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Anderton: Next step in NZ Fast Forward initiative

3 July 2008 Speech

Next step in New Zealand Fast Forward initiative

New Zealand Fast Forward is a bold initiative aimed at transforming the pastoral and food sectors (including meat, dairy, horticulture, seafood and associated industries) - economically and environmentally.

Today marks the first step towards formalising the New Zealand Fast Forward initiative with the signing of the Heads of Agreement. It signals the start of the new collaboration and sets out the principles and governance arrangements behind the partnership between government and industry.

The Government-industry partnership is instrumental to New Zealand Fast Forward.

This Heads of Agreement was developed by parties from both the public and the private sectors within the New Zealand Fast Forward Establishment Group - a group of senior government and pastoral and food industry officials formed to help work through the governance issues of the initiative.

The Establishment Group's report has also been formally released today, advising how the partnership between government and industry will work in practice, including the establishment of a new company New Zealand Fast Forward Ltd which will lead the development and implementation of the investment strategy.

I want to thank the Establishment Group for their work. They have worked hard to develop a governance approach that will allow government and industry to work together in a more effective way.

I want to thank those organisations here today that are demonstrating their commitment to Fast Forward by signing the agreement.

And I also want to acknowledge the commitment of Aquaculture New Zealand to investing via the Fast Forward initiative and I understand that they are currently assessing the possibility of becoming a cornerstone investor.

New Zealand Fast Forward is the single biggest-ever investment in the future of our most important industries.

The Government has invested $700 million up front to be invested over the next 10-15 years. With interest earned by the fund, this will increase to $1000 million over this period.

Existing industry investment has already committed more than $75 million a year, subject to suitable programmes being developed, and the combined public-private sector partnership will provide investment for research and innovation totalling around $2000 million.

Cornerstone investors, those organisations/individuals who commit to investing at least $10 million over five years, will have an integral role in the governance of New Zealand Fast Forward - signing the Heads of Agreement, nominating Board members, and commenting on strategy.

However, it is very important to understand that New Zealand Fast Forward is for all participants, both large and small.

I wish to acknowledge the commitment the Foundation of Arable Research has made and encourage others to also look to see how they can invest in their future.

New Zealand Fast Forward provides the opportunity to boost the economic and environmental performance of our primary industries.

New Zealand Fast Forward will follow an ambitious strategy developed, led and overseen by an independent Board, with input from as many partners as possible including producers, manufacturers, marketers, researchers, and government agencies.

Under this strategy, a small number of programmes, straddling the whole value chain will be developed and implemented. These will be long-term, focused, innovative and sustainable - not 'business as usual'.

The Government will invest alongside industry organisations and other investors in the programmes that New Zealand Fast Forward Ltd approves to achieve its strategic priorities. Only four to six key strategic investment programmes are expected to be developed, over the life of the fund - ensuring targeted investment and innovation. Each investment programme will, of course, have a number of projects flowing from it.

Industry organisations are encouraged to become involved: through becoming an investor, consulting and-or commenting on draft strategy, participating in a steering group, or managing or participating in a project within a programme.


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