Big Picture Is Good, Says Business Development Minister

  • Max Bradford
Business Development

The Engineers Union is using tired doom and gloom tactics to paint a misleading picture of the business environment in New Zealand, Business Development Minister Max Bradford says.

The Engineers Union claims the manufacturing industry is heading downhill if present Government policies continue.

"There is little credibility in their position. They are simply re-running a line they have used several times over the last few years," Mr Bradford said.

"Under present policies we have seen 30,000 new jobs created in manufacturing alone since 1990, as part of 250,000 new jobs created in the economy as a whole."

Furthermore, in the latest quarter - March 1997 - manufacturing showed the strongest employment growth of all the sectors at 2.7 per cent.

"Also under present policies the share of manufactured exports has risen sharply from 33.5 per cent of total exports in 1990 to almost 60 per cent of total exports.

"The big picture remains one of strong growth even though activity has slowed a little in the last few months,'" Mr Bradford said.

"Our economic environment is still one of the best in the world for business.

"It is not a question of offering incentives, as the Engineers Union suggests, but of building into our industry structure the means to achieve high growth through improved productivity, high rates of investment, a well educated and trained workforce and reducing costs to businesses."

Those were challenges the Government was determined to meet, Mr Bradford said.

"The doomsayers in the union movement should comment on the positive rather than try to resurrect old doctrines from past failures."