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High Kiwi dollar not working for NZ manufacturing

24 January 2006

High Kiwi dollar not working for NZ manufacturing

The Government must act quickly to prevent an unemployment crisis in the manufacturing sector after news that more that more than 150 people would lose their jobs thanks to a high Kiwi dollar, the Green Party says.

Industrial Relations Spokesperson Sue Bradford says she fears the situation will only get worse if something is not done immediately.

"With the New Zealand dollar sitting at around 69 cents US for so long now it is not surprising that overseas importers are turning away from this country and looking elsewhere for cheaper options.

"The crisis for local manufacturers is being made even worse with the Government's open-armed attitude to free trade agreements with all and sundry, that is making it increasingly hard for New Zealand businesses to compete," Ms Bradford says.

"The redundancies at Jack Links New Zealand and GL Bowron highlight the need for the Buy Kiwi-Made programme that the Government agreed to in its post election negotiations with the Greens," she says.

"To preserve our manufacturing businesses we need to reduce the New Zealand dollar, rethink our stance on free trade and strengthen the local market, through the planned Buy Kiwi-Made programme."

Ms Bradford says the redundancies in these two companies are particularly concerning as they are both processors of primary products.

"These are the value-added businesses that the Government says it wants to encourage and retain in this country."

ENDS

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