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robson-on-politics 4 July

New Champion For Job Creation

It has been an historic week for the Progressive Party's drive for high skill job creation in New Zealand as the coalition government launched New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. We now have an agency combining the strengths of Industry NZ and Trade NZ, providing businesses and regions with the one-stop shop economic development agency that the doctor ordered. It will bolster local firms' efficiency and it will aid exporters by providing marketing advice that firms find invaluable.

The Progressives want to see more innovation, stronger businesses and stronger regions all leading to more high quality jobs and this new agency is a win for us as it is a key part of achieving our ambitions for New Zealand.

More Jobs On Way In Screen Production

A second major achievement for the Progressives was the announcement of support for New Zealand-made film and television productions by a production grant scheme.

A 12.5% production expenditure grant will be available for local and overseas productions that meet qualifying criteria. The scheme will attract investment in New Zealand, one of my party's objectives. Where there is investment jobs soon follow and only a society moving toward full employment is on the road to social justice.

Centre-Left Coalition Can't Tolerate Housing Crisis

Ongoing reports on housing problems around the country just prove that more needs to be done in addition to the good start the coalition has made since late 1999. National left a mess, having baled out of state housing and scrapped apprenticeships in the 1990s.

The problems can be addressed with a bigger state house building programme and assistance for low income families to get mortgages.

The Progressives are working as part of the coalition government to promote a more extensive state house building programme and a range of options to enable those on low incomes to own their own homes. Our view is every New Zealander should be living in a safe, healthy and secure home and it is intolerable that housing problems persist in many areas around the country after nearly four years of centre-left administration. The Progressives' programme would include building more state houses, promoting more apprentices, working out targeted solutions for different groups and assistance for low income families to get mortgages. These are important & necessary economic and social investments.

Manukau Family Literacy Projects

The Manukau Family Literacy Pilots launched by the Labour Progressive government this week were an important progressive development. The Progressives are committed to ensuring all children and adults have access to the educational programmes they need to fully develop their potential. Our social and economic development depends on an educated nation.

Happy Birthday Your Majesty

A business friend of mine was recently in Tonga. He had an audience with the King. The King admired his watch and when a courtier came forward my friend handed the watch over. It was an early birthday 'present'. The best present that New Zealand can give to Tongans rather than the one that Dame Sylvia handed over to the King is to support the growing movement for democracy.

Paid Parental Leave One Year Old

It is good to be here, in government, celebrating this victory that was only possible because we are in government. Already 18,000 New Zealanders have benefited from paid parental leave in its first year.

Draco Malfoy

It was a close call but readers have chosen Roger Sowry (Nat) for the Draco Malfoy Award. We cannot confirm the rumour being spread by John Tamihere (Lab) that J K Rowling based smarmy Draco on Mr Sowry.

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