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Anderton defends proactive economic partnerships


Anderton defends proactive economic development partnerships

“If we work to turn around struggling businesses, we are accused of backing losers. If we work with successful businesses, to accelerate their growth, we’re accused of throwing money at businesses that don’t need it,” Progressive Party leader and Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton said when opening new premises for a small business in Palmerston today - the Butterfly House.

In a reference to attacks on NZTE support for Hubbard foods growth, Jim Anderton told an audience in Palmerston today that every day, economic and regional development ideas are bitterly attacked by politicians like Rodney Hide who wouldn't recognise or celebrate success if they fell over it on a dark night.

“The reality is we need to work with all parts of the economy, which can make a difference. This is the lesson we have learned here in Palmerston. The alternative is to go back to the failed policies of the past. Back to the policies that Palmerston struggled under in the eighties and nineties.”

Jim Anderton said New Zealand is making progress with proactive economic development partnerships.

“Unemployment is lower than it has been since the Household Labour Force survey began eighteen years ago. 230,000 new jobs in five years. We’re outperforming the OECD and we’ve even been ahead of Australia for three out of the last five years.

“That gives us the opportunity to build stronger communities, and provide better social services.

"The performance of our economy is not made up of numbers on pieces of paper. It is the product of stronger regions. Every region of New Zealand is in positive growth mode. That means there are more jobs, and a better future in places like Palmerston. It means there is hope for young people growing up here. It means this community is stronge,” Jim Anderton said.

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