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Conference leads to further regional development

29 November 2001 Media Statement

Conference leads to further regional development


More jobs and stronger regions will result from New Zealand’s first regional development conference in 31 years, says Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton.

There will be plans for another conference sometime in the next two years.

“We need another conference or similar events in the future, so I will propose plans for one sometime in the next two years. Rather than the title ‘a springboard for growth’ the working title for the next one could be ‘how to manage regional growth that is larger than you could ever have imagined’.”

Jim Anderton outlined the achievements of the two day 600 delegate conference in his keynote speech to close the event.

“The profile of regional development has been raised through national television and radio coverage and the provincial newspapers. Delegates have all taken two things they will follow up on their return to their regions, that means we now have 1,200 action points. If even a tenth of them bear fruit this will be a significant contribution to the economic development of our local and regional communities.

“There have been important workshops on key issues. Delegates have met people and created new links and relationships. Delegates shared their views with other regions, the Ministry of Economic Development, Industry New Zealand, government agencies and Ministers,” said Jim Anderton.

In the next budget Jim Anderton will seek to improve the key Regional Partnerships Programme by providing greater encouragement and facilitation for the development of clusters; better coordination for the range of government business assistance measures in the regions, particularly to high growth companies; and promoting a closer relationship between our industry strategies and regional strategies.

He has also asked the Ministry of Economic Development to investigate providing seed funding to have New Zealanders take ideas and programmes around other regions.

ENDS

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