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A Good Start... But Where To From Here?

Business-Government Forum A Good Start...But Where To From Here?

The Business-Government forum held in Auckland today is a positive development for restoring desperately needed business confidence, establishing rapport between the two and providing a vision for the future, though the challenge will be to move beyond the forum and advance the rhetoric, says Hon Peter Dunne, leader United New Zealand.

"It would after all be somewhat churlish to talk down the forum before the participants have barely had time to digest the day's events.

"However, I remain concerned that the Government excluded an important sector of the business community on the basis they are too ideological because they dared to criticise government policy.

"This suggests the Government is still more concerned about scoring political points than doing the best for New Zealand," says Mr Dunne.

He says the Government seems to have tried to spell out a vision in today's addresses, in stark contrast to the series of ad-hoc measures, often announced in a vacum, that have marked its term so far.

"If the Government in partnership with business can bring the disparate elements of its policy together and embark upon new initiatives, as indicated, within a coherent framework, then the forum will at least have been partially successful. For example, the specific research and development changes and the signalled overhaul of immigration procedures are welcome.

"The challenge is to capitalise on the momentum from today and move forward to make things happen. This means the Government must continue its leadership once Ministers return to Wellington, to ensure ideas become reality and channels of communication remain open.

"The record to date suggests there is still much hard work for the government to do to win over business confidence," concludes Mr Dunne.

END


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