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Labour buys into Buy NZ Made

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Labour has come out strongly in favour of the Buy New Zealand Made campaign, saying it is an ideal example of where a partnership between industry and government can and must work.

Industry development spokesperson Pete Hodgson said that the concept was under-promoted in New Zealand and that the lack of interest and support from the present Government symbolised their tiredness and lack of vision.

"The Buy New Zealand Made logo (a stylised kiwi within a triangle) is a highly recognised trademark that tells customers whether or not their spending choices are helping to create jobs, generate growth and improve our nation's balance of payments.

"But a lot more benefit would be gained if the Government got in behind the idea. Labour will. We have already announced our intentions to expand the Industry Supplies Office model and it makes good sense to explore the possibility of locating the Buy New Zealand Made campaign alongside.

"In our quest to improve our dismal balance of payments deficit we often overlook the role of import substitution. Imported products are often purchased ahead of locally made products simply because of a lack of awareness. The Industry Supplies Office has the modest function of putting public sector purchasers in touch with New Zealand manufacturers. The Buy New Zealand Made campaign is a successful marketing extension of that idea, which assists all New Zealanders to make informed expenditure choices.

"Neither programme is adequately resourced, and both have the potential to make a huge difference. The Industry Supplies Office has been able to measure the import substitution effect over recent years at over $100 million, for a taxpayer investment of less than $2 million. The Buy New Zealand Made campaign, if measured, would undoubtedly produce comparable results.

"As any test cricketer knows a run saved equals a run scored. Labour is committed to building a strong knowledge based economy with an ability to increase value added exports. Producing import substitutes has the same effect, and it is time we paid a fraction of the attention to that issue that most other western nations do."

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