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robson-on-politics Thu 18 September

robson-on-politics Thu 18 September

Conference is here!

Tomorrow I'll be one of the team preparing the Waipuna Conference Centre in Mount Wellington for the Progressives' inaugural conference. If you haven't already decided when you are coming, check www.progressive.org.nz/conference for session details or ring my office, 09 273 8150. Media are welcome to all sessions except Saturday 2.30pm - 5.30pm and Sunday 9.00am - 10.15am. I hope you can join us as there are many keynote speakers. In addition to those featured in earlier editions, Lesley Max, an expert in early intervention is speaking in the safer communities session on Sunday afternoon, and Professor Garth Cooper of Auckland University will be illustrating the potential for biotechnology to create high-value jobs in New Zealand. Phil Twyford, Oxfam International director, and fresh from the WTO meeting, will speak on making globalisation work for people. _____________________

GIF taskforces aim for jobs, jobs, jobs

The Growth and Innovation Framework taskforces, working in the design, biotech, information technology and film sectors, are mapping a strategic direction and setting targets for their sectors. Supporting their work, Jim Anderton announced today five initiatives delivering $32 million over four years. The Progressive vision is to work in partnership with industries, regions, and communities to deliver jobs, jobs, jobs. See: http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=439 and http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=440

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Kiwibank continues to grow, meet targets

Kiwibank, announcing its 2nd annual result, is continuing to meet targets. It is expected to turn a profit in the year to June 2005, and financial projections have always been that losses would occur as start-up costs were incurred. The loss for this year was $8.03 million. Kiwibank had 147,000 customers as at 30 June, and the average value of their balances continues to climb - now over $3,100 - as customers move maturing term deposits to Kiwibank.

See: http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=438 and http://www.kiwibank.co.nz/news/show-news.asp?story=48 _____________________

Health announcement another milestone

In its first term the coalition started a review of health delivery. Jim Anderton negotiated with Annette King that priority should be given to lowering the cost of primary health care for the elderly. That has now borne fruit with this week's announcement that a $47m investment is being brought forward a year. From July 1, everyone aged over 65 and enrolled in Primary Health Organisations (PHOs) will have lower doctors' fees. We've already announced that as a result of the Progressives being in Government children from 6 - 17 years will be eligible for low patient fees from 1 October. See: http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=436 _____________________

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

As the junior partner in the first Anderton-Clark coalition government, we negotiated a temporary moratorium on the commercial release of GMOs. The purpose was to allow the systems to be put in place so that when the moratorium was lifted the people of New Zealand - and consumers of our products overseas - would feel as comfortable as it is possible with any cutting edge development in science - to permit limited, highly controlled release of GMOs into the environment. The moratorium lifts at the end of next month. Parliament is also considering the New Organisms and Other Matters Bill which proposes to regulate the conditions under which GMOs might be released. Delegates attending the conference this weekend will have an opportunity to join a workshop studying all the issues that arise from both the legislation before Parliament as well as the general question of whether the moratorium has done its job and whether we are fully satisfied that all the conditions set down by the Royal Commission have been met.

Our party is guided by science on this issue and by considerations of the economic well-being of New Zealand - in particular, we support steps that increase job creation and the wealth of the nation and that is what will guide us.

Don't post 'missing in action' against the Progressives yet, said the NZ Herald last Saturday.

Then on Tuesday Colin James analysed my efforts on the Gambling Bill and concluded 'don't write the Progressives off yet' See www.progressive.org.nz for information on these and other issues. Saturday's article: http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=435 and Colin James: http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=437

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