Economic Development Spokesperson
24 August 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
National finally adopts Labour’s Finland recommendation
Labour’s economic development spokesperson David Cunliffe is pleased but surprised to see that National has invited
Finland to discuss its economic model, when Gerry Brownlee dubbed the country uneducated, unemployed and homicidal.
“Labour supports the Government’s move to set up a small advanced economies group, especially as it means they’re
following Labour’s advice. But please make sure Gerry Brownlee is nowhere near the meeting.
“When David Shearer said we should become more like the high-tech, high wage Finnish economy, Gerry Brownlee unleashed
his ignorant rant about Finland’s education system, their employment, propensity to murder and attitude to women.
“I know from my recent visit to Finland that he managed to offend an entire country.
“It’s a hell of a u-turn for National to now beg them to come here and tell them how to become an advanced economy. The
Finns and the TV satirists must be loving it.
“I’m highly confident that Finland, Denmark, Israel and Singapore will tell John Key and Steven Joyce they need to adopt
international mainstream policies like those Labour has been advocating to turn into a small advanced economy.
“National’s low-value focus on bulk exports and mining simply don’t have a hope getting us into their league. As Finland
and Denmark know, Labour knows, and Steven Joyce’s officials know, we need strong Government leadership to become an
advanced economy, not National’s hands-off approach.
“These advanced small economies are reforming to grow their manufacturing sector and join the multi-trillion dollar race
for green growth. Meanwhile National has insulted the Pure Advantage green growth group and refuses to support the
“Let’s hope that National listens to Finland this time, instead of just gratuitously insulting them.”