web analytics
The Standard

The manufacturing crisis & the Right’s wilful blindness

Written By: - Date published: 3:18 pm, March 16th, 2013 - 19 comments
Categories: jobs - Tags: ,

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 showing manufacturing’s growing according to what is basically an index of how employers are feeling (they just ring some manufacturers – doubt it’s properly random – and ask them if orders are up, whether they’re hiring or firing etc – no actual industry-wide numbers).

Leaving aside the fact that the bosses’ union’s survey actually shows no job increases, the real surveys are very, very clear: 17,200 manufacturing jobs lost in the last year. The lowest December Quarter manufacturing job number on record. Manufacturing the largest contributor to the 30,000 net job losses last year.

And then there’s the real world stories. The stories told by the employers and the workers to the Manufacturing Inquiry (will Farrar now pull a Bill English and accuse them of being fakes and rubes too?) and the stories we see nearly every day in the newspaper – like the 185 printing jobs yesterday.

Is there a crisis in manufacturing? Hell yes.

And part of that crisis is due to the fact that National and its lackeys refuse to acknowledge the problem.

manufacturing crisis stats manufactured spin job losses in manufacturing

19 comments on “The manufacturing crisis & the Right’s wilful blindness”

  1. Poission 1

    Farrar is exhibiting his proctological skills once more using the results of a survey,which is at odds with the problem ie a higher dollar is decreasing the value (also known as money) that is being paid for decreasing export volumes offshore.

    We are getting less for say immaculately transformed export products, and agriculture volumes are holding up. prices are not( in nz terms)

    At present 2012 in a historical currency regime we would have got around 4b$ more for the same amount of work ie a more sustainable return and increased productivity, as the metric is weighted by the internal GNP.

  2. ghostrider888 2

    Manufacturing Discontent
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manufacturing_Consent:_The_Political_Economy_of_the_Mass_Media
    (gist a wee post-it note)
    I tells ya’s; the MSM said manufacturing was up; in food, beverage and tobacco related products.
    (adding value to the waist-line)

  3. Viv K 3

    In the Economic survey of manufacturing, Dec 2012 quarter, also touted by some as ‘evidence’ of no crisis, it counted petroleum and coal up 6.4%. Fossil fuel exports are not a substitute for actual jobs. I can’t access the Feb BNZ PMI survey on this non smart phone. Are petroleum and coal products included in these survey results?

  4. tsmithfield 4

    Hi James,

    I have to disagree with the word “crisis”. This has the implication of something, sudden, unexpected, adverse, and in need of a urgent solution.

    I think the word “trend” is more appropriate. There has been a long-term trend, as in many other western countries, for manufacturing to be relocated to countries that provide cheaper labour rates for mass production (e.g. China et al.). The currency situation doesn’t help. But it isn’t the cause.

    If we see the situation as a long-term trend, then the answer might well not be in “fixing” the manufacturing “crisis”. This might well be akin to trying to stop the tide, and simply mean tipping money and resources down the toilet. The answer might well be in adapting to the reality of the world, and focusing on our strengths. This might well mean a continuation of the trend in manufacturing. But as long as we are focusing on our strengths, and competitive advantages, then the country as a whole should prosper.

    For example, for the last several decades we have seen many, if not most of our manufacturing clients relocate their production to the likes of China. We have adapted by aligning our business associated with food production or construction.

    I think manufacturing can succeed in NZ. But it needs to be more “botique” in nature. That is, we need to focus on shorter-run, specialised type products, and high-end products that can’t economically be produced in the likes of China. However, I believe the days of long-run production of products for export in NZ are pretty much over. Other than for food related products where we have a competitive advantage.

  5. karol 5

    A long term trend can reach a crisis point, which makes glaringly obvious that it has reached a dangerous state.

    ts: I think manufacturing can succeed in NZ. But it needs to be more “botique” in nature.

    A bot-driven manufacturing sector…. or one that produces bots? Getting into the right territory though. Electronic technologies are part of an area of business that could be developed more in NZ.

    The priority given to NZ developing “Boutique” or “niche” markets is a big focus of neoliberal mythologies that over-emphasises the role of exporting. NZ also needs to be producing more stuff here by and for Kiwis.

    • tsmithfield 5.1

      Karol,

      I agree that a trend can reach a crisis point. However, that is usually because the trend has been ignored or not adequately accounted for over previous periods of time.

      The answer is still to adapt to the trend. However, it could well be more painful if it is left to the point where it has become a crisis.

      • tsmithfield 5.1.1

        Further, I agree that we should be producing here for Kiwis. However, it is what we produce that is the critical point.

        There is no point in creating an artificial situation where we produce here what could be produced much more economically elsewhere.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          There is no point in creating an artificial situation where we produce here what could be produced much more economically elsewhere.

          If you accept that then you accept that it’s a race to the bottom of the barrel.

          All you have to do is remove the costs of protecting the environment, ensuring a decent return to the community from taxes, eliminate decently paid employment and remove the expense of health and safety.

          The days of the natural competitive advantage of England making wool and Spain making wine are over my friend.

          • tsmithfield 5.1.1.1.1

            Lets say we were somehow able to drive down the Kiwi dollar over the longer term. Lets say we also set up tarriffs etc against imported goods. Sure, that would make local manufacturers more competitive. But the locally produced goods would be more expensive, and therefore, less easy for consumers to buy them. This would mean job losses in retail etc. So, artificial interventions aren’t the answer.

            Finding the areas of business where we have a competitive advantage is the only way to success.

  6. dumrse 6

    A more interesting headline would be…..”The WFF crisis and the Lefts wilful blindness”.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Quite right. WFF would not be needed if everyone was being paid a living wage, and if households on $80K pa and higher didn’t expect tax subsidies on what they earn from their employer.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Which political party in NZ is advocating for an import substitution policy?

  8. Mark 8

    There is no doubt that there exists a m̶a̶n̶u̶f̶a̶c̶t̶u̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ manufactured crisis.

    Much life the global warming crisis:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2294560/The-great-green-1-The-hard-proof-finally-shows-global-warming-forecasts-costing-billions-WRONG-along.html

    and the food price crisis

    http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/CPI_inflation/ConsumersPriceIndex_HOTPDec12qtr.aspx

    I suspect the only real crisis is that of left wing faith…

    • GregJ 8.1

      That would be an article from David Rose the well known “expert” on climate change would it?

      Perhaps this might help.

      or you could reflect on the following:

      Jim Hacker: Don’t tell me about the Press. I know *exactly* who reads the papers. The Daily Mirror is read by the people who think they run the country. The Guardian is read by people who think they *ought* to run the country. The Times is read by the people who actually *do* run the country. The Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country. The Financial Times is read by people who *own* the country. The Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by *another* country. The Daily Telegraph is read by the people who think it is.

      Sir Humphrey: Prime Minister, what about the people who read The Sun?

      Bernard Woolley: Sun readers don’t care *who* runs the country – as long as she’s got big tits.

  9. Mark 9

    So discuss the graph, not who published it then.

    • GregJ 9.1

      Why should anyone discuss it – Rose is well known for his cherry picking of data on climate change, he is not a climate scientist and shows precious little understanding of the science (this is also the “investigative” journalist who unquestioningly accepted the claim from an entirely discredited source that Saddam Hussain trained the September 11th hijackers). I’m no more going to believe his analysis than I am the gardener currently working outside my office (actually I’m inclined to listen more to the gardener than Rose as the gardener actually understands climate, weather and science).

      There are plenty of credible scientific sites on the internet which have shown his articles are nonsense – and which link to credible scientific evidence on climate change. Perhaps rather than unquestioningly accepting rubbish like Rose’s you spend some time actually trying to understand the science from actual scientists – here – to help you along the way you can get started with this.

  10. David C 10

    That is a really old pic of Farrar, he must be 20 kg lighter now….

    • lprent 10.1

      It is an old favourite and much used in caption contents in various versions about 2008/9. But I will see if I can find a skinny more modern version for the archive

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

1 2 3 8

  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    2 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    3 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    3 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    3 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    3 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    4 days ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour looks to put the tea back into entitlements
    Labour is moving to restore the rights of Kiwis to take tea and rest breaks, Leader Andrew Little says. “Within months of the Government’s Employment Relations Amendment Bill becoming law we are already seeing some of our largest companies, including… ...
    4 days ago
  • Desperate money grab to keep Ruataniwha afloat
    The Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company’s decision to borrow $4 million to keep the Ruataniwha project afloat is a case of throwing ratepayer’s good money after bad, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri and Napier MP Stuart Nash.   “This bridging… ...
    5 days ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    5 days ago
  • Invermay petition delivered to Parliament
    Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark handed over a 12,450 signature Save Invermay petition to Dunedin South MP Clare Curran on the steps of Parliament today.  “The level of support that the petition has received across New Zealand is overwhelming,”… ...
    5 days ago
  • Redcliffs School closure plan wrong
    The Government’s proposal to consult on the closure of Redcliffs School not only goes against the best geotechnical advice, but more importantly goes against the best educational outcomes for Redcliffs children and the health of our community, Port Hills MP… ...
    5 days ago
  • Cotton On first to test the tea breaks law
    Australian corporate Cotton On, the first major business operating in New Zealand to exploit the new tea breaks law, could walk away from negotiations if it doesn’t get its own way, says Labour Party Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.  “Cotton… ...
    6 days ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    6 days ago
  • Council can stop Port’s encroachment on harbour
    As owner of the Port of Auckland, Council can stop the wharf extension and reclamation if it wants to, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Goff. ‘As owner the council is custodian of the port and harbour on behalf of… ...
    6 days ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    6 days ago
  • State house sell-off fiasco a gift for developers
    The Government’s property developer mates are the only people who can salvage National’s state house sell-off now the Salvation Army has torpedoed the policy, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Having been cynically used by the Government as the poster… ...
    6 days ago
  • National reinforces inequality in schools
    The National Government’s flagship programme Investing in Educational Success is clearly reinforcing inequality in the school system, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The analysis released today by the NZEI clearly shows schools in wealthier suburbs are the main beneficiaries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    1 week ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Solid Energy, who will clean up the mess?
    What can you say? This state-owned coal miner is facing some very serious problems. They haven’t run a profit in years, have required two Government bailouts, laid-off more than 700 staff and look like they need a third injection of… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago

Removed at the request of The Daily Blog.
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere