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The Government needs to turn its five days of korero with the Northland people into action, and commit to continuing the concrete steps National were taking to grow jobs and wages in the region, National Party Economic Development Spokesperson Simon Bridges says.

“Two years ago the National Government, local councils, iwi and businesses jointly developed and launched the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Development Action Plan, which came up with 58 tangible actions across key industries such as tourism, forestry and horticulture to grow the Northland economy,” Mr Bridges says.

“Despite spending a lot of time talking about his good intentions for Northland, the Minister for Regional Economic Development is yet to commit to continuing to progress the Action Plan.”

The Action Plan is already delivering benefits for the region. Within the first year multiple projects to support the economy had been progressed, including the establishment of the Māori Forestry Collective for Tai Tokerau, funding for the Hundertwasser Art Centre and the opening of Pou Heranga Tai – The Twin Coast Cycle Trail

“As usual, Mr Jones is all talk and no action,” Mr Bridges says.

“Already he is backing down from his flagship policy to plant one billion trees over ten years. In his latest statements he has said just five million extra trees will be planted in the first year – meaning it would take 200 years to reach his goal.

“The current approach is having an impact – 14,000 new jobs have been created in the last five years, and the number of people in work is the most ever. We need to keep growing this number, which is why the Government should commit to the actions in the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Development Action Plan.

“The Government needs to turn its good intentions for the people of Northland into concrete actions. It is vitally important that the new Government commit to continuing the important projects of the Action Plan, to further support the Northland community.”

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