If you were the Green Party, what would be the first new ministry you’d create?

Air and water quality?

Climate change?

Child poverty?

The Greens will establish a Minister for Manufacturing if in Government, that would sit inside Cabinet and create “well-paid, clean-tech jobs”.

Co-leader James Shaw made the policy announcement at a Christchurch-based knitting company on Thursday.

(inserting a pause for laughter to die down)

“Today’s announcement is about creating well-paid, clean-tech jobs for the future, right here in New Zealand.”

He said the sector employed 250,000 people and accounted for about $23 billion in New Zealand’s GDP.

The Government had presided over the loss of 17,500 manufacturing jobs.

“Manufacturing innovation is a critical part of our transition to a clean, low-carbon economy,” he said.”For manufacturing to thrive and take advantage of new technologies like 3D printing, we need leadership across the whole sector now. National hasn’t shown this leadership.

“We hear more from National about deep sea oil drilling and dairy farming than we do about clean-tech and high value-added manufacturing.”

Shaw said it was not the party’s intention to have manufacturing “squeeze out” other industries such as dairy.

A minister was not the only thing that needed to happen to boost manufacturing productivity in New Zealand.

“This is not in isolation. There are a number of Government policies that need to take place in order to support manufacturing over the course of the next couple of decades.

“But in our view, having a minister is a necessary pre-condition because you’ve got to be able to influence Government policy.”

Shaw veered away from specifying a number when it came to job targets, but he said the minister’s role would be to mitigate the effects of automation on the industry, and a trend of jobs being moved offshore to global supply chains.

The Green party thinks that it needs to run our manufacturers’ businesses for them.  Somehow, there are lots and lots of businesses in New Zealand that simply haven’t had the right ideas or encouragement yet.  They need the Government to ensure they will maximise all their opportunities by only using tech, 3D printing, renewable energy, reduced waste and holistic practices.

…give me strength


– Stuff

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