Opposition parties launch their own inquiry into job losses
BUSINESSDESK: Opposition parties meeting today to publicise the issue of job losses have announced a parliamentary inquiry.
It is outside the usual select committee process and is similar to one held on profits made by banks in New Zealand.
A joint statement by the Greens, Labour and NZ First says the finance and expenditure committee last month blocked an attempt to hold a select committee inquiry into a crisis in manufacturing so the parties will hold their own inquiry.
It will hear oral submissions in several cities in early December. Other parties were welcome to join.
The opposition parties say that since 2008 nearly 40,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost. They do not give a figure for the number of jobs created.
In recent months jobs have gone at Solid Energy's Spring Creek and Huntly East mines, Norske Skog's paper mill in Kawerau, the Tiwai Pt aluminimium smelter, Axiam Metals, Nuplex Industries, Flotech, Summit Wool Spinners, Goulds Fine Foods, Fisher & Paykel Appliances, KiwiRail and the Christchurch Engine Centre.
Businesses, unions and economists are also attending today's summit in Auckland.
NZ First leader Winston Peters again called for changes to way the Reserve Bank of New Zealand operates to promote growth.
EPMU national secretary Bill Newson says the summit was a sign of the emerging consensus that the government needed to take a more active role in the economy.