The bad news they expected to hear.
The Greymouth community got the news it had been dreading yesterday.
Solid Energy has decided to mothball the Spring Creek mine, making around 220 workers redundant. This is devastating news for the miners and their families. It also has a serious flow-on effect for local businesses, including up to 130 contractors, and the community as a whole.
The decision is directly connected to John Key’s obsession with selling our assets. He’s focusing only on the bottom line and making sure that Solid Energy’s in good shape to sell off to private investors.
That’s the wrong path for New Zealand. National is simply managing the decline rather than building a future of opportunity.
Selling assets won’t grow our economy. The Government needs to get off the side-line and into the game to back businesses and communities. Under my leadership, Labour will take a hands-on approach to harnessing innovation and creating jobs. You can read more about our ideas in my recent speech.
We must not resign ourselves to a future of constant struggle. Labour is proud of our country and we’ll take NZ on a path to a new high-wage, high-skill economy.
Kiwis want to work. They’re crying out for jobs. We need to make sure the opportunities are there so we don’t lose more of our workers to Australia.
That’s where many of the Greymouth miners are headed. And that’s a sad loss to our country.
Leader of the Labour Party
PS – As I mentioned last week, along with the Greens and NZ First we have launched a Parliamentary Inquiry into the Manufacturing Crisis. You can read more about the situation at the Manufacturing Inquiry website - www.manufacturinginquiry.org.nz