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Greens need to get out of the dark ages

28 April 2005

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Greens need to get out of the dark ages

Progressive MP Matt Robson says the Green Party needs to get out of the economic dark ages and stop using any excuse to try and undermine economic development.

"Thailand is moving to cut the unfair barriers it imposes on our exporters.

"At a Foreign Affairs Select Committee meeting today studying the fair trade deal New Zealand and Thailand have signed, the Greens' normal and apparently instinctive hostility to trade and economic development was evident – they oppose the deal bitterly.

"They oppose on principle a deal which will open up export opportunities for Kiwi companies and job opportunities for New Zealanders that will be created in new export industries.

The Greens today also condemned New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, a government-funded agency created by Jim Anderton to work with New Zealand companies to promote their development and expansion.

"To condemn an entire organization which is working with industry sectors, companies and regional bodies to find ways of better exploiting exporting opportunities because of the alleged comments of one employee is doing nothing but the bidding of the Right Wing of politics that also want to dismantle the Labour-Progressive government's economic development work," Matt Robson said.

"If the Greens ever bothered to do some research they would find that NZ Trade and Enterprise is working on a manufacturing strategy and also assist companies to manufacture here in New Zealand. They have recently helped, for example, quality tech company Whisper Tech to manufacture parts for their electricity co-generator in Canterbury," Matt Robson said.

The Progressive Party leader, Jim Anderton, also established Textiles New Zealand to help the industry successfully make the transition up the value chain in an increasingly competitive global market.

ENDS

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