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Splinter business group pandering to PM

Don Brash National Finance Spokesman

14 August 2003

Splinter business group pandering to PM

National's Finance spokesman, Don Brash, says the new group attempting to 'swell' the Knowledge Wave is just pandering to the Prime Minister after her harsh criticism of this year's Knowledge Wave Conference.

A splinter group of executive board members is holding a function for business, academic and community leaders in Auckland tonight to discuss taking the Knowledge Wave 'to the next level.'

Dr Brash, a member of the Knowledge Wave Trust, says he knows nothing of the group or its plans, despite the fact that the group writes on Knowledge Wave Trust letterhead.

"Labour has ignored almost all the recommendations relevant to economic growth from the first and second Knowledge Wave Conferences so this new group appears to be nothing more than a sop to Helen Clark," says Dr Brash.

"She obviously didn't like the objective advice she received last time, so wants this group to provide her with something more palatable.

"For a group that is supposed to be non-political and non-ideological, its affiliations with the Progressive Policy Institute and Demos - both well recognised, left-leaning organisations - throws any pretence at impartiality out the window," says Dr Brash.

"Helen Clark has claimed she wants to promote the country's development - both economically and socially - yet only six months ago she was rubbishing leading business thinkers, and those invited to tonight's dinner have been carefully screened to exclude many of the Government's critics.

"Her Government continues to hamper the country's economic growth prospects with layer upon layer of anti-business regulation.

"New Zealand businesses don't need some group set up to feed the Government selective 'good' news. They just want to get on with the job of doing business," says Dr Brash.

Ends

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