“Both the Greens and Government have missed the point on Silver Fern Farms” says Gareth Morgan of The Opportunities Party. “Any New Zealand business owner would have made the same decision based on the switch from sheep to dairy that has happened on the Canterbury Plains.
“The real question that should be asked is why we continue to illegally import workers and then waive prosecution on some of them.”
The Ashburton freezing works is closing with the loss of 370 jobs. The core issue behind this is the increase in dairy conversions that have decreased the number of sheep on the Canterbury plains.
“It’s logical that decrease from 1 million sheep processed per year to 300,000 will result in job losses,” says TOP leader Morgan. “The Green Party and NZ First are barking up the wrong tree blaming foreign investor Shanghai Maling for the closure. It really shows their illiteracy on business issues.”
“The increase in dairy conversions has created jobs and the people who are losing sheep jobs should be naturally transitioning to those jobs. That is where the demand now lies and that sort of restructuring is how economies work.”
“The problem is that the Government have stuffed the immigration system by allowing anyone into the country regardless of their skill level.”
“Now the Immigration Minister is even legitimising a scam by creating a new visa allowing roughly 4,000 migrants to stay in the country after being involved in a visa scam. If the Government hadn’t done that there would be plenty of well paid jobs for the Silver Fern Farm workers to go to.”
“If these roles are so valuable and the dairy industry is so successful, the dairy industry should pay their workers more. Then we might see more Kiwis moving into that sector. That is how trickle down economics is supposed to work, if the economy is going well you get shortages in an industry so you pay people more. You don’t just ship them in from overseas.”
“There is definitely a place for immigration, but let’s make sure every migrant contributes to making all New Zealanders better off. They shouldn’t be used to suppress wages at the bottom end. If Kiwis are out there are wondering why they haven’t had a pay rise, loose immigration policy is one of the reasons.”
Morgan insists that The Opportunities Party is not anti-immigration, but instead belive it should be responsibly managed. “Skilled migrants create wealth and jobs, so that is where we should be focussing. We should be importing foreign developers and scientists, not foreign dairy workers,” he says.