Auckland (25 January) – The Government is pressing ahead with a wide range of measures to build a more productive and competitive economy, Prime Minister John Key says. “New Zealand has to be a magnet for investment,” he said in a speech to the North Harbour Club in Auckland today. That’s investment by individuals and small businesses, as well as big businesses; and it’s investment by people from overseas as well as Kiwis. The more investment we get, the more jobs will be created. To ensure that future growth is based on investment, exports and savings, the Government has set out a wide-ranging programme of initiatives – including ensuring people have the right skills to contribute to the workforce.
As the next step in the Government’s programme to improve skills and vocational training, Mr Key today announced a new initiative to expand and improve apprenticeship training. “As a result of these changes, and stimulated by the boom in construction and other trades that is already underway in Christchurch, we estimate that around 14,000 additional apprentices will start training over the next five years, over and above the number previously forecast,” Mr Key says. “That will mean thousands of New Zealanders get to learn a new trade that will last them a lifetime.”
Mr Key says addressing issues in the housing market and further reforming the Resource Management Act are also among the Government’s priorities this year. “With housing, we want to work closely with local councils and I believe our goals in the end are the same. But if councils are n’t able to change their planning processes, then the Government will have to get a lot more proactive because we are very serious about this issue.”
The Government is working on a further stage of comprehensive Resource Management Act reforms, which will be released in the next few months. “I want to see big improvements in this area and it’s going to be a high priority for the Government this year.”
Weblink to the Prime Minister’s speech: www.beehive.govt.nz