Opposition determined to manufacture a crisis

  • Steven Joyce
Economic Development

The Opposition’s so-called ‘Manufacturing Crisis’ inquiry remains nothing more than a failed political stunt with a bunch of re-tread solutions and a lack of knowledge of the measures the Government is already implementing, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.

“Labour, the Greens, New Zealand First and Mana are determined to manufacture a crisis in manufacturing. The massive problem for them is that while individual firms face real challenges at different times, no crisis exists,” Mr Joyce says.

The latest BNZ-BusinessNZ performance of manufacturing index released on Friday indicates the New Zealand manufacturing sector is now expanding at its fastest rate since 2004, and at one of the highest rates across the world.

“The PMI highlights the results that New Zealand businesses are starting to see from the hard work they are putting in and the support they are getting from the Government. Companies are responding magnificently to the challenges of the high dollar and the GFC, and taking advantage of the opportunities that exist internationally,” Mr Joyce says.

The Government has provided $742 million over the last four years in co-funding to directly assist New Zealand exporters to grow and compete in international markets.
This co-funding includes $332 million for business research and development from the Science and Innovation Budget; $325 million more allocated under the Primary Growth Partnership; and $85 million from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s International Growth Fund.

“There is no doubt world economic conditions following the Global Financial Crisis have been challenging for some New Zealand firms. The role of Government is to do things that help make our firms more competitive and that’s what our Business Growth Agenda is all about,” Mr Joyce says.

"This Government has so far done more than any other to assist firms to grow and compete successfully on the world stage. As a result of Budget 2013, that support for R&D and market and firm development will reach in excess of $250 million of additional support each year, meaning a total of $1 billion over the next four years.

“The Government is establishing Callaghan Innovation to be a hi-tech HQ for business R&D and we are investing hundreds of millions annually in business R&D across all export-focused sectors, including food and beverage manufacturing, digital technologies, health technologies, hi-tech manufacturing, and agri-technologies."

Other changes include the recently announced comprehensive reforms of Government procurement to make it easier for small and medium-sized Kiwi companies to win business, new investments in incubator funds for start-up companies, and more support for the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund.