Kiwi manufacturers will welcome some of the ideas in Labour's
manufacturing policy but some areas need more work,
ManufacturingNZ executive director Catherine Beard says.
Labour leader David Cunliffe on Thursday launched the policy,
which includes proposals for tax deferrals to companies in
advanced manufacturing, a change to monetary policy, research
and development tax credits for all sectors and the Buy Kiwi
Mr Cunliffe said the plan would create better jobs and higher
Ms Beard said she was pleased Labour had picked up on some of
the recommendations in ManufacturingNZ's recently-released
Castella report, New Zealand Manufacturing Sector: It's
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
"This requires whole-of-life value to be factored in instead
of just focusing on the lowest price with little regard to
Accelerated depreciation might be welcomed by some
manufacturers, but the industry preference was for tax reform
across the board, to make businesses competitive
internationally, she said.
Manufacturers would like a lower dollar but they were
cautious about suggesting any change in the mandate of the
''There are other things that can help take the pressure off
the dollar, such as reducing debt and increasing savings.''
Addressing the skills shortage was something manufacturers
would like to see and ManufacturingNZ would welcome seeing
Labour's policy on the issue.
Manufacturers said talent-driven innovation was their number
one competitive advantage, Ms Beard said.
Mr Cunliffe said the Buy Kiwi Made policy would set a target
of keeping another $200 million a year of government
contracting at home rather than sending the work overseas.
About 2000 jobs would be created by the policy.
''This Government's attitude to procurement is: cheapest is
best, even if overseas companies win the contracts.
"The repeated failures of the KiwiRail wagons show how wrong
they are. Kiwi manufacturers are among the best in the world
and deserve a level playing field for procurement
contracts,'' Mr Cunliffe said.
Labour's policy was welcomed by the Engineering, Printing and
Manufacturing Union, the Council of Trade Unions and First