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Northland's Unemployment Rate up To 13%

Following WINZ predictions this week that more Northlanders would be without jobs, yesterday's Household Labour Force Survey shows a worrying jump in the region's unemployment rate up from 11.7% to 13.1%.

ACT Social Welfare Spokesman and Whangarei based MP Dr Muriel Newman said Northland's unemployment was now almost double the national unemployment rate of 7%.

"To get more of our people in Northland the jobs they need has to be the top priority for our region.

"One of the biggest barriers to jobs here is high tax, Government red tape and bureaucracy that is stopping our local businesses from hiring more staff.

"One of the worst examples is that of a Northland entrepreneur who is wants to hire 100 staff to start up an ostrich and emu processing business. He has been held up for 18 months waiting for an Environment Court hearing to give him a resource consent to operate an already existing processing plant. That is the kind of nonsense that is costing the people of Northland the jobs they need.

"The mess of regulations and laws has made hiring new employees a nightmare for employers.

"What we need are real jobs for Northlanders. We have to get Government off the backs of our local businesses and keep more of the money we earn here to create jobs and opportunities in our region," said Muriel Newman.

ENDS

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