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Partnerships help regions grow

Partnerships help regions grow - but NZ First and United will help Brash-ACT get rid of them

Major regional initiatives are helping regions to build on their economic strength…but they will be at risk if United and NZ First help Don Brash to form a National-Act government, Labour’s long term coalition partner, the Progressive Party, says.

Speaking in the Nelson-Tasman region, at the launch of Queen Charlotte College’s aquaculture research vessel, Progressive leader and Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton said Major Regional Initiatives are the funding part of the government’s commitment to partnership with regions.

“It’s possible to come back and ask for more in the next three year round. The combined effect of one major regional initiative coming in after another will build up over time. It will help to significantly boost economic growth in each region. It’s no accident that every region of New Zealand is now in positive growth mode.”

But Jim Anderton says that all of this progress could be at risk if United and NZ First back a Don Brash-led National/ACT Government.

“They make it clear they could vote to make Don Brash Prime Minister. But Don Brash and the Act Party are totally opposed to hands-on partnerships with the regions. They want to go back to the no-growth nineties when government stood on the sidelines.”

“The Progressive Party leader says regional development is about building on strengths, not making hand-outs. The first thing we had to do was work out what those strengths were. Then communities had to come together and work out their top priorities for building on those strengths.

“Seafood is the focus of the Nelson Tasman Regional Partnership’s Major Regional Initiative. NZ Trade and Enterprise granted $1.5 million towards the development of the seafood centre of excellence. The centre will consist of education, research and business facilities related to the seafood industry.

“In other regions we have contributed to a wine centre of excellence in Marlborough; A food technology centre in Hawkes Bay; Wood Processing in Rotorua; and the Waikato Technology Park.

“After years of lagging behind the rest of the developed world – our economy has been one of the fastest growing over the last four years. This week, unemployment dropped to 4.4 per cent - 61-thousand more jobs than a year ago. Unemployment is lower than it has been since 1987.

New Zealand has experienced sixteen consecutive quarters of employment growth.

“Overall New Zealand is in a much better position than most countries. But there is much more to do to secure our future performance.

The government is strongly committed to lifting the level of growth and innovation in the New Zealand economy.

“In the 21st century, first world nations will be those capable of generating high levels of innovation. We must be one of those nations. We are working closely with those industries with the greatest potential for the fastest growth and to assist others to grow. We are working in every region. These partnerships will help to grow our economy across a broad range of sectors.”

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