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Adding value in primary industry

19 October 2005

Hon Jim Anderton MP, Progressive Leader

Adding value in primary industry and lifting skills key to new roles

The Ministerial portfolios of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry have been allocated to Progressive Leader Jim Anderton with the objective of lifting the level of value added exports produced in these industries, which are so critical to the future development of New Zealand's economy.

"Our primary industries account for 63 per cent of total merchandise export earnings. They are critical to our economic success and any improvements we can make in productivity and added value will pay off for the whole economy.

"My aim is to work in partnership with our primary industries in order to help them make an even greater contribution to economic growth. This partnership approach has been well developed during my work in economic development and will continue in my new role," Jim Anderton said.

He has also picked up the biosecurity portfolio in order to play a role in protecting the primary industries from risks posed by pests and diseases.

"Biosecurity remains critical to the protection of our primary industries. I am looking forward to working with the relevant officials in continuing New Zealand's high levels of protection."

Jim Anderton takes on a new role as Associate Minister of Tertiary Education to deal specifically with the issue of skills shortages.

"One of the most significant concerns of many business around the country is in the area of skills shortages. As Associate Minister of Tertiary Education I intend to ensure that the needs of industry are addressed through the courses and training being offered by tertiary institutions," Jim Anderton said.

He will continue to hold the roles of: Associate Minister of Health, responsible for government policy in the areas of drugs, alcohol and suicide; and Minister responsible for the Public Trust.

Specific Progressive policy initiatives will be announced in the Speech from the Throne at the opening of Parliament.

ENDS

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