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National challenged to debate jobs and development

23 September 2003 Media release

National challenged to debate jobs and development

The Progressive leader and Acting Prime Minister Jim Anderton today threw down a challenge to the National Party’s co-leaders to debate jobs and development.

His challenge comes after National’s struggling leader Bill English attacked reports that new rules would be introduced to allow planning for nationally significant developments to be fast-tracked. Jim Anderton says no such proposals have been announced.

“National is attacking ideas it has never seen.

“The National Party read in a newspaper a report that outlines an idea to speed up job creation and streamline the Resource Management Act. Its response was a knee-jerk reaction to the policy. It lined up with the Green Party to denounce the policies without even seeing them.

“Business needs to know that National likes the Resource Management Act and infrastructure planning the way National left it in the nineties.

“National is anti-business and anti-jobs. It has voted against every single clause of every development policy introduced since it left office.

“I challenge Bill English and Don Brash to debate jobs and development with me in any region of their choice. If either of them want to earn the title of leader of the National Party, they should accept a challenge from the acting PM.

“This week I will be at a regional development conference in Timaru, where the thriving regions of New Zealand will celebrate their growth, and discuss ideas to accelerate growth and development. The National Party has actively opposed every single regional development idea and would take us back to the failed hands off policies of the eighties and nineties, when the regions were in decline.

“Bill English should come to the conference in Timaru this week to learn something about successful regional development. I’m sure the hundreds of regional representatives there would willingly help to further his meagre understanding.”

ENDS

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