• John Luxton

Karapiro MP John Luxton said today that he was very disappointed by Bendon's decision to close its Te Aroha factory.

"Local job losses are always regrettable and Bendon's decision will be particularly tough on the Te Aroha community. I hope Bendon will do all it can to assist staff and ease the burden. I also hope that most will manage to find jobs in related fields or in other industries that have grown in the region area over the last few years."

"I am disappointed that this closure has occurred despite Bendon experiencing a fourfold increase in profits to $4 million last year. It has also occurred despite an agreement between the Government and the apparel industry to freeze tariffs to 2004 at a level which in effect would have seen Bendon receive a 15% subsidy on all locally manufactured goods."

"While the position in Te Aroha is traumatic for those involved it should also be seen in the context of overall job growth."

Since 1991 the changes in the economy including tariff reductions, have seen the addition of 250,000 new jobs created under National. This is an average of 560 new jobs created each week.

Mr Luxton said that while tariff reductions have affected some people it has also meant that the majority of New Zealanders have enjoyed lower priced clothing, vehicles and groceries which in turn has led to job growth in many other areas.

"I know Bendon's decision will be a testing time for many families and my thoughts are with all those affected," Mr Luxton said.