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Labour's regional policy not the whole answer

Media statement Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Labour's regional policy not the whole answer

The priority for Labour's regional development policy should switch from sprinkling money around to changing the laws holding back growth in the regions, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says.

"While the money's important, on its own its not the whole solution," said Kim Campbell, EMA's chief executive.

"The present malaise in many of our regions is planning rigor mortis, not just the lack of money.

"We need structural reforms to make the investment work more effectively, and faster.

"For better regional development we first need changes to such as the Resource Management Act and the Local Government Act.

"Regional projects currently bogged down in regulatory mire include urgently needed improvements on land transport to Whangarei, the harbour development at Opotiki, the Tainui-led Ruakura development in the Waikato, the Ruataniwha Dam, and the North Canterbury irrigation scheme.

"Without doing the hard yards on making the necessary law changes a meagre $200 million band aid will make little difference."

ENDS

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