Government holds Northland back

New information shows Northland remains the most economically depressed region in New Zealand, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark.

“The latest Westpac McDermott Miller regional survey found that more Northlanders believe their local economy will deteriorate this year than not.

 “Northland is the most pessimistic part of the country.   

“A key factor in this poor performance is that Northland still has the highest unemployment at 8.4 per cent; 800 jobs have been lost in the past year. 

“Household incomes fell by $37 dollars a week to $1056 the lowest in the country. Northland now has the second highest number of people on benefits in the country. 

“The region is feeling the pinch as the District Health Board has seen a $47 million cut in its budget and burglaries in Northland have risen by 40 per cent since National came to power.

 “Our most depressed region deserves better. 

“Labour will set up a regional infrastructure fund, rebalance transport funding, invest in health and make sure more public service jobs are moved to the regions. We will look at the Marsden Point rail link and reverse the cut in health funding,“ says David Clark.