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Anderton Speech: Innovation in Manukau

Anderton Speech: Innovation in Manukau

5:30 pm Thursday, 28 November 2002 Attend Innovate on the Road 13 Reeves Rd Pakuranga

Mayor Sir Barry Curtis, Lisa Er Judith Thompson Guests

Tonight we are celebrating.

We are celebrating your Council’s determination to encourage economic growth and employment in Manukau through helping businesses to flourish here and increase employment opportunities.

This determination has contributed to the 15 per cent growth in the number of businesses in Manukau City since 1997. Some of these businesses will be well known to you – Jack Links Limited, Argent Metals Limited, and Marshall Software.

The Manukau City Council has adopted the ‘Think Smart – Think Manukau’ strategy to change the direction of the City and transform it into a ‘knowledge society’.

Manukau City is the third largest and fastest growing city in New Zealand, and with just fewer than 30,000 people behind Christchurch, may soon become the second largest city in the country. Manukau City is a young and vibrant city - 27 per cent of the population is aged under 15 years. And over 150 different ethnic groups call Manukau home.

In the years ahead the nature of our population in New Zealand will change.

One important issue in the equation is that in 50 years time up to half New Zealand’s population will have Maori or Pacific island origins. Current birth rate trends already ensure this is what will happen.

Without Maori and pacific island economic development there will be no satisfactory New Zealand economic development.

In the next 25 years around 70 million people will retire in OECD countries and they will be replaced by 5 million workers.

There will be intense competition for workers and we will want to ensure we attract our share of skilled immigrants.

Manukau as a community with diversity is in an excellent position to capitalise on the arrival of migrants and to show the rest of New Zealand how a culturally diverse community can function effectively.

Economic growth in your city over the year ended March 2002 was 4.6 per cent which was well ahead of the national average of 3.1 per cent and the regional average of 2.5 cent.

Job creation in Manukau City has been at a faster rate than the rest of the country. For the year ending February 2002 employment in Manukau increased by 5.6 per cent or nearly 6000 full time and part time jobs. This was well above the growth in the Auckland region of 3.4 per cent and in New Zealand as a whole of 4.9 per cent.

These are things well worth celebrating.

And we have recently celebrated the second birthday of Industry New Zealand.

The creation of Industry New Zealand was a part of the Government’s determination to be a partner in the growth of New Zealand’s businesses and regions.

That determination was reinforced in the Growth and Innovation framework last February. That document included the aim of returning New Zealand’s GDP per capita to the top half of the OECD and maintaining it there.

And there are signs that we are on track.

In the most recent TMP Worldwide Job Index Survey optimism among New Zealand employers exceeded levels recorded by Australian employers for the majority of industries. This six monthly survey combines the expectations of key employment decision-makers, from all major industries across the spectrum of different organisation sizes.

Business confidence continues to improve according to the latest National Bank Survey despite a slow down in the levels of regional economic activity attributable to a tighter export sector.

From a year on year perspective, all of New Zealand's regions have experienced growth over the last 12 months, some regions having grown each quarter for nearly two years.

This growth is slowing in some regions as businesses confront barriers to further growth.

The Government is working in partnership with regions to address roadblocks to further economic development.

These barriers can be caused by a lack of skilled workers or a need for better infrastructure including transport, communications technology, skills training, and venture capital investment.

Industry New Zealand is working in partnership with industries, businesses and regions to address these barriers to development.

Since its inception Industry New Zealand has:

Funded 15 business incubators throughout New Zealand Provided free training to 38,000 business people Handled 200,000 business referrals through BIZInfo Granted 588 Enterprise Awards, worth $5 million, to help companies achieve new goals Awarded 86 companies Business Growth Awards, and Brokered $8.5 million of new private sector investment in New Zealand companies.

It’s also helped some major companies like Jack Links to set up in New Zealand.

Some Manukau businesses that have benefited from Industry New Zealand’s work.

Galloway International, a manufacturer of rotational moulded plastic equipment, used for example in McDonalds’ playgrounds, has received business growth support.

Calypso Sheetmetals and Carton Brokers Ltd were awarded Enterprise Awards.

Vital Food Processors Ltd, a health products company, received funding from the World Class New Zealander fund to visit overseas researchers and potential clients.

And the third and most important celebration is of the success of the companies in your city and especially those in this room.

You provide the jobs. You provide the incomes. You provide the spirit of enterprise in this city.

Without your willingness to take risks, to invest in yourselves and to seek global markets, the city, the region and the country, would not grow.

I want you to know that your efforts do not go unappreciated by the Government.

We stand ready to support you in your endeavours through Industry New Zealand and a number of other agencies that are represented here tonight.

We’ve invited you here so we can celebrate with you.

We’ve invited you here to give you the chance to network with other businesses in Manukau.

We’ve invited you here in order that you might be better informed about the support that is available to you both nationally and locally to help you grow your businesses.

However, the Government does not only support existing businesses. It is also encouraging students to consider starting their own enterprises when they leave school.

That’s why tomorrow, as part of the Innovate at School programme, I will join a group of students from Onehunga High School for a webcast interview with Kevin Rix-Trott, the Managing Director of Korromatt International Ltd. He has developed a biodegradable fertiliser product using corrugated cardboard. Kevin will explain to the students the challenges and the exhilaration of bringing a new product to market and in running your own business.

The same idea of encouraging young people into businesses lies behind the establishment of the new Onehunga High Business School from the start of the 2003 academic year. The concept of high school students being able to study specialised business topics is a first in New Zealand. The Business School will accept up to 100 students at Year 12 and 13 level. The establishment of the School has been supported by both private enterprise and Government. Yola Macken, the Executive Director of the Business School, is here tonight so you can talk to her.

The Government is a partner in economic growth in this country. We support business growth because it delivers jobs and higher standards of living for all New Zealanders.

Manukau City Council and business people have shown commitment to making your local economy and your community stronger and I support your efforts and assure you of my on-going support and encouragement.

Now I’m going to introduce the businesses and the business support agencies present here tonight.

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