20 July, 2009
Message from the Prime Minister - 26 February 2010
A year ago no-one knew how badly the world's financial markets would fare or how deep the global recession would be. At the time of the Job Summit, the main fear was of large-scale redundancies and mass lay-offs across the country. That's what the Job Summit was focused on avoiding.
As it turned out, none of the worst-case scenarios came to pass and New Zealanders can be very pleased about that. Sadly, people did lose their jobs, and every person out of work is one too many.
But New Zealand businesses proved to be quite resilient and employers were keen to hold on to staff as tightly as they could.
We are now facing a different sort of challenge than we did a year ago. The loss of existing employment has almost completely halted, but people entering the labour market, particularly young people, are finding it hard to break into a job.
That is why the Government's focus this year remains on the economy and on jobs.
The Job Summit played an important part in galvanising all the different groups who attended - big employers, small businesses, banks, unions, social sector organisations, iwi, local councils, training organisations and others - behind the issue of preserving jobs. It was a valuable exercise in raising confidence and expectations.
It also made participants focus not just on what the Government could do, but what different sectors, organisations and businesses could do to maintain jobs.
From the Government's point of view, it was the genesis of some valuable initiatives like the Job Support Scheme, the Warm Up New Zealand home insulation fund, the New Zealand Cycleway Project, Youth Opportunities and Community Max, and the extension of the short-term trade credit insurance guarantee scheme for exporters.
The Job Summit also underlined the importance of economic fundamentals like infrastructure spending, improved regulations, and well-functioning credit markets.
Alongside these initiatives, the Government introduced a number of other measures to help stem job losses. By far the most important of these was using the Crown's balance sheet to absorb much of the shock of the recession, thereby cushioning its effects on New Zealanders and helping to support jobs.
We also brought forward nearly $500 million of capital spending on roads, housing, and school buildings, and introduced a tax assistance package for small and medium sized businesses.
While Government actions are important, we know that in the longer term sustainable jobs will only be created when people have the confidence to invest in productive businesses, which can then expand and take on new employees.
In this regard it is encouraging to see that businesses are reporting a marked increase in confidence, and are positive about hiring new staff over the coming year.
New Zealand actually has the opportunity to come out of the recent downturn in a better position than many other countries and be well placed to attract investment, build productive firms and create jobs.
The Government will be doing eveything it can to ensure this happens - and that businesses have the confidence to invest and create new, higher-paying jobs.
9 March. On Monday, March 9, the Cabinet agreed that ideas from the Jobs Summit would be allocated to the following Ministers to lead further investigation: click for list (pdf)
12 March. This paper was considered at the March 9 Cabinet meeting, which allocated ideas from the Job Summit to particular Ministers to lead further investigation. Note: the outcome of the Cabinet meeting was to allocate the ideas in way outlined in the list above. Click here for the Cabinet paper.
30 March. This paper was considered at the March 30 Cabinet meeting, which allocated the next tranche of ideas from the Job Summit to particular Ministers to lead further investigation. Note: the outcome of the Cabinet meeting was to allocate the ideas in way outlined in the list above. Click here for the Cabinet paper.
Workstream Results (Powerpoint slides)
1. Workstream 1 - Core Workplace & Employment Issues
2. Workstream 2 - Workers - Skills & Transition
3. Workstream 3 - Local & Regional Govt
Workstream 3 - Maori Economy
4. Workstream 4 - Helping Firms Survive
5. Workstream 5 - Business Investment
6. Workstream 6 - Firm Funding
Job Summit - Top Twenty
Core Workplace and Employment Issues
1. Retain and Upskill - the nine day fortnight
Retain jobs by reducing wage costs while firms earnings are down. Retain jobs short and long term by upskilling workers. Possible focus on a nine day fortnight or maximum 6 week block release.
2. Intra-national migration achieved
Creation of a seasonal work marketplace that will remove barriers (information, infrastructure, qualifications/skills) between employers and seasonal workers.
Skills and Transition
3. Keeping people in education and creating jobs through education and training
Expand group training programmes, review current apprenticeships models with a view to sustaining and expanding levels of training and introduce a training requirement as part of government procurement processes. Support summer employment for students, facilitating retraining and promoting the importance and value of education.
Remove barriers and increase enablers/incentives to ensure that the education and training system is well-placed to meet current needs and opportunities including a specific focus on Maori/Pasifika people.
4. Improve matching of supply and demand for training
Improve identification and matching of clearly identifiable job opportunities in the short and medium term by industry groups to direct future education and training priorities.
5. Redundancy and transition support programme
Improve support for people about to be made redundant or who are unemployed to help them transition to new work opportunities and training including:
-Particular focus on those most vulnerable
-Enhanced industry partnerships
-Auditing, integrating and streamlining
-Improving information and access to services
Maori Economy, Local and Regional Government
6. Enhanced utilisation of iwi assets
Creating new employment in the primary production sector by bringing Maori land and water based assets into higher value export focused productive use. This may involve accessing existing business support, legislative/regulatory review and active facilitation of intra-Maori partnerships.
Investing in projects that support Maori kinship -based infrastructure, including iwi-led housing projects, innovative approaches to existing state housing stock, and marae development.
7. Government systems
Ensure that government services to Maori deliver effective results.
8. Urgently develop and implement new sources of bond funding
Aggregate local government debt to gain access to debt funding at lower than current interest rates. Also, prioritise New Zealand investment plan across central/local government, that ensures a job creation focus, incentives for expenditure, quality spend that best positions New Zealand for medium to long term and avoids competition for capacity and capability.
9. Reduce regulatory compliance costs and impediments
Adopt a permissive approach to increase the range of permitted activities in e.g. building and housing, food safety. Enable local government to determine appropriate level of consultation. Seek a moratorium on drinking water and air quality standards. Improve practice in council processing of regulatory consents.
Helping firms survive
10. Big projects fast track
Establish a taskforce(s) to report directly to a relevant minister to anticipate and actively manage approval and regulatory processes for major and/or complex processes.
11. Rule-making freeze
Cabinet directive issued to government agencies/regulators to stop all rule and regulation making or extension, unless specifically approved by the minister. Reduce all enforcement activity to focus on minimum acceptable standards (rather than ‘nice to haves') and the overall immediate interest for New Zealand.
12. Boosting tourist traffic co-fund
Establish a government/private co-funded $60 million fund to support initiatives to increase visitor numbers targeting 1% global market share, through short and long haul promotional activity, domestic tourism promotion and targeted infrastructure development.
13. Accelerate energy, environmental and water initiatives for employment and productivity improvements
14. Streamline regulatory approval processes for major projects
Accelerate transmission grid investment by increasing threshold for Electricity Commission consideration of electricity projects to $50 million. Allow longer wheel-based trucks and heavier loading. Establish taskforces reporting to a minister for vetting major infrastructure investment proposals and ensuring regulatory processes are quickly and consistently completed.
15. Access to working capital delivered via an extension of the Export Credit Office
Extend the Export Credit Office to also apply to domestic firms that need cash flow funding for completion of confirmed contract orders.
16. Level the playing field to NZ firms for local and central government procurement
Revise procurement guidelines to ensure they do not bias against local providers by stipulating a specified firm size or track record.
17. Super-charged debt market
Possibilities include streamlining reporting and disclosure requirements, long term bond issues, involvement by a wider range of organisations such as local government.
18. Government/bank equity investment fund
Develop an equity growth fund to allow large institutional investors access to quality investments in the SME sector that are currently unavailable to them.
19. Commitment by banks to providing capital to NZ firms
Banks and Government co-fund partnership for preferred equity, financed by bank and government equity, leveraged with debt funding.
20. Banks to significantly invest in financial literacy
Investing in educational initiatives to improve the financial literacy of their customers with a focus on SME businesses.
- Labour Market (Dept of Labour)
- Labour Market (Statistics NZ)
- Building and construction
- Retail trade
- Seasonal Employment and Primary Industries
- Employment data
- Past recessions
First I want to thank you all for coming today.
You have put a tremendous amount of time and thought into the day's discussions.
As a result, there have been ideas galore generated by groups, subgroups and, in many cases, sub-subgroups of people talking to each other over a cup of coffee.
To paraphrase what Alan Bollard said this morning, if you laid all the ideas discussed today end to end, they would reach to the Sun and halfway back again.
Mark and the chairs have just presented on the 20 or so proposals that the Summit has collectively identified as amongst the most promising ideas.
You all know that there are at least a couple of dozen quality ideas lying behind those.
If anyone doubted that this process would generate practical, concrete ideas, they were sorely mistaken.
That's what this day has been about; that's why we had this Summit.
As Alan Bollard and John Whitehead made clear this morning, we are in a very serious global recession which is going to get worse before it gets better. [read more]
There's a reason why this event has the word "employment" in it - because it's about identifying the steps we need to take, now and in future, to create meaningful, productive employment for New Zealanders in healthy, growing businesses, from farms to factories and every sector in between.
There's a less obvious reason why this is termed a "summit". It's because the real graft will be done before anyone gets there: accessing, understanding and interpreting a raft of data, drawing on ideas and advice, testing potential solutions. Then when we reach the summit we can share and challenge those ideas, developing the best ones into workable recommendations for government action.
These are extraordinary times that demand breaking out of the old way of developing, consulting on and implementing policy. Anyone who wants to feed their ideas and responses into that process is welcome to do so via firstname.lastname@example.org .
Collective, cohesive effort and commitment to good outcomes will be what propels New Zealand out of the current crisis better, faster and stronger than our peers and neighbours.
Uluomatootua S. Aiono
Sir John Anderson, KBE
John Banks, QSO
Alan Bollard (S)
John Bongard (C)
Wayne Boyd (C)
Rob Cameron (C)
Rod Carr (SGL)
Peter Conway (SGL)
Russell Creedy (SGL)
Jane Diplock, AO
Rod Drury (SGL)
Rick Fala (SGL)
Rob Fisher (SGL)
Rob Fyfe (C)
Fiona Gavriel (SGL)
Andrew Grant (S)
Temuera Hall (SGL)
Andrew Harmos (SGL)
Brian Heron, MNZM
Helen Kelly (C)
Dame Georgina Kirby, DBE, QSO (SGL)
Andrew Little (SGL)
Ngatata Love (C)
Lt Gen Jerry Mateparae, ONZM
Jeremy Moon (SGL)
Ian Morrice (SGL)
Simon Moutter (SGL)
Greg Muir (SGL)
Ian Narev (SGL)
Major Campbell Roberts
Dianne Robertson (SGL)
Geoff Ross (SGL)
John Shewan (C)
Penny Simmonds (SGL)
David Skilling (SGL)
Scott St John
Wally Stone (SGL)
Jacqui Te Kani
Stephen Tindall (C)
Henry Van der Heyden, DCNZM (SGL)
Mark Weldon (Summit Chair)
John Whitehead (S)
Hon John Key
Hon Bill English
Hon Gerry Brownlee
Hon Simon Power
Hon Anne Tolley
Hon David Carter
Hon Steven Joyce
Hon Georgina te Heuheu
Hon Paula Bennett
Hon Jonathan Coleman
Hon Kate Wilkinson
Hon Rodney Hide
Hon Pita Sharples
Hon Tariana Turia
Hon Peter Dunne
Contact: People with questions about the Job Summit, or ideas to contribute, should email email@example.com
- Retail Trade (pdf 119.57 KB)
- Hospitality (pdf 118.82 KB)
- Past recessions (pdf 380.52 KB)
- Labour Market (Statistics NZ) (pdf 113.23 KB)
- Employment data (pdf 149.54 KB)
- Labour Market (Dept of Labour) (pdf 100.86 KB)
- Seasonal Employment and Primary Industries (pdf 92.47 KB)
- Job Summit Media Note (pdf 15.91 KB)
- Workstream 1 - Core Workplace & Employment Issues (ppt 409 KB)
- Workstream 2 - Workers - Skills & Transition (ppt 397.5 KB)
- Workstream 3 - Maori Economy, Local & Regional Govt (ppt 312.5 KB)
- Workstream 4 - Helping Firms Survive (ppt 534.5 KB)
- Workstream 6 - Firm Funding (ppt 446 KB)
- Workstream 5 - Business Investment (ppt 576 KB)
- Workstream 3 - Maori Economy (ppt 558 KB)
- Update on Regional Conferences (04 March 2009) (pdf 41.24 KB)
- Alan Bollard Powerpoint slides (ppt 1.18 MB)
- John Whitehead speech - Powerpoint slides (pdf 135.36 KB)
- John Whitehead speech (ppt 521 KB)
- Summit Lead Ministers (pdf 35.82 KB)
- Mark Weldon: Job Summit Summary of Initiatives (pdf 1.05 MB)
- Cabinet paper Summit March 9 (pdf 56.66 KB)
- Employment Summit STR paper (pdf 92.7 KB)
- April_Labour_Market_Update.pdf (pdf 125.38 KB)
- April_Progress_Report.pdf (pdf 35.79 KB)
- Progress on the Top 20 (pdf 38.75 KB)
- 20090604 Labour Market Update (pdf 102.26 KB)
- May Progress Report (doc 100 KB)
- Top 20 (pdf 43.05 KB)
- LGNZ Speech 270709 (pdf 60.15 KB)
- New Zealand Cycleway Questions & Answers (pdf 37.99 KB)
- New Zealand Cycleway Quick Start Tracks (pdf 1.68 MB)
- Job Summit top 20 (pdf 53.29 KB)
- Summit Programme (pdf 35.55 KB)
- Workstream Summary (Updated).pdf (pdf 199.05 KB)
- Building and construction (pdf 122.32 KB)
- Education (pdf 120.16 KB)