John Key can’t admit there’s a crisis in manufacturing. His response is to huff and puff and call people bozos. Not good enough. Here are some basic questions that Key should be able to answer…
Your favourite smug, self-aggrandising Tory and mine, David Farrar, wrote a post yesterday about something called the “Performance of Manufacturing Index”, which is a wee survey that the BNZ does. Apparently, it shows manufacturing on the grow. ‘How inconvenient’ for people worried about the crisis in manufacturing, Farrar chortled. Then, Blenheim’s largest manufacturer laid off 84 workers.
The NBR (motto: ‘our circulation’s falling at 12% per year’) and the Right blogs are all aflutter after supposedly proving that Russel Norman is wrong and there haven’t been 40,000 manufacturing jobs lost since 2008. NBR’s Rob Hosking claims the number is only 10,000-20,000. Because, you know, that would be OK. But the truth is, Norman’s right – 40,000 manufacturing job losses since June 2008.
You would have thought that, less than 24 hours after another 185 manufacturing jobs were lost, the Right might be keeping their head down when it comes to the crisis in manufacturing. But no. Farrar’s popped up to cite a rinky-dink survey from Business NZ. The real surveys are very, very clear: 17,200 manufacturing jobs lost in the last year.
Another day, another company that couldn’t make it in National’s stagnant economy. But this company, Mainzeal, is a particularly significant case, our third largest construction company. There will be significant flow on effects to other parts of the sector.
While National continues to deny there’s a manufacturing crisis and the main opposition wastes its time plotting clever procedural tricks the high dollar claims another 200 Kiwi jobs – this time as Summit Woolspinners closes in Oamaru.
Over the past four years 40,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost (and over a thousand manufacturing companies have shut up shop). The government is in full denial, so the opposition parties have set up their own inquiry. Today is the last day for submissions.
Government has a central role in job creation. Just ask National. They’ll tell you it’s not true, and then proudly proclaim that they got The Hobbit made here, creating 3,000 temporary jobs. According to the New York Times, the total cost of our government’s subsidies for The Hobbit is NZD$150m – $50,000 per short-term job.
Yesterday, 60 highly paid jobs at Rakon where lost and we learned 5,700 manufacturing jobs had been lost in the past year. The reason, the high dollar made manufacturing here untenable. Steve Joyce shrugged his shoulders like it was nothing to do with him. But it’s his government’s failures that are forcing Kiwi manufacturers overseas.