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Jim Sutton Opens SportAvex2002

Opening of SportAvex 2002, Matamata Aerodrome

Ladies and Gentlemen: thank you for the invitation here today. I am delighted to be able to be here to open SportAvex 2002.

You have a fascinating collection of aircraft here. I understand that the Sport Aircraft Association rules requires all of these planes to be at least 51 per cent built by their owners.

That makes me feel good.

It means that there is a lot of innovation parked here at this airfield. A lot of skill and a lot of hard work has been carried out by association members and others.

Tuesday last week, the Prime Minister outlined the Innovation Strategy in her speech to the throne, and a suite of documents set out the framework the Government is working from.

That framework documents a broad consensus that has emerged over the past two years as to what needs to be done to develop New Zealand’s innovative potential.

To do that, the Government is committing to implementing policies with more emphasis on: - Enhancing our innovation framework; - Developing our skills and talents; - Increasing our global connectedness; and - Focusing interventions in those areas which can have maximum impact.

The Government has chosen to target its innovation initiatives initially in biotechnology, ICT and the creative industries. These are all areas which, if they attain their growth potential, can have a significant influence on the broad scope of the New Zealand economy.

Biotechnology could have huge benefits for agriculture and horticulture ¡K sectors which we are world leaders in and in which we wish to maintain our leading edge.

ICT is another “horizontal” sector we would like to become a world leader in. Similarly, it is an enabling technology capable of adding significant value to many of our industries.

Finally, the creative industries are those which give expression to ourselves as we are and as we would like to be. There are not just painting, potting, and film making. They are about style, flair, and design, and they foster skills and reputation that can help market all our other goods and services.

Obviously, these three sectors are not the only sectors we want to see innovation and growth in. For our country, and our economy, to achieve the way we want it to, innovation must happen across the board.

Ladies and Gentlemen: you’ve put a lot of effort into this sport aviation expo. You’ve got some pretty amazing aircraft here. I congratulate you on your efforts, and I have great pleasure in declaring SportAvex 2002 open.

Office of Hon Jim Sutton


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