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Conference To Boost Regional Development

"Regional development will be boosted by a major Regional Development Conference to be held in November this year," Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton announced today to the Mayors' Taskforce for Jobs.

The Conference will be held in Rotorua on 28 and 29 November 2001 and is a response to a number of regional development needs, including the need to develop a national vision to boost regional development and improved communication between regions.

"This conference will be an excellent chance for economic development workers, local authority representatives, Iwi and local business leaders to see what is working and apply it in their own regions," said Jim Anderton.

The Conference is expected to attract over 500 delegates including keynote speakers who are local and international regional development experts.

"I have been on 39 regional visits across New Zealand and it is clear those involved in regional development have a lot to teach each other, and they want an opportunity to network and share knowledge and ideas. This conference will provide a significant opportunity for this to take place.

"Strong regional economies will strengthen our national economy and will help to provide sustainable, high income employment for more New Zealanders.

"There is excellent regional development work going on around the country, for example the Regional Partnerships Programme which is building strong economic networks," said Jim Anderton.

The Regional Partnerships Programme will provide $33.7 million across three years. Regions can apply for up to $100,000 for the development of regional plans and up to $100,000 for creating the capability to implement the plans. Funding of up to $2 million per region is available to contribute to major regional initiatives from the strategies developed in the first two stages.

Fourteen regions have secured grants in the previous three rounds amounting to $1,300,000. To date $2,220,500 has been committed to 19 regional partnerships.

Ends

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