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Hawke's Bay to host Development Conference 2005

14 May 2004

Hawke's Bay to host Regional Development Conference 2005

The next Regional Development Conference in March 2005, will be held in the Hawke’s Bay, home of one of the first Major Regional Initiatives, Minister for Industry and Regional Development, Jim Anderton said today.

"It is great to be able to announce that the Regional Development Conference for 2005 will be held in the Hawkes Bay, one of our fastest growing regions with year on year economic growth at 4.4 per cent for 2003/04, right at the top of the OECD.

"This is the home of the Centre of Excellence in Food and Wine Production, one of our first Major Regional Initiatives and one where we can all look forward to the results of their work.

"Turning commodities into high value export products is one of the most effective things we can do to raise economic growth and therefore boost living standards for New Zealanders. This is a great example of regional development.

"The first conference in Rotorua in 2001, focused on regional development as a spring board for growth. The second in Timaru looked at what had been achieved and compared best practice experiences. The Hawke’s Bay conference focus has yet to be set, but will be forward looking, with a focus on innovative ideas, best practice and business involvement in regional development.

"The Conference promises to be an inspirational event, with well qualified speakers from New Zealand and overseas, workshops where people can share good ideas and learn from each other, as well as networking opportunities, and of course, a chance to sample the best of what the Hawke’s Bay has to offer," Jim Anderton said.

The conference will be held from the 21st of March to the 23rd of March 2005 and will be an opportunity for Hawke's Bay to showcase the innovation and creativity for which the region has rightly become famous for.

ENDS

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