The crisis that isn’t

David Farrar unspins the spin over the so-called manufacturing crisis:

Labour, Greens and NZ First release their “report” from their manufactured inquiry into the manufacturing crisis. They specialise in putting out cherry picked data to try and convince people there is a crisis in manufacturing.

To counter that I’m blogging these graphs which are all directly from the Stats NZ Infoshare database and show some key metrics over time, so people can see the actual changes and trends. They are a mixture of positive and negative, but not an indicator of a crisis I would say. In fact all have been improving recently.



The Green/Labour bloc likes to only talk about 2008 until now. There is a reason for that…the graph shows the dip caused by the global financial crisis…and they are trying to conflate that event with government performance.

Despite the dip manufacturing contribution to GDP is still higher now than before Labour took office in 1999.

Farrar summarises his graphs:

So what do these graphs all show? Several things:

  1. NZ suffered from the global financial crisis in late 2008 through to 2010
  2. NZ manufacturing started declining prior to the GFC, in Labour’s last term. This is no surprise as we went into recession at the beginning of 2008, and the tradeables sector was in recession from 2005.
  3. Jobs in manufacturing have been declining for a longer period, due to automation
  4. Every manufacturing indicator is now positive and growing, with confidence for the sector at a nine year high

It’s good for parties to promote alternative economic policies for sectors such as manufacturing. That is what politics is about. It is not good however to try and manufacture a crisis, when there clearly is not a crisis.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.