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Creative solutions needed for Putaruru crisis

Creative solutions needed for Putaruru crisis – Tariana Turia

MP for Te Tai Hauauru 15 October 2008

The government must look at options for helping to support the Carter Holt Harvey mill in Putaruru, to avoid the loss of another 200 jobs, says Maori Party MP for Te Tai Hauauru, Tariana Turia.

"This comes on the back of the Kinleith planer mill closure in Tokoroa last month and the closure of Coromandel's Kopu mill in May, and we know there are more mill closures to come", said Mrs Turia.

“If the government can save jobs in Air New Zealand, bail out the Bank of New Zealand, buy back the rail and guarantee investments in finance companies and banks, why can't they help to save 200 jobs in the Carter Holt mill in Putaruru?" she asked.

“Conventional thinking is that governments do not intervene in free markets. But we are living in turbulent times, which call into question conventional economics. The near collapse of global markets and banking systems has shown that markets do not always serve the interests of the people.

“The situation in Putaruru gives this government the ideal opportunity to show its commitment to workers by working with the local District Council and other community partners, to harness the expertise and skills which exist at the mill to ensure its continuation," said Mrs Turia.

“If the hard line free market disciples in the United States can swallow State ownership of Banks to save jobs, and the United Kingdom's Labour government can lead the whole of Europe and Japan to do likewise, why can't this Labour government do the same?”

“Now is the time to get creative. The government is already talking of bringing forward infrastructure work to cushion the effects of a downturn in jobs and investments.

"The Maori party is committed to adding value to wood products here in Aotearoa. Closing mills is not a good option, but sharing ownership of a mill between central government, local government and the workers would be something worthy of consideration,” said Mrs Turia.

“Is this government brave enough to give this a go in Putaruru?"


ENDS

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