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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

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    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    5 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    5 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    5 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    6 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    6 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    6 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    6 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    1 week ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    1 week ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    1 week ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    1 week ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    1 week ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    1 week ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    1 week ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    1 week ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    2 weeks ago

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