National Flip Flop Welcomed
Bill English's comment as reported on Radio NZ that the National Party supports regional development is in stark contrast to National's behaviour over the last 11 years.
Jim Anderton says although this will reassure regional communities this apparent change is a bit late.
"National had nine years in office and in that time they failed to help regions develop at all. The damage done to our communities, industries and regions over that time was severe.
"The National and ACT parties voted in Parliament against every economic, industry and regional development initiative taken by the Labour Alliance Coalition Government as late as last year.
It is, however, heartening that National are finally seeing the value of regional development.
"The National flip flop is because people in the regions are telling National to get real and support the positive changes.
"While some National MPs now support regional development, Bill English doesn't have the support of the National caucus which is still dominated by the privitisation lobby.
"The other barrier Bill English will have is National's likely coalition partner ACT. Spokesperson Rodney Hide said today in the same item that ACT is against partnership and hands-on economic management with regions and industries.