OFFICIALLY OPEN TWIN TOWER COMPLEXPrime Minister
Clive Tippins, Mike Sullivan, Bob Haddon, Your Worship the Mayor Noel Pope, Katherine O'Regan, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
It's good to be back in Mt Maunganui - part of the Tauranga electorate.
Let me begin by congratulating you on what has been achieved here.
The facility is undoubtedly the finest of its kind to be found in provincial New Zealand.
Thirty-six apartments and two penthouses, in each tower, 12 retail shops, a proposed licensed restaurant, 18 motel units, a conference room seating 150, gymnasium, sauna, hot pool and more.
And all is sited on what must be one of the very finest locations to be found anywhere the harbour in one direction and open sea in the other.
I congratulate you on your foresight, enterprise, energy, tenacity and courage because I know it takes all of these things to bring a project like this to completion.
You, who have achieved this, are another symbol of the 'can do' spirit that is emerging in New Zealand, and particularly in the Bay of Plenty today.
It gives the lie to the 'gloom gang' who lead the main opposition parties.
We are nearing the end of the third week in the campaign and none of them have yet seen anything positive anywhere in New Zealand to comment on.
How sad that their only policy is to condemn the extraordinary achievements of New Zealanders over the past few years, of which this complex is but another outstanding example.
An example that totally rebuts the constant negative criticism of local MP Winston Peters.
I want to say to Mr Peters, in his home electorate, that his criticism is wrong.
New Zealand's future has never been brighter.
He has but to look around Tauranga and the surrounding district to see evidence everywhere of a vibrant community that's growing stronger by the month, creating new opportunities every day.
I am proud of the 200,000-plus jobs which have been created in New Zealand in the last four years, because each one enables another New Zealander to stand tall and feel proud.
I am proud that we are seeing much more investment in industry.
That it is private enterprise who has the confidence to invest in processing our vast forests, not government departments.
The suggestion that the Government buy back former state forests is populist nonsense.
I am proud to see the great growth in our tourism sector.
Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty are set to gain even more opportunities from tourism.
It's already New Zealand's largest earner of overseas funds, earning $4.7 billion annually and growing strongly.
There is so much that is good going on, but in saying that I want to also acknowledge that there is still work to be done.
We need to improve further our health system. It will cost a lot of money.
We plan to spend another $2.6 billion building the new schools and classrooms we need to meet the needs of our children. And we can do it.
As long as we don't throw away all our opportunities on October 12th and spend the Government's money buying forests.
On October 12th New Zealand's voters are going to have to make a decision on whether they wish to go forward to a better tomorrow, or back into the economic swamplands of yesterday.
Think for a moment whether in 12 months time you wish to be enjoying another year of growth or surveying the "Crash of '97"?
That is what our first MMP election is all about. It's a stark choice.
So I urge you who through your achievements have demonstrated your commitment to the future to use your important party vote for the good of the nation.
That is my invitation today to those who, for whatever reason, left the National Party over the past few years.
In opening the new complex I once again congratulate you on a job well done. Thank you for showing your confidence in the future of this exciting region.