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Regional partnership boosts jobs and growth

Regional partnership boosts jobs and growth

Regional partnerships are paying dividends in faster growth and more jobs, Progressive leader and Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton said today at the launch of a new regional development planning tool in Marlborough.

Speaking at the launch of BNZ Marketview Regional Focus, which measures a region’s economic activity by tracking EFT-POS and credit card transactions, Jim Anderton said growth in the regions is fuelling a strong economy.

“This week, unemployment dropped to 4.4 per cent. Unemployment is lower than it has been since 1987. New Zealand has experienced sixteen consecutive quarters of employment growth. The Pakeha unemployment rate is 3.3 per cent. The Pacific rate is 6.6 per cent and the Maori rate is under double figures at 9.7 per cent for the first time in nearly two decades.

“I am convinced that partnership between the government and the regions is playing a significant part in our economic success.

“This year, MED reviewed the Regional Partnership Programme. It’s working well. There is a more strategic regional focus and an agreed economic development direction in all regions. There is improved knowledge of a region’s strengths and advantages and more projects are aligned with these. There are strengthened and extended economic development networks and more collaborative approaches to projects.

"There is improved co-operation and trust between groups and better understanding of other stakeholders’ goals and processes. There is better co-ordination and alignment between central and local government resources.

“We should celebrate how well our country is doing. But we also need to harness the gains of good years and try to lock them in, instead of entering another boom-bust cycle as we have so often before. For the first time in a generation, the government is prepared to do that by working in partnership with industry,” Jim Anderton said.

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