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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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    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    3 days ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
    Last week NewsHub revealed leaked MPI reports which showed that MPI had been turning a blind eye to widespread criminal behaviour in the fishing industry. Today was the first day of Parliament since those revelations, and given their seriousness, it… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
    Last week NewsHub revealed leaked MPI reports which showed that MPI had been turning a blind eye to widespread criminal behaviour in the fishing industry. Today was the first day of Parliament since those revelations, and given their seriousness, it… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Punakaiki Fund invests in Populate
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    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    3 days ago

  • How the budget fails new New Zealanders
    Greens co-leader James Shaw was absolutely correct to say the 2016 budget is just papering over the cracks. There’s nothing in this budget to increase wages, address inequal pay for carers or deal with the shocking pay rates and employment… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    12 hours ago
  • Parents will pay more as school budgets frozen
    Parents will pay more for their kids’ education as a result of this year’s Budget after the Government froze operational funding for schools, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This means schools are effectively going backwards. They will need to… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Sticking Plaster Budget fails the test
    Bill English’s penultimate Budget fails to tackle the structural challenges facing the economy – a housing crisis, rising unemployment, underfunded health and creaking infrastructure, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This Budget applies a sticking plaster to a compound fracture.… ...
    15 hours ago
  • John Key fails middle New Zealand with no fix for housing crisis, more underfunding of health
    Middle New Zealand has again missed out in this year’s Budget with not a single fix for the housing crisis, and health and education woefully underfunded again, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This Budget is just a patchwork… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Labour Bill would back Kiwi jobs
    The Government’s $40 billion of buying power would go towards backing Kiwi businesses and jobs under a Labour Member’s Bill which will be debated by Parliament, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “My Bill – which was pulled from… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Julie Anne Genter: My Budget 2016 wish is fairness
    When my parents first visited me in Auckland ten years ago, they remarked on how there were no homeless people on the streets. Coming from Los Angeles, they were used to seeing the impacts of horrendous inequality and a lack… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    18 hours ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    19 hours ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    19 hours ago
  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    2 days ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    2 days ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 days ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    2 days ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    2 days ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    2 days ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    3 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    3 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    3 days ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    3 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 days ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    4 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    4 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    5 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    6 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    7 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    7 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    7 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    7 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    7 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    7 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 week ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    1 week ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago

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