Government must buy local - Union

Last updated 10:37 19/10/2012

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First Union says if the Government wants to help New Zealand's ailing manufacturing sector it must do an about-face on procurement and show a real commitment to buying local.

The labour organisation was responding to a raft of policies unveiled by Labour leader David Shearer yesterday, which included proposals for government procurement, as well as migration and work practices.

"Government procurement was reviewed twice under the last Labour government and again by National, but each time, officials have actively stymied any progress toward making procurement rules more favourable to local manufacturers," said Robert Reid, First's general secretary.

In order to boost local manufacturing, Reid is calling for clearer apprenticeship requirements, whole-of-life economic analysis and Australian-style industry participation plans.

"Industries like textiles and wood should be firing up to meet the needs of the Canterbury rebuild but instead they are laying off staff," Reid

"Meanwhile the government last month published new principles for procurement, which contained only one line commenting on New Zealand suppliers, and only that they have a fair opportunity to compete."

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