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Commitment To Knowledge Wave Welcomed

For Immediate Release
Tuesday February 12, 2002

Commitment To Knowledge Wave Welcomed

The Knowledge Wave Trust has welcomed the Government’s stated commitment to innovation-led economic growth in the Prime Minister’s annual Statement to Parliament and looks forward to more detail on timeframes and funding.

“The Government has spelt out a vision for economic growth based on knowledge and innovation. Having set the direction, the real test now will be the speed and substance of policy implementation,” said Knowledge Wave Trust Director, Bridget Wickham.

“The Statement, and its related Talent, Foreign Direct Investment and SIAC reports, echo many of the recommendations from the August Knowledge Wave Conference.

“The Conference produced a host of recommendations on entrepreneurship, attracting and retaining talent and incentives to promote innovation and creativity. It is encouraging to see that thinking recognised in the Government’s prioritisation of innovation and growth. It also endorsed the concept of collaboration between the private and public sectors. It is very encouraging to see this concept being embraced by the Government in this statement.

“The Government has signalled new initiatives in areas like the attraction and retention of talent, prioritisation of sectors, cluster development and foreign direct investment. It is very important for Government to continue this momentum and the Knowledge Wave Trust will contribute in any way we can to get initiatives under way.”

Ms Wickham said the Trust also welcomed the statement as a reminder to New Zealanders of the urgent need for New Zealand to lift its economic and social performance.

“The consensus from the Conference was that New Zealand has the ability to achieve this. The aim is to improve living standards in the short- to medium-term.

“As the conference recognised, there are many issues we need to address if we are to make New Zealand a better place. Strong community relationships, intelligent investment in social programmes, lifelong learning opportunities and strong, business support structures are all vital parts of the total picture. These are essential for economic growth and without them; we risk falling short of achieving all our goals for society. Growth is a priority if we are to bring our performance and living standards back up into the top half of the OECD and it’s important that we keep up the momentum.”

For further information, contact:

Bridget Wickham
Knowledge Wave Trust
(09) 3738799
Mobile (021) 666 019

Pattrick Smellie
Baldwin Boyle Group
021 588 203

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