National fails to act as more manufacturing jobs lost
25 October 2013
National fails to act as more manufacturing jobs lost to the high dollar
The closure of Tachikawa Forest Products in Rotorua with the loss of 120 jobs is another example of manufacturers losing their jobs because of the high dollar while the current National Government does nothing, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.
The announcement of the job losses today follows on the back of Statistics New Zealand figures released yesterday that show manufactured exports have reached a seven year low as the dollar trades at near record heights. Manufactured exports have fallen by 10% in the past year and 20% under the National Government, in inflation-adjusted terms.
“More good, sustainable manufacturing jobs have been lost while National obsesses over its failed asset sales and oil pipedreams,” said Dr Norman.
“We need more jobs like the 120 that have been lost today in Rotorua. They provide good, well-paid employment in our regions, and make sustainable use of our country’s resources.
“If New Zealand is to be a prosperous country, we need to be adding value to our exports – making timber products rather than shipping out whole logs. Under National, the opposite is happening. Sawmills are closing and exports of processed wood products have fallen 10% in real terms, while exports of raw logs are up.
“The high dollar killed these jobs, just as it has killed off tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs on National’s watch.
“The National Government is fixated on its failed asset sales programme and its oil pipedreams, and is ignoring the crisis in manufacturing while real Kiwi workers are losing their jobs. Just this week, Bill English brushed the crisis at Tachikawa aside and claimed that the jobs weren’t in danger.
“Our Manufacturing Inquiry Report lays out a set of practical, proven steps to support manufacturing. Top of the list is policies to lower the exchange rate, having the government buy Kiwi-made whenever possible, and investing in research and development,” said Dr Norman.