Launch of San Nanumea - Jim Anderton Speech
28 September 2001 Hon Jim Anderton Speech
Launch of San Nanumea
The commissioning ceremony for the San Nanumea fishing vessel
Sanford Sustainable Seafood Ltd
22 Jellicoe Street
Managing Director Eric Barrett, Sanford employees, guests
This is very positive day for Sanford and for New Zealand.
This vessel before us the San Nanumea is 78 metres long, can carry over 1,000 tonnes in freight and has a large amount of sophisticated electronic equipment that is part of all modern businesses.
It is an impressive sight and impressive testament to the success of this company.
I have lost count of the number of times I have come to Auckland in the last two years to see a successful company launching a new product or venture.
Some are small businesses with inventions or new products, such as kids4kids construction forts invented by a couple in Glen Eden whom I visited last week.
They had recently had the good news that the Warehouse is selling their forts in time for Christmas.
Others are medium sized enterprises. There are many I can name. In May I visited Best Bars in Manurewa to see their 500,000th tow bar roll off the production line.
Then there are the large companies. A smaller number of big employers who are, because of their size, able to influence our economy and our communities strongly.
Sanford is clearly in this last category.
Sanford Limited is what I would describe as a flagship kiwi company.
Started in 1881 the company is listed on the stock exchange and continues to grow and prosper due to having a viable market and talented staff and management.
You can all be proud of what you do.
It is companies like this, with markets around the world who represent New Zealand.
I always enjoy celebrating good news.
So I am pleased to have been invited here today.
The expansion of this company is exciting for many reasons. Obviously for the company. You are continuing to do well, and this increases employment here at Sanford.
The industry and local economy will get positive spin-offs.
New Zealand needs many more successful high-value businesses like this. And not just here in Auckland, but throughout New Zealand.
I was recently shown some remarkable public opinion research. It asked New Zealanders which factors they wanted New Zealand to be most known for internationally in five to ten years' time. Two per cent opted for the best sports teams per head of population. One in five said 'a clean environment.' Nearly a third said 'a fair and tolerant society.' And half of all respondents selected 'a society which thrives on knowledge, creativity and enterprise.'
The results of this survey are enormously encouraging. Yes, we are proud of our clean environment. And, yes we want a fair and tolerant society. And so we should. But above all, New Zealanders are accepting the challenge of building a society where we are known for our knowledge, our creativity and our enterprise.
I would like to see us as a community urge New Zealanders on not only in sport, but in everything we do, and to take pride in the achievements of all New Zealanders.
Recently I visited the set of Lord of the Rings in Wellington. There were more than 140 people in an old factory making the props and costumes, and most of them had never worked on a feature film before. It was all being done on kiwi ingenuity. One of the American movie moguls said to me, ‘The concept of "impossible" is unknown to New Zealanders.'
We need to harness that creativity and unleash it in every industry, in as many firms and individuals as possible. Wherever I go in New Zealand, there are creative people doing incredibly innovative things.
We need them to succeed, because our average incomes have been falling behind those of other developed countries for thirty years. New Zealand is the lowest exporter of complex manufactured products in the OECD. Only 8,500 businesses out of 259,000 in the whole of New Zealand are exporting. Just thirty companies earn half of our entire foreign exchange. As a result, we haven’t paid our way in the world for twenty-eight consecutive years.
New Zealand needs to sell far more high-tech, high-value, high skill products that the rest of the world wants to buy.
Until the Labour-Alliance Coalition Government was elected, the prevailing view was that the Government should sit on the sidelines, hands off. That view is changing, because it is being recognised that we have to reduce our reliance on the export of raw commodities.
We need to produce and sell more – far more goods and services that rely on our unique creativity. We need to do much more than hope the sun shines, the rain falls, and the grass and trees continue to grow.
As we do more of this New Zealand will succeed like never before.
The successful growth and expansion of Sanford is one example.
The New Zealand economy is beginning to secure its future with more high-tech, high-value, high-skill companies.
Next year I will be hosting an innovation conference in Christchurch.
We will showcase New Zealand innovation building on the legacy of Bruce McLaren, from Auckland, CWF Hamilton, Tait Electronics, and John Britten to name just a few from my home city of Christhchurch.
We will see what we can do to share the success of good companies and create a stronger innovative economy.
As Minister of Economic Development, it's my job to work in partnership with industry and with local communities to bring about the economic transformation New Zealand needs.
I'm pleased to say that Sanford has achieved its success to date without needing support from Industry New Zealand.
If we can help, we are here to assist. For example, support is available to assist with research and development. And the Government is providing scholarships and fellowships to bring in high-tech experts.
In short, the Government is ready to work in partnership with you to ensure your continued growth and success.
It's a pleasure to be here for the launch of the San Nanumea. I congratulate you on all you have achieved to date. I welcome the contribution you are making to New Zealand. And I look forward to your increased prosperity in the future.