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Low Wage Labour Imports? No Thanks

Media Release

4 October 2006

Low Wage Labour Imports? No Thanks

China’s call for New Zealand to open its labour market to Chinese workers as a condition of a proposed free trade deal is of serious concern to New Zealand First, says Deputy Leader Peter Brown.

“New Zealand First has long warned against moves to allow mass labour movements as part of trade agreements with low wage economies,” said Mr Brown.

“Our party was founded on a principle that immigration is not to be used as an excuse for our failure to train, skill, and employ our own people and we will not be moved on that principle.

“A FTA with China would put most of our remaining 300,000 manufacturing jobs at risk. This danger exists even without taking into consideration any moves to include any trade of labour in the agreement.

“If the Government does allow extra workers in, it must ensure that there is a clear benefit to the New Zealand economy, and that they address labour shortages unable to be filled by New Zealanders only until such time that we are able to fill these gaps with our own people.

“We will be watching any moves to open our labour market to Chinese workers closely. Any proposal to import labour other than to fix genuine long term shortages will be greeted with fervent opposition from New Zealand First,” said Mr Brown.


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