Dunedin North MP David Clark has been rewarded for a
stellar first year in Parliament with a promotion yesterday to
become Labour's economic development spokesman.
Labour leader David Shearer said Dr Clark, ranked No 12,
would work with finance spokesman David Parker and was tasked
with finding ways to diversify the economy with a particular
emphasis on green growth.
''This is a well-deserved promotion for a rising star,'' Mr
Dr Clark (40) said from Wellington he was excited by the
opportunities before him. He would also take over the role of
small business spokesman, a complementary role to that of
He would concentrate his thinking on how to encourage
companies to contribute to an export-led recovery. That could
involve tax reform or other policy measures to help companies
increase their exports and to encourage a diversified economy
through information and technology, value-added and design.
''I am looking forward to putting my thinking cap on and
bringing fresh thinking to the table.''
However, Dr Clark promised not to lose sight of the
contribution made to the economy by the agricultural sector.
Denmark was a good example of how an economy based on
agriculture could be diversified without harming that
important base, he said.
Dr Clark would also focus on policy development around
helping manufacturing which had lost 17,000 jobs in the past
12 months. That sector might also come in for some different
''But it's just day one and I don't have any firm plans on
tax. There are options to provide incentives for companies to
do well. The system favours those who are chugging along. We
want to reward those who think outside the square in the way
they grow the economy.
''We are prepared to take a more hands-on approach than the
Government, which seems comfortable sitting back and watching
the job losses mount.''
Dr Clark, who was previously Labour's revenue spokesman,
clashed in and out of Parliament with Revenue Minister Peter
Dunne. He will now come up against the Government's
''minister for everything'' Steven Joyce.
''Mr Joyce launched a business growth agenda a year ago and
nothing has come out of it. I will seek to expose the lack of
substance coming out of the Government for the spin it is,''
Dr Clark said.