Last week’s unemployment figures were certain to prompt questions in parliament and they did.
Hon STEVEN JOYCE: I was just pointing out that the member says that the mining sector is bad for the New Zealand economy, except that if you look at the unemployment rates by region around New Zealand, you find that the lowest unemployment rate is in a region known as Taranaki, which currently has a 3.8 percent unemployment rate. And if you want to look across the Tasman, the lowest unemployment rate is in a state called Western Australia, which happens to be very focused on mining and resources. So if the member wants to say that he is concerned about jobs for New Zealanders, he needs to turn round and go to some of these regions where the Greens have been protesting against opportunities for New Zealanders to have jobs, and renege on what he said previously
Dr Russel Norman: Should not a Government that really wants to increase jobs be fixing the broken monetary policy to give our exporters and domestic manufacturers a level playing field against their international competition, and focus its efforts on industries that create jobs for New Zealanders rather than profits for foreign investors?
Hon STEVEN JOYCE: The member seems to be advocating, as his economic policy, New Zealand taking a one-way bet against world currencies. Well, that generally ends in tears. If the member is actually concerned about jobs—actually concerned about jobs—he should visit places like Northland, which has the highest unemployment rate, hold a public meeting, and demand they support mining and exploration in Northland. He should go to Gisborne and tell them to support oil and gas and mineral exploration. He should support the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Bill in the House today. He should support the Government building transport infrastructure, he should support our changes to the emissions trading scheme, and he should support our efforts to attract—
The opposition keep asking where are the jobs?
They don’t like the answer and as the minister points out oppose every step the government takes to help businesses create jobs.
They like to use the word sustainable and sustainable jobs aren’t those which use taxpayers money to employ people.
They are jobs which employ people to produce things which people in other countries want to buy.
Many of those potential jobs are in primary production and mining.
It’s easy to say don’t do any of that because of the impact on the environment but if we want more jobs we have to do those things and in a way which minimises or mitigates any negative impacts.