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Maori & Business: Te Awe Maori Business Network

Hon Jim Anderton
Progressive Party leader

Maori & Business: Te Awe Maori Business Network

7.30AM Thursday, 1 September 2005
Wellington Club
The Terrace
Wellington


Party reps: Anderton, Hodgson, Key, Shirley, Hohepa, Parone, Turei, Smith.

Running Order

Start 7.30am

- Welcome from Peter Johston, Te Awe Maori Business Network

- Opening by Rob McCleod, Business Roundtable

- 4 minutes opening from each party.

- Questions from the floor

- Sum up by Phil O'Reilly, Business NZ


SPEECH NOTES

Acknowledgements
• Peter Johnson
• Rob McLeod
• Phil O’Reilly
• Colleagues from other parties.

The Maori population of New Zealand is increasing much faster than the general population.

- So Maori business success is increasingly going to mean business success for New Zealand.

- Maori business is therefore a crucial issue for New Zealand's economic and social future.

Maori business successes promise more than anything else to lift the living standards of Maori.

- No matter where you stand on Treaty settlements, there is no Treaty settlement that could have the same potential to create long term jobs and higher incomes for Maori than the creation of high-value, high-skill export-earning business.

When you survey the highest priority issues for Maori, the top concern is education.

- Much more than the general population, Maori see the importance of ambition and achievement for our young people.

- They see the importance of skills in lifting productivity and incomes.

- That’s why I want to be Minister of Education in a new Labour-Progressive coalition government.

I’m a little disappointed that most economic debate in this election campaign has been about how the cake is divided up.

- I believe the Progressive Party is the only party with corporate tax policies designed to ensure businesses grow.

- Progressive supports a cut in the corporate tax rate to 30 per cent from April next year.

- No other party is advocating that.

- Cutting the corporate rate will see more invested in business growth - that’s a much higher priority than tax cuts for people on MPs’ salaries.

The government has to be prepared to play its part in unlocking opportunities.

- We’ve had a track record of success in a number of industries, such as a food processing regional partnership in Gisborne.

- It brings together Maori land-owners, the processing industry, investment and government skills training.

The global economy is placing an ever higher value on uniqueness in production.

- Our Maori heritage is an advantage for New Zealand in this future economy, because it cannot be duplicated anywhere - and it won’t be bought up and relocated somewhere else.

We need to invest in the elements that will enable New Zealand to take advantage of the new global opportunities:

- International connections.

- Promoting the use of design and creativity in our production.

- Increasing innovation in business.

- Supporting the growth of firms with high potential to overcome the challenges of becoming international companies.

Progressive policies to make this happen are being implemented in government:

- Business clusters, better international connections, incubators, centres of research excellence, technology development, skills development.

- New Zealand Trade & Enterprise has been established to work with anyone with a stake in economic development.

I’m insisting that Maori are included in all regional plans, because of the importance of securing the buy-in from the whole community.

- In particular, we need to ensure the success of Maori economic development.

We need to foster a culture of entrepreneurship as well.

- We celebrate Maori success in sports, music and art.

- We also need to foster and celebrate Maori business success - and in disciplines like science, engineering, IT and design.

There are some highly talented young Maori entrepreneurs in business around New Zealand.

- We need a lot more of them.

- Creating them requires leaders who speak about how to create Maori success, instead of the easy option of reciting the problems Maori face.

I know Maori communities are committed to succeeding whether the government helps or not.

- One of the first communities I visited as Minister of Economic Development (Moerewa) told me that.

- “We hope you’ll help; but we are going to do our best anyway, because this is where we’re from. We know where our home is - this is our place,” they said.

It’s certainly working:

- 40,000 new Maori jobs since 1999.

- The Maori unemployment rate has halved.

- Instead of the dole, young Maori have opportunities like the Modern Apprenticeship scheme.

- That’s solving skills problems for business.

I am very confident about the future.

- I see Maori as a hidden strength for New Zealand business and our economic development.

- And Progressive is committed to working with our colleagues in Labour to secure further gains.


ENDS

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