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Boosting the regions through immigration

1 May 2002

The Southland/Clutha and Wellington regions will pilot a new government initiative aimed at boosting regional economic growth through immigration policy.

Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton and Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel today announced the regions chosen to pilot the government’s Regional Immigration Initiative.

“Last year we invited regions around New Zealand to bid for the pilots which aim to strengthen the regions by using immigration policy to tap into the skill and investment needs specific to those regions,” Lianne Dalziel said.

“Immigration can provide an exciting opportunity in assisting regional growth. The pilots explore the economic benefits that can come from close collaboration between regions and government agencies. As part of this collaborative approach, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Immigration Service worked closely with the Economic Development Association of New Zealand and Local Government New Zealand,” Lianne Dalziel said.

“One of the strongest messages from different regions, was the desire to experience the benefits that immigration can bring. We have responded to that call with this initiative,” Jim Anderton said.

“We received nine expressions of interest from regions. The Wellington regional proposal (including Kapiti and Upper Hutt) was put forward by the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency. The pilot will allow the region to build on existing strengths in settlement support for migrants and heighten its profile with potential migrants.

“The Southland/Clutha proposal, submitted by the economic development agency Venture Southland and the Clutha Economic Development Board, showed innovation and enthusiasm in its approach.

“This region has consistently maintained that it needs to attract skilled migrants to cope with their current economic growth.

“If the past initiatives are successfully they will lead to the development of further regional immigration schemes being introduced in all regions of New Zealand which express interest in this programme,” said Jim Anderton.

Ends

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