Labour needs to try harder
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.”