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Anderton to Enterprise Waitaki website launch

Anderton address to Enterprise Waitaki website launch

Edwards Theatre, Thames Street, Oamaru

I made a comment yesterday that things have changed dramatically in the last three years.

We have gone from job shortages to skills shortages.

From regional decline to having all our regions growing, most at over four per cent and Otago at 4.2 per cent.

We have gone from pessimism to optimism.

I cannot remember a time in the last 40 years when the economy or our confidence was so strong.

Of course we have a long way to go.

The current first taste of success is an indicator we need to work harder to achieve sustainable economic development, not to slacken off.

Partnerships with industries, regions and businesses need to be worked on with more commitment than ever before.

While things have changed remarkably there are still difficult problems.

How to train people to fill the jobs we have?

How do we keep our regional and industry partnerships operating effectively to ensure that the promised growth is delivered?

And most importantly what steps do we need to take to ensure our development is sustainable and feeds on itself and therefore continues for years to come?

The answers to all these questions will be subject to change as well. The Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu said that the only thing constant is change, and he was writing around 600BC!

Only a few years ago I remember we used to launch brochures and books.

Today the requests seem to be for website launches instead, or in the case of the recent film location promotion in Auckland, a state of the art DVD.

New Zealanders are early adapters to new technology.

We have one of the highest rates of cell phone usage, and we have among the highest rates for computer ownership and internet access.

What continues to impress me though is the seemingly endless supply of new ideas that New Zealanders have.

Last year the international Global Entrepreneurship Monitor said New Zealanders were the second most entrepreneurial people in the world. This applied to all age groups and sections of our population. Maori ranked as the most entrepreneurial people in the world.

This year’s monitor is due to be published in the next week or so and I am sure we will still rank near the top of the world scale compared to other countries.

The challenge we have is to harness these ideas and ensure we create as many jobs and new opportunities from them that we can.

When I travel overseas I am always proud to be a New Zealander.

Our pioneering spirit and our ability to innovate make New Zealand a world leader.

We have a proud legacy of innovative products and ideas. Refrigerated ships The welfare state Universal franchise Sir Ernest Rutherford Peter Fraser and the establishment of the UN Sir Edmund Hillary Sir Alan McDiarmid Bruce McLaren Weta workshops America’s cup design

The challenge however is that when I go overseas in future I don’t want people to say ‘ah New Zealand – you have a lot of sheep’ or ‘New Zealand has a fern leaf or kiwi as its symbol.’

I want them to say, “New Zealand is the world leader in innovation – You have great ideas’.

If we can achieve this then our future will be a lot more secure.

We will be able to sell even more of our products, enter useful partnerships with overseas companies and attract investment and skills much more easily then we can today.

I think the starting point is we have to ask what we can do in all our endeavours to make what we do better.

Today we launch the new website which will improve business in Waitaki and complement the tourist website I launched here in late 2000.

You will now have a website which is better adjusted to attracting and supporting business in Waitaki.

It will be a better way of providing information to new and existing businesses as well as to potential investors and customers.

It will provide information on central government programmes as well as local council business incentives and investment information.

I look forward to seeing Waitaki’s continued growth and development using your local strengths combined with an innovative approach to attracting and supporting business in your region.

I’m not sure if you can cut a ribbon to launch an internet site, and I am sure smashing a bottle of champagne would be dangerous but I am happy to launch the browser and declare the new Enterprise Waitaki website open for the world to see.

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