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The Regions Matter – Give Them a Share of Royalties

Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader
6 JUNE 2014

The Regions Matter – Give Them a Share of Royalties

The West Coast is reeling today from more job losses, and the National Government’s total neglect of the regions means there is nothing to soften the blow, says New Zealand First.

“It has been a one-way street as the regions produce our exports, in particular from dairying, forestry and mining, and the government reaps the rewards.

“New Zealand First wants 25 per cent of the royalties paid for the mining of minerals, such as coal, limestone, lignite and gold to stay in the regions. That’s fair.

“If this had been in place in 2013-14 more than $80 million would have gone towards regional development and would have helped create new enterprises and new jobs.

“The National Government has returned nothing in the form of investments for future production and job creation. It’s been take, take, take.

“The announcement today of 137 more jobs being lost at Stockton Mine follows hundreds of other job losses on the West Coast, and in other regions – the high dollar is crippling many producers and exporters and lack of diversity is hindering job creation.

“Industries in the regions, including sawmills, have been shutting down on a regular basis.

“New Zealand Firsts wants to let the regions put their royalties share into local development.

“Decision making would stay local, the regionals would be in charge of the fund and not politicians in Wellington,” says Mr Peters.

ENDS

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