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Opportunity for political parties to back Kiwi-made and Kiwi jobs

The First Reading in Parliament today of his Our Work, Our Future Bill is a chance for political parties to ensure the government buys Kiwi-made more often and backs Kiwi jobs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.

The reading of this Bill marks the first time on record that a Leader of the Opposition in New Zealand has had two Bills drawn from the ballot and simultaneously before Parliament. Andrew Little’s other Bill, the Healthy Homes Guarantee, requires rentals to be warm, dry, and heathy to live in. It won its first reading vote, the only time this has happened for the Leader of the Opposition, and is due for a second reading soon.

“The New Zealand Government should buy Kiwi-made whenever possible. It just makes sense.

“Buying from Kiwi companies keeps jobs and wages in New Zealand, and gives those businesses valuable experience.

“My Bill will requires that when government organisations issue procurement tenders, they design the contract to give Kiwi firms a fair chance of winning and choose successful bids based on the creation of jobs in New Zealand.

“The IRD computer system shows how the current system fails New Zealanders. This $1.9 billion figure could have been divided up into smaller projects that Kiwi companies could have carried out, gaining experience and growing. Instead, it was bundled up as a single massive project that only a handful of foreign companies could take on.

“National’s failures on Serco and Novopay show that foreign companies don’t necessarily produce better or cheaper products. We should have faith in Kiwi companies and back them to deliver.

“With Parliament down to 120 MPs, it’s up to National whether this Bill passes. The challenge falls to John Key. Will he back Kiwi businesses? Will he vote for my Bill and give Kiwis a fair shot at winning government contracts?

“Let’s back our companies. Let’s give them a fair shot at winning government contracts. Let’s create more jobs and better wages for Kiwi workers,” says Andrew Little.

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