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Government Wipes Out On The Knowledge Wave

ACT Leader Hon Richard Prebble said today the Government had been wiped out by the Knowledge Wave conference.

"The Government that had been hoping to use the Knowledge Wave conference to brand itself as being of the future has in fact found itself branded as the Government of the past.

"Not one speaker, either from overseas or New Zealand, has said this country's present performance is satisfactory.

"Indeed, devastating facts have been presented which shook us out of our complacency and show that the Government is taking us in the wrong direction.

"Helen Clark, as co-chair of the conference, started by calling for ideas and claiming the Government was listening ' but by the finish of the conference was obstinately stating that the Government would not change its taxation policy. This is despite being told that New Zealand has the highest corporate tax rate in the Pacific region and has effectively zero chance of keeping knowledge industry.

"The Government's own advisers have called for a major attack on red tape and bureaucracy. While presenters diplomatically did not spell out that the Labour-Alliance coalition have been major contributors to NZ's increasing red tape, it is of course implicit.

"Labour has now placed itself in a very difficult political dilemma. Having embraced the Knowledge Wave and told the nation that it is the way of the future. How can it credibly argue in favour of high taxes, increasing bureaucracy and Government controls?

"The Government's first test will come this month. The Royal Commission on Genetic Modification has told the Government that the present environmental controls in ERMA are more than adequate and that GM research is absolutely vital. The voluntary moratorium on GM research expires on August 31. How can a Government that claims it is riding the Knowledge wave extend it? But if the Government does lift the moratorium it will lose support from the anti-Knowledge Wave parties of the Far Left ' the Alliance and the Greens.

"To ride the Knowledge wave Labour needs to make a fundamental change in direction. But is Helen Clark a good enough surfer to do a cut-back on a wave?"

Ends


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