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"Are votes more important than jobs?"

"Are votes more important than jobs?"

Wellington students were concerned last week at Labour deputy-leader Michael Cullen's flippant attitude towards employment. At a public meeting, local student and Young National Brendan Pallesen raised concerns over job losses on the West Coast with Dr Cullen but was fobbed off with the line "It's only 100 jobs".

"If this is Labour's attitude towards jobs for New Zealanders, then many other regions should start worrying about the possibility of a Labour government," said Mr Pallesen. "Where else will Labour be willing to sacrifice jobs in order to grab a few votes?"

Dr Cullen's figure of 100 jobs was also well off the mark, according to Mr Pallesen. "It's actually 200 jobs that will be lost, plus another 200 potential jobs from new forestry operations. And it's been estimated that up to 4,000 jobs could be lost throughout the furniture manufacturing industry."

"Nobody wants to see our environment destroyed. But if the logging is sustainable, and the forests will regrow, then the West Coast should be able to earn an honest living. Dr Cullen knows this, but their policy is about cynical politicking rather than reason and logic."

Mr Pallesen said that Dr Cullen has revealed his true attitude towards the West Coast this week. "When I asked him about the West Coast being the birthplace of the Labour party, he simply sneered that 'the world is very different now from 1916 and the people of the West Coast have to realise that'".

ENDS

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