Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett’s attempt to paint jobless Kiwis as shirkers who can’t be bothered looking for work is insulting, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.Jacinda Ardern
Social Development Spokesperson
14 November 2012
Bennett bouncing all over the place on jobs
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett’s attempt to paint jobless Kiwis as shirkers who can’t be bothered looking for work is insulting, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.
“The roll call of job vacancies she read out in the House yesterday – implying that there is work for the 175,000 jobless Kiwis if they want it – was in extremely bad taste. It was also way off the mark.
“Ms Bennett claimed that ‘the Warehouse Group has 300 full-time and part-time jobs, across three stores, available between October and January’. In other words short term, holiday jobs for students over the Christmas period. She failed to mention that the last time The Warehouse advertised in October there were 1200 applications for 111 vacancies.
“She highlighted the fact that a New World supermarket was opening in Paraparaumu and there would surely be jobs going there. Not only is that store not expected to open till late next year, a previous advertisement by the company for 150 jobs attracted 2700 applicants.
“Ms Bennett went on to say that ‘Brightwater Engineers Ltd is looking for 40 staff at the moment’. That firm is reported to have sacked up to 40 people earlier this year.
“And in stating that ‘40 staff are required for the new Bunnings warehouse in New Plymouth’, she conveniently ignored the fact that the last time Bunnings advertised 70 openings it received 800 applications. The company is currently advertising three vacancies online, across the entire country.
“Her claim that ‘Taylor Preston meat works has got 160 jobs [opportunities] opening in October’ highlights how out of touch she is with the crisis in that industry. While it might be moving into the high season some 300 jobs are being axed at Blue Sky Meats and Alliance’s Mataura meat works.
“To suggest that Kiwis are somehow lazy, or not trying to find work, is pretty desperate. To then try to rationalise those statements by describing the job market as ‘bouncy’, as she did today, is just ludicrous.”
“The only claim Ms Bennett made in the House today that is correct, is that I am angry about unemployment. She should be too,” Jacinda Ardern said.