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Progressive leader comments on responsibilities

20 December 2004

Hon Jim Anderton MP, Progressive Leader

Progressive leader comments on extra Ministerial responsibilities

Progressive Party leader Jim Anderton says that his new forestry portfolio carries the responsibility to reap high added-value out of the forestry industry.

"This is a natural extension to my past five years' work in economic, industry and regional development," he said today.

"The government's role in helping forestry meet its full potential extends from investing in regional infrastructure, to constantly improving the structures in place to encourage market-responsive research and development.

"This involves working with our trading partners to reduce non-tariff and tariff barriers to our exports as well as helping to put the personnel and investment in place to make the most of market opportunities as they arise," the Progressive leader said.

Jim Anderton co-chairs the Food and Beverage Taskforce, one of the country’s fastest-growing sectors and the largest single merchandise export sector. He said today that he looks forward to taking responsibility for further transforming the forestry sector which is the second largest merchandise export sector.

"MMP offers all political parties, big or small, a huge opportunity to make a positive difference to the day-to-day government of New Zealand in order to get good things done for all New Zealanders.

"The challenge before all political parties is to seize the opportunity and embrace the responsibility as best we can.

"If you work hard to deliver on the things that really matter most to New Zealanders, then you can and will have a significant impact within a coalition government. In the Progressive Party's case, that means having a strong daily leadership role in implementing policies to promote an economy that permanently lifts everyone's living standards.

"That means having the honour of working to deliver more high-quality, well-paying jobs, improved access to quality education and health services, including programmes to reduce the damage caused by the misuse of mood-altering drugs and alcohol," he said.

ENDS

Jim Anderton became Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industry & Regional Development and the Minister Responsible for the Public Trust, in December 1999. He became Associate Minister of Health, responsible for the National Drug Policy, after the July 2002 General Election. Today he added Minister of Forestry to his responsibilities.

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