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World Class NZers invited to have an input

30 May 2001 Media Statement

World Class New Zealanders overseas invited to have an input to New Zealand development

"This Government is exploring ways to involve kiwis overseas in our economic development. The Prime Minister is leading a team of Ministers and officials working on the issues. As part of that process we are looking around the world for models which might assist", said Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton today in a speech to the Quality Foundation.

Jim Anderton is exploring ideas connected to the budget initiative "World Class New Zealanders" which is to invite successful New Zealanders overseas to share their talents and skills for economic development at home.

"The $2.250 million initiative is aimed at lifting the level of business expertise in New Zealand, sharing innovative ideas and exposing New Zealanders to international best practice.

"New Zealanders, wherever they are, are always kiwis. We need to network with them because they belong to a New Zealand which, in at least one sense, has no frontiers.

"We are exploring all options, including bringing people back to work temporarily with local enterprises, linking local business people with mentors using internet and satellite technology, developing think-tanks with kiwis around the world and having scholarships and programmes to help New Zealanders to learn from our successful ex-patriates.

"Our aim must be to make New Zealand the best small country in the world, and by utilising our successes abroad give everyone a chance to help achieve this goal.

In the next few months the Prime Minister-led team will be identifying overseas kiwis across a range of disciplines, such as business, arts and science," said Jim Anderton.


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