Coast takes a tumble

The West Coast has taken a hammering with economic activity dropping by 4.5 per cent over the past three months, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark. 

“The latest ANZ regional trends shows just how badly this Government has failed the West Coast as it faces a shrinking economy and deep cuts to transport and health. The Coast has suffered the largest fall in economic activity in New Zealand’s regions.

“Falling economic activity means that 200 jobs have been lost off the Coast and unemployment has risen by 33 per cent. 

“The report says the biggest drops on the Coast have been in retail sales, concrete production and housing and commercial building consents. 

“The other reason for the fall is the current weakness in the dairy industry. Add into that a real cut of $3 million in the latest Budget for the West Coast District Health Board and the loss of 20 per cent of its senior doctors in the past year. Coasters have every reason to feel forgotten by this Government.  

“The West Coast’s woes are mirrored across a lot of New Zealand’s regions with over half showing a drop in economic activity from a year ago,” says David Clark.