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23 April 2014 | Gurjit Degun
The New Zealand Labour Party has committed to a national procurement policy favouring Kiwi-made products.
The opposition party's leader David Cunliffe said that Labour’s Manufacturing Economic Upgrade is a “strategy to shift an economy that’s merely idling into a higher gear”.
He added that Labour will “unashamedly back New Zealand manufacturing” by ensuring that government agencies buy more Kiwi-made products “whenever it makes sense”.
“That’s why we have committed to a national procurement policy that favours Kiwi-made, so New Zealand manufacturers enjoy the same advantages as their international competitors,” Cunliffe said.
“I am announcing we will adopt a target of keeping another NZ$200 million (£102 million) a year at home, rather than sending that work overseas.”
Labour said that this will be done in a way that is consistent with World Trade Organisation rules. It explained that it will require government bodies take a “NZ Inc cost/benefit approach when tendering major contracts”.
A statement added: “Rather than merely considering the effect on their own bottom lines, government bodies will have to consider the wider economic and fiscal impacts when choosing suppliers.
“We will also require that government tenders adhere to New Zealand manufacturing standards. Submitters to the [2013 Parliamentary] Manufacturing Inquiry pointed out that they are frequently undercut when bidding for public contracts by overseas suppliers whose products aren’t up to New Zealand standards and, so, cost more in the long-run.”