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Springboard for economic growth released tomorrow

Jim Anderton
MPInvestment in sustainable economic development, backing for jobs and wealth creation in regional areas of New Zealand, and sharply improved spending on science and research and development.

Those are the key components of the Alliance economic development policy Partnership 2000 to be released by Alliance leader Jim Anderton tomorrow.He says the policy package will create at least 76,000 more jobs than the National Party would provide over the next three years.

‘We need a new approach to economic development because New Zealand is falling behind other developed countries.

‘In the 1970s New Zealand's per capita income was higher than the average of OECD countries. Today it is less than 85% of the average.

‘Over the last ten years our per capita GNP grew by only 3.8%, the lowest of any ten year period since the 1930s. (Per capita GNP is the sum of all economic activity in New Zealand, excluding income to foreigners, divided by the number of people in the country).

'The countries that are powering ahead are investing heavily in the creation of new industries and new jobs. They actively intervene to lead investment into weak regions and they spend more than twice the amount on science and on research and development that New Zealand does.

‘Change in our pattern of industrial development hasn't occurred fast enough under free market policies. We are falling behind in incomes, our balance of payments deficit has persisted for a quarter of a century and our total overseas debt is a monster.

'Successful economies are created, not inherited. The Government has to enter partnerships with the private sector and local government to provide the investment, training, coordination and capital needed to create successful new industries which are the source of jobs, higher export earnings and rising incomes.'

The Alliance's detailed policy includes an in-depth analysis of New Zealand's economic performance and the economic strategy of countries such as Ireland, Finland and Taiwan which have successfully developed a new industrial and export base for their economies.

ENDS

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