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Growth spurt continues with the help of growOtago

26 August 2004

Otago growth spurt continues with the help of growOtago

GROWOtago was launched in Cromwell today by Minister of Economic Development, Jim Anderton. Key comments and a link to full speech notes follows.

GROWOtago - the Otago Regional Council's springboard for regional development, is a system that comprehensively maps the region's climate and soils enabling good decisions to be made about diversification and crop potential.

"Otago is experiencing a period of sustained economic growth, currently at 5.5 per cent year on year to June. In parts of the region, the issue is not so much how to stimulate economic growth, but how to manage the growth that is already happening.

"In March this year there were 55 registered job seekers in the Central Otago District, and another 21 in the Queenstown Lakes District. This is less than two bus-loads of people. There was an eight per cent increase in the number of people in jobs last year.

"Nearly every economic trend in the region has been out-stripping the national economy - which has been unusually strong as well.

"We need to build on our strengths. The diversity of Otago’s climate is one strength for this region. Today new applications include dairying, deer farming and ostriches. There are new crops such as grapes, olives, chestnuts and flowers.

"I congratulate Otago on it's initiative with this excellent project, GROWOtago, which will greatly contribute to the viability of diversification in the region," Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

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