Anderton: Opening Of Fashion Week
Hon Jim Anderton Minister for Economic Development
Opening of Air New Zealand Fashion Week
17 October 2005 135 Halsey Street America's Cup Village Auckland
Pieter Stewart, founder and managing director of Air New Zealand Fashion Week Mayor Dick Hubbard Norm Thompson, Air New Zealand Parliamentary colleagues, including Don Brash Distinguished guests and participants
I must first make apologies on behalf of the Prime Minister, Helen Clark.
Today she has been involved in some important stitch-work of her own.
I was supposed to be opening the Prime Minister's Cup golf competition this evening, again, representing the Prime Minister, so I had a few golf stories lined up that I can't use now.
However, I did find there is a link between golf and fashion - that even Michael Campbell, our golfing hero of the day, is getting involved in the business through Kia Kaha.
It is exciting to be here to launch the 5th Air New Zealand Fashion Week.
We must thank founder Pieter Stewart for her vision and determination in putting this event together.
The government, via Tourism New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, is proud to be a strategic partner of Fashion Week for a number of reasons.
Firstly, creative industries are a top priority in our work to lift living standards for New Zealanders.
Fashion Week is helping us to deliver growth by building up the export capability of New Zealand labels.
For the record, New Zealand fashion exports grew by almost five percent in the year to the end of June 2005.
That follows on from growth of over seven per cent in the year to the end of June 2004.
Secondly, Fashion Week helps to market and brand New Zealand as a dynamic, creative, and innovative nation to a sophisticated international audience.
New Zealand already has a richly deserved reputation for its breathtaking scenery, outdoor adventure and sporting prowess.
But the fashion industry has a vital part to play in updating those traditional perceptions in Europe, Asia, the United States, and beyond.
Thirdly, it also reminds us is that fashion is truly part of the creative spectrum.
There is a real depth of creative talent in this country.
Much of that creativity finds expression in fashion.
We may be a small nation, but we do have a large number of very innovative and creative people.
People like Peter Jackson, Jane Campion, Burt Munro, Bruce McLaren and our fashion leaders of course.
Their ideas drive not only the arts and the creative industries like fashion, and screen production; - but innovative and lateral thinkers are also driving our information and communications sector, - our biotechnology, - and our research and design led manufacturing and processing sectors.
Our future lies with those who have the new ideas, which can create our point of difference.
And with those who partner them so that those ideas can reach their full potential.
We have to value and nurture creative industries like fashion because the positive flow-on effects inspire us all and change global perceptions of New Zealand to our advantage.
Our success in fashion tells the world - and also New Zealanders - that we are a nation, which can create great ideas, and then turn those creations into great commercial products.
What is exciting about this industry is the amount of new talent emerging.
We know of the international success of designers such as Karen Walker, Trelise Cooper, Kate Sylvester, and Liz Mitchell, and labels such as Zambesi and Nom D.
But here are many young New Zealanders wanting to follow their path.
And it is wonderful to see this week’s show including a ‘rookie’ section through which a new generation can demonstrate their talent.
An aspect, which comes through strongly in New Zealand design is the unique nature of our culture, based on our Maori heritage, our Pakeha heritage, and our more recent Pacific and Asian heritages.
The influence of these strands to our character are producing a uniquely New Zealand aspect to our creative businesses.
It is great to see the New Zealand fashion industry being recognised for its contribution to building New Zealand’s reputation as a dynamic, creative, and unique nation.
To the designers represented here this week, your talent and passion are inspiring and we all wish you every success.
Congratulations to Pieter Stewart, all her team, and the sponsors who support Air New Zealand Fashion Week for making this a reality.
And to you all for participating.