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Economic innovation package

Economic innovation is at the heart of Budget 2002 and the Coalition Government’s economic programme, says Economic, Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton.

“Budget 2002 supports the government’s framework for Growing an Innovative New Zealand. Industry and regional development measures in the budget come to over $35 million, and make an important contribution to that framework.

“The budget package has a strong focus on partnership between the public and private sectors. There is also a focus on improving New Zealand’s medium- and long-term growth prospects.

“This budget continues the ‘whole-of government’ approach where ministers and their agencies work closely together to ensure government effort is as effective as possible.

“Funding for budget initiatives in Research, Science and Technology, Foreign Affairs and Trade, Work and Income, Education, Tourism and Maori Affairs has come from Industry and Regional Development. This recognises that economic development has many dimensions.

“For the government’s third budget we are building on the successes that our economic, industry and regional development policies have already delivered.

“We are putting in place initiatives that will strengthen the innovation framework – to ensure that an increasing quantity of quality research delivers results. Important among these initiatives are:
- An increase in the encouragement of collaboration between Crown Research Institutes and the private sector through research consortia. Research will be better focused on meeting business needs. The ideas generated will also have a practical application and be more readily commercialised. It also encourages more private sector research effort (Pete Hodgson’s release);
- Moves to integrate the delivery of services in the business growth programme. Industry New Zealand will help deliver Technology New Zealand’s Technology for Business Growth programme. There will be a “one stop shop” for established businesses seeking assistance (Pete Hodgson’s release);
- Expansion of the Technology for Business Growth Programme to meet increasing demand. This programme will also now be delivered by Industry New Zealand as part of the range of ways it works with business. (Pete Hodgson’s release).

“Through this budget we make substantial progress in growing and securing talent and skills. An innovative economy to grow strongly needs innovative and creative, well educated and capable people. Budget 2002 builds on efforts to build skills and talent in business and the regions through:
- Focussing support on high growth potential firms through Fast Forward New Zealand (already announced);
- A range of education initiatives outlined by the Minister of Education;
- Support for and facilitation of cluster development, building on the success of the pilot (with 18 clusters established); and
- The establishment of a Polytechnic Regional Development Fund which will ensure that polytechnics in the regions are encouraged and able to play their part in supporting regional development. (already announced with Steve Maharey).

“The budget contributes to strengthening New Zealand’s connections with the rest of the world. This helps the flow of innovative ideas and skills and turns them into valuable exports. Among the initiatives that will strengthen global connectedness are:
- Building a world class investment promotion agency with the capability to significantly improve the level of new major investment from both offshore and within New Zealand;
- Building on earlier efforts to project New Zealand’s image more consistently within New Zealand and internationally through Brand New Zealand; and
- Promotion and support for exporting, developing export networks and providing information on international markets.

“We will also ensure that government resources and effort are focused on areas where New Zealand firms are becoming world leaders.
- Effort and resources are supporting sector engagement, particularly in biotechnology, ICT and the creative industries. Taskforces for those sectors have met and are making good progress in identifying key issues and the means by which they could be addressed jointly by firms within the sector and in partnership with the government;
- Continued effort and leadership is being applied to Mâori economic development through an initiative to better co-ordinate government assistance to Mâori businesses through Te Kapinga; (released by Parekura Horomia) and
- Supporting regions and the ICT sector through major new investments to support internet access..

Jim Anderton said these initiatives were an important step towards improving the country’s long term growth rates and securing higher living standards for all New Zealanders.

Ends

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