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Active engagement with regions

23 March 2005

Active engagement with regions to solve barriers to growth

In his closing speech to the Regional Development Conference in Napier, Jim Anderton, Minister for Economic, Industry and Regional Development addressed the problems and solutions to growth which were raised by delegates.

"While each region is growing year on year, there is still more work to do in order to fulfil the potential out there for further growth. Each region has different needs but there are several themes, which we must work on including: infrastructure; coordination of government assistance; skills training and the development of initiatives outside of the Major Regional Initiatives programmes.

"The government could sit idly on the sidelines and wish you well in solving them. That's what governments used to do. But instead, this Labour Progressive government chooses to actively engage and respond constructively. Each region needs to pick up the challenge by being proactive as well.

"We need more of a culture that tolerates risk and celebrates success rather than condemning failure. Mistakes can often be our best learning opportunities. I am pleased to see that the debate around adverse risk was discussed in the NZ Herald yesterday by Colin James. Our future growth will depend more and more on creativity and innovation, which rely on a certain level of risk taking.

"I look forward to working in partnership with our regions to confront the barriers to development discussed at this conference," Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

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