Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Key sinks to new depths

Hon Jim Anderton

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

Progressive Leader

12 March 2008 Media Statement

Key sinks to new depths

National's leader John Key needs to explain to rural and business people why he wants to take $700 million of Government funding off them, Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton said today.

He told John Key to stop digging and accept that the NZ Fast Forward fund is the best plan for the future.

"It's quite clear from the overview document distributed yesterday at the fund's launch that it will be in place by July this year and will include a $700 million Government contribution that will be invested in innovation over the next 15 years, running down the capital of the fund. This has been publicly stated by myself and Prime Minister Helen Clark.

"He had a bad week last week and this week is the same. Our fund of $700 million will be spent, plus the interest, which could total $1 billion - What part of that doesn't he understand?

"This is a case where he's wrong again, he's made the wrong call but he can't and won't admit it.

"He's up against the whole food and pastoral sector which has come out strongly in support of this exciting plan for the future."

Only National has opposed the new fund, which features a partnership between the government and the private sector and a $700 million establishment contribution from the government.

Organisations that have issued statements welcoming New Zealand Fast Forward include Business NZ, Dairy NZ, ZESPRI, Fonterra, the Meat Industry Association, Meat and Wool New Zealand, PGG Wrightson. Horticluture New Zealand, Crop and Food Research and many more.

Massey University professor of pastoral agriculture Jacqueline Rowarth said the investment will enable improved recruitment into the industry. "It sends the message, quite simply, that New Zealand's future involves a great industry with great people working in it, rewarded appropriately"

Jim Anderton said the Government issued a substantial amount of documentation to back up the launch of the New Zealand Fast Forward initiative yesterday so that people could be informed.

"Really, John Key should spend some time reading that matter before making a fool of himself."

His refusal to be interviewed today about his opposition to the New Zealand Fast Forward innovation fund suggests he's been told he is out of step with industry over his opposition to the initiative, Jim Anderton said.

"Who has ever heard of an opposition leader who won't be interviewed over his opposition to a government policy? It looks slippery.

"It looks like someone has pointed out to John Key that industry strongly supports New Zealand Fast Forward.

"Imagine if these guys were in government. Policy would fizz backwards and forwards like the piston in a Vespa," Jim Anderton said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote. We also acknowledge the men who supported the cause and voted for the Bill to pass.

“Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.

“Aotearoa New Zealand has a female Prime Minister, we have women in cabinet. And I’m here as Acting Minister because the Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter is on maternity leave. New Zealand is a good place to be a woman!” More>>


Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>


'Post-Settlement Era': Māori Crown Agency To Be Established

Cabinet has approved the final scope of the Māori Crown portfolio and agreed to establish an agency to oversee Government’s work with Māori in a post-settlement era, announced Crown/ Māori Relations Minister Kelvin Davis. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Military Roles In Iraq & Afghanistan

The politics of the deployment extension have degenerated into a slanging match about whether the previous National government was right or wrong to make the initial commitment to Iraq – and whether the extension is a responsible thing given our joint training role in Iraq with Australia, or is hypocritical in the light of prior statements made by a previous Labour leader... More>>


Commissioner To Be Appointed: Govt To Dismiss Board Of Whitireia And WelTec

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has made a preliminary decision to appoint a Commissioner to Whitireia and WelTec to address the two polytechnics’ financial woes. More>>


Open Government Action Plan: Government To Proactively Release Cabinet Papers

The Cabinet papers will be released no later than 30 business days after a Cabinet decision. This process will be in place for Cabinet papers lodged from 1 January 2019... More>>


NZ Initiative: Evidence Of "Huge" Government Waste

It is not so much that spending is being literally wasted. Rather the best performing countries are achieving much better outcomes relative to their spending. More>>





InfoPages News Channels