Manufacturers and exporters need a smart, active government willing to make the changes needed to create better jobs and higher wages, say Labour Leader David Shearer and Finance spokesperson David Parker.
“We need a-hands on government that’s willing to put Kiwi manufacturers first. A job in manufacturing creates between two and five jobs elsewhere in the economy,” says David Shearer.
“They tend to be high value, highly paid jobs that will keep New Zealanders here rather than going to Australia.
“Business owners, workers and political parties have today formed a new consensus on the future of Kiwi manufacturing.
“We need a thriving and high-tech manufacturing sector that makes and sells products the world wants. New Zealand can’t prosper on the back of our primary sector alone.
“Countries around the world are making sure their exporters and manufacturers have an advantage. We aren’t. John Key’s message to Kiwi business is: you’re on your own.
“John Key is in denial on the problems facing manufacturing. Over 17,000 jobs were lost last year in manufacturing. That needs to change.
“This report lays out a detailed blueprint for better jobs and higher wages. The three major recommendations will tackle our overvalued and volatile dollar, encourage innovation through a better tax system, and create a level-playing field for Kiwi companies’ access to Government procurement.
“Manufacturing needs a new approach. This report and the new consensus it represents is the start of that,” says David Shearer.
David Parker says “Manufacturers are doing all they can do. Working hard. Taking risks. Innovating. But they aren’t getting a break. The Government isn’t listening.
“That’s because National doesn’t get it. Since 2008 manufacturing exports that didn’t come from the primary sector have fallen by 17 per cent.
“Under John Key’s policies New Zealand has the largest current account deficit in the developed world because we don’t earn enough from our exports to pay for our imports,” says David Parker.
17 June 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT