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Wood Producers the Losers From Budget Tariff Removal

Wood Producers the Losers From Budget Tariff Removal


New Zealand First says forestry businesses and sawmill workers will be the real losers from the Government’s removal of tariffs on imported building materials.

Spokesperson for Primary Industries Richard Prosser said the budget removal of tariffs is another nail in the coffin for New Zealand manufacturing and processing of primary commodities like timber.

“We have an entire city to rebuild in Christchurch, we have an outstanding earthquake-proof building material in wood, we have a well-developed forestry industry with a good processing infrastructure, and instead of utilising it, employing New Zealanders in the process, the Government decides to subsidise foreign cheap-labour producers of steel, cement, and plasterboard,” says Mr Prosser.

“Saving up to $3,500 on the cost of building a house by letting in cheap second-rate imports is dumb economics and it puts New Zealand firms out of business and New Zealand workers on the dole.

“We’re spending hard-earned foreign exchange on building materials for which in many cases we have good domestically produced alternatives,” said Mr Prosser. “Plywood, flooring board, laminated beams, framing timber, linear board – the list goes on.”

“Who is this Government working for – businesses and workers in New Zealand, or factory owners in Asia?

“Many timber industry businesses are struggling as it is, completely unnecessarily, and this latest ideologically driven piece of economic stupidity is a kick in the teeth for them.

“When we do have to nail the wood industry up in a box, it’ll be a box made from New Zealand timber, exported as a log, built in some foreign factory, and then shipped back again,” says Mr Prosser.

ENDS

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Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years.

“The people and parties we elect tomorrow will be making the decisions that affect us, our families and our communities,” says Robert Peden, Chief Electoral Officer. “It doesn’t get much more important than that, and we need all New Zealanders to use their voice and vote.”

Voting places will be open from 9.00am until 7.00pm on election day. The busiest time at voting places is usually 9.00am - 11.00am.

“Take your EasyVote card with you when you go to vote, as it will make voting faster and easier, and vote close to home if you can. But don’t worry if you forget your card, or didn’t receive one, because as long as you are enrolled to vote, your voice will be heard,” says Mr Peden. More>>

 

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