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B2000: Economic Development Overview

Hon Jim Anderton
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Economic Development

15 June 2000


Economic Development Overview

Budget 2000 is aimed at broadening and adding knowledge to New Zealand's economic base, Deputy Prime Minister and Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton says.

"For too long governments have neglected regional and industry development, allowed skill levels to fall behind those of other developed countries and neglected the knowledge economy. This Government will work in partnership with the regions, business and local government to turn that around," Mr Anderton said.

Major initiatives in Budget 2000 linked to economic development include:

 A total funding commitment of $331.875 million [including GST] over the next four years for industry and regional development.

 Provision for industry and regional development of $33.750 million in Year One, $73.125 million in 2001-2002 and $112.5 million in subsequent years.

 An extra $30 million in Year One for research, science and technology, including a record $20.8 million allocation to encourage R&D in the private sector.

 A national electronic commerce strategy increased funding for e-commerce consumer protection and provision for TradeNZ to expand its internet trade development network.

 Funding for State Services to develop an environment that improves New Zealanders' access to government information and services through new technology.

 A modern apprenticeship scheme to provide opportunities for young people to receive high-quality work-based education and for employers to gain skilled staff

 Piloting Community Employment Organisations that employ jobless New Zealanders in community service activities, including ArtWorks and Activity in the Community.

 New funding for Work Track, an early intervention programme targeting newly enrolled job seekers who are identified as at risk of becoming long term unemployed.

 Measures to help lower the cost of tertiary education.

 An increase in the Industry Training Fund.

 A range of initiatives supporting Maori economic development, including support for Maori and iwi groups to develop their capacity to achieve their objectives and aspirations, assistance with the development of Maori land; assistance for Maori women to access business finance, and the allocation of a block of "third generation" spectrum to a Maori trust at a discounted price.

 Additional funding for the Pacific organisational development initiative.

"The Government is integrating its resources and bringing them together to give strength and coherence to economic development," Jim Anderton said.

"We are working with regional communities to develop the highest priorities for development and facilitating those projects in partnership with local communities. To make New Zealand stronger, we need to make the regions stronger.

"New Zealand's economic success depends on our ability to foster and harness creative and intellectual capabilities. The Government is playing its part by investing in science, research and technology.

"The Government's investment in e-commerce and e-government initiatives will help to ensure that New Zealand becomes a leading nation in the smart use of electronic commerce and electronic Government.

"Higher incomes depend on higher skills. The Government is investing in Modern Apprenticeships, industry training, tertiary education and a range of schemes that provide skills and opportunities for the unemployed. These initiatives will help to improve opportunities and incomes of young New Zealanders and provide employers with skilled staff.

"Specific programmes to support the social and economic development of Maori and Pacific peoples will help to close the gaps by developing capacity and realising potential.

"The social, environmental and economic priorities of the Government are being combined to achieve sustainable development through an inclusive, innovative economy," Jim Anderton said.


ENDS

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