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The Alliance's most important achievement

Hon. Jim Anderton

11 November 2001 Speech notes

The jobs machine - The Alliance’s most important achievement

I want to talk today about the Alliance’s most important achievement.

32 examples of the Alliance in Government are displayed here at this conference.

The most important is the jobs machine.

Alliance policy to create jobs is being implemented around New Zealand as we speak in regions, businesses, and industries.

The good news is thanks to the Alliance in Government, New Zealand is on the way to full employment.

I want to say that again in case you missed it, - we are on the way to full employment.

That is, the Alliance’s jobs machine is creating jobs up and down New Zealand.

How do I know this?

Unemployment is down to its lowest level in 13 years.

Not only that, but more importantly; employment is rising. There are 76,000 jobs today that didn’t exist in September 1999.

In regions the issue is skills shortages. Many of you will have seen the Southland campaign recently crying out for people to move down and take up the work that needs doing.

Up and down New Zealand I am seeing new companies, new ideas and new jobs.

In late 1999 the Alliance made the jobs machine a key priority for us in the coalition Government.

We identified then that this was a key area in which we could make a difference.

The Alliance was right.

This area is one where we are having a profound impact on the lives of New Zealander’s.

Today I have asked David Manzi of D’Amalfi Ltd and also Philippa Ivory of Eager Beaver Ltd to tell us their experiences being assisted by Industry New Zealand.

David Manzi three minutes

- Outline of his business (makes safety equipment, and now has exports to the US, UK, Belgium, Australia and Canada)

- Contact with Industry NZ.

- What this will allow D’Amalfi to do in the future.

Philippa Ivory two minutes

- Outline of business (makes toys which are being sold in the warehouse, turnover has gone from $2,000 to $200,000 in two years)

- Contact with Industry NZ

- How things have changed

I am pleased to report that Partnerships 2000, our pre-election economic development policy, is, in large part, now a reality.

- We have established a Ministry of Economic Development which has added an economic development dimension to the Coalition Government and which is as relevant as Treasury in government considerations. This was one of the objectives the Alliance set for the proposed Ministry before the election.

- We have a National Economic Development Agency called Industry New Zealand which is active with regions, industry sectors and businesses of all sizes.

- There is regional development funding.

- We have formed regional partnership with 23 regions.

- In the year to June over 15,000 small and medium businesses were given advice and support.

- Over 300 businesses received enterprise awards to a value of just under $2 million.

- 33 medium sized companies have received investment advice to raise $18.6 million.

- We have given 65 high growth companies development grants totalling $5.4 million in order to multiply job opportunities.

- There is for the first time a programme for encouraging major international events coming to New Zealand.

- We have created a series of industry strategies to create jobs in Wood Processing; manufacturing; textiles, clothing and footwear; creative industries and tourism and high technology manufacturing industries.

From wood processing alone we can create 40,000 new jobs if we process and add value to our oncoming wall of wood instead of sending our forests across the wharves as log exports.

Regions with high job potential from wood processing include the Tairawhiti and Northland regions which have high unemployment, particularly in their Maori populations and, until recently, regional economic decline.

We have other many other success stories, such as a student summer work programme pilot, a campaign to network talented kiwi expertise overseas to New Zealand, and in two weeks time I will open the largest Regional Development conference in New Zealand’s history to be held in Rotorua under the auspices of the Ministry for Economic Development.

To show you how popular this conference is with regional New Zealand, as of midday Friday there were 466 registrations for this conference, and they are still coming in- everyone who is anyone in regional New Zealand will be there.

In March 2002 the Ministry of Economic Development is to hold New Zealand’s first innovation conference to celebrate and build on kiwi creativity and innovation.

This country is made up of companies and individuals with great ideas who can create sustainable well paid jobs and bring about full employment.

We need to make the most of our strengths

I have asked the Ministry of Economic Development and Industry New Zealand to develop a major campaign that we can launch next year which will support a made in New Zealand campaign and promote the innovative work of New Zealanders.

I have travelled the length and breadth of New Zealand to foster regional development, economic development and industry development.

I know we are succeeding.

Jobs were and are one of the most important policy priorities we stand for. If we want to maintain this work and achieve full employment the Alliance must be in the next Government, and the one after that.

I started by saying we are on the way to full employment.

This is what the Alliance set out to do in Government and it is what we are doing.

It has taken time and energy. There have not been, nor are there, simple solutions. It requires intelligent analysis, but it is worth it.

The Kiwibank is important. Paid Parental Leave is an important social policy development.

But the Alliance was formed - above all else - because of our commitment to a fully employed New Zealand economy - both at regional and national level.

Unemployment has laid waste to far too many lives.

We are delivering - and that will be one of our most important and long lasting contributions to our nation’s future.


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