The cabinet minister responsible for economic development is a fan of the co-operative business model and is keen to see Kiwi co-ops take advantage of the tax credits on offer by investing more in research and development.
Minister Hon. David Parker, whose portfolios include economic development, trade and export growth, and the environment, told New Zealand’s cooperative business leaders that their sector was a major part of NZ’s productive economy.
“Co-ops are interesting to me. They are big contributors to GDP and employ a large part of our workforce,” he told the 100-strong audience at February’s Cooperative Business Leaders’ Forum in Auckland.
“But we need co-ops to increase their investment in R and D. Our government is offering up to a billion dollars to incentivise innovation and co-ops could get a good share of that.
“The economy needs to move from volume to value – and co-ops understand that. We need to move away from the speculative towards the sustainable,” said the Otago-born senior cabinet minister whose politics are driven by the need to enhance our economy and protect our environment, while promoting equality and egalitarianism.
He acknowledged the input of co-operatives to the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council, with the sector represented by Fonterra’s CEO Miles Hurrell.
Cooperative Business NZ CEO, Craig Presland, thanked the minister for his support in attending and speaking at this event over the past two years, while also encouraging Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to accept Cooperative Business NZ’s invitation to be the pre-dinner guest speaker at this year’s event.
“Minister Parker appreciated the opportunity to return this year and provide an update on the NZ economy as well as government initiatives in relation to the future of work. His support of NZ’s co-op sector is both recognised and highly appreciated,” said Craig.