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Conspicuous gaps in Job Summit list: Greens

24 February 2009

Conspicuous gaps in Job Summit list: Greens

The just released Jobs Summit attendance list contains glaring gaps, said the Green Party.

There is very little sign of anyone with frontline experience in grassroots community economic development or the creation of Green jobs, Employment Spokesperson Sue Bradford said.

"While it's good to see key people from unions, Maori roopu and a few Pasifika people on this list, participants who actually have experience of creating jobs from a community base are conspicuous by their absence.

"During the last period of high unemployment in the 1980s and 1990s, some of us developed a lot of experience at building organisations and creating jobs from the bottom up - my own experience with helping to set up and run the three Auckland Peoples Centres was one example of this," Ms Bradford said.

"I don't see anyone with this kind of background in social, environmental, and/or energy job creation on the current list.

"Nor is there any participation from unemployed and beneficiary groups, the very people most affected by unemployment.

"Even Labour in the 80s felt the need to include unemployed representatives at its Economic and Employment Summits.

"National clearly doesn't want anyone from the great unwashed in the room with 11 Cabinet Ministers and selected members of the Business Round Table.

"I fear that the Employment Summit - and the Government - will risk simply looking to the old, failed solutions of the past, unless they are willing to learn from the hard-won experience of our recent history and to hear the voices of those most directly affected.

"The Green Party will continue to do all we can to offer constructive solutions on job retention and job creation within the framework of a Green New Deal.

"Meanwhile, we sincerely hope that the Jobs Summit this Friday will be more than just a flash in the pan PR exercise revisiting the failed solutions of the past."

ends

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