Prime Minister John Key had insulted the thousands of New
Zealanders who had lost their jobs in manufacturing through
comments he made in Dunedin this week, Dunedin South MP Clare
Curran said yesterday.
Ms Curran was particularly incensed by Mr Key visiting
Dunedin's Farra Engineering and declaring there was "no
crisis in manufacturing".
That had become a catch phrase of the Government, she said.
"Dunedin people should feel rightly insulted by Mr Key coming
to our city and trying to pull the wool over their eyes on
"There have been 40,000 jobs lost in industry. Factories are
shutting down. Whole communities are being hollowed out."
It was lucky Mr Key stopped his visit in Dunedin and did not
travel further south where the future of meatworks and the
Tiwai aluminium smelter were at the forefront of people's
minds, Ms Curran said.
"He's got front, I will give him that. Turning up in Dunedin
and telling us there is no crisis in manufacturing takes some
The Dunedin South MP believed Mr Key had deliberately
targeted a visit to Dunedin so he and chief whip and Dunedin
National Party list MP Michael Woodhouse could be seen as
being onside with manufacturers.
The Government should have stepped in and supported the
Hillside Workshops, now up for sale, Ms Curran said.
The Hillside Workshops should be building trains for this
country rather than KiwiRail importing them from China, she
Ms Curran understood the Hillside foundry would be kept
operating but there was debate about whether the new owner
would be "buying" the current workforce.
"This is a dilemma for any organisation that purchases
Hillside but it shouldn't be happening in the first place."