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National Party criticism of Industry NZ rejected

14 August 2000 Media Statement

National Party criticism of Industry NZ rejected

Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton is rejecting National Party criticism of Industry New Zealand.

"If Lockwood Smith doesn't know what Industry New Zealand is going to do, he needs to shake himself awake," Jim Anderton said.

(1) There will be a programme of regional partnerships, making available up to $2 million for major regional initiatives, $100,000 per region for early stage planning, and $100,000 for building capability to implement strategic plans.

(2) There will be 250 awards of $10,000 each to our most innovative entrepreneurs and business to help develop and test ideas with strong growth potential.

(3) There is an investment ready scheme to give small businesses and entrepreneurs a better chance of raising finance in the early stages of development.

"Those are only the first programmes to be announced. There are many more programmes ahead that will help to develop jobs, increase incomes and support the regions of New Zealand. For example, we will soon be announcing an investment support programme, to help attract new investment," Jim Anderton said.

"In addition, the Government has provided funding for the Topoclimate project in Southland, which could help to generate up to 20,000 new jobs over twenty years. The National party bitterly opposes Topoclimate. On top of that, I am personally chairing a development TaskForce in the Tairawhiti region, which has well-advanced plans to provide computers in schools, develop infrastructure and boost new industry.

"That has all been established even though Industry New Zealand hasn't even been established in law yet, and it doesn't have its own chief executive. What I am not going to do is decide in my Wellington office which firms will get support. That will be the outcome of a transparent process. The Government has announced the categories of assistance that will be available. Funding for new initiatives will be approved on a case by case basis.

"An analogy is to a bank that announces it will lend on home mortgages, but can't say which particular homes it will provide mortgages over until potential borrowers come in the door," Jim Anderton said.


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