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Government procurement completely failing Kiwi jobs

Media release: FIRST Union
Thursday September 6, 2012

Government procurement completely failing Kiwi jobs

As the unemployment crisis continues to bite, the government’s just-released procurement principles are a complete let down to workers in local industries.

The government has today published their 5 new principles for procurement. It contains only one line commenting on New Zealand suppliers, and only that they have a fair opportunity to compete.

“Government has significant purchasing power with the potential to support local industry,” Robert Reid, FIRST Union General Secretary said.

“Yet the very week we are debating the jobs crisis spreading across New Zealand, we have the government’s own Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment putting out documents that totally fail local workers and manufacturers.”

“Procurement was raised as one of the top 20 issues at the Prime Minister’s job summit in early 2009.”

“But despite all John Key’s talk, the working group on procurement met only once over teleconference, and was never convened again.”

“Today’s release shows that the procurement agenda has been completely twisted away from jobs, and into saving a few dollars for the government.”

Robert Reid said that hiding behind international trade commitment rules was a cop out.

“Our competitors do much better on procurement. The United States requires its solders to be kitted out in American made uniforms and Australian infrastructure projects often have a minimum local content provision.”

The loss of over 40 jobs from KiwiRail in Dunedin is one very high profile example of local workers being let down by government procurement, but likewise other industries, such as clothing and textiles, and wood processing, enjoy no support from government, Robert Reid said.


The National Distribution Union and Finsec joined forces in October 2011 to form New Zealand’s newest union – FIRST. The union represents over 27,000 people working in Finance, Industrial (Textile and Wood) Retail, Stores & Transport. http://firstunion.org.nz

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