Rising star David Clark promoted

David Clark.
David Clark.
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 Shearer said.

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 economic development.

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 tax treatment.

''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.

Add a Comment

 

drivesouth-pow-generic-1.png

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter