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National fails to see value of biotechnology

National fails to see value of biotechnology, industry development

It is either an indictment that reflects the political naivety and inexperience of National's new leader, or a big oversight, which indicates political incompetence, that National has failed to allocate shadow ministerial responsibilities to cover the biotechnology sector as well as the economic and industry development portfolios, Progressive Party leader, Jim Anderton, said today.

"The Labour Progressive coalition recently announced it was making a further significant investment in the biotechnology sector in response to the Biotechnology Taskforce's targets to dramatically boost export earnings and bolster the number of locally based biotech companies," Jim Anderton said.

"This is acknowledged by those in the sector as a positive, progressive step in the right direction.

"Everyone knows this is a vital sector for New Zealand's future economic development and yet the National Party's new lineup announced last week has no spokesperson and evidently nothing to say on biotech. Their former spokesperson on biotechnology, Dr Paul Hutchison, has apparently been fired and not replaced," Jim Anderton said.

"If you look at National's website to see who their Economic and Industry Development spokesperson is, what you'll find is equally astounding ? they don't have one," Jim Anderton said.

"I hope that these are just oversights by a party recently under some internal stress.

"But if these are conscious decisions then I think it speaks volumes about how National isn't ready for the 21st Century, but remains stuck back in the early 1990s," Jim Anderton said.

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