Labour needs to try harder

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - NEWS -

Man­u­fac­tur­ingNZ ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Cather­ine Beard says Kiwi man­u­fac­tur­ers will wel­come some of the ideas in the Labour Party's man­u­fac­tur­ing pol­icy an­nounced on 17 April. How­ever, she says some ar­eas need more work.

“We're pleased Labour has picked up on some of the rec­om­men­da­tions in our re­cently re­leased Castalia re­port: New Zealand Man­u­fac­tur­ing Sec­tor: Its Dy­nam­ics and Com­pet­i­tive­ness.

“In par­tic­u­lar, there are big op­por­tu­ni­ties to build big­ger and more in­ter­na­tion­ally com­pet­i­tive com­pa­nies by in­volv­ing them in larger do­mes­tic projects through Govern­ment pro­cure­ment.

“This re­quires whole-of-life value to be fac­tored in, in­stead of just fo­cus­ing on the low­est price with lit­tle re­gard to qual­ity.

“A con­tin­ued fo­cus on R&D is wel­come. In com­par­ing tax cred­its with the cur­rent sys­tem, we do see ad­van­tages with the Cal­laghan In­no­va­tion ap­proach.

“While ac­cel­er­ated de­pre­ci­a­tion might be wel­comed by some man­u­fac­tur­ers, our pref­er­ence is for tax re­form across the board to make our businesses com­pet­i­tive in­ter­na­tion­ally.

“While man­u­fac­tur­ers would like a lower Kiwi dol­lar, we are cau­tious about any change in the man­date of the Re­serve Bank. There are other things that can help take the pres­sure off the dol­lar, such as re­duc­ing debt and in­creas­ing sav­ings.

“Ad­dress­ing the skills short­age is def­i­nitely some­thing man­u­fac­tur­ers would like to see.”

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