Faced with National's utter disinterest in jobs and its refusal to allow Parliament to investigate the matter, Labour, the Greens and NZ First have done the only thing they could: launched their own inquiry:
Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First plan to run their own inquiry into the manufacturing sector in New Zealand.
The leaders of the three parties, David Shearer, Russel Norman and Winston Peters made the announcement today at the end of a "Jobs Crisis Summit" in Auckland run by the Engineering Printing and Manufacturing Union.
The Government blocked an inquiry on manufacturing by the finance and expenditure committee and so the Opposition decided to run an inquiry independently.
An independent inquiry like this won't have access to a select committee's resources or powers - but it won't need them. Those in denial - including the government and its finance-sector backers - would never have cooperated with a formal inquiry anyway. All the independent inquiry has to do is bring together people who recognise that there is a problem and/or have an idea towards a solution, and provide them with a platform from which to advocate an alternative economic approach - a task which will be much easier without the "do nothing" status quo's involvement. And if in the process they manage to work out some way of working together and present themselves as a broad coalition government in waiting, so much the better.