New Zealand Labour Party

Future of work critical to economic success

Seizing opportunities and meeting the challenges of the changing nature of work will be critical to the future success of the
New Zealand economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson and Future of Work Commission chair Grant Robertson says.

“The nature and experience of work is changing faster and more significantly now than at any time since the industrial revolution. Our future wealth and well-being as a nation relies upon how we respond and adapt to that change.

“Our challenge is to ensure no one is left behind or exploited, and that we can generate sustainable wealth and work. We are not going to get wealthier as a country by an ever smaller group of people selling houses to one another. To grasp the opportunities of these changes, we need to harness our productive sector and unleash the potential of innovators and entrepreneurs.

“A major part of this change is driven by technology and automation. Many traditional jobs will be gone in the next 10 to 20 years. Responding to this – in education, training and business development – must begin now.

“We cannot afford to sit back and let these changes happen to us. Our response must look outwards to the rest of the world, but also recognise our unique circumstances, including harnessing the strength of the Maori economy and the importance of the environment to our future wealth and well-being.

“The Future of Work Commission will work across traditional portfolio boundaries to build a plan for the economy. Over the next two years we will engage with people from all walks of life about what work and jobs mean to them, and what the future will look like.

“The Commission will bring together the best ideas and thinkers from around the world and in our own communities. It will define a vision and goals as well as practical policies and programmes to ensure New Zealand can face the future with confidence.

“This will be an open process. We will welcome input from anyone who wants to contribute to the future success of our country and our people,” Grant Robertson says.