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Anderton warns against return to failed policies

Anderton warns against return to failed policies of the past

Opposition parties using the language of innovation are actually talking about returning New Zealand to the Failed Policies of the Past, Progressive Party leader, Jim Anderton, is warning.

He told a business innovation conference in Wellington today that Opposition parties had opposed every single clause of the legislation that had established the Ministry of Economic Development.

While United and NZ First sometimes indicate support for the idea of intelligent industry and regional development policies, they contradict themselves by also indicating that they could support a Don Brash-Richard Prebble government after the 2005 elections.

"Opposition parties use the language of innovation, but they want to go back to the days when governments stood on the sideline.

"We can't afford to waste the development opportunities which partnerships between central and local government, private sector businesses and communities, can deliver," Jim Anderton said.

"New Zealand needs to do things differently from the way they've been done in the last 30 years if we want to do better. Nothing threatens our future prosperity as much as calls to go back to what I call 'FPP'. Not 'First Past the Post', but 'the Failed Policies of the Past'," the Progressive Party leader said.

Over the last thirty years, New Zealand had slipped behind other developed countries. If we had grown just one per cent a year more, every New Zealand family would have another $175 a week to spend, the food banks would all be closed, we would have a free health system and there would be no student debt.

"The reason we have slipped behind is we are still far too dependent on commodity exports. We are the lowest exporter of complex manufactured exports in the OECD group of wealthier nations. We import five times the volume and value of complex manufactured goods compared with what we export.

"The quality of life New Zealanders aspire to can't be produced by a low-cost, low-value, low-skill and low-rewards economy.

"The Labour Progressive government won't always get everything we do right. Just as businesses sometimes make mistakes, the price of innovation is that innovative ideas don't always work as hoped or planned.

"If we make no mistakes, it means we are not trying hard enough. The only way to eliminate all mistakes is to do nothing. That is the prospect that is on offer from some who would like to do my job but it is emphatically not an option for me," the Progressive Party leader and regional development minister said.

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