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Budget support for industry taskforce work

Hon Jim Anderton
Minister for Economic, Industry and Regional Development
Pete Hodgson
Minister for Research Science and Technology
Paul Swain
Minister for Information Technology

Budget support for industry taskforce work

Government has set aside $110 million over four years to respond to the recommendations from the four sector taskforces established for Biotechnology, Design, Screen Production and Information and Communication Technologies.

The funding, announced by the taskforces’ ministerial conveners, Jim Anderton, Pete Hodgson and Paul Swain, represents an important commitment to the future of these industries and to the partnership between industry and government, which is at the heart of the Growth and Innovation Framework.

“We chose these sectors for particular focus because they have enormous potential as industries in their own right and, just as importantly, because they influence and provide significant inputs into other key industries,” Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton said.

“We gave these taskforces the challenge of mapping out a growth path for their sectors. To their credit they responded with realism in terms of what they are asking government to do, and vision and ambition for their own sectors.

“Today’s announcement of $15 million allocated to taskforce work in 2003-04 rising to $30 million in the next two years and to $35 million a year thereafter is the government’s contribution to realising that vision.” Jim Anderton said.

Information Technology Minister Paul Swain noted that most of the taskforce recommendations were in line with government policy and some were already in place, including the national rollout of broadband in our regions, elements of the Biotechnology Strategy and the implementation of Inland Revenue’s one-stop shop for film taxation.

“We’ve got industry specific issues that have to be investigated but we’ve also got a number of almost “generic” issues such as tax, regulation and skills training being looked at. Addressing those issues will be good for the whole economy as well as these sectors,” he said.
Mr Hodgson said that taskforce members had contributed significant time and effort to the success of this process.

"The taskforces have assisted greatly in setting a clear direction. By providing funding, the government is saying that it is prepared to play its part in supporting the sectors through the longer term implementation of their strategies."

Ministers said the government would release a formal response to each of the taskforce reports later in the year.

ENDS

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