New Zealand First leader Winston Peters today noted the irony of Labour promising Southlanders today that it would seek to negotiate an extra three to five years of life for Tiwai Point.
“Better than late than never, noted Mr Peters.
“It’s ironic that the Labour Party, along with National, now favour keeping the smelter at Tiwai open for longer.
“There’s no better testament to the influence of New Zealand First than this race to keep up with our commitment to keep Tiwai running for another 20 years.
“But Labour and the other parties are playing catch-up.
“Labour’s position is confused. We find it difficult to see how a $5 million ‘Just Transition’ investment within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will save one job in Southland. It will merely create many more Wellington bureaucrats, stated Mr Peters.
“Additionally, Southlanders should remember the experience of West Coasters after the last Labour Government doled out a $100 million transition package. Did that achieve economic transformation on the West Coast? No, said Mr Peters.
“My message to Southlanders is this. Don’t vote for pale imitations. Vote for the one party that has shown support for your long term job security from the get-go.
“New Zealand First is determined to keep Tiwai open for the next two decades. That is our commitment to Southlanders.”