Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


‘Rural Think Tank’ taking provincial promise to the election

PRESS RELEASE

 25 February 2014

Focus New Zealand’s ‘Rural Think Tank’ taking provincial promise to the election

The Focus New Zealand party are sending a clear signal to the government that ‘Rural NZ cannot be ignored’ this year with a series of Rural Think Tanks at Field Day events throughout the country.

Launching this Thursday at the Northland Districts Field Days, Focus NZ will be hosting a ‘Rural Think Tank’ where they invite the public to brainstorm and challenge scenarios and policy ideas with a view to taking those ideas to Parliament in the 2014 election.

“It’s a little different to the think tanks in Wellington – there are no chairs, tables, paid expert opinions, or long lunches – but there will be common sense, diversity, provoking questions and a clear rural community message” says Focus NZ Party President Ken Rintoul.

“We will take that common sense message with us to the election later this year and call out some of the legislation and short term government perspectives that are making it harder for productive New Zealand to actually produce, employ people, be profitable and support our local communities.”

“For too long rural and productive New Zealand have been at the whim of our larger and expanding cities – Auckland’s growth demands have been at the expense of our regions, our towns and our productive sector is shrinking -  this does not bode well for New Zealand as a whole,” says Rintoul.

Rural NZ accounts for a significant share of export income and the Regional Economic Activity Report released last year quantifies rural GDP at $73.6 billion or approximately 40% (excluding the big cities Auckland 66.3b, Wellington 26.9b, Canterbury 23.2b).

Focus NZ was formed over 18 months ago and became a registered political party in December after gaining membership across NZ from mostly rural, manufacturing and export industries.

“We know we can adopt a better vision for Provincial New Zealand - one that understands its relationship to the overall economy, wealth and health of New Zealand - one which aims to support and foster provincial development and strengths, not dilute them.”

“One of the ideas we are developing is a Provincial Policy.  Focus NZ want to remove barriers to viable, profitable and self-sustaining economic communities using the Provinces as the building platform. We’ve drafted a Provincial Policy Paper around the concept and we are seeking our communities’ feedback on that this weekend. It considers tax, legislation, exchange rates, rural economies, job creation, training, RMA, environmental management, infrastructure, local councils, road user charges, regional investment funds etc.”  

“We are careful not to be the pot calling the kettle black and set up a Rural Ministry as that marginalises the cities, but the idea of our Provincial Policy says all Provinces, whether they be rural or civic have a place in New Zealand’s success. The New Zealand economy is the sum of its individual geographic parts, but we must also understand here lies the solutions too, let’s start working together and sharing the growth and solutions. Housing shortages is a classic example pushing up the cost of living for hard working families in Auckland, when we have plenty of empty sections but a serious job shortage in Northland; or where power shortages are prohibitive to manufacturing growth in the city and yet we sit on an underutilised natural geothermal power supply at Ngawha.”

“Focus New Zealand is about bringing Common Sense Solutions to the table for all New Zealanders, connecting the dots and not been too hung up on being left, right or green on the political spectrum.   We know for certain that the Provinces are key to those ideas and the future success of New Zealand, and we will take that promise to the election this year.” 

The Focus New Zealand ‘Rural Think Tank’ will be at site 342 at the Northland Districts Field Days, 27 February – 1st March

END

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Royals: The Prince Of Wales And Duchess Of Cornwall To Visit

Prime Minister John Key welcomes today’s announcement that the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit New Zealand in November. This will be the second joint visit for Their Royal Highnesses to New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Tracey Martin Replaced: Ron Mark Is New New Zealand First Deputy Leader

Clayton Mitchell was the successful candidate for the Associate Whip position. Winston Peters was re-elected as Leader by the Caucus. Ron Mark was elected as the Deputy Leader with effect from 10am, Friday, 3rd July. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuild Rebrand: "Regenerate Christchurch" To Replace CERA

The regeneration of Christchurch will be the city’s focus for the next five years as local leadership progressively takes control of the rebuild, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

ALSO:

Nauru: Scholars Urge Minister To Act On Deteriorating Democracy

“Since the 2013 election in Nauru, there has been a series of disturbing developments on the islands that indicate a severe deterioration in the state of its parliamentary democracy and in the rule of law,” say the scholars. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: NZ Begins Presidency Of UN Security Council

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed the start of New Zealand’s month-long Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in New York. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cash For Charter Schools, Mould For State Schools

“Recently released financial statements show the Whangarei charter school He Puna Marama received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year. Yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving almost $2.5 million over two years unaccounted for." More>>

ALSO:

Kiwirail Plans Shift From Electric: National Urged Not To Take Backwards Step

The National Government shouldn’t drag New Zealand backwards by replacing its climate friendly electric trains with carbon-polluting diesel trains, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Capital Connection:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news