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Dunedin City Council An Economic "Must Come Zone"

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Dunedin City Council An Economic "Must Come Zone"

Dunedin ( 3 March) – Dunedin City Council takes an extremely positive and proactive approach to jobs and economic development and would like to think that the Ministry of Social Development would spend its time working with innovative local authorities like Dunedin to grow opportunities, rather than potentially marginalising some areas.

Dunedin City Council general manager for strategy and development Peter Brown said details of the Ministry’s “Jobs Jolt” programme announced today which effectively barred unemployed people from moving to 259 areas nationally did not appear to be useful in growing economic opportunities. While Dunedin did not contain any of the identified areas, it still had concerns about the policy.

“In Dunedin I believe we have created a "Must Come Zone". Our employment growth rate of 4.3% was among the highest in the country last year, and our economic growth rate of 4.8% for 2003 was also among the highest in the nation. That has come about through a lot of hard work whereby we have worked with people in our community to encourage creation of a wealthy city that is innovative, creative and vibrant.

“I am sure that all local authorities want to create a “Must Come Zone” like Dunedin has, and anything that stereotypes the unemployed makes it more difficult to achieve those sorts of goals,” Mr Brown said.

“People are attracted to a city or region because jobs are available to them, because the physical attributes of a region appeal or because once they are there they can create their own work and businesses. Dunedin has shown that growth can be encouraged and people who were unemployed here are now playing vital roles in our lively and strong City of Dunedin - so we believe it is better to encourage and support people rather than ostracise them,” he said.

ENDS

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