Anderton Speech at the Opening of the Pavilion
6:30 pm Wednesday, 27 November 2002 Opening of the America’s Cup New Zealand Pavilion Viaduct Basin, Auckland
Danny Tumahai Kaumatua and the Ngati Whatua Prime Minister, Helen Clark Chris Liddell Neil Mackay Sponsors Distinguished guests Ladies and Gentlemen
It is a pleasure to be here tonight at the opening of the Carter Holt Harvey New Zealand Pavilion.
I was stirred, as I always am, by the welcome from the Tangata whenua, in this case Ngati Whatua. A challenge and a welcome symbolise the experience of being a New Zealander.
In coming to New Zealand as migrants our ancestors were challenged by what they found in this welcoming, beautiful and inspiring country.
I see before us this fantastic pavilion, in itself a triumph of innovative thinking and creative design.
Today I believe we are celebrating our land and our people.
There are many images and sounds I associate with New Zealand.
The challenge we face is when we go overseas in future we don’t want people to say ‘ah New Zealand – you have a lot of sheep’ or ‘New Zealand has a fern leaf or kiwi as its symbol.’
We want them to say, “New Zealand is a world leader in innovation – You have great ideas’.
Products linked to New Zealand must be the world-class – the best they can possibly be, and simplistic branding means little.
For example, Germany means Mercedes-Benz and high-tech machinery.
Finland means Nokia
America – the aspirational American dream.
Japan – high quality precise manufacturing.
I don’t know what flora and fauna Japan and Finland have, but I certainly know about their high-quality, state of the art products.
In New Zealand’s case it is our ideas that set us apart from other nations.
We are without doubt one of the most innovative nations on earth.
There are many ideas as to why this is the case.
Split Enz in their song “Six months in a leaky boat” sing of ‘tyranny of distance/ rugged individuals’. The tyranny of being so far from anywhere else and having to do everything ourselves, meant our forebears had to rely on their own resources.
This seems to have had a profound impact on our national psyche.
We are experts at finding other ways to do things.
Peter Jackson’s production of Lord of the Rings was built on good New Zealand ideas.
Unbreakable swords/Weta workshops
Innovation is part of the fabric of New Zealand.
Refrigerated ships Sir Ernest Rutherford Sir Edmund Hillary Professor Alan McDiarmid Jet boat engines and CWF Hamilton America’s cup cutting edge design and winning team leadership
The Labour Progressive Coalition Government has made innovation a priority and we have established industry taskforces with key industry leaders in biotechnology, Information and Communication Technology, and the creative sectors.
Success in these industries will support success in other sectors.
This Pavilion is a powerful statement to New Zealand and the world that as well as being clean and green, we are a smart, innovative and ideas based nation.
In recent years in New Zealand we've seen the emergence of a new culture of innovation and enterprise, a culture that approves the success of innovators and entrepreneurs in the same way we appreciate the achievements of those in sport and the arts.
The more new innovators and entrepreneurs who turn their dreams and ideas into businesses and jobs, the more likely it is that living standards for all New Zealanders will rise.
Industry New Zealand is fostering a greater appreciation of business and enterprise, through an array of programmes involving a wide cross-section of New Zealanders, from people in business wishing to adopt international best practice and become world-class businesses, to secondary school students who want to become entrepreneurs.
This Pavilion will also encourage enterprise. Visitors to the Pavilion will be inspired by the stories of innovative New Zealand business people and outstanding New Zealand companies, from recent start ups to global leaders.
In closing, I'd like to acknowledge the work of Industry New Zealand, Carter Holt Harvey and all the sponsors, as well as the participating businesses for their vision of an innovative New Zealand that is internationally competitive and world-class.