What is Statistics New Zealand doing to assist business?
Heaps. The successful Go Stats! seminars are shortly starting up again. These are a very popular way of distributing information to business. Statistics New Zealand is sponsoring an information zone at the Small Business Expos, and the Statistics New Zealand stand will show businesses how to use statistics products relevant to them. And last month free, detailed business demography data was released under the initiative to make information freely available. Previously, this information would have cost businesses around $500 for every request, but under this Labour-led Government it is now free.
I thank the Minister for his answer. Has the Budget initiative to make information freely available met the Government’s expectations in regard to business?
Absolutely it has. The initiative to make information freely available aims to make over a quarter of a billion pieces of statistical information available for free. The value of this initiative in the period to the end of March was in excess of $19 million—money that ordinarily would have been charged to the business community. It represents huge value for New Zealand businesses, community organisations, and individuals.
I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. I cannot see how nearly 30,000 New Zealanders leaving to go to Australia every year actually helps New Zealand businesses.
I seek leave to table the external migration figures for the year ended February 2008, showing that—