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New Venture launched

7 March 2001 Hon Jim Anderton Speech Notes

Speech notes launch of new Industry New Zealand magazine; Venture

5.30 pm Wednesday 7 March 2001

Turnbull House
Bowen Street

This Labour Alliance Coalition Government has made economic and regional development, and getting New Zealanders to work, a top priority.

Industry New Zealand's new magazine Venture and the examples of how it is working with business are an important part of spreading the jobs and employment message.

In the last 14 months I have made 27 regional tours and visited a large number of businesses and industry groups. Without exception I have found a warm welcome throughout New Zealand and I know that Kiwis are positive about our future.

As a nation we need to work together to create the New Zealand that we want.

Kiwis are our major asset and building on our skills and advantages will create a better future for us all.

I am pleased today to launch this new magazine for Industry New Zealand because it lifts the level to which we aspire and helps us to recognise our innovative and inspiring companies.

Earlier this week my office was rung by a journalist from a provincial newspaper who wanted to get some names of 'innovative' companies for an article he was writing.

The staff member who received the call was able to rattle off a series of company names from Industry New Zealand clients, particularly Enterprise Awards Scheme winners and contacts from visits I have made.

Having a list of innovative and successful New Zealand companies is easy thanks to Industry New Zealand. The journalist took contact details for a variety of successful companies.

De'Amalfi Survival, which makes safety equipment, received an Enterprise Award Scheme grant for its high tech safety helmets. De'Amalfi was recently able to win a contract with a Canadian company as a result of the grant.

Tristyle Homes, helped by Industry New Zealand are creating kitset homes and sending them to Japan. The company is based in Northland and is able to add 30 times the value to wood that would otherwise go offshore as unprocessed logs.

Andrew and Louise Sinclair of Auckland invented a device for throwing a ball in a small space and having it returned at random angles after their three sons kept breaking windows. I enjoyed playing with this device, "CrazyCatch" which has generated huge interest.

In October last year I opened some new offices in Christchurch for a company called Allied Telesyn. Allied Telesyn is a Hi Tech international company undertaking research and development and capitalising on the skills and innovation of Kiwi software engineers.

Their research facility is hiring nearly 300 skilled software engineers over the next two years, most of them New Zealanders who are keen to return home. They are going to develop and market new and innovative products which will create more jobs. The expansion of their plant alone will put $10 million into the local economy.

New Zealanders are coming back to work for them, responding to satisfying jobs advertised on the internet.

In February I inspected the first of three new locally made fire engines going from Lower Hutt to fight fires in South Australia. The successful company, Fraser Fire and Rescue, received some advice on contract tendering from Industry New Zealand.

What was signficant for this company was that they had all the know-how and capital needed to make them very successful. What they lacked was specialist contract preparation experience. Industry New Zealand was able to provide that and this has resulted in export orders from overseas.

Imtechno is a company from just outside my electorate in Christchurch, where a young man called Tim Solomons is making cameras with fashionable colourful covers that are selling very well. His Industry New Zealand Enterprise Award was to assist with a plan to develop overseas distribution networks.

Another company that this regional journalist was interested to hear about was GhostKey, which has developed security software. This Christchurch company has developed a miniature version of a computer security device which records keystrokes. Sort of being watched by little brother.

I am aware of many other examples of innovative companies.

The journalist was impressed that there was so much information at our fingertips. He was also amazed that he could get more company names and contacts and that he could talk to Industry New Zealand advisers if he wanted more information.

For many years, the Government has not been available as a partner in economic development for New Zealand business or communities.

The approach past New Zealand Governments have promoted has been 'hands off'. We have let companies fail and New Zealanders go to the wall in some sort of macho survival of the fittest contest.

Many New Zealand companies that we have allowed to fail in the last few years did so not because their business wasn't viable but because they lacked advice or specialist market knowledge. To let these companies and entrepreneurs fail, which is what we have been doing, is a catastrophic human and economic waste.

It has to stop. That is why Industry New Zealand and the Ministry of Economic Development have been created.

Publicising our successes is an important part of changing attitudes.

The new magazine is to be targeted at our business people and entrepreneurs.

I understand that readership surveys have confirmed that business people value reading about the achievements of other business people as it provides inspiration and also market intelligence. The stories give them an opportunity to make contacts and develop business.

As Minister for Economic Development and a proud New Zealander I am interested in making our country the best it can be.

I am pleased to see Venture as another way of recognising our achievement.

At the end of last year I met with the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore. Singapore is a country to which we used to provide overseas aid. However, in the last 30 years, with very little in the way of natural resources, they have targeted and addressed the barriers to economic growth to the point that their country has huge cash reserves.

Yet the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore told me that he envied New Zealand. And if we have something they envy then we need to take note. I asked him what it was that he envied about New Zealand. His reply was it was the ability of kiwis to be innovative and creative.

We have to produce, retain and attract the people we need. The challenge for New Zealand is to be a country that is attractive to skilled and talented individuals. Attractive enough for them to invest their energy and resources and attractive enough to live in.

We need a country that is confident in its own unique culture. We need to see New Zealand performers on the world’s stages. We need to be proud of what we do and the unique, distinctive way we do things.

As I've travelled around New Zealand visiting businesses and regions, I've found that Kiwis are positive about the future. It is also clear that it is in our businesses, regions and our local communities that the future is being made.

I wish all those who work on the magazine or appear in it the very best. You also are part of that better future we are all striving for.

© Scoop Media

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