Prime Minister John Key has rejected statistics showing the number of manufacturing jobs has fallen, although he concedes jobs are being outsourced to other countries.
Statistics New Zealand's latest linked employer-employee data series reveals the number of filled jobs in manufacturing fell 20,550 to just over 196,000 in the three years to September 2011.
It comes as Carter Holt Harvey announced about 70 workers are to lose their jobs in Rotorua and Tokoroa.
Prime Minister John Key disputes the figures, saying he relies on Statistics New Zealand's Household Labour Force Survey.
Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says Mr Key cannot ignore the latest figures and Labour Party leader David Shearer agrees, saying the Government's hands-off approach to the economy is failing.
Opposition parties say the new figures add weight to their inquiry into what they call the crisis in manufacturing.