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Clark: Labour's policies good for Hawke's Bay

2000 web siteLabour Leader Helen Clark said today that the new direction of the Labour government will be good for Hawke’s Bay with a more ‘hands-on’ approach designed to support regional growth and business development.

Helen Clark is visiting Napier and Hastings today.

“The free market experiment has failed and a fresh direction is needed. For many years now, economic policies have concentrated on reducing costs, to assist our export sector to compete internationally.

“In recent years, however, this strategy has been subject to the law of diminishing returns. Regional economies have diminished with it. Until New Zealand’s economic strategy changes, the standard of living of many New Zealanders will stagnate or decline, while primary producers - the backbone of the Hawke’s Bay economy – will struggle even to maintain their current position.

“Under Labour, there will be a proactive regional and business strategy. Central government will back regional efforts to generate growth strategies and industry clusters.

“Small business grants and development and venture capital will be available for new business activity.

“Other key elements of the of Labour’s policies include:
 support for producer boards which retain the confidence of their producers;
 a substantial upgrade of border bio-security to prevent accidental or illegal introduction of unwanted organisms;
 a strong continued Government commitment to funding border control services. National’s user-pays plans for these essential services will be dropped;
 support for regional initiatives like Topoclimate and Crops for Southland, which identify new agricultural and horticultural opportunities, and could regenerate local economies;
 support for the concept of a government-accredited label for organic products;
 a statutory power for industries such as wine to enforce self-regulation on quality control;
 support for rural schools and health services.

“Labour will provide a fresh start to build a modern economy and society with the benefits shared by all,” Helen Clark said.

Contact: David Lewis 025-409 492 or Mark Watts 025-822 734

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