The Government is defending its attempts to minimise the effects of the recession as its critics call for more action to save jobs.

Labour leader Phil Goff said today that it appeared the jobs summit in February was no more than a gimmick and little was being done to help people deal with he impact of the recession.

"There are more than 1000 New Zealanders each week going on the dole, 2000 jobs each week being lost altogether," Goff said. "There is nothing that has come out of the jobs summit that seems to have stemmed the flood in any way at all."

The three main ideas had either fallen over or been ineffective, Goff said.

The nine-day working fortnight had saved only 345 jobs, the Government would not say how many jobs the cycleway project would create and the idea of a joint bank/government credit facility had been dumped already, he said.

"I think clearly now the jobs summit, which was meant to be in the prime minister's own words a `do-fest' not a `talk-fest', at best it was a `talk-fest' at worst it was a gimmick."

Finance Minister Bill English said criticism that the Government was not trying to save jobs was ridiculous.

"The Government has a large fiscal stimulus package anyway," English said.

The Government was building schools, state houses and funding insulation installation, all of which were creating jobs now or in the near future.

There was also large spending projects getting under way such as upgrading of the electricity transmission network.

This would take longer to come on stream, but would create jobs, he said.

The Government was very concerned about job losses and the effects that was having on the community.

More was being spent to stimulate the economy and the Government was working hard to get the right conditions for business to expand.

"We always said we would have a rolling maul of initiatives, because there is not one big bang. If there was a big bang countries would be doing it."

- NZPA