Economic Development Newsletter Issue #7

Published: Wed 21 Nov 2001 09:52 AM
Creating a springboard for growth
A newsletter from the Deputy Prime Minister, Jim Anderton, Minister for Economic, Industry and Regional Development, on Labour/Alliance Coalition Government economic development activities.
21 November 2001 / Issue No 7
This issue of Economic Development:
1 The success of the jobs machine
2 Regional Development Conference - one week to go
3 Regional Development and the future of our economy
4 New Zealanders highly innovative and entrepreneurial
5 Textiles, clothing and footwear have huge potential
6 South Waikato and Nelson form regional partnerships
7 Nelson’s story - Cultural tourism
8 Business Growth Service Grants - some recent grants
9 Tairawhiti transport solutions will require commitment
10 Government funds broadband surveys
11 Employers urged to hire students
12 Southerner to run while viability studied
13 West Coast economy fuelled by local character
14 Literacy vital for workforce
15 Economic Development contacts
1 The success of the jobs machine
Jim Anderton spoke at the Alliance Conference on 11 November about the success of the Jobs Machine.
“The good news is that thanks to the Alliance in Government, New Zealand is on the way to full employment.
“Unemployment is down to its lowest level in 13 years. Not only that, but more importantly; employment is rising. There are 76,000 jobs today that didn’t exist in September 1999.
“In regions there are skills shortages. Many of you will have seen the Southland campaign recently crying out for people to move down and take up the work that needs doing.
“Up and down New Zealand I am seeing new companies, new ideas and new jobs.
“We now have the Ministry of Economic Development which has added an economic development dimension to the Coalition Government and which is now as relevant as Treasury in government considerations.
“There is a National Economic Development Agency called Industry New Zealand which is active with regions, industry sectors and businesses of all sizes.
“We have regional development funding and there are 23 regional regional partnerships.
In the year to June over 15,000 small and medium businesses were given advice and support.
Over 300 businesses received enterprise awards to a value of just under $2 million.
33 medium sized companies have received investment advice to raise $18.6 million.
65 high growth companies received development grants totalling $5.4 million in order to multiply job opportunities.
There is for the first time a programme for encouraging major international events coming to New Zealand.
We have created a series of industry strategies to create jobs in Wood Processing; manufacturing; textiles, clothing and footwear; creative industries and tourism and high technology manufacturing industries.
From wood processing alone we can create 40,000 new jobs if we process and add value to our oncoming wall of wood instead of sending our forests across the wharves as log exports.
You can read the full speech at
2 Regional Development Conference - one week to go
The Regional Development Conference on 28 and 29 November in Rotorua will allow regions to share their vision for the development of the regions and the New Zealand economy.
“Delegates who attend the Regional Development Conference to be held in Rotorua at the end of November must leave the event committed to creating the conditions for businesses to create jobs”, Jim Anderton says.
Over 550 delegates from throughout New Zealand will attend the conference with the original 500 places already taken by 11 November.
“The Conference must have lively and positive discussions which are practically focussed,” said Jim Anderton.
There will be international as well as local speakers:
- US-based Ernesto Sirolli is a specialist in reviving the economic fortunes of regions.
- Scottish Enterprise Agency’s Gordon McVie is an international expert in education and training for entrepreneurship.
- Australia’s Community Development specialist Peter Kenyon has worked with over 600 communities to find creative ways of stimulating economic revival.
3 Regional Development and the future of our economy
Jim Anderton provided an article on regional development for newspapers in the lead up to the conference.
Regional Development is vital for all New Zealanders. I think we need to shift our focus to what our economy could look like in ten years.
The opportunity we have is to develop an economy with dynamic regions which are regarded by all New Zealanders as integral parts of our national economy. Every region can capitalise on local strengths and advantages to create jobs and build stronger communities.
Each region needs to develop its own specialisations as part of regional plans that are being prepared by the partner regions in Industry New Zealand’s Regional Partnerships Programme. Through these plans each region needs to ensure that their key regional strengths have the best possible environment in which to flourish.
The full text of the article is
4 New Zealanders highly innovative and entrepreneurial
New Zealanders are among the most highly entrepreneurial and innovative people in the world.
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2001 ranked New Zealand second in the world in a study of entrepreneurship.
The study was in part sponsored by the Ministry of Economic Development and investigates the relationship between entrepreneurship, economic development and national prosperity in 29 countries.
In March next year the Ministry of Economic Development will host New Zealand’s first major innovation event to celebrate and build on kiwi creativity and innovation.
5 Textiles, clothing and footwear industries have huge potential
“Huge potential for more jobs and economic growth,” is how Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton described the textile, clothing and footwear industry, following this industry’s first steering group meeting at Vogel House.
" I was pleased to sit with key industry representatives and hear them share their ideas. We looked at information on how to create jobs and started to identify ways in which the industry can move ahead by removing barriers to growth.
“Textile, clothing and footwear will benefit from the whole-of-government approach where all Government agencies work closely together with industry to provide solutions.
“Like both of the Wood Processing and Manufacturing Industry Steering Groups this partnership between government and industry will now allow us to develop an action plan of what has to be done now, this week, this month, and this year.
“The Labour/Alliance Coalition Government is making this industry a priority along with wood processing, manufacturing, creative industries and tourism, as they are job-rich, high-skill, high-value export industries with the potential for rapid growth," said Jim Anderton.
6 South Waikato and Nelson form regional partnerships
Two more regions have formed regional partnership agreements with the government through Industry New Zealand’s Regional Partnership Programme, Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton announced today.
South Waikato region will receive $53,550 (including GST) and Nelson Tasman will receive $100,000 (including GST) to further develop and refine the production of a regional economic development strategy.
This announcement takes the regions developing strategies to 23 and the amount allocated by Industry New Zealand for the Regional Partnership programme to $2,666,867.
The partnership grants can be up to $100,000 for regional plans and up to $100,000 for making sure the plans can be implemented (capability building). Funding of up to $2 million per region is available to contribute to major regional initiatives that come out of the strategies developed in the first two stages.
The full list of regions in the Regional Partnership Programme can be found at: and
7 Nelson’s story
Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton welcomed an important aid for regional economies with the release of a cultural tourism business development guide developed in Nelson
'Nelson's Story', funded by Industry New Zealand, profiles the region's tourism and cultural strengths. It will be used by local tourism organisations and marketing groups throughout New Zealand to create stronger local creative arts industries.
Jim Anderton said, "Developing each region's business and industry base is essential to the whole New Zealand economy.
"The report ties in with the NZ Tourism Strategy 2010 which says our cultural products are one way New Zealand can be seen as different from the rest of the world," said Jim Anderton.
Nelson's Story is available on
8 Business Growth Service Grants - recent grants
blokart International Ltd
Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton welcomed a $100,000 Industry New Zealand grant to International award-winning wind powered kart manufacturer, blokart International Ltd of Mt Maunganui.
blokart has been given the Industry New Zealand Business Growth Fund grant to help manage booming export growth over the next four years.
“The award, from the Business Growth Fund, will be used to develop overseas distribution networks, Intellectual property protection, strategic business and marketing plan, operational processes and to help meet US and European regulatory requirements.
“blokart is using kiwi ingenuity and our growing competitive advantage in yacht building,” said Jim Anderton.
Swing Thru International
Dunedin container crane company Swing Thru International has received a $100,000 Business Growth Fund grant from Industry New Zealand.
“The $100,000 will be used for a range of developments such as building stronger relationships with overseas companies, market exploration, and design work on integration of Swing Thru cranes with overseas built trailers.
The Business Growth Service was set up by the Labour/Alliance Coalition Government as part of Industry New Zealand and helps businesses take a leap to the next stage in their development. The Service offers advice and also can provide up to $100,000 for specified measures that will make a significant difference.
The Business Growth Service is one of the range of measures promised in the Alliance pre election policy "Partnership 2000" which outlined practical ways to create jobs and make the New Zealand economy perform better.
9 Tairawhiti transport solutions will require commitment
Over twenty years of neglect will mean that the Tairawhiti region needs significant roading investment in the next ten years, according to a report released on 24 October by Jim Anderton, Minister of Industry and Regional Development.
“Roading and other transport networks are needed to harvest the wall of wood and make the most of regional development opportunities,” says Jim Anderton.
“It is clear that making the most of our forest harvest, and creating wood processing jobs will require a significant investment in the region’s roads. It could be as high as $120 million over a 20 year period, most of which needs to be invested in the next 10 years.
10 Government is funding broadband pilots
Early last month Jim Anderton and Communications and Information Technology Minister Paul Swain launched a pilot schemes designed to bring broadband services to regional New Zealand.
Broadband is high-speed two-way Internet connection, and regional New Zealand could miss out on it unless some way is found to make supply financially viable.
The Government wants to ensure all kiwi communities can access two-way high-speed Internet services by the end of 2003.
“Connecting more businesses raises productivity, reduces costs and fosters innovation and industry development. New Zealanders need to be connected to participate fully in education, social and community networks and in employment,” Jim Anderton said.
The focus of the pilots will be finding ways to make broadband commercially viable.
The Ministry of Economic Development will fund the pilots at a total cost of up to $300,000.
Up to six pilots will be established in Northland, Southland, Taranaki, Wairarapa, South Waikato and East Cape.
11 Employers urged to hire students
Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton has called on employers to take on students for skilled jobs over summer under the new Snap student employment initiative.
“All around the country I hear employers say that they are struggling to get the skilled people they need. This is a chance to not only invest in and encourage New Zealand talent, but businesses can market themselves as future employers and find top quality future staff.
“I will be writing to some employers in the pilot regions asking them to consider hiring a student for special projects such as developing a marketing plan, work on a web site, or reviewing personnel policies,” said Jim Anderton.
Some samples of job descriptions are available on the website and employers wanting guidelines on student projects can look at these on
Employers can register jobs with
12 Southerner to run while viability studied
Partnership between central and local government and Tranz Rail has kept the Southerner passenger rail service running until at least February.
The Government and local authorities will make a contribution of $240,000 towards the running costs of the service until 10 February next year.
Jim Anderton said the deal would almost certainly not have been possible if the Coalition Government had not created the Ministry of Economic Development.
“It has worked closely with local authorities and contributed funds because of the regional development and tourism potential of the service.”
Jim Anderton acknowledged the co-operation of Tranz Rail in keeping the service open while a deal was arranged, and in agreeing to meet any further shortfall from continuing until February.
An investigation into the long-term viability of the service is also being funded. It will look at the impact on regions if the passenger service closes, the market for passenger transport on the route, a market assessment of options for addressing passenger demand, and the wider benefits from passenger transport options.
Dunedin South MP David Benson-Pope said the key now is for local communities to discuss what level of initiatives they will support and what level of funding they would contribute in the medium term.
“It’s up to the communities serviced by the Southerner to contribute their ideas of what may be possible to maximise the development and tourism potential for the region.”
Under the deal, the Government will contribute $140,000 towards the Southerner’s operating costs, Dunedin and Invercargill City Councils $35,000 each, Christchurch City Council $25,000, Waitaki and Southland District Councils $2000 each and Timaru District Council $1000.
The Government will pay up to $30,000 for the viability study, Timaru District Council will provide $5000, while the Otago Regional Council, Environment Southland And Environment Canterbury will contribute $10,000 each.
13 West Coast economy fuelled by local character
Jim Anderton released an indicative report on the West Coast economy on 1 November. The report was to give an indication of some of the successes and good stories that the Coast is entitled to be proud of.
The overall picture suggests that there is cause for optimism on the Coast. Economic activity is on the rise.
Jim Anderton said, “No one doubts that the West Coast has seen some hard times over the years. West Coasters have been forgotten by past Governments and have faced an uncertain economic future, but the West Coast economy is turning the corner, and it has good stories to tell”.
The media backgrounder can be seen at:
14 Literacy vital for workforce
“Many people have asked me “what has the Minister for Economic, Industry and Regional Development got to do with adult literacy?’”
“The answer is - everything - if people can’t read, write, or count properly they can’t function effectively in the modern workplace.
“When I started visiting our regions and our cities talking to a wide range of employers I started to get a picture of significant numbers of people who can’t read or do simple mathematical exercises such as addition or subtraction. Reports have indicated up to 40 per cent of the work force have some form of literacy dysfunction.
“Employers said to me, “how can we hire or promote someone who can’t write? Who can’t read instructions, who can’t operate a computer or even a calculator?’
Jim Anderton talked to the Workbase conference on 1 November.
Workbase reports and other material:
15 Economic Development contacts: 08004BIZINFO
Venture capital information: 0800VCAPITAL
A Wood Processing Industry Steering Group newsletter has been launched by Industry New Zealand. If anyone is interested in receiving this contact
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