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Primary Industries and Government move closer

Hon Jim Anderton

Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity, Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health,
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education,
Minister Responsible for Public Trust

Progressive Leader

4th September 2006 Press release

Primary Industries and Government move closer together

The Primary Sector Industries and the Labour-Progressive Government are looking to strengthen their cooperation following a meeting, hosted by Jim Anderton, of twenty-two leaders from the fisheries, forestry, agriculture and horticulture industries. Jim Anderton said that the meeting at Vogel House had exceeded his expectations in further developing a collaborative and constructive relationship between the primary industries sector and the government.

"Key chief executives from the agriculture, horticulture, forestry and fishing industries were invited to contribute to a positive vision for the future development of their industries. The industry leaders represented 65 per cent of all of New Zealand's overseas merchandise earnings and they deserve to be taken very seriously," Jim Anderton said today.

"The need for a national strategy for the primary industries was raised again at this meeting and it was agreed that for this to be successful, we need a significant and sustained partnership between the government and industry. I am putting my hand up to lead this in my role as Minister of all the primary sector industries portfolios," Jim Anderton said.

"A national strategy must include building our skills base by attracting the best and brightest of our young people to the primary industries, and ensuring they have educational opportunities appropriate to the needs of these industries. It would also address the need to lift research and development, innovation and science, and provide for the strategic marketing of New Zealand and our products.

"The last thing a small country like ours needs is to have our primary producers competing against one another in distant markets. We need to recognise that we are on the same team, Team New Zealand, if you like. If we are to once again become the world's leading biologically based economy, then industry, government and the community need to come together to make much greater investments in education, science and marketing.

"The primary industries are, in reality, quite different from the way they are often perceived by the urban population of New Zealand. These industries are now complex, science driven and highly sophisticated. We want to raise their profile in a way, which will change public perception. We need champions for our primary industries to inspire young people to develop careers in industries which hold the key to New Zealand's future prosperity.

"The industry leaders at the Vogel House meeting know that for the scale of high-value production necessary to succeed in global markets, we need co-operation and collaboration. They are also, possibly for the first time, talking about collaboration across industry boundaries. This meeting is 'work in progress' and bodes well for the future. An action plan is being prepared as a result of this meeting and a further report back meeting is planned for early next year," Jim Anderton said.


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