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Regional Development Or Regional Exodus?

Gerry Brownlee MP
National Party Deputy Leader

28 April 2005

Regional development or regional exodus?

National Party Deputy Leader Gerry Brownlee is calling on Jim Anderton to reveal how many companies his officials have told to move overseas.

"Far from promoting regional development, Mr Anderton's gang at Trade and Enterprise appears to be advocating a regional exodus."

Mr Brownlee is commenting on reports that Levin-based Swazi Apparel, which employs 71 people, was told by a senior Trade and Enterprise account manager it would be better off basing its manufacturing overseas.

"What on Earth is Mr Anderton going to do about this appalling advice? Thankfully, Swazi Apparel rejected the suggestion and good on them for doing so. "But even worse, it appears that this is normal practice for Trade and Enterprise, given the comments of the agency's manufacturing director David Penny.

"Of course everyone knows that Labour is making it more difficult for businesses to survive in New Zealand, but that's no reason to tell them to leave.

"I also think the unions will be doing their members a disservice, and showing their clear political bias, unless they start asking some tough questions about this new debacle," says Mr Brownlee.

The latest controversy follows high profile failures at Trade and Enterprise, including the nearly $300,000 of corporate welfare given to Dick Hubbard's company and a damning Auditor-General's report in December 2004.

"Mr Anderton can't dodge this one. He says it is not policy to encourage businesses to move overseas. If that's the case what action is he going to take?"


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