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robson-on-politics - 11 June 2004

robson-on-politics, a weekly newsletter from Matt Robson MP
Deputy Leader of the Progressive Party

Progressive: positive about people and jobs

11 June

Jobs, Prosperity: Nelson Seafood Centre

An ambitious new Seafood Centre of Excellence will be located in Nelson, Jim Anderton announced this week. Part-funded by NZ Trade & Enterprise, the Centre will be the main national centre for all aspects of training, education and research for the seafood industry and it will significantly increase our potential to create quality job opportunities for generations of Kiwis to come.


Jobs, Prosperity: New Nelson Economic Development Agency

This week also saw the launch of the new Nelson economic development agency, a vital step needed to propel Nelson's future economic development. The agency will be a focal point for businesspeople and people with ideas.


Jobs, Prosperity: the dynamic Health IT Cluster

Wearing his Industry Development hat, Jim Anderton wound up a busy week announcing a half a million investment to assist the New Zealand Health IT cluster build up the capability of its member companies in an effort expected to significantly accelerate the growth in jobs and earnings of this important sector. The Health IT Cluster members' combined revenues can be propelled to over $910 million by 2008, at least $750 million to come from export sales.

Top quality jobs are projected to more than triple. Job numbers should reach 3,000 by 2008, thanks to the cooperation within the sector now occurring.


Tauranga public forum on P, alcohol & other drugs

And as Chair of the Ministerial Committee on Drug Policy, Jim will next week chair a public "P, alcohol & other drugs" forum in Tauranga. New Zealand has many challenges on the drugs and alcohol front and we all have to work together to win this battle: It is at 7.30pm at Bureta Park Motor Inn, Redwood Room, Vale Street, Otumoetai, Tauranga.


The Robson Hour is Sunday 12noon - 1pm on Radio 531PI on the AM band, 531khz. This week: Matt talks to Maori analyst Marlene Raumati on that new party, Annette King on delivering health services, and Larry Reid on the Suva drugs bust and the threat to New Zealand communities.


Time to be honest about alcohol & the young

In 1999, when Parliament was deliberating whether to lower the drinking age to 18, public health organisations were unanimously opposed, citing empirical research from North America available at the time showing a link between such a move to increased alcohol consumption and alcohol abuse by some young people - the most vulnerable.

Five years down the track, we've got plenty of local evidence of our own. Any rational person looking at the facts would conclude that Parliament must revisit its 1999 decision. I'm drafting a Members' Bill to address issues around age, advertising, and access to alcohol.


Education, Jobs: Te Wananga Aotearoa graduation

I was the invited speaker at the graduation ceremony at Te Wananga o Aotearoa today. For me, the vision being put into practice at te Wananga is just a physical expression of our battle for jobs, prosperity and security for all. It is delivering education on a range of fronts from literacy programmes to state-of-the-art IT courses. One student said to me that she feels positive about learning at there and asks why anyone feels threatened by the institution's success and growing enrolments. It is disappointing that National is wanting to cut funding for a successful organisation which is producing graduates proud of their new skills.


Progressive - getting good things done

Nearly two years into this Parliament, I am proud to be in a party that is concentrating on achieving its goals. Voters have a rights to look how other parties, aspiring to coalition, might perform. We know United is prepared to work with National, Surprisingly, so is Tariana Turia's new party. And the Greens have an on-again off-again approach to backing a centre-left government. Only Progressive is consistent.


More on this week's news at including another indicator of more jobs, options for more electricity generation, and tackling young offenders

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