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United NZ - Cautious Welcome To Anderton's Plans

United NZ Gives Cautious Welcome To Anderton’s Plans

29 February 2000


United New Zealand Party leader, Hon Peter Dunne, has given a cautious welcome to today’s announcement by Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton of the Government’s new economic development strategy.

Mr Dunne, a former Regional Development Minister, says Mr Anderton’s plans are a step in the right direction, although much of the detail remains to be seen.

“Some may see it as strange that a liberal Party like United, which favours an open economy, is supportive of a government role in economic and regional development.”

“There is no inconsistency – it has always been my view that there is a considerable facilitative role for central government in this area, and a strong for more effective co-ordination of the delivery of government programmes.”

“The Business Development Boards which I established in 1990 and which were emasculated by subsequent governments were designed to achieve these functions,” he says.

Mr Dunne says he does have some misgivings about the proposed role of Industry New Zealand.

“Local economic development is best promoted at a local level – a centralised body like Industry New Zealand is likely to be monolithic and hidebound to respond effectively to local initiatives,” he says.

Mr Dunne also wants the Government to involve local government more in its plans.

“Regional and territorial authorities already run a number of local business development initiatives, but these need far more effective co-ordination, and I hope Mr Anderton moves to address these, to stop duplication,” he says.

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