4 December 2000 Media Statement
Anderton announces Northland regional development programme
"Northland is a priority for the Labour Alliance Coalition Government's regional development programmes. I have
instructed the Ministry of Economic Development to visit the region again before Christmas and then, in the new year,
put together a development package before I visit the area in early March," said Jim Anderton Deputy Prime Minister.
"The Ministry will prepare a thorough assessment of the regional issues and opportunities, and make initial contact for
me with all the key players. Then, in cooperation with the leaders of the Northland region they will design the process
which best meets the needs of Northland. One issue I have spent the last week working on in Asia is encouraging overseas
owners of New Zealand forests to increase their investment in wood processing in New Zealand," said Jim Anderton, who
has spent eight days visiting Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.
"Forestry is a major industry in areas such as Northland and creating jobs where as much of the work as possible is done
locally will assist regional development. Every time an unprocessed log is exported we lose jobs and overseas earnings.
"Northland has been allowed to fall behind as a region by previous governments. The last National/Act supported
government did nothing for regional development in nine years in office. This Government is not standing aside to allow
this to continue," said Jim Anderton.
The commitment to Northland follows the highly successful Tairawhiti Development Taskforce Report announced on 24
November following six months of intensive work in the East Coast region. Although a different approach might be adopted
in Northland the commitment to local people and jobs is the same and the lessons learnt will be valuable.
The Tairawhiti Development Taskforce report contained a number of major announcements including: providing 2000
computers for schools, marae and community centres in the region; the announcement of a regional road, port and rail
review to develop proposals for securing transport networks in and out of the region; and an objective for the forestry
industry to work toward processing 60 per cent of logs in the region.