National should back Kiwi jobs – not shift them to Thailand

The Government should have ensured SkyCity use New Zealand companies where possible when it granted gambling concessions in return for a convention centre, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.

“News today that half the work on the steel frames for the SkyCity Convention Centre in Auckland has gone to a foreign contractor is a kick in the guts to steel workers.

“Industry representatives said today that work would have created about 100 well-paid full-time jobs for between a year and 18 months, which is work they prepared for.

“This comes at a time when the New Zealand steel industry is already under threat because of the potential closure of the Glenbrook Steel Mill. More than 2000 metal manufacturing jobs have already been lost under this Government.

“John Key should have negotiated a clause in his deal with SkyCity to ensure that convention centre work went to Kiwi companies and Kiwi workers. It beggars belief they didn’t make sure this work stayed in New Zealand.

“The objective of my Member’s Bill – soon to be debated by Parliament – is to ensure the Government puts Kiwi jobs first. National should take this opportunity to back New Zealanders by supporting my Bill.

“Labour will do the right thing and use the Government’s $40 billion of buying power to support

Kiwi businesses and jobs – and make sure New Zealanders get their fair share,” Andrew Little says.