Manufacturing is vital to building a prosperous future for New Zealand and reducing the flood of young people to Australia. But manufacturing is in trouble. Over the past four years, 40,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost and over a thousand manufacturing companies have closed their doors. This is a crisis that is leading to more unemployment, lower export earnings, increased dependency on imports, higher international debt, and, ultimately, a poorer New Zealand.
The Labour Party, the Green Party, New Zealand First ,and Mana are holding a Parliamentary inquiry into the crisis in manufacturing following National Party MPs recent blocking a motion for a select committee inquiry. The parties agree that real change is needed to protect and grow manufacturing in New Zealand, and that the current National Government has failed to provide any leadership on this issue.
Unlike National, the parties are not prepared to stand by while 40,000 manufacturing jobs are lost and pretend that nothing is wrong.
“The crisis in manufacturing is hammering communities from South Auckland to Bluff, from Kawerau to Greymouth. The future of our country depends on a modern manufacturing sector that creates better jobs and higher wages to keep Kiwis in New Zealand. It’s time to work together to achieve this,” – Labour Leader David Shearer.
“I believe New Zealand’s future is in smart, green manufacturing with high-skill, high-wage jobs that add value to our exports. New Zealand has the resources and skills needed for high-value manufacturing and creates jobs – but we need government policy that supports it” -Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.
“New Zealand urgently needs economic policies that support export led growth. That is the only path to build a lasting prosperity and escape our international indebtedness.
“Amendments to the Reserve Bank Act to allow it to pursue a balanced economic policy supporting growth, exports and employment are a vital first step,” – New Zealand First Leader, Winston Peters.
The Inquiry Committee invites submissions from all people concerned with the crisis in manufacturing.
We are particularly interested to learn from the personal experiences of workers and businesspeople who have lost jobs and income in recent years, and hear ideas for what government should be doing to give manufacturing the support it deserves.
The Committee will hold hearings of oral submissions in several cities in the new year.
A report will be published early in the new year.
Written submissions and requests to present oral submissions can be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via the form on the submissions page.