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Anderton - Regional Development Conference Close

23 March 2005

Closing speech for Regional Development Conference

Economic, Industry and Regional Development Minister, Jim Anderton's closing remarks at the Regional Development conference, 12noon today.

"It's urgent that we make the continued success of our regions our priority. And to guarantee our future, we can’t be satisfied with what we are achieving now. New Zealanders need to take responsibility for solving our own problems.

"The most urgent of these is our need to deliver a standard of living and quality of life sufficient to provide a future for young New Zealanders in every region. We need to provide jobs and incomes that offer skilled young people opportunities.

"So this week has been about learning how to do better.

"Central government is committed to playing its part. The Ministry of Economic Development is assessing whether the government is doing all it can for the regions. This conference has been a starting point in the process.

"The themes that underpin success in our regions are well known to us now. We need partnerships. Networks and collaboration offer opportunities we can't achieve on our own.

"I'm not discouraged by New Zealand's small scale in the world. I'm encouraged by the qualities our size has bred; qualities like self-reliance and initiative. But we also need to harness our collective strengths if we are going to build on our advantages.

"If we can work together, we can create world-class size and scale and make a global impact," Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

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