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Don't believe the hype

Max Bradford National Economic Development Spokesman

23 October 2000

Don't believe the hype

The Prime Minister is showing disturbing signs of believing her own hype - with her latest outburst of rhetoric over her Government's business forum, National's Max Bradford said today.

Helen Clark has gone on the record saying that National 'never did anything like this in nine years, business in any practical sense has been shut out of the inner sanctum.'

"Technically I suppose she is right about the first point - National never held a half-day seminar, closed to the media, with a hand-picked audience which was expected to endorse pre-determined outcomes. That's what tomorrow's business forum will be, as evidenced by the 'spontaneous' conclusions businesses will reach at the forum as outlined in Miss Clark's leaked agenda.

"What we did hold last year were 25 'Five Steps Ahead' seminars around the country, attended by more than 2,500 people. The information gained from those seminars formed the basis of the Bright Futures package.

"Unlike Labour's PR stunt tomorrow, National allowed its seminars to be open to the public and the media. We didn't have pre-determined outcomes. And we reported back to all participants.

"The contrast between the two approaches reveals what a farce tomorrow's business forum will be. Despite Helen Clark's rhetoric she, and anyone with half a brain, knows it is going to take a lot more than half a day of speeches by Labour Ministers to address the crisis of confidence this Government has created.

"The Prime Minister's pretence that the forum is a bold new initiative goes beyond traditional political spin doctoring into a new realm of spin quackery.

"National genuinely consulted with business through seminars in 25 different locations. A half-day one-off seminar is a poor substitute," Max Bradford said.

Ends

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