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Partnership In Prosperity - Doug Marsh

Partnership In Prosperity

Address by Doug Marsh, President Business NZ
6.00 pm Wed 30 May 2001
Level 6 Microsoft House, Hunter Street, Wellington

Prime Minister, Ministers of the Crown, Members of Parliament, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen: It is my privilege to welcome you and to express our very great pleasure that you are able this evening to share with us a special occasion: the formal opening of the offices of New Zealand's newest, biggest, and most representative business organisation, Business New Zealand.

Business New Zealand is not wholly the newest kid on the block. Over 200 years of history underpin our foundations. But this is a new beginning; a birth, not a marriage, and my colleagues, the Founder Members and the fifty odd affiliates in our wider family are delighted that you can be present to share this occasion with us.

Business New Zealand is passionate about New Zealand regaining a first world income to get back into the OECD top ten. The reason is simple. A first world income would deliver a first world health service, a first world quality education system, a welfare system that could place enough safety nets in the right places, about jobs for our children, here, for good wages, on a long term basis. But first we need to earn that income. We need to urgently transform and grow the New Zealand economy to the higher value export production of the goods and services that we are good at. To be comfortable about who we are, and where we are going, and why. To hit serious growth targets consistently.

We see this occasion as the launch pad of a new partnership. A partnership for prosperity that would see Business New Zealand go forward with you and your colleagues to a common goal for all New Zealanders, whatever their background, whatever their ability to contribute. To a new New Zealand, firmly in the 21st century, sure of itself, confident of its abilities to defeat the historical enemies of size and distance. And, most of all, confident in the abilities of Kiwis to overcome great challenges in their unique way.

In the last few weeks, Prime Minister, you have represented all of us on some old battlefields that demonstrate all those capabilities in the most graphic manner possible. We now share a common but equally serious endeavour: to take New Zealand forward to a future that is no less challenging, no less daunting. Prime Minister, my colleagues and I in Business New Zealand are ready to play our part in an equally critical partnership.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome the Prime Minister of New Zealand, the Right Honourable Helen Clark.


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