and effectively exporting jobs.

"In the last four years alone, imports of consumption goods have increased by $1,199 million, which according to Ministry of Economic Development figures represents over 14,000 full-time jobs that we have lost from our economy and society."

Mr Donald says he doesn't want to make more life more complicated than it already is, but is urging Kiwi consumers to realise that shopping is a political act.

ENDS

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