18 Mar 2015

Northland jobs figures always regional - Joyce

12:48 pm on 18 March 2015

The Economic Development Minister has conceded that 7500 new jobs he said had been created in Northland last year were not all in the electorate.

Steven Joyce said a number of the jobs would have been in Whangarei but he could not say how many.

Steven Joyce talks about Sky City deal with the Government.

Economic development minister, Steven Joyce. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The National Party has based much of its by-election campaign on the premise it has driven strong job growth in the electorate.

But Mr Joyce said not all the new jobs to which he had referred were in the Northland electorate.

"We're unable to a breakdown sub-regionally and obviously some will be in Whangarei but then there's also people who live in the Northland electorate that work in Whangarei and vice-versa. So we're talking about the region economically as a whole."

Mr Joyce tweeted it that it was inaccurate to say he had conceded not all the new jobs were in Northland, because he had always talked about the region.

But New Zealand First leader and candidate, Winston Peters, said National had been misleading about job creation in the electorate and it was clear many of the jobs would have been in Whangarei.

Winston Peters on the campaign trail in Northland

Winston Peters on the campaign trail in Northland Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

Mr Peters said unemployment had fallen only by 100 in the region.

He said Mr Joyce had made a number of false statements during the campaign.

"The other thing is, he said I've stated I will never live in the electorate. That again is an absurd lie. So, you know, Mr Joyce should actually realise when this is all over people are going to remember the way he behaved."

Mr Peters said his family had lived in Northland for hundreds of years and he had property there.