Bendon closure body blow
"Bendon's decision to reduce its presence in this country with a view to perhaps leaving altogether is another shattering blow to National's economic credibility in the run-up to the election.
"So far we have had abysmal growth figures, a record trading deficit, and increases in mortgage rates. Now one of New Zealand's icon companies has announced major closures and job losses which may well signal the end of production in New Zealand after 52 years of business here.
"This is all part of a massive hollowing out of the New Zealand manufacturing sector which has occurred over the last two years. My colleague, Pete Hodgson, will be releasing more details on this tomorrow.
"Bendon today announced the closure of its Te Aroha factory with the loss of nearly 100 jobs. Its Te Rapa factory is up for sale and, if not sold, will be closed next March with the loss of a further 245 jobs.
"The East Tamaki plant loses 13 jobs today and a further 33 are at risk if the Te Rapa factory closes. That is nearly 400 jobs on the line.
"The lack of support for manufacturing by National, the rushed and one-sided reduction in tariffs and the lack of any certainty over exchange rate movements all have contributed to this further loss of manufacturing capacity.
"New Zealand cannot be just a warehouse and branch office economy. Yet National shows no sign of recognising how its extreme version of hands-off management is failing to produce the kind of growth and development we need," Dr Cullen said.