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Nearly 8,000 manufacturing firms have closed their doors in the past four years, in another sign of the crisis in manufacturing under National, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.
The Business Demography Statistics, released today by Statistics New Zealand, show that 7,790 manufacturing enterprises have been shut down in the last four years and only 6,169 new manufacturing companies have been created. This has led to a net loss of over 1,600 manufacturers - a decline of nearly 8% since 2008. The problem is ongoing, with a 1.8% fall in the number of manufacturers between 2011 and 2012.
"Manufacturing in New Zealand is in crisis, whether the John Key Government wants to acknowledge it or not," said Dr Norman.
"The net loss of 40,000 manufacturing jobs and 1,600 manufacturing firms in just four years tells us something is very wrong.
"If this trend continues, New Zealand will be left poorer, more indebted to the rest of the world, and more dependent on overseas imports for our manufactured goods.
"The high dollar is clearly making life too hard for many manufacturers, who find themselves unable to compete abroad and undercut by imports at home.
"The lack of a capital gains tax also leads to a huge mis-allocation of investment funds away from productive manufacturing and into housing speculation.
"The National Government has shown no will to fix either of these problems. Mr Key wants to pretend there is no problem.
"There is a crisis in manufacturing, and that's why the Greens have joined with other parties in launching a Parliamentary inquiry into the issue.
"Manufacturing is vital to a prosperous New Zealand; with political will and the right policies, it can be saved," said Dr Norman.