Economic debate tonight

The great Southland Economic Debate starts tonight.

The public debate has been set up by the Congress of Trade Unions in response to major job losses at the Blue Sky Meats and Alliance Mataura meatworks and the Tiwai Point Aluminium smelter, which faces an uncertain future.

Labour's economic development spokesman David Cunliffe, Greens co-leader Metiria Turei, NZ First leader Winston Peters, Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt and CTU national secretary Peter Conway are all attending.

Invercargill MP Eric Roy was invited but said he had a prior engagement and could not attend and Finance Minister and Clutha-Southland MP Bill English has also declined to attend.

The debate will be held at the Invercargill Working Men's Club and is expected to start at 7.30pm.

Southland Times reporter Neil Ratley will be covering the debate. Check back here to follow his live Twitter updates during the debate or look for #southlanddebate on Twitter.

The Southland Times