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Rakon jobs underline manufacturing troubles

Spokesperson for Economic Development

6 November 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Rakon jobs underline manufacturing troubles

The problems facing manufacturing have been laid bare by the loss of 60 jobs at high-tech manufacturer Rakon, while the whole sector lost 5,700 jobs in the past year, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.

“Rakon is one of New Zealand’s better companies, and a leading light in innovation and high-tech manufacturing. We need companies like Rakon to be able to innovate and grow and employ more highly-skilled workers in New Zealand. That isn’t happening under National.

“The manufacturing sector has lost 5,700 filled jobs in the past year. That’s a massive blow. We need those good jobs for New Zealanders.

“Good jobs that create products that sell for a good profit overseas help Kiwis earn better wages.

“Rakon laying off 60 people should send a strong signal to the Government but they won’t listen. While it is a decision for Rakon to make, New Zealand needs high-tech companies to be able to innovate, manufacture and export from here.

“That needs Government to work hard as a partner that supports manufacturing and high-value exports.

“Labour has the bold, innovative ideas needed for a new economy. Labour’s research and development tax credits would be a direct advantage to Rakon and other companies in the sector. We are also considering an accelerated depreciation allowance to support investment in new technology.

“We will increase local capital available for investment through universal KiwiSaver and make sure that money can be invested in productive companies like Rakon.
“We will also take action by reforming the Reserve Bank Act to ensure our dollar, which is one of the most overvalued in the world, is more competitive.

“We will be working actively with the high-tech sector to develop solutions to allow them to grow and flourish in New Zealand, creating more good jobs and reducing our external deficit.”

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