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Anderton address to Fashion Week opening

Anderton address to Fashion Week opening dinner Hon Jim Anderton
Minister for Industry Development

Fashion Week opening dinner, Hilton Hotel, Auckland

6.00PM Sunday, 17 October 2004.

SPEECH NOTES

When I was first approached about government support for Fashion Week, I was very enthusiastic.

At that time, the most involvement politicians had with the fashion industry involved an infamous pair of $89 underpants.

My interest was not only because my wife had begun improving the quality of my suits.

I had met with a great many New Zealand firms in the sector.

Working people in the industry wanted to know what future they had.

The future was clearly not in trying to compete as a low cost industry.

It could only be in producing and selling high-value, high-skill products based on the creativity of New Zealanders.

But when it came to an industry as creative as fashion, it was clear to me we could do more than that.

Our creative industries also benefit other industries because they help to put New Zealand on the map.

When our designers are seen on international catwalks, it helps to position New Zealand as a source of vibrant ideas.

When our designers’ production is being worn by some of the most glamorous bodies in the world, some of the glamour rubs off on us.

That helps to improve the exports prospects of all our industries.

The same is true of all of our creative industries – our film and screen production, our music industry and our designers in many fields.

Around the world, the highest value for anything comes from creative products with a high-design content.

So I created New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to ensure the government played its role in supporting the growth of these industries.

We are entering an exciting time for New Zealand’s creative sector.

NZTE is working with the sector to ensure we maximise the opportunities available to us.

I am delighted NZTE has supported Fashion Week.

It has grown to become an important event and the taxpayer is receiving a considerable reward.

Sales from the week alone make the exercise valuable.

Its public relations value is fantastic.

Domestic and international media coverage was worth more than $NZ12 million in 2003 – as much as New Zealand's biggest sporting events.

We’re telling the world we are a creative country.

We need to celebrate our creativity and our uniqueness.

It belongs to New Zealand; no one can ever take it away.

Fashion Week is an outstanding celebration, as well as an advertisement.

I’m proud to see its success.

I know this year’s will be better than ever.

And I wish you every success for this year’s event and the exciting future of the industry.

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