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Anderton Attends Training Trust's Graduation

10 September 2006

Anderton attends Apprenticeship Training Trust's Graduation

Jim Anderton is attending the Apprenticeship Training Trust's Graduation, Annual Awards and Prizegiving Ceremony on the North Shore in Auckland tonight.

"Through this ceremony we are saying to our plumbing and gasfitting apprentices that we are proud of your achievements. We celebrate success not because of the rewards that achievements bring, but because we recognise the effort that goes into achieving excellence. Success inspires others," Jim Anderton said to the graduating apprentices.

"We're used to cheering the All Blacks or the Kiwi league team when they win. We're used to cheering on our favourites in NZ Idol. But we need to celebrate all achievement the same way, with pride and enthusiasm: in science, in the arts, in business and in high skilled trade training.

"When I think about the trade you have trained for, it seems to me it tells us something about the way our country works. First, that no matter what kind of structure we build - from a physical construction like a building, to a policy, like education, it always depends on hidden pipes and connections.

"Those connections one way or another link everything to the rest of the world. Nothing can function without them. And maintaining, designing, organising and running the plumbing, and the wiring, and all the other components of anything we make...there are always people. Their role is critical to the success of anything we do.

"If we think back over hundreds and thousands of years of human history, millions of people have died of diseases like cholera, dysentary, typhus and plagues. All of these are caused by poor sanitation, the lack of clean water. All of them are rare now because we manage sophisticated plumbing systems", says Jim Anderton.

"The cradle of our thinking and our creativity is here, in the talents of young New Zealanders setting out to learn and practice their trade. The most important skill you are learning is to think and I'm very confident about the future of New Zealand because we are the most creative people in the world. Maybe it's because we are small and a long way from the rest of the world. We are used to having the freedom to try things out.

"You will go from here out into a job market where unemployment is the lowest in the developed world. It's a good time to be a New Zealander. So I congratulate you on your graduation. I hope you never stop believing in yourselves. Never stop participating and never stop believing you can change the world, make it better. Never stop caring about others and never stop making a contribution to New Zealand and to make it better for everyone," concluded Jim Anderton at the ceremony.

ENDS

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