Dunedin is becoming a city of ''middle-aged,
middle-class'' workers with a dearth of entry-level roles,
Methodist Mission chief executive Laura Black says.
Ms Black was commenting on the latest round of Dunedin
redundancies, this time because of the downgrade of the
Dunedin Mail Centre.
New Zealand Post has shifted standard mail processing to
Christchurch, resulting in 39 redundancies and five
One of the redeployments was a delivery job in Dunedin, and
the rest were in Christchurch, Wellington and Palmerston
Most workers finished at the end of last week.
Seven left in May, and three would stay until the middle of
''We're heavily weighted to jobs for well-qualified,
middle-aged, middle-class people because we're a provincial
capital,'' Ms Black said.
''There are fewer and fewer entry-level jobs.''
Increasingly, Dunedin was a city whose jobs required
tertiary-level qualifications, and centres needed a range of
roles at all skill levels.
She believed the plight of thousands of young unemployed
people was not being addressed.
She applauded the ''fantastic'' leadership of Clutha Mayor
Bryan Cadogan, and said a similar youth jobs initiative
should be launched in Dunedin.
Also, the Government needed to help, especially by supporting
''If central Government is not willing to put its enormous
spending power behind the regions, then with the best will in
the world, it's a pretty uphill struggle.''
While her focus was not one particular industry, Ms Black
pointed out that if courier mail had not been deregulated,
New Zealand Post would be ''coining it'' because of the
growth in online shopping.
Engineering Printing and Manufacturing Union national
industry organiser (postal and logistics) Joe Gallagher, of
Auckland, said smaller centres such as Dunedin were not being
helped by the Government.
''Dunedin's getting a hiding.
''This is a great loss for Dunedin - losing their mail
The union accepted the need for change because of falling
mail volumes, but did not agree with the way the problem was
being handled, including the rapid speed of the changes.
''It's getting harder and harder to get a decent job in these
communities,'' Mr Gallagher said.
Workers offered transfers faced a difficult choice, because
of higher housing costs in main centres such as Christchurch,
He said the Government wanted state-owned enterprises such as
New Zealand Post to return increasing dividends, which needed
to be questioned.