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High dollar kills more good Kiwi jobs

23 August 2013

High dollar kills more good Kiwi jobs

The National Government’s high dollar policy has killed another 180 high-wage, high-skill New Zealand jobs, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

It has been announced today that Air New Zealand has begun the process of making up to 180 maintenance staff redundant. The redundancies are being attributed to the maintenance unit losing out on international aircraft maintenance contracts due to the high dollar. This is the third round of jobs losses in the New Zealand aircraft maintenance industry due to the uncompetitive exchange rate. National ministers have regularly defended the high dollar.

“John Key needs to look these workers in the eye and tell them why he has done nothing to bring down the dollar and save their jobs,” said Dr Norman.

“New Zealand is losing too many high-skill, high-wage jobs because the over-valued exchange rate is making our businesses uncompetitive. These latest job losses are on top of to the 40,000 manufacturing jobs lost under National.

“Week after week, we’re seeing important Kiwi businesses that generate export income and provide good jobs close down or slash their workforces. It’s not sustainable. The heart of our economy is being cut out and replaced with housing speculation.

“We can stop the job losses. Our Manufacturing Inquiry developed a blueprint for better jobs and higher wages. We need to put in place policies that will halt the house price speculation which is keeping our interest rates at internationally high levels and driving up the dollar. We need government bodies to buy Kiwi-made whenever they can. And we need to back Kiwi manufacturers by investing in innovation and research.

“New Zealand can have high-wage, high-skill jobs like those at Air New Zealand. To have them, we need a government that’s committed to a fair exchange rate and committed to Kiwi manufacturing,” said Dr Norman.

ENDS

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