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


Fast Forward Fund will help cope with high $

New Zealand needed to find a way to prosper even with a high dollar, agriculture minister and Progressive leader Jim Anderton said today in a speech to an agricultural innovation workshop.

Lincoln University he said farmers cannot credibly support the current Reserve Bank Act and at the same time complain our dollar is too high.
New Zealand needed to find a way to prosper even with a high dollar. A new vision for the industry built around innovation and market responsiveness would be needed.

"To some extent, the high value of the dollar is beyond our control. There isn't much New Zealand can do about global financial tides. We should not try to resist the pressures of the US dollar falling in value," Jim Anderton said.

"Instead we should structure our industries to prosper. Price setting businesses cope with the high dollar better than price taking businesses. Over time we want our incomes relative to the rest of the world to rise, and they do, then our dollar will surely rise too. We need export strategies built around prospering with a permanently higher exchange rate.

"I am very encouraged that the meat industry is looking to work together to address some of the longer term issues facing the meat sector. But if we're frank then we need to acknowledge that even the most optimistic industry structure cannot be seen as a silver bullet that is going to solve all of our issues.

"The main priority, regardless of the ultimate industry structure, is that any proposal should be based around a clearly articulated industry strategy. Its vision needs to spell out how it can add value to the products we produce; How can we get into new markets; and how we can work together to grow the size of our exports instead of scrapping over the tidbits we have now.

"Our meat and wool industries will only achieve breakthrough growth through innovation.

"I was very pleased that last month the government stepped up to the plate with industry and announced New Zealand Fast Forward.

"Over time, because the fund will be invested over a decade or so while it is paying out for research, it will grow to be worth $2 billion. It's locked in a fund because it forms a genuine long-term commitment - not the kind of ad hoc funding that can be whipped away from year to year as the pressure comes on budgets.

"We need to achieve a step change in our innovation and New Zealand Fast Forward is designed to achieve it; to be a catalyst for breakthrough science. This is a real opportunity to lift the fortunes of our economy.

"I regret that our political opponents have said they will axe the fund." Jim Anderton said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

In the end, Mr Pragmatic calmly read the signs of impending defeat and went out on his own terms. You could use any number of clichés to describe Peter Dunne’s exit from Parliament.

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>


Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>


Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>


Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election