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Wine Growers Forum - Jim Anderton Speech

Hon. Jim Anderton

Wine Growers forum
4:15 pm
17 June 2002

Speech to the NZ Wine Growers Forum

Regional Development and viticulture clusters

Marlborough Theatre Trust Building

Marlborough and RPP

It was only a few weeks ago that I was last in Marlborough.

Then I announced Industry New Zealand funding of $2 million for the Marlborough Wine Research Centre of Excellence.

This confirms Marlborough’s reputation as a premier wine-producing region. Half our wine exports come from this region.

The centre of excellence which will be on the Blenheim campus of the Nelson-Marlborough Institute of Technology.

The Centre will open up more opportunities to pursue graduate studies and post-graduate research, and knowledge gained will go back into the region’s wine industry.

The centre is an example of partnership between industry, central and local government, local iwi and the research and education sectors.

The partnership includes the University of Auckland, Lincoln University, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, Eastern Institute of Technology, and HortResearch, with support from the Marlborough District Council and substantial on-going operational funding from the wine industry.

The Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology has announced that it will extend its buildings to accommodate the wine courses.

This will produce savings through having a single project manager and possibly a single building contract.

Local iwi have been consulted and support the centre. Wakatu Incorporation and Ngai Tahu have significant investments in the Marlborough wine industry. Benefits in training and employment will further enhance Maori economic development in the region

I understand that around 20 companies have together already committed $300,000 toward the new centre, which is half of what is needed from the wine industry for the ongoing operation of the centre.

This is excellent news and I would encourage any company that is yet to make up its mind that you too should support the centre of excellence.

I want to personally congratulate all of you who have been involved.

I think people in Marlborough will appreciate the commitment of local leaders for seizing the opportunity and ensuring Marlborough was one of the first regions to take advantage of the Major Regional Initiatives funding from Industry New Zealand.

The new centre will generate economic and social benefits for the whole Marlborough region, for your industry and for New Zealand.

Innovation

One of the key opportunities for New Zealand is our creativity and innovation.

I know that the centre of excellence will provide a focus for innovation in the wine industry.

Innovation is not just about news ideas but is also about doing things better.

- Bruce McLaren.
- Stabicraft boats in Invercargill (planning to have 1000 boats in production)
- Allied Telesyn
- Singapore

Regional development

New Zealand will not be all that it can be until all our regions are booming.

That is why regional development and economic growth has been a major priority for me over the last two years.

The good news is that the programme of economic, industry and regional development is working.

The regions are growing, many of them at over four per cent a year. This region has an average annual growth rate of 5 per cent.

I would like to see New Zealand at the top of the OECD again.

However in the late 70s, 80s and 90s we were falling relative to other nations.

We can’t change history of decline over the last three decades, in three short years.

However the progress that has been made is significant. When I stop and review the combined effect of all the programme steps we have taken, - it is clear that we have come a long way.

The future

While this is a cause for celebration it is the beginning of the journey.

The Centre of Excellence is not the end of the involvement between Industry New Zealand and Marlborough, but the start.

There is a lot to be done and I am committed to continuing this work in the next term of government.

The new era of partnership between central government and the regions of New Zealand has made an important contribution to stronger more sustainable communities, regions and therefore to New Zealand’s social and economic strength and development.

I have made regional and economic development a priority, of my role in government.

I want to ensure that regions are able to build on regional strengths.

This will create more jobs and build stronger businesses.

Wine production is a growth industry with huge export potential. Marlborough is in an excellent position to take advantage of this world-wide demand.

I will be considering what is realistically possible to build on the regional partnership programme we have already established.

I will also want to see how we can make assistance and support easier to access, whatever agency is responsible for the delivery or funding.

Your industry and many others face skill shortages.

In the last two years 104,000 new jobs have been established and unemployment is at its lowest level in 14 years.

I am committed to get all young people into work or relevant further education, and to increase the number of people in skills training – 3000 new apprenticeships now, 6,000 over the next three years.

Conclusion

New Zealand is the most innovative and creative small country on the planet.

However to achieve all that we can we need to ensure we are using all or our people and ideas to best effect.

I am committed to policies and to a country where everyone can achieve their full potential.

I can see in Marlborough and the wine industry you have already made a strong start. You are creating jobs and providing training and skills opportunities for young New Zealanders.

You are working together.

You are able to encourage innovation.

I look forward to continuing to work along side you in the next three years.

Together we can achieve even more. The best is yet to come – but we have taken the most important step of all – the first.


ENDS

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