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Time for National to wake up to the crisis in manufacturing

6 November 2012

Time for National to wake up to the crisis in manufacturing

The latest dire jobs numbers mean the National Government can no longer ignore the crisis in manufacturing arising from its failed economic management, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

The number of filled jobs in manufacturing has fallen to the lowest in at least 23 years in the latest Quarterly Employment Survey. There were 185,200 manufacturing jobs in the September quarter, down 5,700 on a year ago and the lowest number since the Quarterly Employment Survey began in 1989.

“The number of jobs in manufacturing has fallen to a record low; National needs to wake up to the crisis in manufacturing,” said Dr Norman.

“This country’s manufacturing capability is rapidly disappearing in the face of the high dollar and National’s failed economic agenda. Exporters and import-competing manufacturers cannot survive in New Zealand under these conditions.

“The loss of another 60 high-skill, high-wage jobs as Rakon moves its production to China and India is another blow to the New Zealand economy. It is hi-tech manufacturing jobs like these that New Zealand needs to pay its way in the world and lift its standard of living.

“We cannot go on losing manufacturers and the well-paid jobs that they create overseas. If we do, we will become more indebted and poorer, and our assets will be sold offshore as we try to fund our extraordinarily large current account deficit.

“New Zealand needs bold policies to tackle the over-valued exchange rate, boost manufacturing, and get New Zealand working again.

“That is why the Greens have proposed a monetary policy package to get the dollar down to a fair level, and why we have joined with other parties in launching the Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.

“We can save manufacturing and get New Zealand working again, but not with National’s failed economic policies,” said Dr Norman.

ends

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