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MBDA hosts breakfast with PM

John Key 2-864Prime Minister John Key made a rare official visit to Mangawhai last week initially landing at the golf club for a meet-and-greet breakfast address attended by 100 interested locals.

Organised by the Mangawhai Business Development Association (MBDA) he was met by golf club manager Steve Hinton, MBDA personell Richard Gunson and Melody Tito, plus Kaipara Mayor Greg Gent and local council members.

The chopper arrived about 8.30am from Mechanics Bay in Auckland with the PM having arrived back in the country only the night before from the APEC conference in Peru.

In his address, the PM stressed the importance of interaction with the 21 APEC country delegates, especially Asia and Singapore, the main thrust being to find and maintain equal access within the trading world.

While our imports from China have risen from $8 billion to $12 billion in eight years, our trade with China has grown from $8 billion to $20 billion over that same period. We are driven by global trade but can’t put all our eggs in few baskets.

John Key chopper-779He informed an attentive audience that NZ has one of the fastest growth rates in the developed world and the highest level of wage growth. It has also recorded manufacturing growth for 44 months in a row.

“New Zealand manufacturing is sophisticated,” he said. “We can win overseas markets from IT to dairy to science and technology. The trend is now towards robotics and we need to be a part of this move to maintain our world market status.”

“Tourism continues to be a major earner into the foreseeable future,” he added. “We have 1.4 million Australian tourists visits per year yet their spend is exceeded by just 200,000 from China. There are recorded some 120 million trips out of China today. This is expected to be 400 million in five years and we need to get our share of this move.”

While he recognised challenges New Zealand has he painted a positive picture in several quarters, namely in the reduction of costs of cancer drugs, the Puhoi to Warkworth highway, and while he expressed a wish that it could “be right to the top of the country” there are other priorities, namely the Kaikoura earthquake.

“Along this stretch of major arterial highway there are 1000 slips of various magnitude blocking the road. We can’t just clear the debris out of the way,” he said admitting some will have to be pushed into the sea.“ There are entire small mountains which are unstable. It will be a long and costly operation but must be done.”

Questioned from the floor regarding the fishing trawlers operating within sight of our shore the PM said the fishing industry is the most litigious of any aspect he has to deal with. Any law or rule

imposed is going to disadvantage some other party. The Kermadec Ocean sanctuary was a prime example where people want to have an area kept safe and pristine yet Maori insist on their fishing rights without compromise. Any disputes involve litigation so the process just has to be worked through.

Ending on a positive note, Mangawhai School Principal Aaron Kemp thanked the Government and Education Minister Hekia Parata for the granting of another six classrooms for next year to handle the increased roll numbers as a result of strong community growth.

The PM mixed with some guests briefly before heading off to the Hawaiiki cable ceremony at Bream Tail Farm.

MEET & GREET: Pictured at Mangawhai Golf Club with Prime Minister John Key are Kaipara Mayor Greg Gent, MBDA president Richard Gunson, and MBDA member Melody Tito.

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