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The National Government can continue to stick its head in the sand but the evidence of a crisis in manufacturing keeps on growing, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.
The BNZ's Performance of Manufacturing Index shows that manufacturing sector is still in contraction. New orders saw a sharp decline. The BNZ notes, "This is normally a good leading indicator to a big loss of momentum. Yikes".
Also of note is the net 16% of manufacturers who report a decline in domestic deliveries. Statistics New Zealand figures show that manufactured imports increased 3.5% in the past 12 months, suggesting that the high dollar is causing domestic producers to be undercut by imports. Manufactured exports fell 2.2% in the same period.
"The over-valued New Zealand Dollar is making it too hard for manufacturers to compete and the National Government is failing to act," said Dr Norman.
"The decline in domestic demand for New Zealand manufactured goods coupled with the rise in manufactured imports shows that New Zealand manufacturers are being squeezed at home, just as they are in export markets.
"The sharp decline in new orders makes a mockery of John Key's claim that there is no crisis in manufacturing.
"When New Zealanders turn on their TVs or open the newspaper to see more job losses every day, they know there's a crisis, even if the Prime Minister wants to stick his head in the sand.
"New Zealand has a choice between the Greens' smart, green economic policies that see us manufacturing and adding value to products here in New Zealand, or National's dig it, drill it, pollute it approach where we export only primary products and import everything hi-tech from overseas.
"The Greens' approach is about creating high-value and high wage sustainable jobs here in New Zealand. As we've seen for the past four years, National's approach brings higher unemployment and more debt," said Dr Norman.