web analytics
The Standard

Joyce floundering on manufacturing

Written By: - Date published: 11:27 am, September 11th, 2012 - 15 comments
Categories: australian politics, Economy, employment, exports, spin - Tags:

Talk fast, shoot the messenger, and spin like a top. That’s Joyce’s style, trying to defend the indefensible; National’s neglect of New Zealand’s manufacturing industry.

He tried it on the Nation a couple of weeks ago, and again on Morning Report this morning. Amidst all the gabble, Joyce attacked John Whitaker, CEO of the highly respected and long-established Dunedin company Farra Engineering.

Whitaker said:

The government is not looking after manufacturers, and should take a leaf out of Australia’s approach. The New Zealand government is so hell-bent on being squeaky clean so they can enter into trade agreements with anyone and everyone so they actually neglect their own, where every other country has a lot more importance placed on their manufacturing industry and go out of their way to support them.

That criticism obviously stung – in true Joyce style, his response was to get personal and   shoot the messenger:

With the greatest respect to that gentleman in Dunedin he really does need to go and have a look around – most of the manufacturing organisations I talk to –he hasn’t been hit hard by it  — yet  — New Zealand firms are getting more competitive –to suggest that is not happening really is a little bit ungracious from one of two in the industry.

One or two? It’s Joyce that needs to go and have a look around. They’re all saying that government is not doing enough for manufacturing industry. Whitaker’s right, and they’ve been saying it for years. Australia does a lot more for its own industry, as I know from the time I was on the Industrial Supplies Office management committee under the last National government who had no  interest in using government purchasing to support New Zealand Industry. And it was this National government that refused to insist that KiwiRail build railway wagons at Dunedin’s Hillside workshops, which would have kept jobs and a manufacturing industry cluster in Dunedin.

So on to the spin. Manufacturing went up in the last quarter, says Joyce. That’s not what the latest Performance of Manufacturing Index, produced by BusinessNZ says.

The BNZ-BusinessNZ seasonally adjusted PMI for July stood at 49.4, which was a further 0.6 points down from June and again representative of the sector in a holding pattern. Compared with previous July results, the 2012 value was the lowest since 2008.

Joyce also banged on about how Norske Skog were going to invest in biofuels. David Cunliffe blew a hole in that line – National abandoned Labour’s support for biofuels in 2009.

All Joyce can say is that New Zealand firms have to get more competitive. But in the big wide world, the first thing New Zealand needs to do to compete is to look after its own. That’s where Joyce and National miss the mark by a mile.

15 comments on “Joyce floundering on manufacturing”

  1. marsman 1

    Wonder what a cost-benefit analysis of Steven Joyce would show?

  2. Carol 2

    I don’t know that this is exactly counted as “manufacturing”… but how many more times are we to see this happen?

    Kiwi initiative, starts up small successful business, and once it’s become successful, it’s taken over by some big foreign corporation?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/small-business/7652788/US-giant-snaps-up-Wellington-software-firm

    • Bored 2.1

      It is taken over because any business owner with half a brain has an “exit strategy” in mind when they start a business….and it is usually a multiplier of profitability or a similar measure. Owners are not charities, they want to sell to save them time and effort actually having to earn what others will pay for the business.

      • Carol 2.1.1

        It’s not the owner selling that I mind, Bored, but the fact that it is foreign corporates that keep taking over these businesses.

  3. tracey 3

    Thanks for the title of the thread, I can’t get that awful image out of my head!!!!

  4. Bored 4

    Joyce knows jack sh*t about economics: he is however a very sharp businessman. Unfortunately he has not quite worked out the difference. Business people generally act similarly on all issues: its revenue, costs, margin etc. That’s fine except they do this regardless of the environment they are in: it is a single overarching model. Economists by contrast can suggest how to adjust the business environment to get real outcomes. If Joyce and his advisors were astute they might have noticed that the current economic model is broken and instituted a different form. Like what?

    Lets look at what I heard re the Kawerau shut down…..paper was imported from Asia to print the new Herald…wow that’s clever. So add the cost of benefits for the displaced workers, the cost of redundancies, the loss of tax income, the capital destruction etc etc to the cost of paper from Asia….what is the real cost to NZ? There is a very real logic to import controls: no capitalist economy industrialised without import protection. No industrialised economy stayed competitive with new comers without import controls….

    Whether import controls are good is another issue: what is driving the latest iteration of laissez faire is the mobility of capital. The logic of it is that capital will go where the best returns are. And f**k the locals from the new “rust belt”.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Economists by contrast can suggest how to adjust the business environment to get real outcomes.

      Considering that most of them wouldn’t know what an economy was if they tripped over one I wouldn’t be too sure about that.

    • Kevin84 4.3

      Agreed, we need Tariffs. We need them on a more local level though, as you have shown no industrialised state has developed without tariffs, so I think that if we allowed the councils around Northland and the Eastern North Island to implement their own ones (within in NZ), then I think we can get some real development there. Wouldn’t it be great if Fisher & Paykel could build a plant in Kaitaia, and Northland communities could stop the people of Northland importing those cheap Fisher & Paykel appliances from Thailand or Dunedin that under cut Northland jobs. Likewise for the eastern Bay of Plenty and the East Cape.

      I find it distressing when people go and buy a cheaper product on TradeMe from another province and import into their local province – and in doing so hurting local jobs. I cannot believe that some Waikato firms will outsource their IT projects to foreign Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury firms. What happened to local pride and community social justice. This Free Trade mantra of the past 30 years has been a disaster. We need internal tariffs NOW! We need local councils to subsidise local business now!

  5. Ed 5

    The Radio NZ links may need to be amended

  6. Tiresias 6

    I’ve taken a lot of stick on this site for my declaration that I intend buying as many Meridian et al shares as I can afford if and when they become available (all things being equal), but I’ve also put a lot of money into Windflow, a New Zealand company which has developed a world-leading wind turbine including world-leading wood-laminated blades made by techniques developed by Auckland boat-builders, and am watching that investment in NZ ingenuity, technology and jobs going down the tubes because the Government won’t lift a finger to encourage or support it. So forgive me if I won’t invest in any more NZ companies that don’t have a rock-solid market share – a’la power generators – and will look to put my more speculative investment funds off-shore where Governments encourage and nurture such things.

    If they’re not peddling a unique product in demand (and can fend off the inevitable foreign take-over) the only way New Zealand companies facing a high dollar and high transportation costs can ‘compete’ is to cut costs, and that means cut jobs and/or wages.

  7. captain hook 7

    oh well.
    we can all sit around now downloading illegal movies on ufb.

  8. Carol 8

    And Cunliffe supports, Mike Smith’s post here, and is critical of Joyce’s ad hominem against John Whitaker:

    http://blog.labour.org.nz/2012/09/11/playing-the-ball-not-the-man/

    So how did Steven Joyce respond? As Mike Smith has noted at The Standard, Joyce said:

    … [John Whitaker] really does need to go and have a look around – most of the manufacturing organisations I talk to –he hasn’t been hit hard by it — yet — New Zealand firms are getting more competitive –to suggest that is not happening really is a little bit ungracious.

    “Ungracious”? Really?

    And how arrogant is it to suggest that this successful exporter can’t see the world for himself and form his own views?

  9. Poission 9

    QA Yesterday.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1209/S00155/questions-and-answers-september-11.htm

    . Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First) to the Minister of Finance: Does he agree with the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the International Monetary Fund, and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand that the New Zealand dollar is overvalued?
    Hon BILL ENGLISH (Minister of Finance): We do agree with their level of discomfort about the high level of the New Zealand dollar, but we certainly do not agree with the view held by the Manufacturers and Exporters Association that the New Zealand dollar should be devalued to US60c. This would amount to around a 25 percent devaluation, implying an exchange rate against the Australian dollar of just 58c. That means a drop in income and living standards across the board in New Zealand of about 20 percent. If they think there is a gap between us and Australia now, then following the Manufacturers and Exporters Association call for a 25 percent devaluation, that gap would widen into a chasm and thousands of New Zealanders would be leaving for Australia because of its much higher standard of living

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: Does he agree with John Walley, Chief Executive Officer of the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association, that the overvalued dollar has cost the exports sector up to $10 billion over the past 3½ years?

    Hon BILL ENGLISH: No, I do not agree with that. We do agree that the high level of the exchange rate does put a lot of pressure on exporters. The Government is taking every measure it can to exercise its indirect influence on the exchange rate to help our exporters be more competitive. But we do not agree with the view of New Zealand First, the Manufacturers and Exporters Association, and the Labour Party that the New Zealand dollar should be significantly devalued. That would cut the incomes and the standard of living of all New Zealander

    and

    Hon STEVEN JOYCE: Well, I am not sure about new ideas so much as reheated, failed, old ideas from around 40 years ago. I have seen a proposal from a Mr Walley of the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association to somehow bet against the world markets with taxpayers’ funds and seek to devalue the New Zealand dollar by roughly 25 percent. That would reduce the purchasing power of every New Zealander by around 25 percent. It would increase food prices, fuel prices, and the cost of living by around the same margin, and massively widen the income gap with Australia as the result of a 58c exchange rate against the Australian dollar. If the members of the Opposition want to sign up to that prescription, then it is over to them, but I cannot think of a more destructive economic policy for this country

    The obvious take home message is the introduction of a bogeyman,that a lower exchange rate will fuel inflation,costs and the standard of living ie a focus on the negative attributes.

    The foremost problem in the exchange rate is the high levels in short term flows the so called cash and carry trade which takes advantage of the high nz overnight rates.

    To remove the short term flows we need to increase the Witholding (WHT) tax on short term investments and decrease the WHT on long investments by a step down cascade.

    A number of countries such as Switzerland have introduced this to reduce currency appreciation.( which has the interesting property of increasing the tax flow)

    A sustainable trading range in the usd of 70-72c is sustainable,and would return investment to the productive sector.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government has no credible climate change plan
    Today’s announced climate change target falls short of the ambition required to meet even our existing targets, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “The target announced today amounts to a decrease of only 11 per cent from 1990 levels. This… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Auckland house prices now 10 times incomes
    Auckland house prices have risen so steeply the typical house in our biggest city now costs 10 times the median Auckland household income, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Barfoot and Thompson reports the median house sale price in June… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Time for economic spin is over
     Business confidence in the latest NZIER Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion falling to its lowest level in three years is yet another warning of a staggering economy that cannot be ignored, says Labour's leader Andrew Little.   “This comes on the back of dairy prices falling… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Bullying contributes to Auckland being stripped of ICU training
    Complaints of bullying and harassment by supervisors which have contributed to Auckland’s critical care department losing its training accreditation are further evidence of the appalling culture at executive level, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The department had its accreditation… ...
    3 days ago
  • Broadband failure sucks up more cash
    The Commerce Committee has blocked an inquiry into the $300 million rural broadband initiative (RBI) despite mounting evidence it’s a massive policy failure and waste of money, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “The Government is about to spend an… ...
    4 days ago
  • TISA – Another secret trade deal you may never have heard of
      This post first appeared on The Daily Blog You’ve probably heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) by now and the widespread concerns around it but what about the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) also being currently negotiated by… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    4 days ago
  • Health chickens coming home to roost as Dunedin loses right to train doctor...
    News today that Dunedin Hospital has lost orthopaedic training accreditation is a major blow and proves the Government’s prevarication is having devastating consequences, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Losing orthopaedic advanced training is serious. There is a knock on… ...
    5 days ago
  • $74,000 quarterly rise shows crisis out of control
    New figures out today showing Auckland house prices have spiked by a massive $74,000 in the past quarter is further evidence the city’s housing crisis has spiralled out of control, Labour’s “In spite of constant announcements and photo opportunities from… ...
    5 days ago
  • Democracy for Nauru now
    Murray McCully must send the strongest possible message to the Nauruan Government that New Zealand does not condone its actions given the disturbing developments there, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Right now we are seeing Nauru stripped of… ...
    5 days ago
  • Recovery needs more than a rebrand
    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    5 days ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    5 days ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    5 days ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    6 days ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    6 days ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    6 days ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    6 days ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    6 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    6 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    6 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    1 week ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    1 week ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    1 week ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    1 week ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    1 week ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    1 week ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere