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Hi-Tech Farming Dollar Wise

3 July 2006

Hi-Tech Farming Dollar Wise

New Zealand First supports the notion, advanced in a policy paper by the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology, that science should be applied to our established export sectors as a way of transforming the economy.

“It’s important that the primary sector, which still holds pride of place as the backbone of the New Zealand economy, does not get neglected in the current ‘knowledge economy’ wave that’s currently in vogue,” said Economic Development and Primary Production spokesperson Doug Woolerton.

“New Zealand has a fantastic opportunity to capitalise on our pristine image abroad by investing in ways to add value and innovation to our traditional food-based exports.

“Obviously this will take investment in research and development, but it’s vital that we channel those resources to areas where we can be fairly certain of a dividend.

“Trying to enter the competitive hi-tech, high-skilled industries is fine, but not at the expense of our basic knitting. Risk assessment needs to be ongoing, and we need to be realistic about what we can achieve.

“I’ve seen for myself the agricultural research and development that’s happening in and around Hamilton, and such industry hot-beds bode well for the future of our export industry.

“I implore the Government to not lose sight of this when considering ways to transform the economy,” said Mr Woolerton.

ENDS

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