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Anderton Speech: Orica's new call centre jobs

Jim Anderton Speech: Orica's new call centre creates jobs in Hutt City Economic Development
03 August 2005

At opening for the new Orica Consumer Products Australasian Call Centre, 150 Hutt Park Road, Gracefield, Lower Hutt

Mayor, David Ogden
Peter Bailey (Managing Director of Orica Consumer Products)
Greg Warren (General Manager, Orica New Zealand)

Call Centres are great.

What an excellent way to stay in touch with your customers.
Take Sir Clive Woodward, the Lions Coach.

After the tour here the Lions fans were a bit unhappy with the team’s form.

So Sir Clive had a meeting with Alistair Campbell and they decided to set up a call centre for fans to ring in and complain about Tana Umaga.

The number is 0800 10 10 10 (oh eight hundred, ten ten ten).
That’s ‘0800, won nothing won nothing won nothing’.

I want to congratulate Orica New Zealand for its decision to consolidate its centres into this Gracefield site.

This project will mean thirty new jobs.

It’s a substantial investment and a vote of confidence in the city and the region.

I know that Orica had a choice about the location of this call centre.

So the decision to base here reflects the qualities of the Gracefield site and the efforts of the Council.

In particular, I should mention Chief Executive Rik Hart, and development manager Gary Craig for their vision and effort.

The campaign Hutt City Council mounted to bring Orica here shows the value of an economic development unit.

This story shows how central and local government, working in partnership with industry can achieve positive results.

In this case the Wellington region region identified contact centres as a growing industry.
• It’s one where the Wellington region has a competitive advantage.
• In a global market place New Zealand is a low cost competitor.
• This region has a highly educated, English-speaking workforce.
• It has state of the art telecommunications infrastructure.
• It’s has time zone advantages - this is the first capital city in the world to start the day.
• The Wellington working day spans the morning and afternoon in Asia, the afternoon in North America and breakfast in Europe.
• If you live here, as I do, your working day comprises even more than that.

Hutt City Council and Positively Wellington Business recognised the opportunity these advantages brought.
• They were able to work with Orica New Zealand.
• Together they worked through the risks and potential barriers to the investment.

Local government has been doing its bit.
• Central government has been working alongside.
• The government was able to contribute support to train new staff.

The government is prepared to play its part.
• There are those who say the government shouldn’t do anything for individual firms.
• They’ll have the chance to have their say on 17 September.
• But what they really mean is that successful projects like this can’t be brought to fruition.
• This government is committed to working with firms like Orica to encourage and facilitate investment here.

Central government is committed to working in partnership with councils too.
• Co-operation like this is the hallmark of the Labour-Progressive coalition’s approach to industry and regional development.

The point of our economic development work is to build on our existing strengths.
• Sometimes that takes the involvement of central government as a catalyst.
• Sometimes it takes the leadership of local government to bring together everyone who has a stake in the future of our regions.
• Sometimes it means we need to provide advice and linkages for businesses.
• Sometimes we can contribute tangible support such as training.
For New Zealand to succeed, our regions must succeed.
• They need to develop and retain innovative high value businesses.
• They need investment so that these dynamic businesses can continue to grow and prosper.
• The new contact centre is an excellent example of that investment.
• It is smart investment, aligned with an area that the Wellington region has identified as its strength.

This investment is creating good jobs.
• It is helping to develop Wellington further and making it attractive to future investment.

I hope this success will inspire others to come here.
• I hope it also leads Orica to deepen its investment into its New Zealand operations.

So I warmly congratulate Orica on its decision.

And I congratulate Hutt City on this positive development and vote of confidence.

The government is delighted to have played its part.
I look forward to hearing of successes in the future.

It remains only for me to tell you the story of one politician - not a political colleague of mine!
He went into a local customer service centre to complain.
• He said, ‘look I’ve been ringing your call centre on 0700 2100 for two days.
• I can’t get through, can you help?
• 'What number have you been ringing sir?'
• 'Oh seven hundred, 21-hundred. It was on the door.'
• Sir, I know you’re an MP...but that's not our phone number. Those are our opening hours.

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