8 Nov 2012

Jobless surge due to Govt ignoring manufacturers - union

7:13 pm on 8 November 2012

A Maori union man says the Government has dropped the ball on manufacturing - as new figures show more Maori are out of work.

According to Statistics New Zealand, the Maori unemployment rate has risen to 15.1%.

It's surged by 2.3% in three months.

Maori vice-president of the Council of Trade Unions Syd Keepa says the wood processing industry has taken a hammering.

But he says the Government doesn't seem to want to step in and save suffering sawmills - a traditional employer of tangata whenua.

He says mills are shutting because they have to pay steep global prices for raw timber, but get poor returns.