Stephen Joyce's assertion that foreign investment in the oil and gas and mining industry will produce large numbers of jobs for unemployed New Zealanders doesn't stand up to scrutiny says the Green Party.
"The facts do not support Stephen Joyce's plan of picking the oil and gas industry as a winner that will solve our jobs crisis," said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.
"The Household Labour Force Survey shows manufacturing employs thirty three times more Kiwis than mining, oil and gas. Manufacturing lost 17,200 jobs last year while mining added only 400.
"Mining, oil and gas employs only 7,200 New Zealanders according to the Household Labour Force Survey. It is a small industry that even if it doubled in size would not compensate the number of jobs lost in manufacturing last year.
"The Government is ignoring ways it can support our manufacturers who employ hundreds of thousands of Kiwis and is picking the oil and gas industry as a winner despite the fact it employs so few people.
"There is also a mismatch between where the jobs in oil and gas are and where the most people are unemployed. Fifty five thousand Aucklanders are unemployed, but there are no proposals to drill for oil and gas or mine for coal in Auckland. Stephen Joyce's plan will not help Aucklanders.
"Encouraging foreign investment in a jobs poor industry is a bad plan for economic recovery. We need strategies like lowering the dollar to revive the jobs rich manufacturing sector.
"Stephen Joyce says he supports small to medium sized businesses, but in reality he supports large foreign multinational petrochemical companies over struggling local manufacturers.
"The reality is that New Zealand already has foreign investment levels well above the OECD average, which on its own has not been a silver bullet for job growth.
"We need a multi-faceted strategy to grow jobs such as taking steps to lower the dollar to help manufacturers and exporters, investment in jobs rich green industries and strategic Government investment in affordable house building."