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Anderton speech: Wine College Opening

22 November 2001 Hon Jim Anderton Speech Notes

Wine Centre Opening

Thursday, 22 November 2001 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm - Open new Wine College in Marlborough

Venue: Cloudy Bay Winery

When this Government came into office two years ago, we introduced an economic development dimension to government policy.

It is the first time in a generation that a government has committed itself to working in partnership with business and with local communities.

We set up the Jobs Machine and began to work closely with regions to build the unique strengths of regions and unleash the creativity of New Zealanders.

New Zealand needs a partnership approach.

We cannot have a strong national economy if we have weak regions.

I am very pleased to be here to mark the opening of the Marlborough Wine Centre of Excellence.

It’s an example of partnership.

This is a joint venture, initiated at the request of the local wine industry.

It involves Lincoln University, the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, and the Marlborough Research Centre.

The local wine industry has driven the centre’s establishment.

Marlborough has a competitive advantage in wine-growing.

It has long been recognised for its pivotal role in the New Zealand wine industry.

It produces about 60 percent of all New Zealand’s wine, and has over 5000 hectares of land planted in grapes.

Marlborough-Nelson has a constantly growing international reputation.

It has a cool climate and produces the quality and unique flavours of wine that a cool climate produces, particularly from the sauvignon blanc crop, and the rapidly developing pinot noir.

The industry wants to ensure that Marlborough continues to build on it.

Marlborough was one of the first regions to deliver plans under Industry New Zealand’s Regional Partnership Programme.

Industry New Zealand recognised the area’s high level of growth and low unemployment.

Industry New Zealand played a pivotal role.

Opportunities were identified, ideas and strategies co-ordinated, and any blockages were cleared promptly and efficiently.

One aspect of this centre of excellence well worth noting is that it did not seek to create new educational establishments to deliver the training involved in the degree and diploma courses.

Instead, it brought together two natural partners who will work together, and who will enhance each other’s strengths.

In summary, this project is about partnership and about building on the existing strengths and advantages of regions.

I believe this approach is already delivering results.

According to the National Bank survey released yesterday, the Nelson-Marlborough economy grew by 4.4 per cent last year.

The days are over when governments took a hands-off approach.

And the days are over when regions entered a cycle of decline.

In the past governments would have stood by and wrung their hands when large parts of the Marlborough community were devastated by fire and drought.

I saw that happen when drought caused considerable loss and suffering here in 1998.

This government came in and helped the local community when fire and drought seriously endangered the economic base of the region last summer.

We are committed to developing communities and industries in the regions.

That is why Industry New Zealand was set up by this Government and it’s why Industry New Zealand has been here, playing a very valuable and important role in helping with this project.

You might have heard one or two stories about my party lately.

I’ve been criticised for not making enough of a difference in the government.

I believe the number one commitment of my party in this government has been the Jobs Machine.

It has been our goal of full employment and strengthening the regions of New Zealand which have been among my highest priorities.

Kim Hill this morning said those achievements proved I had lost the plot, and that I had stopped listening.

I don’t believe so.

Close observers know that I have argued strongly for many years that we need to develop more- far more – high-tech, high-value, high skill industries that depend on the knowledge and creativity of New Zealanders.

And close observers will know that I have spent most of the last ten years travelling around the regions pointing out that they didn’t have to be neglected.

The loss of services and population was not inevitable.

The wine industry is one very positive example of the industries that New Zealand needs to develop.

It is an industry that depends on skill, creativity and innovation.

Those qualities mean more jobs, and higher incomes for New Zealanders – and what is wrong with that?

I believe New Zealanders are the most innovative and creative people in the world.

That fact makes me very positive about the future for our country.

Next week I am going to Rotorua for the biggest regional development conference in New Zealand’s history.

It shows that the regions are storming back.

Next year the Ministry of Economic Development is organising an Innovation conference.

It will be a celebration of New Zealand’s success and creativity.

I believe the centre for excellence we are opening today is another example of the success New Zealanders should celebrate.

I congratulate you on this opening.

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