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Head in the sand is not “OK”

Canterbury Manufacturers’ Association (CMA)
Media Release 12 October 2007.

Head in the sand is not “OK”.

The Canterbury Manufacturers’ Association (CMA) says that recent comments around this month’s ‘Mainland Monitor’ demonstrate that few commentators understand or have the appropriate empathy with the problems facing Canterbury’s manufacturers and exporters.

“The comments that accompanied the publication of ‘Mainland Monitor’ illustrate that some organisations are driving their heads into the sand and are content to say that “things are ok for some and we hope that things improve soon for the others”. This is probably all we can expect from those with a constituency that is overwhelmingly focused on the domestic economy. When nine estate agents say they have never had it so good as opposed to one suffering exporter, it is clear where their interests lie”, says Chief Executive John Walley.

“The emergence of two economies in New Zealand has spawned two modes of thinking. The first grouping either cannot afford to speak out against Government policy or have divided loyalties that mute all comments. The other grouping recognises that there is a clear and present danger to exporters and that activity will continue to be driven offshore, unless Government policy changes”.

Mr. Walley says that the domestic sectors are strong at present, buoyed by high dairy payouts, high infrastructure spending and immigration effects, yet the CMA’s research shows that business conditions are tough for Canterbury’s manufacturers and exporters, due largely to the strong NZ dollar, competitive China price pulled down by the US$ and inadequate policy settings”.

“If more organisations properly understood or cared for the needs and situation of our manufacturers and exporters then they would have been lobbying Wellington to change monetary policy, not promoting the “we are going OK, no change necessary” complacency”.

“They would have been calling on the Government to provide leadership, external stability, lower interest rates and support for productive activity, instead of calling for more money to be wasted on schemes such as Manufacturing+ and oxymoronic ‘Export Year 07’”.

“The “don’t worry, be happy” message will see the formation of one economy when all our manufacturers and exporters either fall or move offshore. Messages and policies need substance, not just happy words”.

CMA – making things better for people who make things.


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