Chamber hosts Joyce visit

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Finance Minister Steven Joyce was in Gore on Wednesday to give a post-Budget presentation.

The trip was organised by the Eastern Southland branch of the Southland Chamber of Commerce.

Eastern Southland Chamber of Commerce representative Ewen Whitefield said despite a late start, he thought the event went well.

“It was good; we had good numbers,” Mr Whitefield said.

Mr Joyce’s presentation started half an hour later than expected because his flight from Auckland was delayed by fog.

Mr Joyce said he believed New Zealand was in a good position economically, compared with the rest of the world.

“We have had strong economic growth over the last few years,” he said.

“This growth is due to go on for another four years, provided we don’t have another big shock like the Canterbury earthquake.”

Last year, New Zealand was the fifth-fastest-growing country in economic terms, he said.

He credited this to political and economic stability.

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He said he believed Southland should not rely solely on the dairy industry.

“Southland has had a tough couple of years with the dairy downturn.”

It was important to have other strong industries in the region to fall back on, Mr Joyce said.

After his presentation, he opened the floor to questions.