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NZ Needs Design Culture

9 February 2001

"New Zealand needs to develop a design culture," Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton said today.

Speaking at a function for Designindustry Workshops in Christchurch today, he said outstanding design should be seen as being just as central to New Zealand's success as outstanding manufacturing and engineering.

"If we want a sustained rise in our real incomes, we need more than inherited advantages. We need to create advantages for New Zealand.

" Design is a high-skill, high-value industry dependent on innovation. It is a central component of differentiating New Zealand industry from the products and services of other countries.

"We need to develop a New Zealand design identity. We want the rest of the world to see things and say, 'that is from New Zealand. It must be good.'

"Design as a process can open up new opportunities by exploring new materials. If we can add uniquely New Zealand production processes and materials to unique styling, then we will create the industries, business and jobs New Zealand needs."

Jim Anderton said the Government's jobs machine, Industry New Zealand, has recognised the opportunity to support Designindustry Workshops.

"The workshops will help to realise the potential of concepts. It will provide hands-on model-making experiences. It will introduce international designers. The networks they bring will help to profile New Zealand culture and to promote and generate new research.

"Industry New Zealand was created precisely to help to foster, support and develop positive initiatives like this one. This is a vital connection between industry and education. It promotes talent and skill and helps to keep it here in New Zealand."

Ends

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