By Alex Tarrant
His 2008 government kicked off with the "jobs summit", but Prime Minister John Key now needs to convene a "real jobs summit" following last week's dismal unemployment figures, NZ Herald columnist Fran O'Sullivan says.
Your view? Will it help? What would help?
The dreadful news was clearly counter to the advice the Government has received from the Treasury.
But instead of galvanising Key into action - through orchestrating a real Jobs Summit and incentivising employers to take on more workers - the Prime Minister waffled.
Labour youth affairs spokeswoman Megan Woods was more compelling when she said New Zealand was facing a youth job crisis with one in four young people unemployed.
"There are no jobs for them. There are 85,000 young people not in education, training or work in this country. That has increased by 18,000 since National took office."
For Key to simply shrug his shoulders on this score doesn't cut it.
It is four years since the global financial crisis exposed several of our over-leveraged companies as relative basket cases. Some survivors among the externally focused companies can no longer withstand the effects of a high dollar on revenues. They have had to trim staff to stay in business.
The Government ignored the move by opposition parties to launch an "inquiry" into problems the manufacturing sector has faced. Of course the opposition parties were politicking.
But that doesn't mean the Government should not face up to the worrying concerns itself.
For months we've heard how the Canterbury rebuild would be the major economic growth kicker for New Zealand.
The statistics show growth is indeed occurring in Christchurch.
But faith is no excuse for a failure to act. It's time, surely, for Key to call an economic summit to address the issues New Zealand faces.
We owe it to the young people who are yet to even get on the employment ladder to be less ostrich-like as a nation.