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Anderton: Supporting a fair deal for New Zealand

21 September 2004

Anderton: 20 years promoting jobs, housing, health & education

"All I have ever supported and worked for is a fair deal for most New Zealanders - in jobs, homes, health care, and education." – Labour MP for Sydenham, Jim Anderton, Maiden Speech.

Progressive leader Jim Anderton said today that almost all the highlights of his 20 years in Parliament have been achieved in the past five years, inside of government, getting New Zealanders into work through economic, industry and regional development policies he has believed in all of his political career.

"Highlights of my Parliamentary career so far include instigating the economic, regional and industry development programme of the current Labour Progressive coalition government; establishing a competitive nationwide Kiwibank to serve all New Zealanders, including regions neglected in the past and promoting policies to help working families stay in work and off welfare.

"Other initiatives such as four weeks paid annual leave, higher minimum wages, paid parental leave and putting the screws on the peddlers of dangerous drugs who make money out of the harm they cause, often to the most vulnerable in the community have also been positive areas of achievement," Jim Anderton said today.

Jim Anderton's 20 years in Parliament can be split into two definite phases. The last five years have been in government, getting things done. The first 15 years were spent in Opposition preparing for government, including the first five years in Opposition to his own Labour Government's policies between 1984 and 1989.

Jim Anderton, then president of the Labour Party, entered Parliament in 1984 in the seat of Sydenham. He opposed his own government's privatisation programme – which went on to include PostBank, the Rural Bank and Bank of New Zealand – and resigned in 1989 to form the NewLabour Party which ultimately became part of the five party Alliance coalition.

He is standing for the Progressive Party in Wigram again next year and wants to be inside a third term progressive coalition government which he expects will make further progress towards transforming the New Zealand economy, into a smart, modern, top of the OECD nation which will fully employ all of its citizens, get more people into their own homes and further lower barriers to education and health care.

ENDS

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